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Published: October 9th 2009
I thought this was a snow capped mountain peak that I saw from the bus as we were heading out of the Distrito Federal but they say it's a sleeping volcano whose name I can't spell.
It is nigh impossible to exchange your US dollars for Mexican pesos in a bank. If I had known that I would waste almost a complete day trying to turn my money into the local currency, I would have deposited it into my checking account in order to just pull it out of an ATM and presto, pesos! Azul and I didn't end up getting out of bed until 11am (9am our internal clocks). Azul and I slept in the children's room with Sara sharing a bed with us, Marciana and Marilub on the bottom bunk of the bed to one side and the mattress from the top bunk on the floor to the other side where Pedro slept. Marciana is constantly drinking water so the first time that she woke up to go pee in a bucket near her bed, I was startled awake to hear the sound. She is about 82 years old and it's difficult for her to get around on her own so they bring the bucket in at night so she doesn't fall and hurt herself on the way to the toilet or wake everybody up in the process. Azul ate a tiny little cup of
Mia has her own definition of leaning back the seat and sleeping on the bus.
a yogurt substance called Danonino. Dairy products are all enriched with added nutrients for the children. I had a couple pieces of the banana bread that I brought. I packed my backpack up with everything that I would need for a short visit out to Tlaxcala to meet Isabel and her family.
Everyone seems to move slow so I finally asked Leticia if she would mind taking me to find a phone SIM card to use in the unlocked T-Mobile phone that I had brought for that specific purpose. She offered me her SIM because she didn't have a phone to use it in and it would be the easiest and fastest. That is when the problem came that I brought plenty of cash, just in the wrong currency. We walked all the way out to the main road, caught a combis (shuttle van $11 pesos for the two of us) that took us to a commercial area where there were banks. Problem is that the banks either can't or won't exchange your money unless you have an account with them. At this point, I was pretty frustrated so I decided to pull some money off my debit card.
Bus Cental in Puebla-CAPU
The bus station is full of vendors and food and people moving everywhere. Public transportation is the backbone for this society. I was also chastized for using my camera as photography is prohibited in the station, oops.
My balance showed that I had plenty of money available but it wouldn't give me any, I needed to contact my institution!! So I had to use my data connection on my phone at $15 per MB in order to find the direct dial number for my bank because I obviously only have the 800 numbers stored in my phone. Apparently I neglected to inform them that I would be traveling to Mexico for the week so when I used my card last night at the Hard Rock Cafe, they put a fraud alert on my account, for my security. I pulled a whopping thousand pesos off my card and headed into the store. I bought a bag of Tang in the flavor Tamarindo. We don't have this at home! At the cashier, we added 100 pesos to Leticia's Movistar card and received a bonus 100 pesos, the Tuesday special I guess. Right away I received three text messages so it worked! It was getting late so I finally asked Leticia to get us a taxi home for a mere $35 pesos. Then Victor and Maria took me back to the same bank Banamex who told him that they could
We went with Isabel and Severo to pick out some pan dulce to have as a late night snack and breakfast with tea for me.
only deposit the dollars into his account and then he could pull it out of the ATM too.
At long long last, we finally got ourselves to the Central de Autobuses-Tapo and just in the nick of time. We bought tickets to Puebla on the Estrella Roja bus line for only $96 each and it was departing in 8 minutes! That left just enough time for Marciana to hit the bathroom and we were off. When we arrived at the bus station in Puebla, I made the mistake of taking pictures of the inside of the station because photography is prohibited. We had to walk through through a passage in order to cross a street and get to the area where the local buses departed from. Sara was the guide here because nobody else had taken the public transportation to Acuamanala previously. The drivers will usually tell you if your stop is on their route or not. We really lucked out with the driver for our route. It only cost us $10 pesos each for a 30 minute ride. When we neared our stop, he asked us if we were going to cross the street to the bus stop
Isabel, Sara, Severo, and Marilub's head in the bottom right corner talking around the table and catching up on the last few months or years.
on the other side of the road and Sara said yes. The driver actually did a u-turn in the middle of the road in order to drop us off on the other side of the road and he carried Marciana down the stairs!! This type of chivalry is very rare and everyone was in awe by his actions. Severo was in the car right behind the bus and he beeped the horn and pulled over to load us up. Marilub was sitting up front with Pedro, Marciana, Sara, Azul, and I in the back seat. He didn't know how to fold up the stroller so he was holding it on the roof of the car as we drove down the street. Then we came across Isabel and Ilse walking so Sara got out to walk with them and she took the stroller. After we arrived, Azul and I went with Isabel and Severo to buy bread at an in-house bakery (panaderia). The shelves were full of fresh sweet bread, rolls, and other varieties. We normally pay .69 cents each in Woodburn but here they are only 3 pesos. The baker was explaining that they start their baking at midnight and bake all night long and sleep during the day. I wanted to return to take pictures but it ended up being too late.
So in the journey, I managed to forget my phone charger which works for both my phones so I've had to keep them off while I'm not using them. Most of the electric outlets here are all two prongs and not three like my laptop takes. I completely forgot to bring my converter with me. Oh well, I'm having a fabulous time getting to know Jose's other sister and her family.
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