5.30 pm of Thursday the 5th, I have just finished the last exam of my LLB. I cannot believe Law School is now over and in less than 2 days I will be on my way to Mexico City. A good plan for my last hours in Vitoria-Gasteiz? To have dinner with my best friends in one of our favorites Italian restaurants and have some drinks.
The day before starting my trip I had lunch with my family, packed up everything I need for the trip and said goodbye to my beloved family and friends.
I have been lucky because 4 days before my departure I got in contact with a woman who was renting a room for students in the area of Coyoacan, where Jessica is living. I saw the house and the room via Skype and we reached an agreement. So having solved all this issue about accommodation, before my arrival to Mexico City, have been truly handy. I will not have to go mad booking a hotel room and wondering around the city looking for a place to live.
4 am of Friday the 7th, the airport is just one hour away from my home and is easy to get there. First I will travel from Bilbao to Paris and then get the flight to Mexico City. There were so many security controls between Bilbao and Paris and the Parisian airport was so big that I almost got lost, but I finally reached the gate for my flight and as I had 3 hours left until the departure I had lunch in one of the restaurants. Got my tickets and passport ready to take my sit in the flight, if you had ever travelled such long distance you will guess I am sitting next to the corridor because your body and mind can get really tired during the 10 hours of journey and it is good to walk every hour to avoid having pain in your knees, ears or headache.
Finally I landed in Benito Juarez International airport at 6.30 pm local time. There are 7 hours of time difference between Mexico and Spain and I hope the jetlag does not catch me. I went through the migration controls and got my luggage. One more thing to do before I walk over Mexican floor: I had to press a button and if the light goes green I walk forward, but if the light goes red I have to open my luggage to be inspected. Please go green, please go green… It’s green light! Thank God! I was so tired I did not want to start taking everything out of the luggage.
From 6 pm onwards it’s rush hour in the Mexican airport because it is the arrival time for most flights coming from Europe. The place was crowded, but I finally found Jessica and we took a safe taxi to get home. During the journey, the long roads and the old buildings I she through the window of the cab reminds me of the summer I spent in Beijing. Everything looks more or less the same, like a massive city, full of traffic, where wealth and poverty are separated by only a few steps.
First must-to-do things in Mexico City:
1. Settle in the house.
2. Walk around the area and locate important places such as public transport areas, restaurants and supermarkets.
3. Do the shopping! (you must be starving).
4. Find secure taxi numbers, maps and other practical information.
5. Get a Mexican cell phone. It can be easily bought in OXXO or Moviestar shops for 300 MXN.
And do not forget to try “Chapulines”, if you don’t try them you won’t live the Mexican experience. Jessica took me to a little place in Miguel de Quevedo Avenue and bought some. I just tried two and it was a mixture of spicy and salt with a lot of proteins. For a non Mexican person it was very spicy, as Mexicans say “Me enchilé”.
Regarding the Coyoacan area, I really like the house where I am living, there are 3 more students living here and every Monday and Friday a housekeeper cooks for us traditional Mexican food (I hope I can share with you a blog entry on this issue in the future). The first morning I woke up and found a welcome message written on the board of the kitchen. Rita, the owner of the house, prepared me a huge and delicious breakfast to recover from the long journey and the other students living in the house and I started talking. It seems like we have a lot in common, two of them are studying music and I play the acoustic guitar and the ukulele. The neighborhood is calm and both public transport and supermarkets are close to the house.
Jessica and I decided to stablish our meeting place in a Starbucks, which is halfway between her home and mine, we have like a 10 minute travel by “Trole-bus” to get there. It is funny the first time I took the Trole-bus alone, it suddenly broke down and had to wait a lot until another one picked me from the middle of nowhere, but it was okay and I easily found Jessica.
We spent my 3rd day in Mexico City walking through the main streets of Coyoacan and it is such an active and full of live place where you can find different street markets, parks, all the food shops that you can imagine…
My way back home early at night was such a challenge for me because more or less I could locate myself in the area during the day, but the sun had already gone. There was no problem, I took another Trole-bus to “Taxqueña” main street and just had to walk a couple of streets to reach home. So the first day walking around the place alone went pretty well.
Life in Mexico seems to be very “relaxing” so we had better not to be in a hurry if we need to do something. That could summarize the Mexican way of living.
P.S.: “Agur” means goodbye in Basque language and I suppose everyone will know that “Hola” means hello.