Mexico was a dream, a rocky dream, but one that ended beautifully. I traveled there for the first time a few weeks ago.
Our plane ride was divided into two parts, with a layover in Dallas. I felt so small on the plane, peering out the window in sheer awe at all things around me, especially during the day, when a flight felt like a walk in the cotton candy clouds. When we arrived in Mexico, it was 9:50 at night and we looked everywhere for our best friend Lili and her boyfriend. The plan - which we later learned was not as eloquently stated as we had intially thought - was that they were to meet us at the airport when we arrived and take us to our hotel in the city. We looked around the small airport everywhere for roughly half an hour before deciding we had to fend for ourselves unfortunately.
We debated withdrawing pesos from an ATM for the hotel but learned they accept major debit cards and extracted pesos from there and since the room was on Guled's expense, I became responsible for the taxi and later, our food throughout the remainder of our trip. We spoke to a woman about an authorized taxi, paid the fee, and were on our way. Guled realized however that our ticket said Hotel Cathedral as opposed to Hotel Corinto, the name of our actual hotel so I had to speak Spanish to the driver who didn't speak any English about the hotel being wrong and giving him the correcto address.
He explained we'd have to pay the difference. Cuantos cuestas, I asked, to which he replied cincos pesos. Which was fine. I was beyond happy when I got to lay down in my bed but disappointed that I couldn't contact my family to let them know I had arrived safely. And disappointed that I had no way of getting into contact with Lili.
Thank God for Facebook though. Through there, the next morning we got into contact with our families and her and she explained that she got the dates of our arrival mixed up and that we would see her later that night with her boyfriend after they are off work. That left us with the day to explore some. We tried some street food, some delicious helado (ice cream - probably the best I've ever had by the way), we visited a gorgeous park, we explored the Monumento de Revolucion where teachers were still in the middle of protest - it was such a sight to see. I fell in love with the beautiful chaos that was Mexico City, I think I'm attracted to that for whatever reason.
Later that night, I was so happy to see Lili finally for the first time in almost three years. It was like nothing had ever changed between us. I came down the stairs and she leapt off the chair where she was seating in the lobby and I just laughed as we ran to embrace one another. It was such an amazing moment. And then to meet the guy she gushes about immediately after was another treat. I loved seeing them as a couple because I am now convinced that he loves her, being around them, I could see what they felt for each other in the little moments they shared as they showed us around the nightlife of Mexico City.
We listened to live music at a cerveza bar where we sampled five locally crafted beers and topped it off with more helado and truffles. The city feels so alive throughout every part of the day and night, people are everywhere, street vendors serve food, music plays throughout the night, loudly as if there are eternal celebrations.
The next day, Lili spent the day with us. We rode the metro for the first time, did some more exploring, had delicious cupcakes from a spot she likes, went down music avenue where there is music everywhere you look in the form of stores and sounds, met her friends she has made at her job, to which I got a taste of cheek kisses (which is a custom there in Mexico that I definitely do not mind). We went to Reforma and browsed the sights. We were planning to go to Bellas Artes but unfortunately got extremely rained on so we took a cab and headed back to the hotel, got some street food, and watched Devil Wears Prada.
Something else I noticed was how everyone looked the same. Coming from America for the first time where diversity surrounds you, it was different to see a community of people who for the most part were similar in appearance, so similar that I got a lot of stares throughout our trip. I was very aware of my blackness because everyone around me was so aware. But it felt good.
All in all, I enjoyed my time there and I can't wait to go back again. Next time, I won't be afraid to bring my camera and I'll stay longer so that I can see much much more.
Can't wait to see you again Lili.