Friday, July 1, 2016

Nothing Bad Has Happened Yet

I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to trying to figure out where I am. I mean, sometimes I still get lost in Corvallis. 

This said, one of my biggest fears when it came to this trip was the very act of getting here, given that I had to take a plane from Portland to San Francisco, then a plane to Mexico City, and then find a bus to take me the 3 hours to Querétaro. My first flight left at 6, and got to San Fran about 730. Easy stuff. Bought some soup from a Mexican restaurant (Get a head start right?) while I waited out my 2 hour layover. Eventually found my the gate for my next flight and had to take quite a walk to get to the international flight side, but I found a seat next to a girl watching a YouTube video of popcorn popping (90% sure of this), and a guy playing Angry Birds. Both with their phone volume all the way up, thankfully. 

With 15 minutes before boarding the guy at the desk calls for all unattended minors to come up to the front so they can get them seated first. Before I could even finish the thought of, "Who sends their kid alone to Mexico?", close to 30 little kids get up, tiny rolley suitcases trailing behind them, and get in line. Apparently, a lot of people send their kid alone to Mexico. Unlike the first flight I took where there were kids crying running around the whole time (10/10 would reccomend), I didn't hear anything from any of them the whole flight. Unfortunately. 

Finally got on to the plane and found my seat in the very last row. A guy with a frilly white button up shirt came and sat next to me, but that's a bit of a misnomer because only 2 of his buttons were actually buttoned. He asked me if I spoke Spanish and I said for sure, but probably not the greatest. We got to talking about where we were from and where we were heading, and when I told him I was studying abroad in Mexico he got super excited. There were places I had to see, food I had to eat, and places and food to avoid! Every once in awhile he'd ask his wife how to say something in English when I couldn't follow, but it was a super cool first Spanish speaking experience. Then as quickly as our conversation started, he ended it by saying the flight was only so long, and he had some shows saved up he had to watch. This was understandable, and so I told him thanks for talking with me and let him get to trying to figure out how to work his iPad. I tried sleeping as best I could since I would be landing at about 5 in the morning and have to start doing stuff as soon as I arrived, but it never quite happened. 

Eventually I heard the captain say we were getting close to landing a couple hours later, and I got to work on the immigration and customs cards I had to fill out. Looking out the window as we approached the airport was incredible. I thought Portland was big, but this place put that thought to rest. There were lights for what seemed like miles, rolling up and down hills and just about everywhere else. The design of the roads didn't seem to have much reason behind them judging by the street lights I could see, but that almost made it even more interesting to look at. We landed at the airport and after awhile I was able to get off and grab my bags. Even though I was the thirstiest man alive because an air vent was blowing on me the whole time and I didn't have any water, I made it out to the station where they stamp your passport (which was a very weak stamp compared to the one I got from Japan if you ask me), and made it to baggage claim pretty quickly. I got some pesos from the kiosk and made it outside to the general airport area. 

After walking around for awhile I found the station to buy a bus ticket. It was 620, but another bus wouldn't be leaving until 730. I took this time to find a Starbucks and get a muffin, as well as text some people that I made it. I got to the bus station about 15 minutes before it would leave so I had time to make sure I could figure it all out, and after making sure my bags made it on to the bottom of the bus I hopped on. I found my seat next to a guy that I presume had spent his entire life sleeping in that very seat because of how sprawled out he was. It was all right though, it was only gonna be a 3 hour bus ride. I put my backpack under my feet and watched the city go by for awhile, and my seat had fold out foot rest so that was nice. Hoping to get at least 2 hours of sleep before arriving, I fell asleep still kinda wondering if I'd actually gotten on the right bus.

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