I had reserved the cheapest room nearest to the subway line that would get me back to the airport the following morning--which turned out to be right next to the main square, the Zocalo. A complete 180 from my wide-eyed marveling on the train when I arrived 17 days before, I rode the subway head down, ipod on, not even blinking at the pda and shady sales going on around me. I emerged in the Zocalo. It looked like at any minute a massive rock concert would be starting and children everywhere had glowing toys resembling quidditch balls that they'd fling into the air and let fall back down gently.
I dropped off my luggage, and ate the free dinner of butter and cheese coated spaghetti. I met some Israelis who informed me that the square chaos was a celebration of Mexico's Revolution Bicentennial and recommended it. I headed back down to the square.
What followed was the most spectacular spectacle that ever was created by man. Better than the Boston Pops Fourth of July, better than the Mummer's Parade, even better than Disney World.
This video does the most justice to the show, but really you had to be there. It's hard to describe what happened but I am now convinced Mexico is the greatest country on Earth.
Well, convinced during the duration of the 15 minute show. At the very least, Mexico City has lost my deep loathing and instead redeemed itself as a visit-worthy city.
I went to bed early and steeled myself for 16 hours of travel the next day.