Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mexico City

Jose and I arrived at the Mexico City airport at 1 30 in the afternoon their time, 11 30 am California time. The flight here went well, I slept almost the whole time, and Jose just waited. We had a four hour layover.

When we arrived, we had to separate when we went through immigration. Jose went to the Mexican line, and I went to the foreigners line. It was wierd for both of us that Jose was suddenly a Mexican and I was a foreigner. He feels like a foreigner here, so it was strange for him to go into the Mexican line. It was worse for him, too, because he had to wait in line for over an hour to get to the immigration check in, and it only took me about 20 minutes. No one bothered me while I stood alone, but I made sure to keep a mean face on.

As soon as we got through immigration, we walked through some doors and met Joses grandfathers sister. We were surprised by how much she looks like Joses mother, Veronica. I knew right away that she was who we were looking for. The picture she had of us was from our wedding, and she said she only recognized us because of me. She said Jose was so much fatter in the picture she didnt expect hiim to be skinny! I loved that one. It was really nice to meet her, and be able to guess how Joses grandfather might have been. She was really nice, and helped us with everything we needed. She even brought us popular Mexican candy. They have gluten, but Jose has been loving it, she brought his favorite kind of candy, tamarindo.

The biggest problem was that we didnt get our bank to approve charges from Mexico, so we had to spend quite a bit of time calling back and forth to get access to our money. Jose, like always for one a short time longer, had a harder time than me getting it taken care of. Because he doesnt have a social security number, he had to know when his last deposit was and how much it was, the usual charges and amounts on his card, his card number, and his account number. He thought the last deposit was $1250, but it was only $1200, so they wouldnt approve travel charges. Finally, on his fourth call to the bank, he guessed $1200, and was able to get an approval. All that for 50 dollars! We now have everything taken care of, and have been able to get money without any problems.

In the airport, an employee directed Jose to another employee, who took Joses ticket and bag and quickly walked us to our next gate, even though our flight was until 4 hours later. He set down Joses bag and asked for a tip. He wanted 20 USD, but he didnt get that. I couldnt believe that the employees had that scheme going, I thought we only had to look out for robbers and whatnot! It all happened so quickly, niether of us really knew what was going on. It all worked out though, and now we know not to get near the employees!

A few interesting things we have to report about Mexico City...
1. Emma has so far communicated with airport employees without messing up!
2. All trashcans at the airport and divided into organic and inorganic compartments.
3. Many of the houses in Mexico City really are painted wild colors, which we always thought was a stereotype of Mexican culture. You see all kinds of colors when you fly over the city.
4. Emma fits in. In fact, Joses dark skin stands out more than Emmas light skin.
5. Mexican money is plastic, not paper! If feels pretty gross, if we do say so ourselves.

Thats what we came up with in 4 hours at the airport.

Then, we were off to Ciudad Juarez!


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