Thursday, 10 January 2008

Arriving in Mexico City

I am back in the UK. My holiday is not over yet since I am taking a few days off at Suresh's place before starting my new job on Monday. I will recount my trip to Mexico as it happened.

On Monday 17th, I finally finished packing and headed to Birmingham to spend the night in the airport hotel with Suresh and wait for our early flight the next morning. Just and incident. Mid morning I decided to have a relaxing bath which I hardly ever use since I prefer to shower. I don't know if the water was too hot or what but I felt my blood pressure decreasing as if I was about to faint. I immediately jumped out of the tub and lay down in bed for a while. Weird!

Anyway, our flights were Birmingham - Amsterdam - Mexico City and both were delayed so it gave us time to see around the airport. I had never been to Schiphol since I usually fly with British Airways and a stop over in Heathrow but I loved it.
Even though it is Amsterdam, everyone speaks a perfect English. As we were only on transit, we never had to go through immigration (as in CDG). They provide cute trolleys for hand luggage to carry around the airport which I had never seen before and come very handy because we usually over pack even our hand luggage and it gets difficult to carry around while shopping. And the funniest thing was the announcements. When someone checked in and hasn't boarded the plane, they usually say: "Please all remaining passengers make your way to gate X", but in Schiphol they say: "Mr so-and-so you are delaying the flight, please proceed immediately to gate X" which I found quite funny.

My dear Suresh has one irritating habit. He likes to leave everything last minute. He would return to the house to check if he turned off the heater, I would be ready to leave the house and he would still wear his shoes at the very last minute, he would search for the car keys the moment we arrive in the car even if raining and yes, he would go to the toilet minutes before our flight is set to depart. Luckily our names never were announced in the PA as delaying the flight but I was terrified it would happen and Suresh was quite amused by my apprehension.

The flight was ok. Somewhat uncomfortable since we travel during daytime. Food was great for Suresh (he requested asian vegetarian) but entertainment not so great. British Airways gives a personal screen per passenger where you can choose what to see but in KLM we had a common TV so I didn't enjoy it much.

We arrived in Mexico City and it was really great. To get off and see the airport I know so well, the stores and especially so many mexicans, so much Spanish spoken around and loud music with old known hits.
My immigration queue was quite fast but Suresh took much longer. One of my bags didn't show up (as usual) and I asked it to be sent to Villahermosa directly. We exchanged a few pounds we had for pesos and took a taxi to my cousin's house. The whole ride Suresh mentioned how it looked just like India. Taxi driver without seat belt and listening to loud music and driving like mad included.

My cousin was already home and received us gladly. We decided to go to Vip's for dinner to find him something vegetarian. He loved the concept of Vip's, like an upscale diner or cafe as they are known in UK but I was surprised to see the prices were much higher than I remembered.
I realised there are not really many veggie options so Suresh decided to go for some green enchiladas and when the plate arrived he was surprised. They were filled up with panela cheese, topped with grilled cheese and cream, and the side order of beans had grated cheese on top. It would be one of our recurring jokes to realise how much dairy we mexicans actually have. In any way, he loved them and the prepared orangeade with freshly squeezed orange juice and sparkling water. We stopped by WalMart to buy a few things for breakfast since my cousin's kitchen was virtually empty and gorged around the many vegetables and pastries (mmhh pan dulce) available. We went to bed early to be ready for next day.

1 comment:

Fned said...

Hey girl! Welcome back to chilly Europe! Isn't being able to spend NY's in a tank top back home absolutely marvelous?? I was pretty depressed stepping off the plane in Paris earlier this week.

I agree with you, everytime I go back home I am astonished to see how things have become SOOOO expensive, although nobody seems to notice. I guess we do because we get hit by the increase in prices of the past year or two while they take it gradually... anyway, I almost wanted to cry when I realize that a bag of Rancheritos costs 7 pesos (when I left Mexico they cost 1.50 and practically helped my survive all through college!)

It's funny Suresh finding Mexico and India similar... I can see why though... Perhaps I'm being too cliché (hate it when that happens) but everytime I look at images of India I notice all the vibrant colors, the hectic rythim of things, the organized chaos and the big welcoming smiles.... does remind me of home in fact. ;-)