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4 down, 2 to go June 4, 2011

Posted by iebailie in Travel Log.
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So, it’s been a full month since I’ve come to the D.F. (El Distrito Federal, for Mexico City), and I can’t begin to say how much I love this city! Among some other pretty cool things, we’ve visited a 19th century castle, a 10-story monument to La Revolución Mexicana and have seen more murals than I can count.

No, I didn't get to drive it...

But, for all you engineers out there, I think you’ll be most interested in our most recent excursion: the Matretta car factory. I’m pretty sure most, if not all of you, have not heard about this car company, so I’ll fill you in. Mastretta is the first and only car company that is 100% Mexican-owned an operated; they even do all their design and production in house! It’s a pretty cool concept too. Any person that orders one of these cars can fully customize the interior to their specifications. Dash too short? Radio in an awkward position? No problem! It’s seriously a custom car for the weekend track-goer. Needless to say, I was salivating over the models they had on show! Most importantly, though, Mastretta is a Mexican company, and a start-up at that. We’ve learned in class how difficult it is to begin a business in Mexico, what with a gargantuan governmental bureaucracy, limited access to credit and stiff outside competition.

Here's the monument. The architecture is AMAZING!

Other than that very fun trip, we’ve done some exploring on our own. After visiting a beautiful mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros, one of the top three Mexican muralists that were contracted by the Mexican government to teach the history of Mexico to the general population, we literally stumbled across the monument to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The pictures I’ve put up don’t quite do the monument justice; take a ride up the glass elevator to the top and you’ll understand exactly what I mean! At the top, you get an unforgettable view of the city (and some of it’s smog!) that’s absolutely worth the 30-peso ticket (roughly $2.50). Back on the ground, we witnessed a changing of the guard that surround what appeared to the “the flame” of Mexico. If you’ve ever seen the change guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, you’ll get exactly what this ceremony was like.

This is the fountain at the bottom of the monument. Beautiful, isn't it?

But, the most beautiful thing of the monument was the crowd of people simply enjoying the monument and the fountain at its base: this is the Mexico I absolutely love. A couple nights ago after watching X-Men: First Class (it was in English with Spanish subtitles), we got ice cream and just sat in one of the parks in Colonia Roma (the neighborhood I live in). And, even though it was 10 at night, a good portion of the neighborhood was out with their dogs and children enjoying the park. People in this city don’t live in it they live it. It’s a pretty foreign concept to most people from the U.S. who (yes, I am stereotyping a little here) tend to live independently. Think privacy fences, no sidewalks and certainly no gorgeous, and safe, parks in the middle of a sprawling metropolis (more stereotypes here, but it illustrates my point). It’s an aspecto hermosísimo (literally “super beautiful aspect”) of Mexican society that I’m going to miss dearly in the U.S.

Anyway, I have to get back to studying for Doctora Galloway’s incredibly difficult tests! ¡Hasta luego!

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