In Search of America

Mexico Dia Catorce

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Here we are. My last morning in the beautiful country of Mexico. I am leaving refreshed and ready to work hard to reach both my life and career goals. I have had time to step back and evaluate where I am at and where I would like to be. It is exciting and extremely nerve wracking. I can’t help, but think back to three weeks ago when I was embarking on this adventure. I was excitied, but also had no idea what to expect. That feeling is still lingering, but for a different adventure as I mosey back to the States. 

We woke up early to make the most of this day. We had plans to visit the cactus gardens and try this traditional Oaxacan drink. We ate a small breakfast and headed towards the gardens. The gardens were in the middle of the city surrounded by a huge cement wall. It is a beautiful cement wall, but still a wall. We entered the gate and asked the guard where we should pay the entrance fee. He told us that we had to take a tour. We couldn’t just enter into the gardens, unlike any of the other sites we have visited on this trip. We found the next tour was at noon and was only in Spanish. It was a little too close of a call for when I had to be leaving for the airport, so we thanked the guard and moved on. We decided to just walk around the city a little more before heading to the bakery for coffee and a second breakfast. The streets were busy since it was midweek, but we found some quite ones to walk down and admire the colorful architecture. We walked into one of the many cathedrals scattered around the city. As we sat in a pew, we gazed in awe at the beautiful architecture and sculpture that surrounded us. 

Shortly after, we sat down at our favorite bakery to share a few dishes we had been eyeing. The hot cakes (pancakes) and almond butter banana toast both surpassed what we had hoped for. To bad we hadn’t come here for a first breakfast in Oaxaca, we would have probably frequented it a few more times. After breakfast, we wandered around looking for a laundromat for Coco. We were unsuccessful in finding one that could have the clothes ready by tomorrow. 

Our last stop in Oaxaca was the health food store that we had found the food for our breakfasts. We had picked up a few chocolate bars to try a few days ago and both of us wanted to bring a few home. We practically bought them out of the bars and then headed back to our place. I packed away the last few things and hoisted my backpack on to my back. It was time to head home. As we hailed a cab, we said our last goodbyes. It is hard to say goodbye to one of your best friends, when you don’t know the next time you will see them. 

My cab driver was nice and friendly. He spoke hardly any English, so it was interesting trying to make conversation for the twenty minute drive to the airport. He asked me if I liked Pink Floyd and I nodded my head eagerly. He asked me if I like coconut and I smiled as I said yes. I thought it was a weird question though to go from Pink Floyd to coconuts. He then asked me if I liked a list of things. I had no idea what he was talking about until he said, marijuana. My eyes got really big as I realized I had said that I like cocaine, not coconuts. He now thought I was a party girl. I smiled awkwardly and said no, too embarrassed to fix my mistake from earlier. He laughed and asked me if was bringing any cocaine home with me. Luckily, we were arriving at the airport and I was able to dip out quickly. I laughed nervously as I thanked him for the ride and walked into the airport. 

I made my way to the front desk to check my bag and get my tickets. The lady asked if I had my immigration form with my passport. I nervously looked through all my bags and couldn’t find it anywhere. I had thrown a stack of soggy wet receipts away at our hostel a few days ago. I am pretty sure that it had been in that stack of papers. She looked at me and told me straightly that I wouldn’t be able to leave the country without that piece of paper. I asked her how I could get a new one and she told me to figure it out when I landed in Mexico City. I sat at the gate for an hour and a half nervous. My layover in Mexico City was only an hour long and I had no idea where I would need to go to get the immigration form. 3:58 rolled around, the time my flight was supposed to be leaving and we had still not boarded. We left a little over a half an hour later. Our flight landed and I booked it. I had 40 minutes to find my gate and where to get the immigration form. I arrived at my gate as they were starting to board. One of the AeroMexico employees kindly pointed me in the direction of where I would get the immigration paper. I exited TSA, had to pay $30 US dollars for a immigration form. I started to go through TSA, only to realized I had a full water bottle. I ran back out and found the bathroom, and headed back to TSA. It wasn’t a long line for TSA, otherwise there would have been no way I would have made my flight. I arrived at the gate and was the last person to board the plane before take off. Talk about stressful airport situations. 

Five hours later, we arrived at SFO a half hour before our predicted landing time. I went through customs and sat on a bench as I waited for my mom to arrive. I was pooped, but so thankful to be back home. I think I was most excited for my bikes and my dog, but also for clean tap water, being able to throw toilet paper in the toilet, and my own kitchen. I arrived home and was immediately greeted by an ecstatic pup.

My bed is calling my name now.

Buenos Noches.

Sarah TumaComment