The second half of the week, we got to hear from the British Chamber of Commerce! We were meant to go visit them, but a certain US President and Canadian Prime Minister were in town for the USMCA talks, and lucky for us, the British Chamber of Commerce is smack bang right next door, and the whole street was cordoned off. Therefore, they came to us. It was very interesting and insightful, as they aren’t political and are a non-profit organisation. However, we were on hours 5 and 6 of lectures by then, so we were all pretty exhausted!
I reckon Thursday was my favourite day this week! We went to visit the PepsiCo building and had planned to spend four hours there, which turned into one! They talked to us about their mission, what PepsiCo stands for, their sustainability goals, and who they are as a company. They then took us on a tour of their office, which I was very jealous of – nice and modern, with comfortable furniture, and everything is very open! No one has an assigned desk, and anyone from any level in the office can work there. But we went to visit the snacks division of PepsiCo, so guess what we got… massive snack haul!!! So many bags of chips, biscuits, chocolate bars, and I counted, I grabbed six bags of peanuts! (maybe just to feel a little bit healthy, okay ☺️)
Since we finished our visit to PepsiCo super early (10 am-ish), we had the rest of the day free! So half of us went downtown, and the other half (me included) went to Chapultepec Park/Forest – I say forest because the park was MASSIVE and definitely can be more classified in the realm of ‘forest’. One of the coolest parts (apart from our visit to Chapultepec Castle at the top of the hill in the Park/Forest – let’s just stick with that for now) was the SQUIRRELS. OH. MY. GOSH. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see an animal in my life, they were so cute, like little meerkats buts with FLUFFFYYYY tails. And every time I saw a squirrel, it never got old; it was still just as fascinating and just as entertaining, especially when one of the girls in our group decided to use some of her Cheetos to feed them.
We visited Chapultepec Castle, and it was super awesome! It used to house the Habsburg Family, then the Mexican President once Mexico gained its independence! It doesn’t house them anymore, of course, but it’s really cool, like a building stuck in time, really, with all the old furniture as well as a few murals from some famous artists around the early 1920s-30s, like Diego Rivera and Siqueiros. I think we spent maybe two hours walking around the castle – obviously with lots of photos taken along the way! And afterwards, we sat down in the park at one of the street food places and had a late lunch, which ended up being dinner, as when I came back to the hotel, I was so exhausted! We walked around for almost six hours, and we still didn’t see all of it!
On Friday, we had our four hours of classes in the morning till 1.30 – the final set on Campus Santa Fe! Since I couldn’t make it to the mall earlier in the week for our assignment, the teacher sent me a set of questions to answer to make up for it. Some of us went to visit Coyacán – one of the older neighbourhoods in CDMX. Frida Kahlo’s house is there, but I didn’t manage to get tickets, though I was happy just to walk around and explore because of all the old buildings in the area! We went to Coyacán Market and got some food. And I would say my Friday night went downhill from there because I put some guacamole on my tacos and didn’t realise that the guac was SUPER spicy. Like 0 to 100, spicy on a whole new level, and pretty soon after, my stomach was not having a great time. I mean, the tacos were delicious but so far this week, it’s safe to say that I’m getting a bit tired of feeling sick – whether it’s from the altitude or the food. (In case you’re wondering, I did manage to finish that assignment, but very slowly). All is well, and I am recovering, though I am now suddenly put off eating cheap street food after one too many funny tummies afterwards.
So on Saturday, I decided to rest, I can’t risk it since on Sunday we were set to go to Teotihuacan. It was nice and quiet and I managed to finally buy some more water (Mexico doesn’t have drinking water, you have to buy it in bottles from supermarkets or get it out of designated water fountains like here on campus), but Sunday was the real excitement! We left Mexico City around 8 am, and arrived at Teotihuacan at 9.45 am –Teotihuacan is the site of some abandoned Toltec Pyramids. We had a guide take us around the site, who was super knowledgeable and that made the experience so much cooler! It was awesome to be immersed in some of Mexico’s indigenous cultures. We had a buffet lunch after nearly four hours of walking and exploring. The altitude at Teotihuacan is 2300 m above sea level, so climbing up and down the pyramids was super challenging! The lunch was super yummy and never have I ever been so happy to see rice, salad and vegetables in my life! After lunch, we were introduced to some Aztec dancing, which is challenging because it’s a lot of little foot movements but I did end up having more fun than I thought! Then it was a three hours bus ride to Campus Querétaro. We arrived just after 8 pm, and got introduced to our rooms and the campus with what we had available to us – LAUNDRY! The halls of residence we’re in were only completed last November, so we’re one of the first to stay here and it’s so nice!
(Click the arrows for more photos)
Signing off for Week 1, let’s roll on Week 2!