Things that are better about Mexico than the States: No one minds being bothered. Anyone I ask for help wants to do so despite a language barrier 80 meters high. One older lady even drew me a map! Also, there seems to be a team camaraderie among these people that those of us up North don’t seem to care about. The US is a cutthroat land of opportunity but I notice Mexicans helping each other out more w/o an expectation of return. For instance, a bus makes a stop and someone gets on to sell some drinks and hops off right at the other end. This person didn’t pay to get on and won’t give a cut to the driver. You think that would happen in the states??? Hell no. You get on the bus w/o paying and the driver is going to call the cops. Make money??? Greyhound will sue your ass. I don’t like it but it’s home.
Here I am rounding out week two in Mexico City. I have moved on from gracious host Mark and am sleeping on the futon of brothers Diego and Juan in the Narvarte neighborhood of Mexico City. Just as their couchsurfing profile promised, they are way nice and a lot of fun to be around. This has been a good transition into city life as they both speak English quite well for true Mexicans, but Diego has been jibbing me into speaking more Spanish with him. I still can’t really follow anything that is said to me (I’m told I need to stop trying to focus on ever single word) but I am getting better at constructing full thoughts out loud. What’s pretty exciting is that I do feel way more comfortable with it all than I did, say the day I came. It’s everywhere, you pick it up.
So everyone gets a little Spanish lesson, my title means I arrive in Mexico City. I think. Questionable grammar for sure, but you gotta start somewhere
In the end, everything I worried about was silly, which, is a solid-gold metaphor for my life. AirTran did not care that I didn’t have a return ticket to the States and Mexican customs did not care that I didn’t really have a set plan for what I was going to do or for how long in Mexico (as in, they didn’t even look at me, here’s 180 days now keep moving. Recall how horrid getting in into Canada was?). And finally, Mark, my Couchsurfing meet up, met me right where he said he would.
Right off the bat this place is nothing to be afraid of. It’s busy, kind of cramped, and everyone is hawking their wares at every corner of the street, but nobody looks like they’re going to bother me. In the States, you only hear really bad news stories about Mexico, so we sometimes get it pushed in our head that this isn’t a very safe place. I’m aware that one neighborhood can’t really represent a whole country, but I felt quite safe walking around at night by myself. As I frequently read online, nobody really cares about you, they have their own lives to live.
I’m going to keep this pretty short, as I only have a few pictures to go up anyway. I got through TSA checkpoint (and for definitely the first time in my life) no one went through my bag though I have everything ever with me. The initial worry of AirTran making me buy a return ticket has passed for the moment, though I asked the front desk guy and he said they could still make me when I depart from San Antonio to Mexico City. I’m not going to ask anymore, for newfound fear of possibly reminding someone that that, oh, yes sir, you DO need a return ticket.
I always like to work backwards with these things, makes the writing easier? The past two months following my internship at the American Horticultural Society (written about here) have been spent very enjoyably at the original home nest in Tampa, FL, with old timers momma Keyne and papa Rupert. It had been about ten years to the month since I left. In fact, sometime around ten years ago this week I moved out of that nest into Gainesville, FL, to start college. I know a lot of my friends’ college semesters start later today.