A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun

The Pyramid of the Sun, in a photo taken by Kelly from on top of the Pyramid of the Moon.

Teotihuacán is one of Mexico’s must-see tourist attractions. Its enormous pyramids were visible from the city streets for miles before we got to our campground in the nearby town of San Juan Teotihuacán. An ancient city not too far from Mexico City, it was the first place on this trip that I had also been as a child.

And what did I want to do? Laundry.

That’s how it is sometimes.

After the long night of listening to Mexico’s trucks, Kelly and I just wanted to kick back. We weren’t up for Culture. So we took turns with our little hand-operated washing machine, a nifty plastic gizmo that you fill with hot water and several pounds of clothes, turn the handle for a few minutes, and voila! Well, you do still have to rinse too, but it’s a good device. We never did see any American-style laundromats in Mexico, though in the cities there were some where you could leave your clothes and come back in a day or two.

An ancient church was a block away from the campground, and mass was broadcast by loudspeaker. We had heard this in other places, too. Usually the quality of the sound was not great. It wasn’t only churches that used loudspeakers. Political campaigning was underway, with trucks cruising the streets adding their sounds to the mix. Mexicans have a far greater tolerance for this background of noise than do Kelly and I. I laughed to myself one day, when it was all going on steadily and a Mexican man told me, in all seriousness, how tranquil it was.

The next day, Kelly went off to the ruins, while I enjoyed a break from our constant togetherness. I wrote for a few hours and had a long talk with Mina, the owner of the Teotihuacán Trailer Park, where we were staying. She and I hit it off right away. Her English was much like my Spanish, so we used both languages, moving easily from one to the other if we didn’t know a word or verb construction we needed.

She laughed at one of my pronunciations. When I first learned Spanish, I had been taught to pronounce the word for “but,” pero, with the r sound approaching a d. Talking with Mina, when I pronounced pero with a bit too much of a d sound, she immediately told me what nobody else had ever bothered to, that pedo is the word for intestinal gas passed, in other words, a fart. I wondered how many times people had sniggered at my pronunciation over the years. Learning a language is fraught with many perils!

Mina offered to accompany me to the ruins, and off we went the next morning. She grew up in the area, and has family members all around, so she knows many people. Just as we were going into the ruins, a car stopped and one of her cousins came over to greet her. I love the richness of Mexican family ties.

jaguar singing at Teotihuacan

Jaguar singing to the rain God, a mural in an out-of-the-way spot at Teotihuacan

I also enjoyed just following along in her wake, as she negotiated with taxi drivers and others. At the Teotihuacán archaeological site, vendors are permitted to roam the grounds, selling various items. The guidebooks warn you how persistent these people can be. With Mina there, I had no problems. A couple of men were selling something, and there was some quick repartee between her and them about cats, rats, and dogs. I couldn’t follow the exact meanings but she didn’t come away second, I could tell that much.

The size of the Teotihuacán pyramids really impressed me, as did the hordes of people climbing them. There must have been hundreds of people going up and down the major pyramids at any one time. With little head for heights, I had no desire to follow them. Mina took me to some of her favorite, out-of-the-way spots, with lovely murals.

Drawing of the train perhaps 100 years ago
The train, in an earlier era

In one plaza, she pointed out that the drains were better than the ones that exist today in the nearby towns. In a little museum we saw an animated film of a myth, with exquisite puppets. We took a little “train” around the grounds, and it was fun to get an ever-moving perspective on the beautiful structures. When I eventually confessed that I was more interested in some time in the bookshop than in more ruins, as an avid reader herself, she understood immediately, and I stocked up.

Kelly and I had come to Teotihuacán to connect with the past. Indeed, Kelly did, but for me, the richest experience was my time with Mina, the blend of the past and the present giving me a deeper feeling for all that has gone into creating modern Teotihuacán and modern Mexico.

[Next: Kelly’s reflections on Teotihuacan]

5 Responses to “Teotihuacán”

  • Alberto Vistrain says:

    Sorry for my english, but I’m a mexican and I don’t write in the right way. First i want to tell you the great happines for know that you stay here in my town, with my frien Mina Ruiz, and second thing that i want to know is how you knew about this place, the reason is because Mr Antonio Cordoba was who view all the things for publicity, like magazines, or guidebooks, but never told us what magazines or where we need to write. And recently i was helping Mina if you can helo us with the name of your book we will be happy for know it. Thank for your time

  • Rosana says:

    Alberto, thanks for your comment. Your written English is better than my written Spanish! Please give my greetings to Mina.

    We do not publish a guidebook on Mexico. I don’t remember for sure, but we probably found you through this book: Traveler’s Guide to Mexican Camping: Explore Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize with Your RV or Tent.

    This page on my website lists some other books that you might want to consider contacting, especially Lonely Planet:
    http://www.mexico-with-heart.com/books-about-mexico/

    Best wishes,
    Rosana

  • Alberto says:

    Thanks. I don’t have time for talk before with Mina, and she had this information, now I’m talking with she about this site see you soon.

  • MARY MEDELLIN says:

    SEND ME VIEWS OF TEOTIHUACAN.MEX..

  • Rosana says:

    Go to google.com or google.com.mx and choose images and type in teotihuacan.

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