Monday, May 25, 2009

Regresando a México

"This is the flight I was supposed to take two weeks ago..." I thought as my plane took off from San Francisco airport at 8am this morning. It was frustrating for me. I had spent the last three weeks traveling in California, attending my brother's track meet and my boyfriend's graduation. Overall it had been a good thing. But leaving Mexico City on such short notice and having to drop out of UNAM was devastating for me. It had taken me all of three weeks to establish a normal schedule, get my things organized, and start thinking clearly--I had completely spaced three leadership meetings. Now I was working on my final papers to get credit for my classes, spending time with Sean and his family, and even going out to dinner with the few friends I had who were still in Berkeley and not buried in finals. 

The Mexico I landed in little resembled the one I left but was once again much more like the one I loved. A few facemasks dotted the landscape but their had always been some people who wore them, usually incorrectly, because of the pollution. Besides that, subtle signs of the influenza porcina (swine flu) could be seen here and there: a thermal temperature reader at the airport, a new form to fill out at customs, signs on the metro indicating that the car would be thoroughly sanitized ever 72 hours. But Mexico seemed mostly healthy. Even the exchange rate was stabilizing around 13 pesos to the dollar. They did look at me funny though for flying into the city without any luggage except my laptop in a purse.

The city was comfortable familiar. I had been in the airport about half a dozen times now; the metro ride to and from I knew quite well. It wasn't until I was walking from the metro to "home" that I began to feel a little chocked up. I think it was recognizing the same advertisement that had been there for months that made it really hit home that I was here. 

The family welcomed me with open arms, even though I had been unable to notify them of my arrival until I landed at the airport. Most of my friends from the program have gone back to the states, and the few that remain are on vacation traveling throughout the republic. Tomorrow I will drop by UNAM to go to some of my old classes (this is the last week before finals for them) and hopefully to see some of my friends. I don't know what I'll say.

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