Mexico! Part I

Reading this week:

  • Dr. No by Percival Everett

Earlier this month my and my absolutely unparalleled, intelligent, funny, charming, stunning, super amazing wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (we weren’t married at the time, I feel obligated to clarify, but we are now, and it is a strange new world; in falling into a relationship the transitions are gradual, the obligations fluid and sometimes ill-defined, but now due to a little bit of paperwork that as a proud government bureaucrat I find maximally romantic despite the fact that I didn’t even need to have anything to do with it because we self-officiated but the only self that needed to do any of the paperwork was my Schrödinger’s superposition of fiancée/wife I now suddenly find myself with a mother-in-law and father-in-law and sister-in-law and bolstered argument for sharing a dental plan which, I dunno, interesting little construct we have put together for ourselves as a society but it’s great I have to say) and I went to Mexico, specifically Mexico City but also Cuernavaca, which is a bit outside Mexico City. We went because our friend, who is Mexican, and works in Mexico City, was getting married, but that was only one day of a week-long adventure we put together for ourselves. This was my first international travel since Guatemala, and for my super amazing wife (!!!!!! again) it was her first fix for her passport stamp craving since even before grad school, which she attended nearly directly off the plane from a two-year stint in China as a Peace Corps volunteer. So we were excited to go!

Since in the grand tradition of this blog I want to pad this out a bit, and also start in on our adventures at the Museo Nacional de Antropología with a nice clean post, I’ll bore you with the nitty-gritty of how we got to Mexico City. First off we flew, because it was much too far to walk. Because we were both cheap and also didn’t want to land in Mexico City in the middle of the night, we flew out in the middle of the night, hopping on the metro at 11pm on a Friday. The metro took us to Dulles Airport, a journey which in a previous phase of my life represented what was then perhaps the worst day I ever had, but with the miracle of the Silver Line was rendered quiet, easy, and blissful. I am a Silver Line Extension Stan. Touring the only open airport store, I got us some snacks and we settled in for a 3:30am departure to San Salvador. San Salvador is notably not Mexico City nor even in Mexico, but flying through there did allow us to have breakfast at the tiny local traditional Salvadorian chain restaurant Papa John’s before finally landing in Mexico City at a reasonable and lovely 10am. We didn’t actually get that passport stamp we were craving, having passed through the automated immigration robot thingy, but I suppose that is progress for you.

For our time in Mexico City we stayed in a small but relentlessly chic (in a good way! it was gorgeous) apartment near the Parque México. Our Mexican friend and his now-wife described the neighborhood as hip, and yeah I think they were right. Usually when I fantasize about living outside the country it is somewhere in Africa, and for my super amazing wife it is in Asia, but after dropping off our bags and heading out to find some lunch we were quickly contemplating life in Mexico City. The neighborhood is leafy and green and everyone we interacted with was very very nice. The first of these people was the wonderful lady at the café we went to get that lunch I mentioned. My super amazing wife used to speak conversational Spanish, and in grad school for two years teachers were unfairly burdened with trying to teach me the same (Spanish being at least the third language I have been taught but have not learned). So we gamely tried to order some sandwiches and got halfway through it before the server assured us that English would be okay. The sandwich was delicious, and represented the first of at least three experiences rendered sublime by acute need, the later two being a nap and a shower, but those didn’t come until later in the afternoon. We also later got some tea at a lovely little tea shop by the park, a good omen for a good trip.

Once evening came upon us, we head out to try to cap our first half day in Mexico with tacos, only to fail at that endeavor and wind up at the Chinese food place across the street. It was however a Mexicali Chinese place, which both represented a unique and rich cultural milieu we had been heretofore been regretfully unaware, and in retrospect represented a neat connection to my super amazing wife’s most recent international travel. Also the food was really good. So fortified we head back to the apartment to settle in for the night and collapse asleep so we would be fully prepared to take in the many, many wonderous sites we were destined to behold.


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