This evening I decided to go to Mass at a church here in Mexico City, one that I was already familiar with. My last information was that Mass started at 7:30 pm. I wanted to get there by 7 to pray the Rosary before Mass began.
Google Maps told me the best route by public transit would get me there in 26 minutes. I was skeptical. I left at 6:15 pm just to be safe. I had to transfer between two different modes of transport, and that took a few minutes longer than I planned. But nothing in all my years of travel prepared me for what I saw at the Insurgentes metro station at the peak time of 6:35 pm.
It was pandemonium. There were queues from the platform up the stairs into the station. Transit police were stationed every few yards to contain the chaos. A station manager blowing a whistle attempted to maintain a semblance of authority, to no avail. Every train that arrived in the station had room for maybe a couple dozen more passengers.
Even with a train arriving every minute or two, it was almost twenty minutes before I’d moved far enough forward to board, and I was pushed so hard from behind while grabbing a handrail that I was dangerously close to having a wrist broken. I’ve never had my face so close to someone that I wasn’t about to kiss.
Eventually I did arrive at my destination, and by some small miracle it was only 7:05. Unfortunately, my information was incorrect. Mass began at 7. Fortunately, it began on Mexican time, so the prayers hadn’t even begun yet. All I missed was watching the priest process in.
Next time, I’ll walk. It’s only 45 minutes away on foot. If you believe Google Maps.