08 May 2011
'It’s good to be back.'Mexico City. Load in day.
Ah, jet lag. Team Content was up with the lark so we had a group huddle over breakfast to look at what we hope to achieve over the next couple of weeks. We spent the morning working away then wandered out for a break.
There was a big demonstration on the street protesting an escalation of gang violence, which apparently has increased dramatically since the government declared war on the drug barons a few years ago. The situation sounds terrible and I’m very glad it’s not my gig to sort it out. We also found some amazing-looking street food places, so taking our lives in our hands we had ourselves a taco spectacular right there on the sidewalk.
It’s an hour’s drive to the stadium, putting the journey on a par with the Buenos Aires to La Plata haul, with equally rough roads and rough vehicles. It was hot and there was a definite safari vibe about the journey, so we were all glad to get there. Or at least we thought we were there. On arrival our driver pulled over in a random part of the parking lot and turned the engine off. Without speaking or gesturing to us he just sat… OK, we’ll walk from here then.
Azteca is not the most attractive or well maintained of stadiums but it’s a very tall bowl-like structure, so I’d say the shows will be amazing. The load-in, however, was a complete nightmare with all the gear having to make its way down a single long and winding corridor, with a steep slope. A slope so steep in fact, that the loaded fork-lifts didn’t have the horsepower to make it up there unaided. Farm tractors with car tyres strapped to their fronts were being employed to push the heavily laden forklifts up the slope. What could possibly go wrong? It made even Nou Camp in Barcelona look like a breeze.
I ran around doing all my first day of school things – picking up the new phone, walkie-talkie, pass and so on. Load-in was slow, so there was much sitting about until dinner, which afforded the opportunity to observe the construction of possibly the largest kebab in Mexico.
Some hours later we finally had the whole system up in the dark and quiet and were able to get some work done. We made it through until about 1am when jet-lag finally took us. It’s good to be back.