I am sitting on the plane en route from NYC to Mexico City. Not a good flight. Aeromexico, your flight attendants are very nice but your omelets are rubbery and your coffee sucks.
I had to decide between a middle seat or an aisle seat in the last row of the plane (and therefore can’t lean back). I chose aisle/upright and am regretting it. The lady next to me has kept her elbow jammed in my side this whole time, and I am right in front of the bathrooms and kitchenettes, constantly grazed by flight attendants and people going to the bathroom (an ass just banged against my shoulder as I type this). However, had I chosen a middle seat, I know I would have been squeezed on one or both sides by big/ gangly/ unhygienic seat mates, or have had my seat kicked repeatedly by someone’s kid. That’s my luck.
That said, I’m a pretty patient flier and can deal with the upright seat, the traffic, the jostling and the elbowy neighbor. Then again, it’s only a four-hour flight; had it ventured into six hours or beyond, I might be typing something very different now.
We are approaching our descent, sayeth the captain. Time to prepare for the drill through customs … hoping the wait is not too long … and I have to pick up my GIANT backpack and check in again for my connecting flight to Oaxaca. I can already feel the temperature change and am getting excited. I left New York in the chilly chilly cold and am landing in the tropics. Awwww jeeeah.
Time to stash my electronic devices. Hola, Mexico.
Plane #2 (puddle jumper from Mexico City to Oaxaca)
I just barely got on this plane … I was automatically put on standby due to “weight and balance issues” and had to wait until the plane was loaded until they could decide whether my giant bag and I made the cut. I was probably one of the last people who booked the flight, and that’s what they do with these mini planes. Either that or my bag is so heavy that they flagged me at check-in … in any event, I had to stand around with five or six other standbys, and at the last minute the gate attendants rushed me through with a GO GO GO GO and so now I am a little nervous that my giant bag will bring down this aircraft. Which would be fine, if I were coming BACK from my trip. To crash en route to Oaxaca would suck indeed. I’m in the single-seat row alongside the left of the plane. At least I’m not crammed next to someone. Oh and I sailed through customs and even did the whole exchange in (horrible) Spanish.
Now I am in Oaxaca, at a small guesthouse on the outskirts of the city called La Villada Inn. This place has got that right amount of developing-country funk (the pool is nice, but cloudy, and no way in hell would I get in it.) It’s nearing 7 pm, night is falling and the mountain air gets chilly fast when the sun goes down. Just met a crazy cute German guy staying here, who is also traveling to Puerto Escondido tomorrow … hmmmm. I am drinking a Corona and relaxing in the hammock outside my room looking at the lights of the tiny houses at the base of the rolling, red-streaked mountains, listening to dogs barking and the wind rustling through the trees. It gets so dark in these little towns. I haven’t had a real trip since Africa last July … Montreal and Vancouver were great but don’t really count as traveling. When there is a sign in your bathroom telling you not to flush the toilet paper … THAT’S travel.
Holy crap, mosquitoes! I had forgotten they would be here. I know I have some bug juice in my travel medical kit but that is buried at the bottom of my giant bag, and I don’t feel like getting it out right now. Pretty soon I will have to venture inside anyway because the wind is kicking up and, damn, it really does get cold fast.
I was supposed to spend the night working, but have had problems logging in. Cop-out? Maybe, but there are things I can be working on that don’t require the Internet. I have to be able to work while on the road to, ah, support myself and fund my trips, so I can’t cop out. Time to remember that I am not on vacation; I am traveling, and there is a vast difference between the two.