My day off.
What an insane day.
After a late bedtime last night, Elise and I woke up at 11am. Rolled out of bed and into the local coffee shop for some pastries and lattes.
We bought some strong ass sunscreen, hats and called an Uber for the pyramids of Teotihuacan.
An hour later, as we waited in the entrance, pyramids looming, I had no idea what to expect. I’d been here as an 11 year old and all I remember was that it was hot, the pyramids we damn high, the steps were damn tall and my infuriating brother kept calling me “senor”, asshole!
Today was different. Elise organised an Airbnb tour and I quickly discovered that our guide was one of the site’s archaeologists. We hiked up and down the pyramids in the sweltering heat. I hung on his every word. His stories about how live jaguars were buried in one temple – how the city was populated by 250,000 people – the rituals, the mystery’s and the city’s firey end. He told us about his excavation project and how they would excavate sites, document them and recover them again for preservation. He explained how the Teotihuacan people would just build over old houses creating layers upon layers of houses. He showed us one house with an internal burial tomb. When one head of family died, they’d bury his body inside and then the next head of family would be buried above in a new structure that covered the old. The higher your family tomb was, the older your family lineage was.
Waving goodby to the guide, we ended the day meeting some local wild pups. One of which looked like some kind of miniature purebred with dreds. We picked up and Uber and headed back.
Driving back from the pyramids, the traffic slowed suddenly. I looked ahead out of the window and saw there was an accident right in front of us, it must have just happened. My stomach sank, “its a motorcycle” I said. As we drove by we could see a 20 something girl unconscious on the road surrounded by people crying. Elise and I turned to each other, “we should stop and help”. We turned to the uber driver urgently, “Ella esta un medico. Tenemos ayudar”. We pulled over in front of the accident and jumped out.
By the time we got out of the car 30 seconds later she was conscious and talking. She had a bloodied head with cuts and scrapes all up her body – and two blood covered friends holding her, crying and pacing up and down the road. We explained that Elise is a medic and not to worry, everything was going to be ok. Our uber driver called an ambulance and we waited. Elise held her hand, I held her legs gently trying to keep her from writhing, telling her not to move and repeating “vas a estar bien”. Elise stood up to speak to someone and the girl gently pulled her back down to hold her hand.
Her friend who was driving the motorcycle wreaked of alcohol.
We looked up and there was fight breaking out between the motorcycle driver and the driver of the car who they hit. And we continued to wait, speaking to the girl on the ground and calmly asking her to not move and telling her that she was going to be ok.
I was feeling hyper aware – that a punch could be thrown in our direction or something worse. Someone revvedd the motorcycle engine as loud as they could right next to us – for some unknown reason. Family members kept turning up, a mother, a father and a couple of cousins – still no ambulance.
About 20 minutes later, four police crossed the highway and joined us. A huge relief to bring some order to the situation.
And then an older man in a cardigan showed up. He was very calm. He crouched down over next to us. He was a doctor. Elise explained that she was nurse and thought the girl seemed stable but could have a head trauma. In the most calm and soothing voice, he spoke softly to the girl, checked her body, that she could move her hands and feet – and explaining that he was most concerned about her head. He carried out an exam checking her eyes (using Elise’s pen light) and looking for blood in her ears. All seemed ok.
Finally – after what seemed an age (probably about 30 minutes) an ambulance turned up. Elise explained the situation to their team.
The girls brother came over, tears in his eyes, looked across at me, took my hand saying “Gracias, muchas gracias”. I put my hand on his shoulder and told him again that she would be ok.
Feeling there was nothing else we could do, we left in our Uber.
We went home, back out to a cevicheria, to a bar and then home.
It’s so late now and past my bedtime.
Nighty night. Xx