Friday, Sept 13, 2013 — Leaving the Americas

It’s a good thing my flight doesn’t leave until tomorrow. I’m sure flying on Friday the 13th would be a bad idea.

Approximately 1 am, I’ll be boarding a flight here in Mexico City, bound for Montreal. I’ll spend roughly 12 hours on the ground there, then fly to Paris, where I’ll be meeting up with a friend of mine for a 3-week whirlwind tour of France, Germany, Belgium, and England. October 4, my friend will return to Kansas, and I will stay in Europe a while longer, and hopefully take some French and/or Portuguese classes.

I’m both excited and nervous about this. It feels like the first time I’ll be venturing into a country where I don’t speak the language. But really, I did the same thing–and in a much scarier way–about 3 years ago, when I moved to Mexico. At the time, I spoke a token amount of Spanish. But the main thing is that now I speak (more or less) fluent Spanish, which paints my memory of early Mexican travel with a rose-colored light.

This last week I have really been enjoying Mexico City. I have a friend here with a nearly-complete apartment she’s not yet using, so I’ve been staying there, and riding my bicycle to area cafes to work. Then every night, around 9-10pm, when she gets off work, we’ve been going to dinner at other various local restaurants.

A favorite was the 50’s themed diner, which served baked potatoes named after Hollywood stars, alcoholic cocktails, the likes of which I had never seen before (I drank one with cucumber, cai seeds and, I think, vodka), and milk shakes.

I also enjoyed a Cuban restaurant, where I got to drink a Cuban beer for the first time (since Cuban-imported products are illegal in the U.S.).

And it probably goes without saying, the food is one thing I’m very eager to experience in Europe, too. I’ve been promised some home-cooked Belgian food by a coworker who lives there. And a good friend from high school will be introducing us to some German places and food. And of course, the cheese and wine in France are high on my list of things to try–if only I can figure out how to pronounce their names!

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