Well poppets, a lot has happened since we saw each other last.
Our lovely visit with Joe’s parents continued, and we did lots of fun things – including a bus trip to Guadalajara (great city) and then on Friday morning we got up really early, and we went to the airport so we could fly to Mexico City and then on to Toronto, and we checked in for our flight, and we went to the gate, and we started to wait. We waited until it was supposed to be time to board. Then we waited a little longer. After a little while, they announced that they were going to start boarding in a few minutes, and that confused us a little bit, because there was no plane at the gate. Still – we had three hours to make our connection, so we didn’t get sweaty about it. After about another fifteen minutes, I went over and used my very dodgy Spanish to gently ask how it was going. Did they expect a plane soon? En cuántos minutos? “Viente” the nice lady said, and that’s twenty, and that seemed fine. We would still make our connection.
Thing was, in twenty minutes the answer was still twenty (and I was wracking my brain to be sure that the word for twenty was what I thought it was) and twenty minutes after that the plane finally arrived, and Joe and I (the two of us had been getting progressively twitchier this whole time) heaved a sigh of relief. We signed into our Air Canada flight online so that the short time we had to connect would be smoother, we talked about how we’d have to hustle, but it would be just fine… we texted with Joe’s Mum about the most efficient route through the Mexico City airport, and then, hearts light, we boarded.
Then we sat there. We sat there for about 15 minutes, and then the Captain came on, and he said a lot of things very quickly in Spanish, and I thought I understood him, but then I realized that I couldn’t possibly have. I’d caught “tráfico excesivo” which seemed clear, and then I’d heard something about eleven o’clock, but what was happening at eleven seemed wrong. It was ten then, and it’s only an hour long flight – so, was the pilot confirming that we were going to arrive at 11? That would be just fine for us. Our flight out of Mexico City left at 12:45. Joe and I can run any airport distance in an hour.
I thought about what words I know in Spanish, and then I leaned over Joe, and asked the guy next to him what time we were going to leave, and he said eleven. “Dejar a la once?” I asked, and he confirmed. We were going to sit on that plane for an hour before it moved, and that is exactly what we did. We sat there until about 11:10 and Joe and I knew it was over. We were going to miss our connecting flight. Sure enough, we landed at 12:20, we got to the gate at about 12:45, and that was the time that our other flight was taking off. Honestly, we both considered freaking out, but it seemed really counter productive. I mean, what’s the point? We’d catch the midnight flight, or worst case, one the next morning. Whatever. Stay loose, we told each other, as we trotted through the airport to find our bags.
Thus began a day of a pretty seriously craptastic nature. We collected our bags and went to the airline counter. Nobody was there. We went to another counter and asked around, and they sent us a million miles to the airline office. Nobody was there. We came back down (the Mexico City airport is as big as the city of Chicago) and bought a SIM card so one of our phones would work, then installed ourselves at a restaurant that said they had WiFi so we could start sorting it out. It turns out they didn’t have Wifi – so while Joe went back to the SIM card place to buy us another one, I used our working phone to call Air Canada. I waved Joe off confidently as he left, quite sure that the nice man on the other end of the phone was coming back momentarily with a reservation on a flight in just a few hours.
When Joe came back twenty minutes later I was off the phone and had a largish glass of wine. There were no flights. Not that day, not the next day, not the day after that. “What are you talking about?” Joe said, sliding into his chair with a shocked look on his face.
“March Break in Canada.” I said. “Spring Break in the States, Easter Break here. There are no flights. Not until the 22nd. Five days from now.” Joe stared at me like I’d lost my mind. “We’ll go to another airport” he said. “We’ll fly to Houston, or Atlanta, or …. ”
“There are no flights.” I said, trying to make him understand. I’d told the Airline representative that we were willing to take any flight – anywhere – any time, even drive somewhere else, and the answer, after checking everything he could think of, was that there were no flights. Still, we’d only checked one airline, and it seemed to us that there had to be a solution, so- determined to be cheerful – we paid our bill and moved on to another restaurant that claimed to have WiFi but didn’t – and then finally went up to the airport hotel and asked if we could use their WiFi, and 45 pesos later, we were online, and discovering that there really were no flights. Joe dealt with the insurance company, and I continued searching until I found an exorbitantly expensive flight home on the 21st – but that got sold out while I was asking Joe for our credit card. An hour later I had found another one, and booked that instantly. Shortly after that we managed to find a hotel, and then crossed the airport again to (somehow – turns out I know more Spanish than I thought) manage to get some paperwork from the airline that had been two hours late and started the mess, and the whole time we took deep breaths, tried to be really nice to each other and reconciled ourselves to the way things were. We were stuck in Mexico City. We were hemorrhaging money. Neither of these things was changeable by us. We decided that it was all going to be about attitude, and that if this was the way things were going to be, and clearly it was, then well, we might as well make the most of it.
So we did. We worked for a few hours ever morning and evening (since we were supposed to be back at work) and in between, we went everywhere. We climbed the bell towers of the Metropolitan Cathedral, and stood on the roof while the bells were ringing, we walked through cobblestoned streets and found a Mexican Vegetarian place. We drank Mescal. We found out what agave looks like.
We went to museums and to monuments and lots of churches and climbed two thousand year old pyramids. (We did that along with tens of thousands of people. Who knew that the spring equinox was the most popular day of the year to climb the thing?)
We saw Our Lady of Guadalupe, we walked and walked, we learned (ok, I learned) that Clara Parkes wasn’t kidding a few weeks ago in Texas when she told me not to touch cactus, even carefully.
I finished socks.
ONline Supersocke 4-fach Neon Color #1718, my basic sock pattern.
I started some other socks (Agatha Socks, and I love them)
and last night, after making the most of getting stuck, we and our good attitudes finally caught a flight from Mexico City to New York, then New York to Toronto, where we fell into bed. Tomorrow, we fly again. There was supposed to be five days in there, rather than one, so excuse me while I unpack, repack and chat with the worlds top knitwear model. I’d better find more yarn, too.