22 December 2009

A Trivial Explanation

All of the pictures in this entry were taken in the vicinity of the Zócalo, the main plaza.

A little piece of trivia--an explanation for English speaking folks. Many of you already appreciate this. Some do not. The name of the city is simply “México.” La ciudad de México. The city of México. When I was still new here, I might hear someone say in Spanish that they were going to México next week, for example. My mental reaction was, “What the hell are you talking about? We're standing in México right now, for chrissakes.” They of course meant that they were going to Mexico City.

Mexico City is located in the Distrito Federal, comparable to our District of Columbia in the United States. In fact, Mexico City fills the Distrito Federal, just as Washington fills the District of Columbia. (Mexico City license plates have Distrito Federal on them.) In any event, to eliminate confusion Mexicans often refer to Mexico City as “D.F.” just as we refer to Washington as “D.C.” in the United States. In Spanish it sounds like “Day Ef-ay.”

Altitude is an interesting subject. Sherry inquired about this below. I will repeat my response here. I personally did not feel the effects of the altitude, although two of my companions, Mark and Gwen from Vancouver, said they did. San Miguel de Allende, where I am living, is at 6,266 feet (1,910 meters) above sea level. I have of course become acclimated to that. México City is higher at 7,300 feet (2,240 meters), but apparently not enough higher to require me to acclimate more.
The altitude definitely does kick the asses of visiting fútbol players, however. If Denver is the "Mile High City," then México City is the "Mile-and-a-Third-Plus High City."

Photo by Adriana.


Four Dinners said...

Now if I smoke a bit of my whacky baccy over there precisely how high would I be?....;-)

La Paz stadium in Bolivia is the highest football ground in the World I believe.

At half time the players tend to wear oxygen masks to help them survive the second half....

Señor Steve said...

You would be very high indeed, Four. Very high.

In Estadio Azteca you can see it happening to the visiting players a bit into the second half or well into the second half, depending on their condition. But it happens to all of them from the low lying countries. During stoppages they bend over with their hands on their knees, hang their heads, and blow.