Al Principio.

22 Aug

Listening to: “Airport Taxi Reception”, Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down, Dan in Real Life Original Soundtrack

Yesterday I arrived in Mexico. The trip over was unbelievable. First, my luggage was too heavy. So I had to open it all up in the middle of the check-in area so that I could rearrange everything in order to not have to pay an extra 200 dollars to ship my bags. Somehow we made it work so that I didn’t have to leave anything at home…a miracle for sure. After I left my parents and went to security, I met a young man who worked for the airport who was born in Mexico. He was excited to hear that I would be studying there and told me to be careful of the food…everyone tells me to be careful of the food.

When I finally got through security and exchanged my money, I went to buy a bottle of water so that I would have something to drink until I got to the house in Cuernavaca. IT WAS $2.45! For a totally one hundred percent regular sized bottle. I’m still in shock.

The plane ride itself was fine. Lots of turbulence but I slept almost the whole way [since I had to wake up at 3:45 AM Mexico time to get to the airport]. I had a window seat, and I sat next to a man from India who was excited to see that I was reading Eat, Pray, Love [thanks for the suggestion, Mrs. Scott!] and talked to me about India. [I especially enjoyed this because Kunal had just told me that it is impossible to make friends with the person you sit next to on the plane, and I became such good friends with the man sitting next to me that we talked ABOUT Kunal…].

When I finally got to the airport, the first words anyone said to me were “Buenas Tardes” and it was the best moment of my whole trip. After I went through Immigration I went to find my bags…but my second piece of luggage was nowhere to be found. So obviously I was panicking and desperately trying to think of how to ask one of the workers in Spanish about my bag. (The sentence I created was something like this – no puedo buscar mi seconda bolsa…my fluent friends can tell me how confused that might have made them). Eventually a worker who spoke a great mix of Spanglish [perfect with my own Spanglish abilities] helped me locate the bag and I looked totally loca because it was just in the middle of the baggage claim area so I should have easily been able to spot it…probably you shouldn’t bring black suitcases when traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language…EVERYONE has black bags when they travel.

In order to get to the rest of the airport in the Mexico City airport you have to go through security where all of your bags go through the x-ray and then you have to press a button – if it turns green, you go right through! And if it turns red, then the security guards get to do a thorough search of all of your luggage…dun dun dun. Luckily I got the green!

I still had a lot of time before I was supposed to be picked up and I was trying to find a bathroom so that I could get all my money and passport situated. An incredibly nice man who worked for security in the airport helped me find the bathroom and then carried my bags around for me. And then he asked me for money. Turns out that he didn’t work for security at all, and it is impossible to tell someone that you don’t need help if you don’t speak the language. Anyway I only could access US money and it was only 2 dollars because I had had to buy that water at Newark! But he took it, and that is about 20 pesos so I guess it’s not too bad…I don’t know.

Eventually I got picked up by Ismael, the driver, and Molly, the intern, and Molly and I went to a “museum” that was in the airport. It was really more like an art gallery, it had a bunch of pictures of archaeological sites in Mexico. After 7 hours of waiting, the rest of the students showed up at the airport and I could finally head to Cuernavaca, which is about an hour and a half away from Mexico City. More on Cuernavaca later!

a-Dios

-E

One Response to “Al Principio.”

  1. Allison Brandt August 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Elle-
    I love reading about your adventures, especially when you throw in Spanglish! I am so excited for you and I can’t wait to share stories about our Spanish-speaking experiences and to hear about your amazing program. It sounds like it is absolutely perfect for you!!
    Love you!!
    Allison

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