Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mexico City in March

So, I love to travel. Especially to another country. This time is was Mexico. I think it's still a separate country - they stamped my passport. I was even fine traveling in coach, what with the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine, and a game and movie on the iPad. On the leg from DFW to Mexico City I caught up with 3 guys from work, all of whom were wearing blazers. Made me feel under-dressed in my casually untucked travel shirt. Oh well.

The first night was a bit rough as I had a little too much wine, which didn’t go well with the altitude (~7000 ft). Around 3:30 I hit a deep sleep, but the hotel alarm clock - set by a previous guest/sadist - jolted me up at 5:30. 

We had all-day meetings in a fancy hotel for 3 days, where they catered breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack. For dinner the first night we were treated to a cooking class in the hotel kitchen. 15 of us made shrimp ceviche and a beef loin "unrolled" and stuffed with mushrooms topped with poblano pepper garnish and a poblano pepper cream sauce. Yummy! The only weird part was that the mushrooms were a mexican variety that grows on corn.

I managed to get up for a workout on Wednesday, on the 15th floor of the hotel. The mountains were beautiful, when they weren’t hidden by clouds or smog. 

Besides cooking, the highlight of my trip may have been the search for post cards - just because I got to speak a lot of Spanish. I probably sounded like a 5-year-old, since I could only remember the present tense, and hardly ever got my verbs and nouns and adjectives to agree. (Argumentative lot they were.) I had a great conversation with a taxi driver about marriage, family life, the new pope, etc. Or at least I think I did.

It turns out there’s not a lot of demand for postcards in the business district where our hotel was located. So not a lot of supply either. I went to a department stored owned by the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim. They had 6 copies of a single version of a postcard of a soccer stadium. The 2nd taxi driver suggested I try Wal Mart. No luck there either.

On Thursday I took my 2 postcards of the stadium and called a taxi to take me to the post office. It turns out the demand for a post office matches that of post cards (not sure why those would be related). It was bad news when the driver looked at me and said he’d go back into the hotel to ask for directions. At least he came back. 10 minutes later, more directions. Then more directions. Back the same way we came. More directions. Some discussion about why nobody gives good directions and why the post office is hidden (I think that’s what we were talking about. Maybe it was the new pope instead.). I had a meeting to get back to soon, and I began to understand how contestants on the Amazing Race feel when their taxi gets lost and they don’t understand what’s going on. And then we found it. There was no line - I guess no one else could find it either. 15 minutes later I was back at the hotel for lunch.

The next day I took the hour-long cab ride to the airport - dodging upcoming demonstrations over labor contracts. I got in trouble at security. I couldn't leave my laptop in my special leave-your-laptop-in-the-backpack backpack. Out it came. So did the iPad. Then they gave me a massage. I think they called it a pat-down. Then they had me open up my backpack and rifled through the tangle of chargers and cords. The rubicks cube probably didn’t help matters. Then I was through, and with a quick stop for empanadas I made it to the gate and on the plane for more travel time with a new airline magazine, an iPad game, and “Wreck-It Ralph” (which I liked.) 

I can’t wait to travel again to a place that humors my language ability. (Like Paris. Or even East Texas.)

1 comment:

  1. This is great material. I can certainly see it being done live. The print version still made me lol.