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Arrived in Mexico City

The flight to Mexico City from Phoenix went relatively smoothly. In fact, I think we arrived a little early. The flight approached from the east this time, and since the airport is near the eastern edge of the city, one could see the stark contrast between the densely populated urban area and the undeveloped area just beyond. I tried to capture it in a picture, but you’ll have to squint a bit to see what I mean.

Approaching Mexico City.

Approaching Mexico City.

We arrived to a packed immigration hall, so when I finally cleared into Mexico, my bag was already off the conveyor belt, waiting for me at baggage claim. American Airlines asked us to fill out a customs declaration before we landed, but no one ever collected it. I just walked directly into the arrivals hall.

I decided to take public transportation to where I’m staying. Since the public transit system in Mexico City can be a bit daunting, I decided to have a snack before I left the airport. I figured it would take about 90 minutes to get from the airport to where I was going, but it took about an hour and 45 minutes. It could’ve taken even longer if I hadn’t noticed a bus I was on had started retracing its stops. Apparently it had done a complete 180-degree turn around a large traffic circle without me noticing, but I did notice the names of the stops sounded familiar. I disembarked, realized I had simply boarded the wrong bus going generally in the right direction, and then boarded the correct bus a few minutes later.

I’m staying in a small residence on the top floor of the same building as the Spanish school. I chose it because it’s inexpensive and very convenient. After a bit of confusion, I managed to get the keys from the security guard, who used his phone to translate a few questions when I didn’t understand his Spanish. I even made a lame attempt at a joke in Spanish, saying something to the effect of, “I don’t understand, that’s why I’m in school.”

The accommodations are very basic. They call it hostel-like. There are eight individual bedrooms sharing three bathrooms, although one bathroom is currently out of order. The sheets are clean, although very thin. I’d say it’s not as nice as I’d hoped, but for the price I’m paying, it’s also not as bad as I’d feared. For four weeks, it’ll do.

I’ve met three other students already. One from China, one who’s English but lives in New York, and one from Austin. I met the Chinese woman first, and she told me the United States is well represented in the school.

My first day of classes is today at 9 am. I didn’t leave myself time to buy any groceries last night, other than some instant coffee, so I’m going to head out shortly for breakfast.