Bucket-lists

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Chapter 25: Mexico- The first few days

Mia had been in Mexico for two weeks and she came down with the flu for a week. It was so bad she had been in bed most of the time. She was staying with Lucas and Lydia. The fourth day of her sickness Lydia took her to the hospital. The doctor that helped Mia was so damn hot. She didn’t know that such hot doctors existed. I guess I have to go to hospitals more often. He was long and had brown curly hair, hazel colored eyes and strong hands. When he held Mia’s wrist to feel her pulse Mia almost fainted. And the intensity at which he was looking at her was so overwhelming. When he asked her questions she had to snap out of her thoughts to answer him. She had a feeling Lydia felt the same way. The usually loud mouthed girl who talked nonstop, didn’t utter a single word. Mia felt better after seeing the doctor. She didn’t know if it was the medicines or the doctor himself but something worked. The morning runs actually help a bit. She didn’t really find somewhere outside to run so she used the treadmill Lucas had. Now she could finally explore more of Mexico. Two things that Mia had on her bucket list for Mexico, aside seeing Mexico itself, were seeing la pasqualita and swimming with the whale sharks.

Tomorrow the events of dia de muertos will start so Lydia and Lucas were helping their families prepare for it. They told Mia more about this festival. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008, the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using calaveras, aztec marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves. On day 1, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. Day 2 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. Day 3 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta is filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.

It was a really interesting experience. Mia never knew Mexicans pay respect to the deceased like that. The fiesta went on till late. There were also various types of food and drinks some of which she couldn’t even pronounce the names. Their family was so nice to her. Mia enjoyed her time with them. They even invited her to have dinner with them.

The next day Lydia and Mia were sprawled on the living room couch. Lucas hadn’t returned yet, Lydia said he usually goes out with his friends after the festivities. They were so tired they didn’t even move.

“Owh I’ve been meaning to ask you. How did things go with the phone break up guy?” Mia asked Lydia.

“Let’s say he won’t mess with me anymore. He learned his lesson.” Lydia answered with an evil glint in her eyes.

“What did you do?” Mia asked curiously, on the one hand she was afraid to hear the answer and on the other hand curious.

“I may have let out my frustration out on his car.”

Mia gasped. “No, you didn’t.”

“He couldn’t recognize his car after that. Serves him right for being a pendejo. Hijo de puta.”

“A what?”

“A coward.”

“owh okay. Wel did it help you get over it?”

“Yes it was so satisfactory. I slept wel that night.”

“You’re so evil.” Mia said while laughing.

“It’s what makes me, me. Anyway what are your plans for the week?”

“I thought I would go sight-seeing a bit.”

And that’s what Mia did. She went to the Angel of Independence a National Museum of Anthropology, this archaeology museum holds some of the most important pieces in the country’s rich and diverse history. The most famous is undoubtedly the original Aztec Sunstone, also known as the calendar stone or the Stone of the Five Eras. Visitors can also view the giant Olmec stone heads which were transported from the Tabasco and Veracruz jungles, as well as a wide range of Mayan treasures. An interesting exhibition is the model of Tenochtitlan, the former Aztec capital which is now modern day Mexican City. You will also find a replica of the sarcophagal lid from the tomb of the ancient Mayan leader, Pacal the Great’s tomb.

The Chapultepec Castle

National Palace best known for the magnificent murals painted by the famous Mexican artist, Diego Rivera

Teotihuacan the ancient city is well known for its vast monuments, especially the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Other fascinating features of Teotihuacan include the multi-family residential compounds, the well-preserved murals and the superb obsidian tools found on site. The Avenue of the Dead (Calzada de los Muertos), the city’s main street ran for more than 3 km, beginning at the Moon Plaza and extending beyond.

The Frida Kahlo Museum, known also as the Blue House (Casa Azul) due to its brilliant blue walls, is located in a house in which Kahlo was born in 1907. This is also the home where the self-taught painter lived with her husband, the prominent Mexican painter and fresco artist, Diego Rivera. Rivera eventually donated the house to the government to turn it into a museum in Kahlo’s memory.

Acuario Inbursa is home to thousands of animals and nearly 300 species, and you will be treated to creatures and plant life from the Amazon to Antarctica. Highlights of your visit will include the more exciting sea creatures such as piranhas, turtles, jellyfish and sharks, while endangered manta rays can be found swimming in the lagoon. The bottom floor of the aquarium, known as the Sunken Ship is home to the black tip sharks who share their water space with colorful tropical fish. In the dim light you will be able to view the Jellyfish Labyrinth for an up close view of these interesting creatures. The ecosystems of areas such as Amazon are successfully replicated in this aquarium, for a chance to see amazing fresh water creatures in their natural habitat. Much of the aquarium’s work focuses on conservation, and it has a solid program to reproduce corals, seahorses and jellyfish.

Sometimes Mia went with Lydia, sometimes with Lucas and sometimes alone. Today both of them were free so they decided to go to the zoo. Chapultepec Zoo, it houses almost 2000 animals from more than 200 species. The zoo is known for its success in breeding programs of threatened species, including: giant pandas, California condors and Mexican wolves. They had a lot of fun. The animals were so majestic. Mia specially loved the white tiger exhibition.

While Lucas was making weird faces to some of the animals he was judged by a giraffe. Lydia and Mia laughed so hard seeing the expression the giraffe had.

Mia was dying to learn how to make fijatas and arroz con pollo so she joined a culinary course. She was proud with the results of that course. Even Lucas agreed.

Mia was walking through the market one of the days with Lucas and Lydia when she bumped into someone. The same persons haunting her dreams, Olivia and Nathan. Mia was shocked to see them. As where they. Mia felt Nathan’s eyes checking her out, it made her physically want to puke. And Olivia was just glaring at Mia. Mia realized she was better than this, she shouldn’t waste her time or energy on people that just don’t care about her. She made so much progress regarding her mental health these past months she didn’t want to throw it all down the drain. She turned around to walk away when she heard Olivia say something.

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