We set out this morning for the National Museum of Anthropology and History, the place where seemingly all the treasures of Mexico have come to be displayed. It was a tour de force - we spent four hours there, with Violet who wins a 'museum super trooper' award for being so well behaved the entire time. The museum was amazing! Everything you have ever seen in a photo is there but the space itself is also very cool. It seems like they may have a bit of a hoarding problem though, since they have more things than they really need, it feels like they could have left a couple of things at the original sites.
The signage was as worthless and/or nonexistent as we have come to expect. Whenever there is signage, it tells you things you could have guessed on your own and when there is something really interesting and unusual, they is usually no sign at all. Basic jist: "you are looking at things that were made in the past, not in the future. They have shapes and forms of the things they look like. They were made by people. They have a particular color and may or may not have been important."
Despite the lack of signage and the strange idea that the security guards had about priorities - for example, people could rub their hands on the stone objects but when Violet sat on black and yellow tape around a plastic model of a faraway archeological site, she was told to get up and move off - the museum was amazing. Around every corner there are just hundreds of treasures. It only has 23 rooms which makes it seem like it is so much smaller than it really is because each room is the size of an airplane hanger.
Matt has a tendency to forget to drink water and so last night he ended up pretty dehydrated and without any bottled water in his apartment. For some reason, he didn't want to bother us, so he suffered for a good long while until he discovered a britta filter in his place. So, he wasn't feeling to snappy this morning and we dragged him back from the light through regular infusions of fresh orange juice and papaya yogurt.
When we were leaving the National Museum, the voladores were just beginning their performance which involves men in imaginary traditional clothing climbing up a ridiculously tall pole, winding rope around it and then jumping off, letting themselves fall against the gravity and centrifugal force, I nearly felt motion sick just watching. Our plan had been to head over another museum or possibly the Chapultepec palace afterwards, but as Matt had lost his will to live, we decided to seek food instead.
We took a taxi to the center square, no small feat as many of the major streets were closed for a protest by educators against ridiculous government reforms (it felt like North Carolina for a bit...) When we arrived, businesses around the square were just lowering their metal curtains and police in riot gear were getting into position. At the last moment, a man from a sixth floor restaurant asked us if we would like to come up and eat on the terrace. Oddly enough, I think it doubles as a men's club or something of the sort because the women were wearing laced bodices, high altitude heels and appeared particularly disappointed at our presence. In any case, the wind was heavenly, the views were stunning, and it was certainly the best venue for watching the protest.
So, we have had some pretty good touring so far - yesterday we went to the Frida Kahlo museum which was amazing. Then we ate dinner on the square in Coyoacan...where, unfortunately (or hilariously depending on who you ask) the waiter spilled an entire tray of beer on my head. I've been less soaked after swimming. The meal was good, despite my sticky and soaking condition but, to my surprise, they still charged us for the beer. Matt stepped in and explained the ridiculous nature of the charges until they were willing to give up and give in.
Needless to say, we have an open door bathroom policy now.
Tomorrow, we have an appointed at the Luis Barragan house museum and hopefully will get to see the Chapultepec Palace.
We sent Matt up to his room laden with water bottles. Wish us luck!