Off to a Good Start in Mexico

by Ekua on June 19, 2010 in Mexico,solo travel

At 4:15 am, the airport shuttle finally arrived 30 minutes after it was supposed to. The driver was angry because in the dark, he could not see the number on my place and had been roaming up and down the street. I smiled and nodded which obviously annoyed him more. Yes, we were both up at a ridiculous hour and he was as tired as I was, but understandably, he didn’t have heaps of excitement to negate it.

I love the ride to the airport when you have to let go of everything you think you should have done. No matter what you might have forgotten to do, there’s no turning back. You have not choice but to let it all go and submit to your journey.

After a flight full of large and loving Mexican families, teenage post graduation beach partiers, and “romantic” vacationers hopelessly attached to their individual laptops, Mexico City finally appeared. Sprawling, smoggy and crowded, from above, I could see that it oozed hyper-citiness. Viewing the large expanse below me, I was actually excited to see what I would discover in it.

An overpriced authorized taxi took me from the airport to my hostel which was located on a quiet street in the Coyoacàn neighborhood and housed lovely courtyards within. As it is low travel season in Mexico and we were far from the center of the city, there were not many travelers staying at the hostel. But the few I met were immediately friendly. Americans, Mexicans, Scandinavians and an older couple from New Zealand. Conversations were started quickly as people gathered at computers, in the living room, and in the courtyards.

I settled in and took a walk to the Frida Kahlo house, unfortunately just in time for a heavy afternoon downpour. I bought a little bag of peanuts from a corner store and stood under an awning with an old man until the heaviest of the rain passed. I made my way to the Frida Kahlo Museum, also know as La Casa Azul, which is where Frida was born and where she died. The house is as creative and aesthetically pleasing as I would have expected given that it once housed Frida and Diego.

Later, I found myself hanging out with a fellow hostel mate from the Michoacan State and his friend from Mexico City. One of them said to me, “It looks like your trip is getting off to a good start. It’s your first night in Mexico City and you’re drinking beer with locals. If I were you, this is exactly what I’d want to be doing right now.”

Adding character to the night was the fact that were on the roof of the hostel and we had a free show put on by a lightning storm in the distance. And my new companions were travelers as well, so the conversation rolled on with the ease of people who identify with each other before they really know each other.

It was the kind of travel day I love—simple, observational, and conversational. And up on the roof, I had the best ending to a fantastic start.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary R June 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Great description of the early morning taxi ride. I’m so familiar with those and that “feeling” of anticipation.

Nothing like the rain to start up conversations with locals, right?


Ekua June 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

Haha, I didn´t talk to the old man under the awning but we exchanged glances of understanding about wanting to keep dry 😛


Lauren Quinn June 25, 2010 at 10:20 am

Yeah, I’d say it’s off to a pretty good start.


Ekua June 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

Thanks for being a pro-Mexico City voice 😉 All of the DF lovers combined definitely played a roll in making me want to spend time there rather than just get in and out!


Fly Girl June 29, 2010 at 1:51 pm

It sounds like a great start to me too. Mexico City is full of so many cultural treats, the Frida Kahlo House was a good first stop. Beer, Michalada? with the locals is a very, very, good sign.


Ekua July 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Oh I did try the Michelada but wasn’t a fan, haha. It was just regular cans of something that wasn’t too bad.


Andi August 15, 2010 at 7:53 am

Ahhh, you’re making me want to get on the 1st plane back to the DF. It’s truly one of my favorite places in the world. Coyoacàn is by far my favorite area in the city. And I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to move into Frida’s house haha.


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