Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arrived in Mexico!

Yesterday's flights were charming and delightful in the way that only air travel is.  After a 3AM wake-up call, the kindest people in the universe (John and Susan) picked me up at 3:30 AM for a ride to the airport. 

I was thrilled to find out that I was going to be bumped from my Houston to Mexico city flight.  No, really, I was thrilled.  It came with a travel voucher, so with M still residing in Harpers Ferry, WV, my little vagabond eyes went "cha-ching!" as I plotted ways to use my voucher for a visit!  Plus, I have enough friends in Houston and little enough shame that I absolutely would have called one of them and thrown myself on their mercy.  Sadly, this was not to be, as other people missed their flights in Houston and I couldn't get bumped after all. 

But first things first.  I got to the Eugene airport before Security even opened.  And then my flight left before Full City opened.  This means I got a thing of vending machine water, and I was pretty mellow because I figured I could stop in Denver and grab breakfast.

That flight went faster than anticipated and we landed early.  That's when I found out that my next flight was boarding in 10 minutes.  So I started walking... and discovered the new gate was approximately eight miles away from the old gate.  So I kept walking and walking. And walking.  And walking.  My Osprey Porter (the one I got for England this summer) continues to impress- easy to carry, quick to convert into a backpack, and small enough that not a single flight attendant gave me grief. 

That flight was also non-notable, except that thanks to the short layover, I only had time to go to the bathroom and no time to get a bite to eat.  No problem.  This was a short flight asn I would soon be in Houston, getting bumped and having lots of time.   The most interesting thing on this flight was a seat neighbor who ignored me completely, but was playing this fascinating looking game on his iPad. 

Along came Houston.  As I got off the plane, I discovered my next flight had begun boarding 10 minutes ago, before I'd even landed.  Cha-ching.  I decided to get to the gate, and to grab a bite to eat after I'd collected my winnings for being so kind and gracious to be bumped.  I saw a nice old man waitig to get on the plane, and the gate agent took my info.  I was thrilled.  Look, I'd get to help a nice old man. 

Then it happened.

The gate agent said, "Wait, the other person is missing their flight too.  Hold on, I bet we can get you on this flight." 

"Oh, that's okay," said I.  "This nice old man really seems like he wants to go on the plane, and I haven't eaten at all, and I've got a flexible schedule.  Really, I don't need to be there until tomorrow!" 

"No, no, no," they said, reassuringly.  Really, they could have been much more brusque.  "You have priority!" 

Bummer.  The one time I don't want it, I'm the most important person ever.  Which explains how I ended up crammed into a sardine can next to a very round woman, who was very upset that I had made my flight, and had very pointy elbows and made quite a point of overflowing into my seat at every chance.  She'd drape her clothes over my armrest, put her feet into my foot section, and shift herself to talk to her seatmate until she was half in my seat.  I had a hard time getting stuff from the stewardess, she was taking up so much space!  Really, it was not even the physical space as much as it was the emotional and mental space.  Hmph. 

My biggest worry was that, since I was arriving a day before the main group because I couldn't get any Thursday flights, that the Sisters wouldn't know to pick me up.  That was not a problem, and I was met at the airport with my name on a sign, and taken in a taxi to the convent.  I knew myself well enough to not risk Vespers in case I got sleepy, and dinner came quickly. 

Dinner... authentic Mexican food cooked by people who have no qualms or desires to Americanize anything.  Can we say happy tummy?  Yes, we can say happy tummy.

The night was rather restless.  Between the warmth, the humidity, the over-abundance of blankets, and my general nature, I didn't sleep well at all until nearly 4AM when I finally dropped off for good.  I woke up around 9AM their time, which is about 7AM Oregon time.  So I guess I fell asleep around 2AM Oregon time.  Not terribly terrible. 

I woke up with a killer headache, but a little Aleve took care of that.  I know that, at this altitude, I need to be super careful to force hydration. The sisters are worried I have high blood pressure due to the travel to the altitude (many of their guests have elevated blood pressures on the first day or two) so they gave me "fig leaf tea" and strict orders to drink, drink, drink.  They are also feeding me like a Portuguese great-grandma.  So I will not starve for sure!

Not sure what sort of email or internet access I will have, so updates from the Vagabond as I... err... vagabond about might be erratic.  Especially since I left behind my iphone charger!  Really, I remembered my other chargers and the charger bases... I cannot BELIEVE I left the iPhone charger home.  I must have dropped the cord as I packed stuff.  So annoying.  We'll see if I can borrow another classmate's when they arrive later.   

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