“Guys, we have to get out! It’s an earthquake!” (Earthquake = Terremoto or sismo)
Waking up to this yell in pitch black dark was quite the start for our travels in Mexico. We had gone to bed early trying to catch up with all the sleep we lost during Burning Man. I was already part awake as people had been yelling loudly in Spanish and I just cursed them off as drunken idiots. Next thing I noticed was my bed shaking violently but as I was at the top bunk again I thought a drunken person just couldn’t get into their bed. Little did I know it was an earthquake shaking the whole building.
Running downstairs in our pajamas/underwear, barefoot, without any lights was a scary experience as the building was still shaking. Imagine walking down the stairs of a boat thats sailing over small waves, in the dark when you have only seen the exit route once briefly. Outside we gathered together with other hostel quests and people from nearby buildings and waited for any news. From other people we heard that this was a very strong earthquake and that was proved right later in the news – the strongest earthquake in a century. Electricity was gone and as was internet and it was challenging to get the news back home that we were ok. This earthquake didn’t cause destruction like the 1985 one and I learnt that for example our hostel is partly built with the same materials as bridges are. That makes the buildings sway instead of breaking into tiny pieces.
The hostel we are staying is super nice and in a good area (La Roma Norte) and next morning we set out to explore the historical center of Mexico City. Moving around with the Metrobus is quite easy after you have managed to buy the rechargeable card from the machine that has instructions only in Spanish. Our intention during our whole stay in Australia was to learn Spanish but we ended up with 1 month’s irregular practice with Duolingo which taught us only how to say “a turtle drinks water”. Luckily, I can still remember some of my school Spanish and we have been able to get food and travel around. No risk of starving or getting lost – yet. We also managed to purchase a book with English to Spanish phrases so we are all set for countries where English is even less common than here.
So far after two days here I can say the food is delicious (although you don’t always know what you are eating), architecture beautiful and interesting and you are safe as long as you are smart. I am still being cautious on taking my camera out, thus we have way less pictures than from our previous destinations but that might only be a good thing. No more going through hundreds of exact same photos of buildings and scenery..