Central America | Mexico | Northern Mexico | Nuevo León | Monterrey – Moonterrey
My days are starting to end earlier, and my mornings are beginning a little sooner in the day. I dont really like to be out at night all that much. I get a little nervous that I might turn down the wrong street or step on the wrong toes. Plus, I love mornings and the world seems so much more alive and vibrant when the sun is up. I guess that is an nice way of putting that I am afraid of getting mugged late at night. I told mi madre that I would be safe, so I am doing just that. Thirty-four years old, and still worried about what my mother would think. Oh well, such is life. I made it to Monterrey early in the day. I pulled off the road to get a burger from McDonalds, they were still serving breakfast. I found it odd that here I was trying to go new places and do new things, and yet, I turned into a McDonalds drive thru to get a bite. I guess there is a limit to the amount of culture one person can delve into in one day. I didnt have any pesos and ended up having to go to the bank to get some. The bank didnt have an ATM, but the supermarket next door did. It was this whole chase thing that was going on, but wait, it does come to an end. I got the pesos, three thousand of them. It comes out to about ten pesos to the dollar, so it was like pulling out three hundred dollars. I stopped off at a cell phone both, and tried to talk to the girl there, but to no avail. I think she thought I was trying to scam her or something. I kept asking her if I could call the Nextel central office to ask anyone if they could translate for me. I left, and started counting my money in the car when this overzealous Texan comes up to the window and scares the begeebers out of me. I must have jumped a foot and a half. Ive noticed that I have been very jump lately. Sort of like I am always on my guard, even when I dont notice that I am. His name was Dan, and he knew this guy, Mario, that could translate for me. He also told me about a hostel nearby that I would be able to stay at. Dan ended up being a real gem, although Im not quite sure I completely trust him yet. He is another one of those travelers that has a story for everything, and excuse for everything, and always seems to be just getting out of a jam, or just about to get back into one. He introduced me to Mario, the perfect guy to meet when one is new to Monterrey. He is completely honest, has a job at a place called Arizpe Fabricacion y Reparacion, jewelry repair stand next to the HEB off of the 85. The address is Av. Universidad #101, Local 10 Plaza H-E-B, Col. Anahuac, San Nicolas de los Garza, N.L.. (Most of the commas represent a new line in the address. He helped me get my phone, and then wouldnt take any money when I offered it to him. I immediately liked this guy. Then he gave me his home and cell phone numbers, just in case I needed someone to translate for me. Thats a cool guy. Plus, like I said earlier, he is honest. Some people just give out that vibe. Other people give out the sketchy vibe. You need to be hyperaware of these things when in any compromising situation. Anyway, I got an emergency phone with three hundred pesos on it. At four pesos a minute, that should give me just over seventy minutes. Dan, the Texan, took me to the Portua Residencias Hostel. It is located at: Calle Ramon Lopez Velarde
66450 Sn. Nucolas, N.L.
The ladies that run the place are Lulu and Myrna Portales. They seem like good Mexican women. They have been very friendly to me thus far. I think they have to deal with so many crazy traveler types, that it is nice to run into someone that isnt going to cause them trouble. I went up to the Internet Café and hooked up the laptop to the internet. It was nice to be able to get my mail and connect my new PC for the first time. It worked seamlessly. I am really pleased with it thus far. I need to find an SMTP server, so that I can send my mail out with Microsofts Outlook Express. I emailed Brett Singer to see what he can do about it. I would imagine it is time to send him another check. I dont know when those things are due. After the stint at the internet I went and walked around a store that was something like a cross between Walmart and Value City. There was just a bunch of Chinese imported junk for relatively inexpensive. I didnt buy anything. I figured I would save my money for local artwork and cell phones. After that I went back over to visit Mario, the Monterrey Man of the Year. I asked him where the Art Museum is. He told me that it is called MARCO, and then showed me on this Monterrey map where it is located. He gave me the map and sent me on my way. I ended up finding the museum. The building itself was almost more impressive than any of the work inside. The space was huge, and the design lent for an impressive display. The work was good. I took some pictures. Ive been using a lot of black and white. Anything looks good in black and white. I want to say anything in there was more impressive than the building itself, but honestly, there wasnt. The MARCO itself was a true work of art. There was one piece, by a Mexican artist, about a time that he tripped and fell over a dog. He made a short animation about the uncomfortable and strangely humiliating experience. That was my personal favorite. I was so deeply affected by anything remotely embarrassing when I was young. My face would turn red and I would get sick to my stomach. It was fun to see someone confront those awkward feelings. Now Im back at the hostel.