Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Last Day and the flight home

I spent my last full day of my trip checking out museums, National Palace, wondering the streets, markets, and visiting Templo Mayor, an Aztec ruin right in the center of the city. Actually Mexico City is built on top of a great Aztec (Mexica) City of Tenochtitlan, the capital of Aztec Empire, after the Spanish defeated the empire.

I saw some murals of Diego Rivera, a famous Mexican painter, at the palace and Diego Rivera museum. The strangest thing is that the palace (free) had 5-6 of Rivera's murals, but the museum ($1.5) that dedicated to him, only had one! Ok, the museum is under renovation, so the upstairs was closed.

I tried to visit the engraving museum, but it was closed, and I can't understand what the reason was because there were what looked like people there (the guards tried to explain to me, but my Spanish was not that good). My final visit was to the Post Office Palace, which was built in 1908 of Italian Gothic Renaissance. Still a functional post office with pretty interior, a postal library, and naval museum.

I also got more silver coins and old paper currency (happen to walk by a coin shop), and loaded up on more passion fruits.

After shower and packing up, I met Brian for dinner again. He was struggling with his ex-girlfriend's cancer, his future plan to move to Columbia, and his promise to another girl for a road trip in western US in May.

After the dinner, I just got ready for the final packing. But the dorm is now full, at max of 12 people as well as mosquitoes. I tried to goto sleep around 9, but the light was on, so by 10:30, I asked the couple people in the room to turn off the light. Even with lights off, I still had really hard time falling sleep, too many mosquitoes buzzing around, too hot, and just too worried about overslept for my flight home.

I got up around 4:40AM, because it was too hot and few people were already making noise with their luggage rummage. Couple people in room got up because it was just too hot sleep for them as well. I took the metro to the airport. It took about 45 minutes with 3 transfers. Only at one of the transfer that I have to wait for may be 10 minutes. The Benito Juarez airport looked pretty new, I think I got there early, so the lines for checkin and security were short. The United flight was not packed, and the middle seat of my area was empty - it was only a 4-hour flight to Dulles.

With two-hour time difference, I arrived in Dulles around 3:15PM. It was cloudy and started to rain and sleet soon as I stepped out - welcome home! At the immigration area, someone or something trigger a hand-held device of an officer, and we went into "hold" the line mode for few minutes while they search for the person who I guess carried may be radioactive, biological, or suspicious content. The person who sat at my row was pull out, but he was not the one. I also had bad luck of meeting a strict immigration officer who took his time, and make me goto the baggage inspection area, which I waited 15-20 minutes, only to be asked the same questions, but no search. I think the officer there was wondering like me, why am I in the baggage inspection area. This is the first time, I got pull for baggage inspection, it's more common with people with lots luggage and travel in family. A backpacker? come-on, the immigration officer must be green. He marked the lady in front me for inspection as well. Although I did see a young girl that had big luggage, and they found 4-5 large cartons of what looked like eggs, big no no!

I'll wrap up my blog with my final thoughts and upload the rest of my Mexico photos in a week or 2, need to do tax, catch up on mails, emails, and various finance stuff.

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