Tuesday, just after midnight (probably) local time I boarded the 707 to Mexico City. Pretty much as soon as we took off, I fell asleep. Out of the three planes, this is the only one on which I got a window seat. Typical then that this is the only one -thus far- that I’ve been able to sleep all the way through. I woke up just now and the seat-belt light is on and the cabin lights switching off so I think that means we’re about to come in for landing… If that’s the case, that’s good news! I was lucky enough to end up with an empty seat between myself and this other woman. Not lucky because she smells or anything. I’m sure she smells fine. But the extra space means extra leg-room and extra leg-room means better sleep! So that was a welcome surprise. I actually have no idea how long I’ve been on this plane for… Maybe two or three hours? That’s my best guess.
I’m going to do my best to stay awake and be attentive in Mexico City. I don’t want to fall asleep and have something happen. Worse case scenario: I miss my flight. I’m going to fight the urge to sleep to ensure that definitely doesn’t happen. During the time I’m picking up my baggage and finding out where I need to be, getting my bearings and so on staying awake will be easy. It’s when it becomes a waiting game that coffee will be needed. And lots of it. Caffeine tends to have a very strong reaction for me so I usually avoid it – apart from in Green Tea (in which the caffeine quantity is so low that it doesn’t have an adverse effect) That said, right now I need a strong reaction.
Tuesday, 00:47 CST
I’m sitting in “wings”, a burger bar (I think). I’ve got a black coffee and a bottle of water and I’m waiting on a mushroom burger now. I went to check-in my bags but they told me I’d have to wait another two hours. If I can get WIFI in here, I’ll be glad of a chat with Rosa however short and a catch up with my mum if she’s even awake.
It is weird that I’m making my way across Rosa’s country without actually managing to speaking to her. It’ll be more of a surprise for her that way, I guess. I just hope she’s not worrying about me too much having not heard from me since I left. There seems to be a WIFI service here for paying customers, I’ll asking about that when I get a chance.
Tuesday, 1:33 CST
Mission accomplished in more ways than one. My belly is full! (The mushroom burger I order wasn’t exactly vegetarian – not at all hahah – I scraped the mushrooms off the burger, put the meat to one side and ate the rest) I’m hydrated thanks to my water and a little more awake thanks to the coffee. Though my stomach being full is making me a little sleepy… So I think I’m about where I was before the coffee in terms of tiredness. Nonetheless, I am still awake and the food has been demolished!
Also, victory! I connected to the WIFI and have since been able to send both my Mum and Rosa a few messages each! My mum replied but I think Rosa is asleep because the messages aren’t being delivered to her phone – that usually means her WIFI is off and her WIFI is usually off when she’s asleep. It’s crazy late here, so reason would outline that it must be late there too.
“Reason would outline.” Jesus. I must be tired. I don’t think I’ve ever used that before in my life! Well, there’s a first time for everything!
The random Mexican music on the TVs here is soothing. I dunno what any of the lyrics are but that sort of ska feel is nice. At first the fact that the beats of the music are relaxing was pleasant but now, as I am desperately trying to keep myself awake, that’s not so much the case. I just need to stay awake until I board this flight. It doesn’t seem like an impossible task right now, just a difficult one. I’m just keeping myself busy as best I can. With the WIFI and writing in this diary, I’m engaging my mind. When it comes to the waiting game on the other side of the gate, I can’t make any promises. Once I leave this restaurant, I won’t have the WIFI to focus my mind anymore. We’ll see how it goes. For now, I’ve got somethings to get off my chest.
Without the journey being at its end yet, I do feel like I have grown in so many ways. Maybe it’s just in my nature to step up to a challenge when it’s inevitable, or maybe I am going through some sort of metamorphosis. I don’t know really but I do feel like I’ve learned a new level of self-trust unlike any I’d’ve been able to cultivate before. And the sense of adventure I was looking for seems to have arisen naturally. However late it is, I’m not going to complain about the fact that I am finally feeling like this is an adventure rather than some grueling self-inflicted torture with the promise of happiness at the end. But then, I suppose that would call for me to reduce my definition of ‘adventure’ down to the fundamentals. Blergh.
Looking at the clock, I’ve got another hour to wait before I can check-in. I can do this! Might have to order another coffee though… I doubt I’ll be writing much once I’m on this last plane to be honest. I imagine – and very much hope – I’ll just fall straight to sleep. I was going to use the word “crash” but I’ll go with ‘fall asleep’ and not tempt fate, eh?
I keep overhearing conversations, thinking they’re in English and then wondering why I can’t understand what’s being said. Most of the inflections are the same so it’s confusing. Emotions seem to come across in the same way even though the language is almost entirely different. That is a bit of a head-fuck. The jet-lag probably isn’t helping. My mind is pretty much an empty, supple landscape right now. So tired that all I can think about is how tired I am. Another coffee is a tempting idea, but then my stomach is full of food… And then there’s the toilet issue.
I don’t know if it’s jet-lag or spending so long on planes – likely a bit of both – but I feel like I’m experiencing turbulence and my seat feels like it’s rumbling.
Mexico. Not at all how I imagined it would be yet somehow exactly how I imagined it would be. All at once. There you go. That’s a slice of life for you. Okay. At risk of just rambling about everything and nothing now, I’ll wrap this one up here. There you go. Wrapped up in cling film.
Just a note on how quiet and almost tranquil it is here at the moment. I imagine it’s nothing like this during the day. Right now, though, it’s just me and the Wings staff. There’s like one or two other customers here but not many. The sounds around me are the treble-y electronic drone of the TVs in the background, the chatter of the staff, the clinking of glass being washed in the kitchen, the occasional screech of a metal fork sliding on a plate and the faint whirring of an air-conditioner somewhere distant. All of those subtle sounds are relaxing to me at a time like this. As always, the sounds compile in my mind to make some untapped melody of a song waiting to be written. More than a dance track or a heart-throbbing pop song or a musical number in that film I never saw and never regretted… These sounds are a lullaby.
Tuesday, 2:33 CST
So excited. So tired. So excited. So tired. Baahhh! Need sleep! Or Coffee! Or both!
Rosa. House. Home. Sleep. Sleep. Coffee?! Sleep! Rosa! Rosa! Rosa!
Tuesday, 3:10 CST
I’m sitting at Terminal 1 – I think. I’m boarding in three hours. No surprises when I say, “It’s a ghost-town here!” I’ve seen like five people tops since checking-in and three of them were the security team who attended to me as I passed through the gate. Oh, I’m wrong, I just saw a sixth human. Some old bloke bumbling around like he’s me or something. There’s these two workmen drilling holes into the ground in here. I dunno why. Maybe it’s to help me get to sleep quicker. I don’t have the foggiest. Okay, I’ve officially hit the I-don’t-know-if-I’m-being-sarcastic-or-not-I’m-just-so-unearthily-tired threshold.
I’m genuinely considering having a nap here, while hugging my backpack. It’ll get me up to speed on the semantics of passionate hugging, at least. It’s been a while. I just honestly cannot fathom how or even if I’d last without a nap now… The big question is “How long do I put my phone’s alarm on for?” Too long and it won’t wake me up in time. Not long enough and I’ll wake up more tired than I already am. Should I sleep for an hour? Or have a power nap for like twenty minutes? Or should I try and time it closer to boarding time? Or, more favourably, should I try and push on through to six-ish and just sleep on the plane and in a bed when I get there?
A bed. Mmmm. I’ve missed beds. I rarely slept in a bed for months and months. It’s not just been a few weird days without a bed for me. I’ve been sleeping in a tiny room with barely anything between me and the floor for the past six months, give or take. To finally have a real bed to sleep in after so long of thin foam yoga mats and cushions built for deck-chairs re-purposed to serve as a mattress, it’ll just be incredible to be back in a bed again. And one I can call my own, no less! Boom!
Tuesday, 4:30 CST
I slept for like twenty minutes and I feel a little less like I’m gonna just drop off to sleep without warning, at any second. To wake myself up a bit, I went on a mini-quest for bottled water! Much needed when I’m napping! And I’ve still got two packets of crisps left from Cancun too. Sabritas. Salted. There was the opportunity to get barbeque flavour but that’s the sort of taste which stagnates and I don’t know if I’ll definitely like the Mexican variant of barbeque flavouring. Salted. Better safe than sorry when it comes to being at a crazy height in the air and needing food. I don’t know if I’ll definitely eat them though, to be honest. Maybe Rosa and I can share them once we get back home. Home… Home… Home… Home… Echoes in my mind like the sound a calf fond of it’s mother makes when it rediscovers her definite existence after a long night of dreaming away about other calves and other mothers and perhaps lollipops and candy floss.
I took my shoes off for the first time since England just now. Shitdaymn does that feel good! By dandelions, it does! My feet stink like the back end of an African boar though. Ahh that would’ve been the perfect time to reference Star Wars and use “bantha” instead of “African boar” but oh well, African boar it is. Congratulations Pumba, you win first place in the Andey-chooses-words game. Your prize? Me using you to describe the foul stench of my feet that I noticed as soon as I was brought on board. (Ah?!) But yeah, my feet stink.
I’m impressed that I was able to kill an hour with sleeping and debating with myself about whether I should sleep or not. In truth, I’ve only got another hour and a half to wait now – perhaps a little less. Something just came up on the departures board. Judging by this information, my flight is leaving from somewhere else. As in, not here. It’s a good job I didn’t sleep for longer! I need to go and find out where it is! At least that’s another mini-quest to keep me active until 6:10.
Tuesday, 5:01 CST
I may or may not have tracked down the gate where my flight is leaving from. There is a sign which seems to suggest that things might be clearer in half an hour or so. So now it’s the true waiting game… Unless I’m waiting in the wrong place, in which case it’s a run-like-a-headless-chicken game. I looked at the board and most of them say “Gate 1” but then, at Gate 1, there’s an Interjet flight leaving at 6:40. My flight is supposed to leave at 6:55. I think 6:55 is quite soon after 6:40 for another flight to leave from the same gate. Both flights would be boarding at the same time… No, this isn’t right.
Tuesday, 5:23 CST
I shouldn’t really be writing this now, I should be searching for where my flight is leaving from but I don’t know what to think. I need to just write this down. I have been walking up and down this crazy confusing airport for about twenty minutes trying to find the actual gate for my flight and I still haven’t got a clue where it is. I’m not going to let myself panic but I need to find this place soon because we’re boarding in an hour and this airport is getting more and more busy by the second. The amount of people here has doubled in the last ten minutes. It was a ghost-town before, now it’s like a bloody night club in here. Hot and sweaty, too many people, I can’t understand a word that’s being said and I don’t know where the exit is. The only difference is that here there’s no music. And in a night club, the exit will lead me outdoors to a feeling of relief and here the exit is onto a plane for a feeling of relief. Either way… Can you tell I don’t like night clubs? Horrible places. Oh god. Why am I writing about night clubs when I should be finding this plane!
Tuesday, 5.39 CST
I finally found the gate for my flight after walking up and down this ridiculously designed airport an unnatural number of times accompanied by a different airport employee on each occasion. None of which actually had a blind turd of a clue where I was supposed to be. And there was that language barrier too. Turns out, this screen and flight had teamed up to make things difficult by waiting until only forty minutes before boarding to actually show the correct gate number. Until then, my flight and about fifteen/twenty of the others all just said “Gate 1”. Sort it out Mexico City!
Honestly, this is one of the most poorly designed airports I have seen. And I’ve seen three in the past 24 hours… So I’d know… Despite the confusion, however, I am here now. I am waiting for my flight to board. I need to eat… And I need a little wee wee time too… I’m hoping that there’s a shop nearby which sells vegetarian food. Maybe a sandwich? Something simple and easy… And quick… All the shops are still closed though… I’m hoping something opens before we start to board so I can buy something to eat… Otherwise, I only have two bags of crisps and a bottle of water…
I walked for a full five minutes in both available directions from here and there was nothing but junk food on sale! It does seem to be either junk food or fast food on offer in Mexican airports… And the frequently available sandwiches of England seem to be but a hazy dream now… Nothing but a bitter-sweet memory of a cheese ploughmans to sate my appetite! Junk food or fast food… Unless you eat meat! Which most people here do.
The food situation aside, this airport really is at the bottom of the list of my recently visited airports. Third best. That’s pretty shoddy considering this is the main airport in the capital of Mexico! Gatwick was like a high-tech circus. Cancun was possibly my favourite so far… But let’s not speak too soon! I have high hopes for Mexicali! Maybe not for the airport itself, but for what awaits me within! As for the airport itself, Rosa tells me it’s the size of two houses stuck together. So! We’ll see!
People are beginning to appear for the flight now, for a while I thought I’d be the only one on it! Hah! Take off is about an hour from now and boarding is in about twenty minutes. Oh, on another note, I just saw someone with dreads. Nice dreads. Not those weird thin ones. That’s the third person I’ve seen with dreads on this journey now – including when I saw myself in a mirror. And the other guy had the weird thin ones. So this latest sight is a definite winner. I wish I had a prize for them…
Tuesday, 6:41 CST
On the third and final plane now! I may (by which I mean I’ve already decided to) eat one of those packets of crisps. Or perhaps both… I was gonna share them with Rosa but I need something in my belly and those shops were rubbish for substantial food! I have bought some goodies to share though… M&Ms and a Toblerone. Bring it on!
Tuesday, sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 local time
Suddenly, I’m really nervous… Excited too, yeah. They’re the same thing really. But the potential love of my life is down there on the ground, not too far from where I am right now. We’ve been talking for nine months… And today everything changes. I say “potential” because she already is, obviously, but us meeting will take that to a whole new level wherein she will sort of become the renewed, epitomised, confirmed love of my life.So many ideas and thoughts and feelings. Is that what they call “butterflies”? Is that what it feels like? Weird.
I feel a tad strange about appearing to her in this state… Jet-lagged, spotty, smelly and probably other as yet undetected additions to my already regrettable state… But then, I know what she’d say if I told her that, “I love you, I want you however you are.” but let’s see if she still says that this time! Hah! Anyway, I’ma try and sleep some more now so I can at least hold a conversation when we meet! Ahhhh! Breathe!
And that is where my travel diary ended, save one final entry which I will share below. If you’ve been following this story over the previous week or so – or perhaps since the romance blossomed – you’ll no doubt want to see how it was when we met for the first time. Well, thanks to Rosa having that same desire, plus the desire to have that moment immortalised on video forever… The moment we met (as well as a few before and after) was filmed by a kind stranger whom Rosa enlisted in the airport… If you’d like to see the video of our first meeting, CLICK HERE. And if you’d like to see more of us together, CLICK HERE to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Otherwise, here is the final entry.
Wednesday, 12:15, Mexicali
The second I met Rosa, I knew I loved her as much as I had hoped I would. Five minutes after meeting her, I knew -without a
doubt- that I could spend the rest of my life with her. Much more than “could”, I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more than to love her, care for her, and – to be honest – worship her like the goddess she is.
Before we met, I knew I loved her. But now, I need a new word… Shit, a new fuckin’ concept. I’m laying on the bed now. Our bed. Rosa is downstairs. We’ve been working together to get our house how we want it. She waited for me to get here before she moved in properly herself, so we’ve got some work to do to get the place exactly as we want it. But we work as a team really fucking well so there’s no issues there.
Once things are sorted this end, we’re going to be making videos together. We’ve got so many ideas for those. But for now, I’ll be settling in and adjusting to life here in Mexico. And we’ll be settling into life together, together. So that’s it for my travel diary now I am here but that’s not the last you’ll hear from me – or from us. You’ll be hearing from us both very soon. Thanks so much for being with me every step of the way, it really does mean a lot.
Keep it real,
Live, love and play