June 11. Wasn’t there this swine-flu thing?

A scary but improbable continuation of this blog:
Walking through the ancient Aztec town of Teotihuacan, he feels a light pain in his forehead and a nasty caugh deep down his throat. Yes, he has read the newspaper and he knows that the WHO has just increased the pandemia level to six, and that’s as high as they go. He has seen the restaurant and ticket office workers wearing mouth protection, and he remembers the old man with his terrible caugh on the bus two days ago. What if I have swine flu, he thinks. What if, of all the tourists traveling in and out of Mexico, I have the bad luck of catching the flu? So he thinks while walking on the Calle de los Muertos, the four kilometer main axis of the Aztec city. Will they thoroughly examine me, put me in quarantine? Or would this string of the influenza virus make me sick so quickly that I won’t make it out of the country alive, hee thinks. How terrible. He must go back to the city, try to find some tamiflu do they have enough? Do they have enough portions for everyone? But the virus will continue doing its destructive work if you only fight the symptoms. He will get sick very soon now and throw up and get all green and magenta and yellow he will suffer terribly for two days and then die anonymously in a quarantined cold hospital bed, surrounded by curious scientists fervently taking notes in their inmaculately white little notebooks.

The real continuation:
The visit to the Aztec ruins is great. Take a bus (33 pesos) from Central del Norte which will bring you right to the entrance of the park in about an hour. The park entrance costs 51 pesos like all other major AAA-rated sites (including Chitzen Itza and Palenque). Ascending the temple of the sun is worth the effort. It’s a steep climb but the reward is rich. You look out over the green hills of the region and the temple of the moon. The sun-temple was for Tláloc
the water god, according to recent research. That explains the ten feet moat around it and the child burials (the water deity was seen by the Aztec as the womb of new life as well as the passage chamber to eternal life).
There is an interesting museum about the mural paintings they’ve excavated here and some smaller temples off the main archeological site that are definitely worth a visit too. I feel like a young Aztec man and imagine how I would have lived. It’s my favorite activity around ruins. I do it all the time: you already caught me doing it in the ancient Maya world. Being on the same spot as those great civilizations stimulates my fantasy. The experience of those naked and silent stones, those huge piles of stones, those big timeless soothing stones: that’s the reason I’m here.

My friend Kenya shows me some pretty fragments of her city before we crash the couchsurfer’s party, that is really nice. My hypothesis that all couchsurfers are friendly gains some strength. I mean, you cannot go like this:
A: All couchsurfers are friendly
B: Socrates is a couchsurfer
C: Thus Socrates is friendly
but you can be pretty sure he would be. I doubt if Socrates would couchsurf, but that’s another story.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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