Letters From Mexico #1

25th October 2016

Dear #ThatGirl,

I’m not convinced my body has worked out what time it is yet and I haven’t found a post office. I’ve a headache now, largely aided by the jet-lag / raw data spreadsheet combo. 

The flight was eleven hours of soul-sucking pain, made more tortuous by the absent space in the seat to my right, where you should have been.

I was collected by a dark haired taxi driver, holding my name on a card – printed and all – and everything was ‘no problem’. The hotel changed and I didn’t know, and the booking was cocked up, so my taxi driver was no prophet.

I have a simple room, but it’s clean and there’s a Starbucks on my doorstep, so the international coffee standards are met with a familiarity I find comforting. Breakfast this morning was a croissant and I ate listening to the news about Trump. Though I didn’t fully understand, my main impression is they think he’s mad and dangerous. Which is another comfort.

The hotel has a sedate lobby, barring the metal chairs which scrape the floor loud enough to make you wince, and there’s no concept of queueing at reception, the same as in traffic it’s a free for all. 

I feel ignorant that I can speak Italian but not Spanish, so I downloaded an app for simple phrases and suddenly feel a little better. ‘Donde puedo comprar cigarillos’ is helpful, as is ‘Venti latte…Leche grasa!’, which I’ve made up but makes the staff smile. It’s 50 pesos for the biggest coffee you can get, around £2.

At the traffic crossing, a big four way junction, you take your life in your hands but there is street food everywhere, stalls, the smell of fried.

It’s a little overcast but spring time weather, big trucks sail the streets with people riding in the open beds. Mexico City reminds me of Sardegna, just bigger and it doesn’t feel dangerous, but it’s always in the back of my mind.

The traffic light camera opposite flashes every two minutes while the little old woman peddles nutty looking pastry at the traffic lights. She wears a surgical mask, straw hat, a pink jacket, and a bum bag. I’d like to ask her about life but language prohibits this.

It’s been two years since I was here and it feels like a lifetime ago.

Yours always,


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