Search this site:

Of floods and the longest distance between two points

In order to understand this post, if you are not familiar with Mexico City (specially with Ciudad Universitaria), you should get this flood experience route, which illustrates the longest and wettest possible route between two points I have ever had to use. Yesterday, we had quite a nice Debian México group meeting. I invited the people over to my Institute, and we started on time, at ~17:00. I should note that my office has no windows, so until 16:50 I still had the impression we had nice weather - I came back from lunch at home at 16:00, and we still had sunshine. When I got to the Ángel Bassols room, on the fifth floor and with a beautiful view of the south west of the Mexico City valley, I noticed we had a severe storm - People got to the meeting anyway, which is admirable… But from time to time I was more into watching the rain fall than hearing people speak. We had four small talks out of the five scheduled: I spoke about Debconf - What it is, how are we advancing, what can local people do, where/how to get involved (hint: We are meeting this Sunday, October 16, at 19:00UTC, which means 14:00 Mexican time, in #debconf-team in Rodrigo spoke about public key cryptography, GPG, and the usefulness to have a Web of trust (meaning, it’s not only good for becoming a DD). Sergio spoke about his experience setting up and administering Nisamox, Mexico’s only Debian mirror (of course, in UNAM as well). Damog spoke about the fine job he has been doing on cleaning up the WNPP. Ana was scheduled to talk, but we had the room only until 19:30, so at 20:00 we had to leave. Well, we should take this meeting to the traditional restaurant, right? 20:45, still in the lobby of the building (Torre II de Humanidades), we were all watching one of the most intense rains I have ever come across. We were hungry and didn’t want to be there anymore - Ok, lets move. Rain started to give way, so we headed to the cars. Yes, many of you know I live really close to the Institute (see the map again), but I wanted to go have dinner and talk a bit more. I went with Sergio to his car, parked in the Facultad the Ingeniería parking lot, some 40m from the Torre. The sight was amazing. The “Las Islas” park (sorry, I could find no photo) really became islands. There was even a considerable waterfall in the border between Las Islas and the parking lot! We took off our shoes to get safely to the car. Ok, traffic would probably be hellish, but we thought it would be 1hr until we got to the traditional Vips Altavista. One hour later, 22:00, we were only in front of Rectoría - What is it, about… 400 meters away, at very most? Sergio decided to park and wait until we got some possibility to move. After some 45 minutes, people started opening way towards Insurgentes Sur - We went that way. Even though it was in the opposite direction, we had the hope of movement. As we already knew (thanks to the radio) that everything in this city was chaotic, we headed to Sergio’s institute (Astronomy). Before reaching there, we found yet another group of cars which did not move, forward or backward. Amazing - We entered the Facultad de Ciencias parking lot - The queue was of people trying to exit through the Cerro del Agua exit (which is ~700m away, northward, by Metro Copilco). We realized nothing would save us from getting soaked - At least rain was not severe anymore, but it was still falling steadily. We walked a bit, Sergio went on to his institute, and I decided to go to the metro and go straight home. I got to Metro Universidad at around 23:30, and waited there for about 15 minutes (metros in Mexico usually take between two and five minutes between each other, depending on the demand). Only that… Well, we were told that Metro Copilco was closed as the area was completely flooded. Crap. Crap. Crap. Later, my wife and her brother confirmed that the flood was severe - We were lucky not to get a flood at home! I decided to ride the metro anyway, as Metro Miguel Ángel de Quevedo is quite closer to my house than Universidad. And, yes, I walked back home. 3 frigging hours to go from my Institute to my house. ~300m away. Probably the most severe storm I have ever seen in Mexico City. Unbelievable. The only thing I really must thank for is that in my wife’s family’s house everything was OK - They live just next to the natural course of an open river, and they have had terrible floods, with up to 1m of water… The city government did some work, which proved to work correctly this time. Thanks to whoever made it!


rodrigo 2005-10-12 12:02:12

RE: Of floods and the longest distance between two points

We (Odín, Hector, Raquel and me) had quite a time too.

We walked (swam?) to the Circuito Interior, where Raquel and I waited while Odín and Hector went to Filisofía for their cars. About 45 minutes later, tired of the cold wind, and seeing that we could hardly get any wetter we decided to stop waiting and walk towards Filosofía. It turned out Odín and Hector had barely managed to advance about 50m from the parking lot!

We all got into a single car, where, being true geeks, we continued the GPG talk, this time going through the exercise of actually creating and signing keys. All this happened with us parked in the Circuito, alongside cars that, though nominally not parked, didn’t move more than 10m in all that time.

Eventually, at 11 pm, I decided I could wait no longer (I live about 1.5 hr from CU, in normal weather) so I said goodbye to the others and walked to Copilco. There I found the station closed, so I had to walk to Quevedo (funny we didn’t cross) I took the Metro there, but I didn’t reach San Lazaro in time to catch the one on the other line, so I had to take a cab for that last part of the trip. I managed to get home at about 12:50, not a bad time at all.

We should have more of these meetings.

Sergio Cuellar 2005-10-12 19:54:51

RE: Of floods and the longest distance between two points

Estuvo del nabo la lluvia. Lo mas increible fue ver el metro copilco inundado y ver una cascada en las escaleras. Además me tuve que ir caminando a mi casa, que está cerca del metro coyoacán. :-\