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nightlife

Debconf 6, Day 9

  • 31st May, 2006 at 2:35 AM


Sheep in the streets
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

By Monday morning, it was my turn to get up ludicrously early. I managed to catch a hot shower, which was very welcome. You see, they turned off the hot water late at night, and didn't turn it on early in the morning. So if you kept hacker hours, you'd get a cold shower before going to bed. I bid goodbye to my sleeping companions as I rolled my suitcase out of the room and checked out at the Reception desk.

I sat on my suitcase with laptop in hand, as we waited for the others to show up. We were carpooling to town in some taxis, as I had an awful bus experience coming in to Oaxtepec. It was in this hour that I taught myself how to blend exposures in the Gimp. There was a lot of fiddling with alpha channels and masks, until I hit upon exactly the right solution.

By the time I was done, a rather large group of people had gathered about me. It was about then that four taxis pulled up and we threw all our luggage into little hatchbacks. Then Nattie, Ben, and I squeezed inside and we were off!

Instead of choosing the toll highway, our driver decided to take the country roads. This was not such a poor idea, since we got a good look at the countryside. I had never seen fields of cactus before, but I suppose that makes sense. After all, it is edible and requires very little irrigation.


Popocatepetl
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

We drove along the winding roads and passed through town after town. In one, we had to stop momentarily. That's because a herder was driving his flock of sheep through town. We saw them turn a corner, and then our car was surrounded by a sea of bleating wooly sheep. Then, as quickly as they appeared, they were gone.

As we neared Mexico City, we noticed a rather large mountain in the distance. A mountain that spewed smoke. Our driver informed us that it's Popocatepetl, a local active volcano. He pulled over by the side of the road and let Nattie hop out to take photographs. The taxi behind us pulled over as well, and they spent a few minutes snapping shots. I noted that where we had stopped was rather hazy, so I just snapped a few photographs when it appeared in my window. I lucked out, I suppose.

You could tell when we approached the city, as the traffic got heavier and things got louder. I awoke from my brief nap to see us pull through a toll-booth and on to a six-lane highway. We managed to get to the international gates at the aeroport, have our luggage unloaded, and paid our driver for his troubles.

Then we checked in. My luggage tested positive for explosives about four times. The security guard for Mexicana kept swabbing away with test strips, each time coming up with a different result. Eventually, he printed up a chart, stared at the squiggly lines, and let me put it on the conveyor belt. Then, I met up with Nattie and Ben, and we also bumped into Peter.


Over New York
Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

We bought some postcards and sat in a restaurant. There, we ate overpriced American food and wrote back home. Or rather, Nattie and Ben wrote charming postcards and I dashed off twenty-three hastily worded missives. Then, we hugged goodbye and it was time for me to board my flight. Ben graciously offered to post my mail, because I had run out of time.

Liftoff was quite exciting. The wind was gusting so as we took off, I got to see the engine shake furiously in its housing. And we did a little hop as we pulled off the ground. A little girl, sitting behind me, shrieked in distress when we did that. I really don't blame her.

Landing in Montréal was a lot safer. Even though we had to go through layers and layers of clouds to do it. It was sort of depressing, actually, flying from gorgeous blue skies into a city covered by grey. But I had brought the sunshine back with me!


Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
kyotto
31st May, 2006 16:28 (UTC)
You're finally back in Montreal in your LJ too! *claps in excitement* lol. *hugs*

C.
sfllaw
31st May, 2006 21:15 (UTC)
Writing in LiveJournal is necessarily slower than actually being there. It's sad, but going to exciting places means you don't have a lot of time to write about it.
phrawzty
31st May, 2006 17:02 (UTC)
Thanks for the lovely photos and accounts. :)
sfllaw
31st May, 2006 21:15 (UTC)
It was my pleasure!
opalmirror
31st May, 2006 18:44 (UTC)
Between Zihuatenejo and Petatlan on the West Coast of Mexico, there's a small village on the Rio Petatlan. The road to it promises an archeology site, so that's how K and I ended up driving down to look at it. One drives through low hills and cactus fields and occasional ramshackle homes until suddenly big plantations of coconut palm and a large lush golf green ballfield with uniformed teams playing baseball, then a village with many little homes, the river side, with kids playing in the muddyish blue water and women washing clothes a little downstream. In some ways the most surprising part was the incredible tidiness of the baseball field, apparently the sport is very cared about in that area of Guerrero.
(Anonymous)
27th Nov, 2006 00:41 (UTC)
Good to see you back
Good to see you back!

http://www.techbeyond.com
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )