Tuesday, December 6, 2005

¡He Llegado!

View from My Room

Wow, first off: this keyboard is crazy. There's an Ñ key were the Qwerty semicolon should be! Anyhow, I bet you don't care much about this Mexican keyboard right now. ;)

Forrest drove me down to LAX, so I got to spend a bit more time with him before I was off to Mexico for the bulk of December. Thank you, Forrest! Especially for the shortcut route, even if it was really cold. :) It's sad saying goodbye at airports, especially now that no one but the travelers themselves can get past the front door...

(Arg, the < and > keys are on the same key, to the left of Z! But anyway.) At LAX, I met an older woman from Chicago who had just come out of a coma and brain surgery. She was... interesting... to talk to. A little weird, and not because of any brain damage. Just one of those weird old talkative people. On the plane, a woman with a baby sat in the row behind me. Her kid cried the entire time, so bad that the attendants asked her multiple times if everything was alright or if the baby was sick. Made it so I couldn't get any real rest on that flight. (Which was a major bummer, seeing as how I've only had 4 hours of sleep in the last 48. :( )

So that was a 3-hour flight. I changed planes at Mexico City. Big international airport. All the little airport stores there were strange, though — narrow, like 5 feet wide, and every inch of wall space totally covered with whatever it was they were selling (candy, books, stamps, scarves, cellphones...). I exchanged some dollars for pesos (rate of 1 to 10.35) and settled for Burger King chicken strips and bottled water for sustenance. Bleh. The connecting flight from Mexico City to Oaxaca only took 40 minutes, and there I did manage to nap. Actually, I got to stretch out across my row of three seats, 'cause the flight was only maybe 10-20% full.

Oaxaca's airport is quite small, like SLO's. There are mountains all around the city (surprise surprise, what with it being in the Oaxaca Valley); I should have taken a picture, but my camera was still packed away at the time. Silvia's grown son picked me up at the airport. He drives an old 19-something-1 :P VW Bug that kept stalling while we were driving to his parents' home.

Door of Silvia's House

The street-front stores and all the buildings look pretty run-down, maintenance-wise, but I don't get scary vibes like I do in, say, Bezerkly. Silvia says that it's actually safe to walk around the city late (like 11 or 12, she said), even alone, and that she lets her younger daughter do so without incident. That makes me feel better — I walked the half a block from her house to this internet cafe by myself — but I think I'd still much prefer to make friends with the 30-something Australian student and pal around with her after dark. (Yes, Mom, I'm thinking of you and your concerns. ;) )

Supposedly there's a casa de teléfonos half a block around the corner where I can call to the States. May try that until I figure out how to dial from my cellphone — 'course, I may continue using the "phone-house" after that, since Cingular wants to charge me like $1 or $2 a minute to call the States. (Could someone up there find out if those rates apply to calling other Cingular customers?)

This internet cafe's computers have USB... I really need to try to get my camera photos uploaded. Would be much better than having to do it in bulk when I get home.

Anyhow, I'm really really tired. Gonna call people, then have myself a real Mexican siesta. :)


Aaron *@ said...

Didn't spend too much time looking into it, but cingular's web site doesn't seem to differentiate between calling other mobile phones and calling a landline. Of course, someone else might find something different.

Forrest said...

I seriously doubt that Cingular lets you apply your "M2M" minutes to international calls. Look into getting a SIM; we should be able to get you an unlock code from here.

Shelley: the Dread Pirate Rodgers said...

I'm so glad you made it safely. Mom's tend to worry about things like that. I would have called Forrest to make sure that you had at least gotten to LAX but I couldn't find his cell phone number. (I know you gave it to me .. it's here someplace.)

Have fun! :-)

Forrest said...

Oh yeah was it cold at Lake Cachuma... there was frost everywhere when I drove back...