Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mi Ultima Noche

A sense of nostalgia and sadness and saudade blind-sided me my final week in Mexico. When I left DC, I felt nothing of the sort. Perhaps because I had years to prepare. But as much as I wanted to leave Mexico, in fact, I wasn't fully aware of how attached to it I had become. Of course it was more being attached to friends, the people and what for me turned out to be a formative experience.

My final week, I contemplated all that had happened; leaving DC behind, dealing with the perennial drama of my house and tenants culminating in its sale during the peak month of the real estate boom. Learning Spanish, Portuguese and developing friendships here and all around the world. Finding friendships with people and places so different than anything I had every known. Finding music, culture and art I had not known before. Thinking about how the world had changed me. How I had become friends with people like Claudia, Peter and more recently Brizia. How I would miss these people and how special and unique my time in Mexico was and how unlike it will be from any of time in my life. I was saddest that I would not be able to have my near-daily cafes and conversations with Claudia.

I packed my stuff. I took Domino and Yuki on a well-behaved trip to the vets to get their pussycat-passports. The cab driver took a liking to them and strangely, ended up being one of the two drivers (yes, I had that much stuff) to take us to the airport early Sunday morning.

Even though the cats usually freak out in the car or at the airport, this, the second time, it didn't seem so bad as the first. In fact, everything work, like clock-work, even though I was expecting the worst based on previous experience. Much of what is hard the first time becomes easy the second time and easier still subsequently. I need to remind myself that next time I embark on doing something entirely new and different for two years of my life.

The last day at work, Friday, the office took me to eat at my favorite Japanese restaurant (I know, not a very Mexican despedida). It was nice that everyone showed up to say goodbye and maybe have a free meal.

At night I went to eat at my favorite restaurant, Rojo Bistro, in the Condesa with friends Claudia, Stefan and Brizia. Later we went to my house and Alex and Peter joined us while we kept the neighborhood up on my roof downing bottle after bottle of tequila. I felt a sense of liberation and felt entirely un-selfconscience about our drunken antics. I finally fell asleep mid-party but that was around 5am.

The next day was a cloud until my actual, formal, despedida Saturday night. Many of the folks from the office showed out in addition to some of my friends from Startbucks (where I was well known in my time!) and the crew from the previous night. It was nice to see so many people come to say goodbye. After the previous night, I was on a strictly tonic water and orange juice drink regimen.

I felt badly, but it was nearly 3am and people were showing no signs of leaving so I politely said goodbye to everyone. I had a plane to catch. Peter and I went back to my place, crashed for an hour and cabbed to the Mexico City airport. We checked in all 11 pieces of luggage and a staggering $500 in excess baggage fees. Domino and Yuki came with us onboard and were super-well behaved for their 4.5 hour direct flight to San Fran. No glitches. No nada.

Arriving in San Francisco, I rented an SUV to drive the all the stuff to my new and empty apartment. Since then, it's been like one big shopping spree. After departing with the majority of my worldly possessions when I sold my house a year earlier, I bought a new bed, sheets, silverware, flatware, pots, pans, a sofa, a coffee table and even a new cyclo-cross bike.

1 comment:

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