So, after a nearly 3 hour shuttle ride to my hotel last nite , I finally decided that I had had enough of this city and all of it's congestion. I'd been invited to a party and to dinner with Bonnie Goldman and the folks from thebody.com, both of which I ended up having to turn down because I didn't even get to my hotel until after 10pm.
As I lay down for the nite, I came to the conclusion that I was calling it a week and that the Centro Banamex would not see me today. I planned to watch the opening and closing plenary's via podcast from the bar in the hotel!
But, seeing as how I've never been a quitter, I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of stick-to-it-ness. At breakfast, I inquired about public transportation and realized that I was just blocks from the subway that could connect me to a bus that would take me directly in front of the conference center.
And, after convincing myself that I could do it without getting lost, despite my ability to speak only minimal Spanish, I made it! AND IN JUST 45 MINUTES!!! It really wasn't difficult at all, and it allowed me an opportunity to see a little bit of everyday life in Mexico City. Not much different than any other big city that I've been in really. Lots of interesting people on the train, selling things that nobody really needs and giving their spills about why you should unload your spare pesos on them.
There was this one brother who was originally from Chile but had recently been deported from the U.S. He caught my attention, not just because he was gorgeous, but because he was wearing a Chicago White Sox cap. The Sox were my grandfather's favorite baseball team and, inherently, mine as well.
Initially, of course, he assumed that I was a Jamaican Rasta (which, in my best Jamaican accent, I'm beginning to just tell people 'yea mon' since I get that SOOOOO much here... ). When I told him that I was actually from the Chi, we ended up engaging in some interesting political dialogue about life in the states and, of course, the upcoming presidential election. He's trying his best to get back to there, but things really aren't looking good for him at this point.
As my stop approached, I wished him well and threw a couple of pesos his way, hoping that his life's journey would get a little better soon.
So now...I'm here in the media center (the wireless internet here is still crappy, but thanks to my buddy Kenyon Farrow and some of the folks from CHAMP, I've even found a way around that), awaiting the closing ceremonies and anticipating a free day and a half to explore Mexico City. ZONA ROSA HERE I COME!!!
Don't worry, I will be safe. But you better believe I plan to have a really good time.
Oh...and I'll touch down with more conference info soon. I just got word that Housing Works is planning a protest during the "passing the keys" portion of the closing plenary. OOOOOOHHHHHHHHH!!!!!