Empty, I echo to the least footfall.
Sylvia Plath, Barren Woman
The last night in Mexico City I slept poorly, then late Wednesday morning I accompanied M to Benito Juarez airport where we said our goodbyes. We had spent part of the morning walking the neighborhood around the hotel. She wanted to take photos of Templo Mayor, which was almost behind our hotel and also of the Diego Rivera murals at the Palacio National, but due to my ineptness she didn’t get to do that.
After she disappeared into the security machine I had hours before my bus to San Miguel, so I explored the entire Terminal 1 at Benito Juarez, hungry, and landed at a McDonald’s where I ordered a Big Mac, my first McDonald’s experience since I’ve lived in Mexico. After speaking Spanish in so many situations for the past week I looked to a situation where I only had to utter two words in English and to all questions I could answer in the near-universal “no.”
At the airport a sizable group from EL Sindicato de Trabajadores de Transportes, Transformacion, Aviacion Servicos y Similares (SNTTTASS) was protesting and they, of course, were surrounded by groups of local police, state police, federal police, airport security, Army and others I didn’t recognize. Other than the loudness of the bullhorn, it didn’t seem to be an objectionable demonstration.
I learned an expensive taxi lesson. There are many authorized taxi vendors in the airport and it does make a difference whom you choose as some are more expensive than others as they sell van services instead of sedan services. It was 85 pesos ($7.00 or so) more expensive to go to the Central Autobus del Norte by van than sedan (290 vs 205 pesos).
The Primera Plus bus ride to San Miguel was uneventful and arrived just slightly early, a first, due to little highway traffic and light traffic in Mexico City due to it still being the second week of Semana Santa. I had a Mexican Marie Claire to read, but didn’t have the energy. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t as the bus was cool (only 18-19 degrees C – about 64-66 F). I found no movies of interest, so listened to music and watched the landscape pass.
I haven’t left the apartment since I got back from Mexico City. I felt logey the first day and spent it unpacking, working on photos and writing. I put a few things away, put the dirty clothes into the laundry basket, but it took until the next day to start cleaning the apartment (amazing what dust had accumulated), to put away the balance of the travel clothes, to wash accumulated dishes, and to tidy the kitchen. By Friday I was ready to hand over the garbage bags, do the laundry, deflate and put away the air mattress, write a shopping list and almost head out to a concert. Saturday it was back to writing, despite having a need to get out for groceries.
The lethargy came from my difficulty in saying goodbye, especially to M.
Dinner with D
The night before M & I went to Mex City we had a friend over for dinner. D brought a nice red wine. We served pasta, a salad, and a tres leches pastel from a pastelleriea on calle Canal. The evening was warm so we ate on the patio with the jacaranda finally in full bloom. The tree was particularly generous in donating blossoms to our salads; however, jacaranda blossoms are particularly bitter and were not appreciated.
Earlier in the week M and I had viewed – at D’s suggestion – the new murals in colonia Guadeloupe, so that was a topic of discussion and M showed us her photos of the murals.
At the end of the night I walked D to the taxi stop on calle Allende. I made arrangements with cab driver for him to pick M and I up the next morning and take us to the bus station.
He didn’t show, so we walked down the hill pulling our rolling luggage behind us until we reached the Estacion at which point I ran to the terminal. When I got there, I found there had been no need to sprint – the bus was going to be full and they were late in processing passengers and loading.
The Apartment Situation
The 80 pound bulldog-pit bull mix who lives downstairs continues (during the middle of the night) to leap against a screen door, trying to determine how to get the door open. When I saw my landlord the next day I heard the same sound and asked “What is THAT noise?” and he proudly said that “she’s smart – she’s figured out how to get the door open by herself.”
The next night there was no water in the apartment. The previous day, as part of the dog discussion, the landlord had somewhat warned me by telling me that there was a leak in his apartment and that he was draining the cistern “back there.” He didn’t say that I’d be without water.
Then Rodrigo began his high-velocity departures and entrances on his four-wheeler, leaving voluminous dust clouds behind four or more times a day.
So tomorrow, Sunday, I’ll look at an apartment in the high-rent end of town that would be a five-month sublet for $75 (about 935 pesos) more than I currently pay.