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Day 2: Viva Mexico City

Saturday, 16 April 2016 – Day 2: Mexico City, Mexico

Speaking of tequila…

Funny thing happened last night at our Bon Voyage Party at Mexsi Bocu Cantina Bistro. (Thank you Alexsi!) A given we ate and drank too much great food. A given we all got along so well and some of us now know each other much better than we did before dinner… And a given that everyone kept looking at me around 8:00PM to give them their 4-hour notice.

What’s a 4-hour notice you ask?

Well, the 4-hour notice is the point in time that signals that we will be moving on to a new, yet to that point still secret, destination. Now, in 10 of the last 11 events held since 2002, we have given the 4-hour notice between the dessert and last call. Which come to think of it is a tad redundant. Anyway, I had 20 sets of eyes looking at me like puppies wanting a promised biscuit.

Not tonight!” I said, because Mexico City is too great a place not to begin The Global Scavenger Hunt. It would be a crime to leave here and waste such a great destination on just a meeting, dinner and flight…so we are here for the day.

So…Buenos Dias!

And what a fun day it will be. How could I deny our teams experiencing a place that has so wonderfully given us: chocolate, chilies and corn…along with poinsettias, Chihuahuas, tequila, and my personal favorite, Selma Hayek! (50 Bonus points for anyone who gets a selfie with her; and 100 if you get her to call me!)

Nope, we are staying in the much maligned city of “El Monstruo” for another day. BTW: we are staying at the St Regis Mexico City Hotel on the bustling Paseo del la Reforma, along with Chris Martin and his Coldplay mates, so don’t feel too sorry for us. We really believe that age old saying: You never get a second chance to make a great first impression. And I think we did…
st regis mex
Mexico City is a great city. A great BIG city—bigger than New York City. It is modern, poor, improvisational and surreal all at the same time. It is a simmering, complex, ever-changing storehouse of history, art, fashion and food. Indeed, there is just so much to see and do here. It is an alpha global city with some of the best food in the world and a mojo vibe like no other…and, interestingly enough, a city with not only more Spanish-speaking residents than any other city in the world but more taxis than any other city in the world. But DF also has more museums than any other city in the world, with more than 140.  Bet you didn’t know that. A lot to see and do…and eat!

El Zocalo

I love Mexico City. First the former Aztec powerhouse Tenochtitlan (1325), then a colonial city of Spain (1521); MC may be the first city of the 21st century—so watch out Shanghai and Toronto. Just so many clichés combined with so many alternative realities. From the glamorous environs of posh Polanco, hipster-ridden Roma Norte, café-buzzing Condessa, historic Coyoacan and of course the heart of Mexico City, the huge public space known as Zócalo, ranks alongside Moscow’s Red Square and Beijing’s Tiananmen Square as one of the world’s largest city squares…and more interesting too.

Clichés sure…conquistadores, mariachis, pollution, Montezuma’s Revenge, traffic congestion, police corruption, crime, narcos, tacos, tamales and tortas. But for the estimated 22 million—yes 22 million!—Chilango’s who live in this gigantic metropolitan city (aka DF = districto federal, the federal district) that sits pretty smoggy at 7,300 feet above sea level; not only is the air thin, but so is their skin. They want approval. They want acknowledgement. They want the recognition they rightfully deserve. Too many travelers by-pass this great city and miss an amazing opportunity to see and do so much, instead usually end up laying on a coastal beach with an umbrella drink in hand. Too bad for them. But different strokes for different folks.
mex masks
Lucha Libre masks

Anyway…we have sent our intrepid travelers out on a relatively easy warm up Par 2 introductory scavenger hunt this morning, and we should see them all at the first legs official check-in time of 8:30PM tonight.

(Background: The 2016 world travel championship is divided into 8 official legs of varying lengths and degrees of difficultly (like golf), of between an easy-peasy Par 1 and more strenuously difficulty long Par 6. The 2016 event will have Eight Legs with a total value of 24.)

So what will they be up to today? Good question…here are six examples of today’s scavenges:

– Take the light rail train from Tasqueña Metro and visit Xochimilco; then take a tanjineras ride to find the Isla de las Munecas.

– Splurge for ringside seats at Arena Mexico to see Mexico’s famed lucha libre.

– Try three different tacos at El Borrego Viudo.

– Obtain a team photo, one as rudos (bad guy) and one as tecnicos (good guys) lucha libre wrestlers.

– Visit Museo Nacional de Antropología and find something from the following five pre-Colombian cultures: Olmec, Toltec, Zapotec, Aztec and Mayan.

– Make a tortilla. Prove it.

…along with 50 other scavenges of various degrees of difficulty. Needless to say, they can’t do everything, but have to figure out a workable strategy to do some.
mex museum
One of the world’s best…hands down!

Personally, I want to see who wins the Team Challenge: What team member will eat the hottest chili procured in a local produce market? The Scoville Scale (x’s hotter than a jalapeño) will need to be used to measure the heat of that one—and a lot of cerveza I am sure too. BTW…hoping nothing is hot as the nasty (and potentially lethal) Komodo Dragon Chili Pepper!

So off they go…I guess they will be again looking at me come check-in time tonight as to their illusive and anticipatory first 4-hour notice—where to next ringmaster?

Just curious, where would you take them next after Mexico City? Suggestions please.

Film at 11…err, 8:30 (20:30) tonight!

BTW…follow some of the teams as they blog around the world by clicking these links below:
Lawyers without Borders (Zoe + Rainey):
NOLA Second Line (Betty + Jim):
Two Texas Travelers-T3 (Wendy + Georgia):
2 Global Junkies (Sue + Wendy):
Girls Gone World (Julia + Marla):
SOCA Warriors (Savannah + Bop):
SLO Folks (Paula + Tom):
Perfect Strangers (Simmone + Alina):
The Traveling Tridents (Chloe + Chris):

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