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Day 1 – Things You Learn in a Mexican Airport

October 11, 2010

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Date: Monday, October 11, 2010

Mexico City isn’t a destination, but I did get a passport stamp. Odd, since Mexico City is just a layover on my way to Lima, Peru and I never left the airport. During my five hours in Mexico City(‘s International Airport) I did the following:

· Found a way to be more delicious – After immigration, I plopped down on a stone planter next to some cute Mexicans. (Given a choice between planters with cute and uncute Mexicans, I always choose cute.) One got my attention and said, “Be careful,” and pointed to a puddle of strawberry shake under my coat and bag. Too late. On the upside, the natives seem friendly. Also, I smell like candy.

· Discovered what it feels like to go to the vet – 16 years ago, when my cat was 2, we’d take her to the vet in a specially designed cardboard box that had handles and a bunch of holes so she wouldn’t suffocate. Mexico City’s international airport reminds me of that. The gate area’s white walls are punched with large air holes. Because I’m brave and tough, unlike my cat, I did not whine once.

· Learned that God has a plan for me—My devotion to sport is well-documented. Leaving in the middle of football season is especially painful. I am, however, prepared to endure this hardship for the sake of travel. (I am obligated to add that leaving friends and family is also painful. See, I’m just like you.) Guided by a higher power, I stumbled into Chilis Too and a bar showing Monday Night Football. It was on every TV. I took this as a sign and had dinner there. Who am I to argue with divine providence?

· Mexicans are flaccid, too.Mexican football broadcasts—like American broadcasts—seem to be plagued by erectile dysfunction commercials. In Mexico, though, they’re more honest about what they’re selling. In a commercial for Mexican Cialis (the “C” symbol looked the same, but the name was different) a topless, gray-haired couple caressed each other in a steamy shower to the same elevator music as the U.S. commercial (presumably the couple was bottomless, but the camera angle did not afford that view thankyoujesus). The woman’s hand even streaked up some steamed glass in a manner reminiscent of Kate Winslet in Titantic. You go canoso Mexican Cialis guy. You go.

· Felt kinship with the American soccer team—The United States soccer team has never beat Mexico at its home field in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City (record: 0-23-1). Aside from the crazy stadium, choking pollution, rabid fans, and flying debris, it’s also in part because of the altitude (7,350 feet, or 2,000 feet higher than Denver, the Mile High City). Playing in Mexico City is a challenge for any team. It’s also a challenge for a transit traveler. I felt a pinch of the altitude headache, the fatigue, and the lightheadedness. Unlike USA soccer, I had the luxury of allowing myself to succumb to the illness’s primary symptom (malaise) and sleep.

Just before midnight, I boarded a packed plane to Lima, Peru. A mix of Mexicans, Peruvians, Chinese, and other travelers tried to sleep through the six-hour flight while some–because they are poor planners (a.k.a. spontaneous)–leafed through guidebooks looking for a place to stay when they arrived in Lima.

Everyone agreed they’d had better nights’ sleep–especially those who’d had the good fortune of sitting in two middle seats for both legs of their journey. All whined and complained, except for the especially tough and courageous ones, unlike their cats.

GALLERY: Nothing extra, just the pics you see above. Mervyn blames the altitude sickness.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2010 10:49 am

    Lima: Gold Museum, the private one… …Catacombs for sure, under the church – which is San Felipe(?) Look it up, don’t trust me on the name…Palacio de la Inquisicion.

  2. Josh the Best permalink
    October 13, 2010 8:57 pm

    should have spent a week in Mexico City — it is awesome.

  3. October 13, 2010 9:53 pm

    I agree with Josh, only a week in Mexico City wouldn’t be enough…it’s a wonderful city and the surroundings are packed with history and fabulous things to see.

    Of course, if it’s a trip to South America, then the layover is understandable, and you’ll have time to go back another time.

    • October 14, 2010 4:21 pm

      I have to spend more time in Mexico. It being so close, it’s a minor tragedy that I haven’t traveled it at all.

  4. Alan permalink
    October 19, 2010 8:40 am

    I highly recommend buying a hand-carved wooden dolphin. Can you really say you’ve been to Mexico if you don’t?

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