Welcome to Oaxaca

After the rainy landing at the airport, I stand in line with every one else to turn in my papers and have my passport stamped, which doesn’t really take vary long.

I collect my luggage and manage to move it to the conveyor belt, where they scan it. I pull it all back off the conveyor belt (yes, all hundred and fifty pounds) and an official comes over and helps me with the last one. Then ~ I have to push a button.

If it’s green, I’ll get to go on right away.

If it’s red, they’ll have to go through my luggage.

Drum roll ~~~~  what will it be, what will it be?

It’s GREEN! Yay!

In the meantime ~~ when I made the reservations for my hotel, I also made arrangements for a shuttle to the hotel. We didn’t know what the plan to get me to Juquila would be exactly. We knew that Conan and his friend Luis would pick me up, but it was all kind of vague in terms of timing. So I reserved the shuttle.

The day before my flight, Julia let me know that Conan and Luis would meet me at the airport. But it was too late to get my money back for the shuttle, so I didn’t cancel it. I figured that way, if something happened and Conan and Luis couldn’t make it, the shuttle would be my back up plan.

So when I get off the plane, and make my way through customs, Conan and Luis are waiting for me ~ and I’m glad to see them.

The man from the shuttle is waiting too. He’s not so happy. I’m his only reservation tonight, and Conan has already told him that I’m going with them. I’m not sure why he cares, since I’ve already paid, but I figure maybe HE only gets paid if he delivers.

Conan suggests that we send the luggage with the shuttle.  I’m fine with that, the driver seems ok with it, and it saves us from having to load the bags. So we set off, me in Luis’ SUV, my luggage in the van with the not-so-happy driver.

It’s not real far to the hotel, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, and the driver arrives just about the same time. He unloads the luggage. As he’s doing it, I have a quick consult with Conan about tipping.

Fifty pesos is the smallest bill I have, so even though we agree that might be excessive, I give it to him.

He takes it, looks at it, and his whole face lights up. With great warmth and enthusiasm, he says, “Welcome to Oaxaca!!”

Luis is {perhaps inordinately} amused by this. Later that evening, as we’re having a little bite to eat at the restaurant next door, he repeats the story with delight, acting out the shift from glum-faced driver to happy-happy greeter. I have to laugh too, although I don’t regret the five dollars.

Quick ups and downs of the evening ~ on the upside ~ the hotel was simple outside, beautiful inside, as you can see.

The room was large, clean and the bed comfortable enough.

Downside ~ when Conan and Luis start to go up with me, the desk clerk says, “No. They cannot go up.”

I’m taken aback, not sure what to think. My only thought~ don’t laugh ~ was that he thought I’d picked them up, or they’d picked me up, for some immoral activiity, and he wasn’t having any wild cougar stuff going on in his hotel. Really, that’s what I thought, and I was a bit offended, and maybe embarrassed, but too tired to do anything about it.

Their staff person manages to get all my luggage up to the room, (and wouldn’t take a tip) and I didn’t think too much about it. But Conan and Luis advise me later that it was because they weren’t tourists. I’m still a little confused about it all ~ there were other Mexican people staying there ~ but apparently they think it was a class thing, I’ll take their word for it.

If I’d known that at the time, maybe I’d have reacted differently, but they didn’t tell me that til much later.

In any case, we eat, I fall into bed and sleep like a log.

Next morning, I get up craving coffee, of course. But it’s too early, the restaurant next door doesn’t open til 7. So I take a shower.

A cold shower.

I can’t believe it’s cold.  I’m sure the water just needs to warm up a minute. Or I’m turning the wrong knob.

But no.

There’s no hot water.

By the time I realize, really, there is not going to be any, I am already soaped up, and it’s a little late to go complain. Brrrrrr. NOT my favorite way to start the day.

When I tell them later, they are appropriately appalled and go immediately to fix it. Yeah, whatever. I figure that’s what they do with all the one-nighters. Saves on hot water.

When I tell Conan and Luis about it, Luis just grins. “Welcome to Oaxaca,” he says.

About Fausta

Trauma sensitive Consultant and Coach for Compassionate professionals who experience second hand trauma and are at risk of burnout so they can keep doing the work that matters to them and to the world.

Posted on August 13, 2012, in Mexico travel, Trip to Juquila, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. smiling…oh, cold shower after so much travel…welcome to Oaxaco indeed! Wow… what a difference there is in class and culture…or maybe not. I’d be looked at oddly walking into the four seasons, right? 🙂

    Enjoy your time with your family!



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