There is something exhilierating about travelling alone, to someplace that perhaps you’ve been or someplace entirely new. You wake up in one country, and by days end find yourself in an entirely new culture made up of new faces, street names, and languages. It is the thrill of the unknown at the seemingly endless possibility of what could be, and that it doesn’t quite hit until the plane has actually left the ground.
I’ve been to Mexico, sure, more than once. And while I wouldn’t say that the the houses and the locations are different, they’re not entirely the same either. Until yesterday Mexico was only ever a family trip. Now I have struck out on my own to try to make the most of my last summer of freedom and damned if I won’t give it a good go. It’s been years (3+ if my memory serves) since I’ve last seen the collected assortment of family. And while today is only day one, we have 7 more weeks to go. (Hence the memoirs)
Let me also say that United Airways is far from comfortable. The trip from Washington DC to Mexico city was about 5 hours. It gets worse though, because even though the plane was half empty, the seats were so small and cramped together I think of the groans of frustration my father would have trying to squeeze in where they carved three seats where two should have been. And then there is the 5 hour flight time leaving at 17:00 and there is no dinner served. And no free entertainment.
So my question is: how long does one have to be on a plane before they give you a free meal and free entertainment? And is it even right that because youre trapped in a (tin) machine 30,000 feet in the air, that they will charge 9USD for a cheese sandwhich? Pretty soon they too will charge to use the bathroom and to get anything more than one glass of “complimentary” water. I am not sure if this is merely United Airline, or if anything that does not cross an ocean anymore gives you a stiff hungry ride.
Well I landed safely, if not hungry, and with an arrival time of 21:00 there was little hassle with customs or immigration. I found my grandmother quickly in a sea of people waiting for their others, and I was relieved, because I wasnt’ sure what to do when I didnt have a phone and no famililiar face to be seen. (Still no phone, but familiar faces triumph)
My spanish is a work in progress, I think you forget how much you forget when youre not speaking as much. But even after a day being here already I am switching gears between English thinking, Spanish speaking, and trying to not substitute too many French words in when I can’t find the correct spanish one. I know we will only go up from here as I am adamant about making sure that I speak copious amounts of Spanish.
Authentic Mexican cuisine is by far and large my favourite so you can imagine how I am going to stuff myself silly here. Even if lunch isn’t served unitl 14:00. But even though I had landed famished, having a real enchilada prepared fresh is enough to make even most of the grieances with the flight abide. Needless to say I think there will be many food posts to come.
My familily is a family of chihuahuas, and you have not seen anything so hilarious as a chihuahua in a summer dress. My aunt has 2 to start, and while I am hesitant about small creatures that pose as dogs – indeed she has one that is no more than 500g – hers are well behaved and like to cuddle without the yips and growls that the breed is famous for. The little one I call “la rata”for her big ears and dark eyes and small skeletal frame. Admitteldy they are growing on me as they curl up next to and in your lap and sleep. I guess little yippy dogs aren’t so bad in the end if theyre more like my aunt’s and less like the ones youre prone to find on “Dog Whisperer”
So this afternoon after lunch there is a choral show that I will escort my grandmother to, for my aunt is singing in it and we must support her.
Speaking of lunch, theyre about to call. And maybe by the summer’s end I will have learnt many of the good Mexican recipies.
The sun shines and the adventure continues.