31 August 2007

Aug 28 – MX Training, Day 2

Another day of training…just another day. It went on a little long, though. It was about 6:30 before we left the office. By then, Alfredo and Poncho went for a run, Cesar and Víctor needed to meet about something and some others had something else to do so we decided it would be a supper-on-your-own evening.

Mark dropped me at my hotel and I decided I’d had way too much eating and sitting (the Achilles heel of travel…) so I changed clothes, put on my tennies and hit the street to walk to a mall about 3 blocks from the hotel.

It took me all of about 7 minutes to walk there. The only part that made me nervous was crossing the streets. Ever since I was hit by a car while crossing a street as a kid, it’s not something I can do calmly. However, Central American streets really make my heart pound and palms sweat.

The traffic is heavy and fast and there is no such thing as “pedestrian right of way”…you take your life in your hands when you step off the curb. Luckily, on this particular walk, all the streets I had to cross myself were relatively small. They still made me very nervous, but I could get across them.

However, the street I was walking along is one of the major streets that crosses Guadalajara…8 lanes of speeding steel. And the mall is on the opposite side from the hotel, so I knew I’d have to cross it. I figured I’d cross that bridge (so to speak) when I got to it.

Fortune smiled on me! When I got to the mall, there was a pedestrian bridge across the street connecting bus stops on both sides. That was about the only way I could cross that street on foot without a panic attack!

I entered the mall and turned “mall walker”…walking fast and not stopping to look in any of the stores or windows. There wasn’t that much I would have been interested in anyway. There were a LOT of shoe stores, almost as many clothing stores and a smattering of jewelry or nutrition shops.

The one store I did stop in was Gigante…a sort of mini WalMart. They had some packaged food, some produce, some office supplies, some electronics, some clothing, etc. I stopped in because it occurred to me on the way into the mall that, much as I appreciated having some dried apricots and snacks for the flight on the way down, I was probably going to need the same on the way back. I thought this would be a good opportunity to pick up some things like that. Besides, I had some pesos to get rid of.

I wandered through all the food aisles…just checking out what kinds of things they had and what they cost. I picked up a few things for supper and some bran-fruit bars, nuts, etc for the trip home.

By the time I left the store, it had started to get dark. I’d intended to be on my way back to the hotel before then, but I miscalculated dusk. It wasn’t full dark and it wasn’t far to the hotel. No problem.

I spent the rest of the evening pretty much reading and went to bed at a reasonable hour.