Mexico - Thursday 25 November 1999
I wake up at 10:00 AM. No alarm set, as we planned to take it easy today. Despite my intoxication from yesterday, thankfully no hangover.
I don't see anyone from the group, so I do my own thing. I take my dirty laundry to the laundromat, find a place for breakfast, and leisurely wander around.
The little restaurant where I have breakfast (actually more like lunch) is small and quite dirty, but the people are nice, and the food is good. There's a large group of Mexicans having lunch next to me, but a few tourists as well. I'm a bit worried that I might get sick now, but nothing happens.
At a market, I buy two tapes with local music. I'm looking for the lively Latino music you hear in taxis. These tapes feature torch songs and ballads by a singer. I think both are quite popular here.
I try to call home but somehow can't get through. According to the instructions, for Europe, I should dial 98 + country code, but I get a busy signal on all the numbers I try. 00 doesn't work either. I'll try again tomorrow.
At the edge of the city, atop a hill, there's a charming church. A steep climb, but the view is beautiful.
Inside the church, a man is praying fervently. I sneak in and listen for a while. The interior, however, turns out to be terribly ugly.
On my way back to the hotel, I find a store selling books and videos, including a video about the siege of San Cristóbal by Zapatista rebels in 1994. Seems very interesting, and it costs next to nothing. 60 pesos, about 15 guilders.
Yesterday, I saw T-shirts with Zapatista prints. I would have liked to buy one, but now I don't see them anymore.
I buy bananas again. My laundry comes back wonderfully fresh, ironed, and neatly folded.
Back at the hotel, I only then hear that almost everyone else went on a tour of Indian villages nearby. Sounds great, and the stories are very enthusiastic.
We dine at the same place where we got drunk yesterday. Finally, really delicious. I actually choose the right dish this time.
Liz discovers money has been stolen from the envelope she left in the hotel safe. Big panic since it must have been someone from the hotel. When she threatens to involve the police, the hotel promises to reimburse everything. She gets the pesos immediately, the dollars tomorrow. She's quite shocked. You expect a safe to be secure, especially in a hotel.
The four of us chat a bit in Liz's hotel room. She's in another building, on the other side of an immense garden. The nice thing is that the rooms in this hotel have a fireplace, and the wood is already piled up. It's very cozy, and the warmth is quite welcome now.