Laura and I rolled out of bed late after a night of birthday festivities and got to work on some matters of housekeeping: laundry, groceries, and fruit-iodizing (produce has to be soaked in water with iodine here in Mexico to compensate for the less-than-ideal water quality). With our things in the dryer, Laura and I headed down to the gym, where we inched our way through the most tiring workout we've done since being here (the effects of last night were clearly tangible).
We met at around 3pm with Louise; our amazingly kind, accomplished, and well-traveled French colleague; at Balderas Metro Station, having kept her waiting for over half an hour. Her patience was not in vain though, as while awaiting for us she found the grand open air library Biblioteca de México where we wandered on the way to Mercado Artesenal de la Ciudadela, a large market where Mexican handicrafts are sold.
We all searched for gifts for our families as rain started to pour, soaking the outfits Laura and I had chosen for today in optimistic anticipation of sunshine, and leaving my summer sandals slimy and slippery for the rest of the day.
All I ended up buying from the display of curios was a fresh bag of scrumptious sunflower seeds covered in a mystery confection that I could smell from feet away and could not resist.
Adequately drenched, we trudged our way through the street (which was basically one big puddle) toward Zócalo, the city center which we explored with Adriana last Saturday, stopping en route to dry off and enjoy some flavorful tacos at a nearby mall and refreshing coffee at Cielito Querido.
We basically ambled around for the duration of the afternoon, talking about work and education and travel and love, and before we knew it, it was 8pm and our stomachs were grumpy! Laura and I elected to hail a cab rather than attempting to walk home, but not before Louise showed us one more special spot -- the Museo Franz Mayer, a museum displaying mainly "boring" furniture, but with a stunning and romantic exterior courtyard. We walked there a few minutes enjoying the onset of nighttime before flagging down a taxi.
Feeling like rags after an exhausting day, Laura and I slumped into Chedravi to buy the ingredients for tonight's dinner, a delightful butter chicken masterpiece which Laura cooked up as I washed the day away. We have now gorged ourselves on this brilliance, complete with rice and raita and a tiramisu dessert, and are utterly prepared for bed before another exciting day of exploring tomorrow.