Monday, February 26, 2018

Comiendo My Way Through Mexico

Once upon a time, my boyfriend and I returned home from Honolulu and watched an episode of The Best Thing I’ve Ever Ate where they showed these amazing little choux pastries from a bakery called Beard Papa. The only one in the US at the time was in Waikiki, and it was right down the street from the hotel we stayed in. I was big mad that I had missed out on those little sweet balls of perfection. Later that summer they opened a location in Manhattan and while we were on his annual family trip to New York, I was determined to get some. I begged my boyfriend to rent bikes with me in Central Park for the day and he thought we were going to take a leisurely bike ride.


You ever see Robin Thicke's first music video, before he cut his hair, started doing white lines and cheating on his wife? Before fame changed him? That was us. Riding 45 blocks, Robin Thicke style though rush hour traffic in the sweltering August heat to get puff pastries. Cocaine Sugar is a hell of a drug.

Almost missing out on the perfect pastry is what made me start planning more detailed itineraries before venturing on international trips. But true to form, I didn’t even book a place to stay until I touched down in Mexico City. Luckily I picked a hostel with people that were:

1. Not killers
2. Well traveled 
3. Had already planned itineraries and didn’t mind if I tagged along with them

Also, it was the only hostel that had rooms available.

Day 1 – Mexico City

That morning I came out the bathroom after brushing my teeth to find Huey sitting on one of the plush velvet couches in the common area.

I’m so hungry.” He looked at me with a Save-the-children-for-a-dollar-a-day-face. “Want to get breakfast?”

I checked my phone and James hadn’t texted me to go to the ATM yet, so I agreed.

I’ve studied Spanish since middle school, and even minored in Spanish Language and Literature in college, so I wasn’t too worried about communicating in Mexico. I’m not fluent by any means, but I can understand most of what is said to me if people speak slowly and I can reply in Spanglish in most cases. It was at breakfast where I found out that Huey, despite living in Texas, aka Northern Mexico, was not as gifted with the Spanish language.

We saw a bunch of people dressed in business clothes, probably on their way to work, going into a small eatery, so we decided to follow them. Locals will almost always lead you to good food. Huey looked at the menu on the wall and mulled over what he was going to order. The line was growing exponentially behind us and people were becoming impatient. As I was scrolling through Instagram Huey tapped me on the shoulder and asked,

How do you say, ‘I want the same?”

Just say, lo mismo.”

I looked up from my phone and placed my order, three carne en adobo tacos and an orange fizzy drink, when I noticed the lady behind the counter loading a bunch of tortillas onto a cafeteria tray covered with wax paper.

Did you mean to get that much food?”

I told the lady to give me what the man in front of us got. How much food did I order?"

I looked over Huey’s shoulder. “I’m pretty sure that man ordered tacos for his entire family. I think he ordered like 19 tacos,” I laughed.

Muchos Tacos
After we ate the 22 glorious tacos, with a side of bright green salsa and guacomole that was made right in front of our eyes, we headed back to the hostel.

When we got there, James was waiting out front and introduced us to Jimmy and Benji from Australia. The five of us headed to La Lagunilla, a famous flea market in the area. The market is massive and has sections that sell clothing, furniture and food.

Jimmy & I drinking Jugo
James picked up some multi-colored papel picado. He explained how the generations of men in his family come together to make tamales once a year, and he was going to take these home to Denver to decorate for the occasion. He haggled with some Mexican ladies over spices and Jimmy and I ordered some freshly squeezed orange juice from a stand before we sat down to a lunch of grilled chicken huaraches.

The vendors make everything in front of you, kind of like they do at hibachi style Japanese restaurants in the United States.  Everyone is busy buying their daily groceries and house wares, and in the middle of the chaos you sit down and get to know each other over sizzling hot food, with the aroma of adobo circling around you. Despite the fast pace of the flea market, it felt like we were eating a family dinner at our own little oasis. 

After lunch we took a subway train to the trajineras. Trajineras are like the Mexican equivalent of gondolas in Venice, Italy but with some exciting differences. First you pick your boat and tell them how long you want to be on the river. We decided on a 2 hour trip.  Next you cruise the canals and people watch while a Mariachi band serenades your family and friends. There are even concession trajineras, were you can order authentic Mexican dishes and drinks right from their boat to yours. 

It’s a great way to get to know each other too. Our crew of 5 international strangers became better acquainted. We shared tales of the greatest places we had traveled.

I heard of this town close to Mexico City that has a big Day of the Dead festival and the entire town participates,” James said excitedly. “They have a parade and everyone dresses up and goes to mass at the church. They decorate the graves of their ancestors in the church graveyard and they make special food for everyone to try.”

Seeing the light in James eyes as he described the town’s traditions made me want to take the journey with him.

I’ll go wherever you go. I mean, *cough cough* Sounds cool. I’m down.

Huey looked at me like…

Maybe I’ll get my face painted too,” I added nonchalantly.

After the trajineras, James took us to a bar that served alcoholic drinks made with marigolds, the traditional flower used to decorate alters and graves during Dia de los Muertos. We were sitting on the side of the road after getting our flower drinks, and we heard a large pop, like a car backfiring, followed by a bunch of yelling.

Apparently a car had stopped working and was stuck in the middle of the road. James jogged over to the light blue punch buggy, spoke to the driver in Spanish and then started pushing the car from behind to help the driver get out of the street. As I watched James be so altruistic my ovaries swelled. The Australians went over to help too. Huey, who had just ordered a snack from a street vendor, stood up and watched them push the car for a bit before sitting back down. I’m pretty sure I saw the exact moment he changed his mind about helping. He looked over at me, rolled his eyes and took a bite of his food.

When we got back to our hostel. James, Huey and the Australians went out to a local club. I decided to spend the night in because I was physically exhausted from catching trains and being out in the sun all day. Plus I was mentally exhausted from remembering how to conjugate verbs in Spanish.

I sat on the velvet couches while listening to the same 50 songs I’ve had on my phone for the last 3 years and ended up making friends with a wonderful black woman from Michigan. Two black people in 2 days! Lori invited me to go to the pyramids with her the next day.

Day 2 - Teotihuacan

The next morning, I invited James to accompany Lori and I to the pyramids but he had already made other plans. He promised to message me when he was finished exploring so we could do something that evening.

Have you seen Huey? Maybe he wants to come with us?”

Huey woke up early and went to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum. I think he’s meeting up with a girl we met last night too."

Ok Huey. I see you!

Lori had just finished serving in the Peace Corps and had a few days of vacation before she returned back to Michigan to finish her doctoral degree. Lucky for me, she was fluent in Spanish and I didn’t have to mentally exhaust myself over verb tenses for the day. I ordered an uber and in perfect Spanish, she gave exact directions to the driver. The uber was only about $14 for a 45 minute ride to the pyramids. We walked around the historical site in the hot sun and climbed what felt like 11 million stairs to the top of the biggest pyramid.

Okay we tried to climb it and failed. We made it half way and then climbed a smaller pyramid and took pics for Instagram. We haggled with vendors on the grounds and I bought a woven blanket and some silver bracelets for my little cousin back home. Then we bought some paletas from an ice cream cart and took a coach bus back to Mexico City.

I’m going to meet some Peace Corps friends for dinner. What are you doing later?”

First thing first, I’m going to take a nap. But after that I’ll probably meet up with James. Maybe we’ll grab dinner?”

He’s really cute. You like him don’t you?” Lori smiled at me like you smile at your friend when you know they have a crush on someone.

I thought about it for a second. “It honestly didn’t cross my mind until you said something just now. Thanks a lot Lori,” I frowned. “Now I’ll probably have a crush on him and daydream about what our children are going to look like.”

Sorry not sorry. At least they’ll be cute bilingual bebes.”



Xiochimilco…it’s the name of the train stop we got off at, to get on the trajineras. We’ll name our first daughter that. And our son will be James the 3rd."

Lori laughed and shook her head. “Be safe tonight, but have fun.”

We hugged goodbye.

I plugged in my phone next to my bed and texted James. He quickly replied with the address to a café near Zocalo Square.

I have a portable charger. Just bring your phone cord and you can charge your phone here with me.”

Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome to millennial romance.

I’m not a coffee drinker so I didn’t know what to get. James ordered an affogato (a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it) for me and we shared his scone. We talked about our families and what we did for a living. James managed of one of the busiest bars in Denver, Terminal Bar at Union Station.

The next time I come to Denver, I’ll stop by your bar.”

You’ll have a place to stay too. You’re always welcome. Speaking of places to stay, I’m checking out of the hostel tonight because they don’t have any beds left. Are you staying there your entire time in Mexico?”

I actually need to book my last 2 nights,” I remembered.

Well come and stay with me at my new hostel. It's not far from here, has free breakfast, and it got really great reviews on Trip Advisor."

Chris Brown’s Kiss Kiss started playing in my head...

He want that lovie-dovey. 
That kiss kiss, kiss kiss. 
In his mind, he fantisize 
‘bout getting with meeeeeee.” 

He asked me to change hostels for him. Maybe Lori was on to something.

"I’ll walk you back to the hostel," James offered.

In the courtyard next to the café there was a band playing hip hop with live instruments and a teenager breakdancing to the music. A huge group of people crowded around him, cheering and clapping as he danced. James, who is maybe 6’2 stood behind me, in a protective manner as we watched with the rest of the crowd. Standing there, so close together, I felt, happy and slightly light headed. Maybe I had a crush on James after all. Of course it could have been the caffeine and sugar from the affogato too. I’m not a coffee drinker.

After the crowd started to thin out, we continued to the hostel. A guy that apparently knew James noticed us and sprinted over. Because of his height and glasses, he sort of reminded me of Harry Potter.

Hey are you guys hungry? I was just about to go find something to eat.”

The way to my heart is food and one of the sweetest things a guy has ever said to me is, ‘Are you hungry?'

"Nice to meet you,” I introduced myself.  

Nice to meet you, TK. I’m Aaron."

James had seen a taco bar on Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations that was close to our hostel so we looked up the address on Google and headed in that direction. As we were walking, Aaron asked what we had planned for tomorrow.

Aren’t you going out with that girl we met last night?” He asked James.

Yea we have plans to attend a special dinner. Its at a top rated restaurant that I’ve read about.”

She was hot. Is she single?”

I don’t know. I didn’t ask her.”

I felt a little less light headed after Aaron mentioned James’ date with the mystery woman. Or maybe the caffeine and sugar were starting to wear off.

The taco bar was literally a hole in the wall with lights hanging from the ceiling and big silver pots of marinated meat bubbling in front of us. It smelled heavenly. We couldn’t translate all the menu items so we tried using the Google translate app where you hold up the camera on your phone to foreign words, and it translates them into English.

I highlighted a word. "Nah fam, this can't be right. I think my app is broken."

Aaron used his phone to scan the word. "It says brains."

Fresh BRAIN TACO?! Yea I’m good on that.”

James cracked a sideways smile. “How about we make a deal? I try it first, and then you try it too.”

It was hard to say no to this man. He was so adorable.

Aaron interjected, “Maybe if they fry the brain, it won’t be so bad.”

And so that night, I was like Nicki Minaj on the track MonsterEating brains, except without the gold teeth and fangs. I guess that would make James, Jay Z and Aaron would be Kanye West. 

Truthfully, it wasn’t bad. In addition to the brains, we tried cheek tacos and tongue tacos too. Everything was chopped up and seasoned so well that you couldn’t even tell that it was body parts you weren’t used to eating. I decided that I could survive the zombie apocalypse as long as I had a good stash of seasonings.

It was almost 1AM so we finished our inexpensive but satisfying meal and headed back to the hostel for the night. James caught a taxi to his new hostel and we made plans to meet up early the next morning and take a day trip to the town of Puebla together. It was only day 2 of my trip and I was becoming an experienced itinerary crasher.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Made In Mexico

Apparently my friend’s fiancé thinks I’m a ho.

I once found a really great flight deal to Rio de Janeiro and asked a friend if she wanted to join me. She took a few days to respond and then told me she couldn’t make it. A few months later she confessed that her fiancé didn’t want her to go. He was worried that if we traveled together, I would convince her to sleep with random men.

Now there’s no denying that Rio is full of good-looking guys with cute accents and tight soccer bodies. And yes, some of them are just waiting to catch you when you trip on your beach sarong and impregnate you on the sands of Copacabana as a live samba band plays in the background. But this is why stereotypes can be dangerous: Plenty of them don’t even play soccer.

Honestly, I was truly shocked that her fiancé would think I’d get her into trouble and racked my brain to figure out why. I urge my friends to take solo trips and at the very least to eat their steaks medium, but I have never encouraged them to cheat. If I could get people to have affairs, that weren't already planning on doing so, I'd have a lot more money in the bank than I currently do. Coercing someone into having an affair against their will has got to be a marketable service to opponents of people running for public office or those who have signed air tight prenupts.

The most deviant thing I’ve done lately is eat in bed, and it wasn’t even off of someone’s naked body

I’ve been on vacations, I’ve been on work-cations, but I have never gone on a trip with the sole purpose of hocationing. Of course between you and I, I would definitely do some deviant things to Jason Momoa if he politely requested me to. If he dressed as Khal Drogo in a loin cloth, with body paint smeared across his chest, he wouldn’t even have to ask. However, to the dismay of dudes who occasionally slide into my Instagram DMs, I am in fact, not a ho. Or at least not as much of a ho as they’d like me to be, since being a ho is subjective. As Kendrick Lamar so eloquently stated, “There’s levels to this”. 

How Kahl Drogo convinces me to do just about anything 
Looking back, I do remember telling my engaged friends about one crazy drunk night I had after the Chicago Auto Show. I suppose after telling that story, I became somewhat of a travel liability. But wild boozy nights are not really my thing. Besides, after JC stopped talking to me, I told myself I wouldn’t date anyone for a while. Mexico City had other plans for me though.

When I arrived at the airport, I was so excited to be in Mexico that I almost didn’t feel tired after traveling for 12 hours. I was still floating on a cloud from my sweet goodbye with Hot Passenger and slightly buzzed from our shots of tequila. When I got into my Uber and headed towards the hostel, I gulped in my surroundings like a large glass of water. From a stoplight I watched an older man closing down his elote cart for the evening and I started to anticipate all the amazing food I was going to try over the next 4 days.

We drove past Zocalo Square and it was nearly dead except for dozens of candlelit trajineras and a few party goers on their way home from clubs. Windows of weathered stone buildings were darkened, the cobble stone streets were littered with confetti and papel picado zigzagged from light post to light post.

It was the first night of Dia de los Muertos. 

Papel Picado, paper banners hanging
from building to building

Trajineras are like party/eating boats that hold a lot of people.
Most of the restaurants in the Zocalo district were closed for the night but there was a pizza place near the hostel with a convenient store attached. In my rusty Spanish, I ordered a cheese pizza and then walked around the convenience store while I waited for it to be ready. In the snack aisle next to the Takis and pulparindo, I met some guys with their faces painted like sugar skulls.

Wow your makeup is so amazing. Where did you get it done?

The guy with red and white paint around his eyes told me, “You can get your face painted almost everywhere since it’s the start of the holiday.” He sounded like he was from France.

”, his tall friend added, “A woman in the hostel lobby was charging only 200 pesos. I think that’s about 10 American dollars. You’re American right? You sound American.”

Whenever I travel to a new country, most people don’t guess that I’m from the US right away. Many assume that I’m a dark skinned Afro-Latina from anywhere in between Panama and Brazil. Once, some nuns in Rome even asked me if I was from Sri Lanka. To their defense, I had a fresh Dominican blow out that made my silky hair blow in the wind like Beyonce with a fan pointed in her direction. When people from other countries think of (North) Americans, they think of white people. They don’t think of Black women with natural hair and American accents. They don’t think of me.

I am from the United States,” I smiled. “Is it okay if I take your photo?”

As long as you take one with us!”

The nice gentleman I met at the c-store that night 
You are staying at our hostel, no? We saw your afro in the lobby when you came in.” He patted the air around his hair with his hands.

Black people subconsciously do this thing where we count the number of other black people we see when we’re out in public. We’re even more likely to do this if we’re in a foreign place, or a place where we’re sure there aren’t going to be a lot of us to begin with. I hadn’t seen any other black people that night and I guess they hadn’t either.

We took our food back to the hostel and the face painted gentlemen shared their Tecate with me. They introduced me to some beautiful French women who were language teachers, a fashionable Japanese girl named Sariko and a quiet Vietnamese American guy named Huey. After the Tecate had run through me, I went to the bathroom and when I came back, there was a Black guy sitting on the couch next to Sariko.

So there are two of us in this town now I thought to myself.

He looked stressed out.

Are you ok? Do you want a slice of pizza?

When did I turn into my mother?

He closed his eyes and let out a long sigh.

Thanks but I can’t think about food right now. I have $20 on me, my debit card doesn’t work here and I lost my credit card.” He put his cell phone on the coffee table separating us. “I’m James.”

I felt James’ pain. I have lost debit cards in approximately 65% of the countries I’ve visited. A slightly higher percentage of my shoes have been lost in foreign countries as well.

Dang that sucks. The same thing happened to me when I went to Brazil last year. If you have Venmo or Paypal, you can just wire me cash and I’ll take it out of the ATM for you.”

"Seriously? It wouldn't be a hassle?"

"Not at all. I don’t have foreign ATM fees. I'd be happy to do it."

"Thank you."

James looked so relieved that it made my heart melt a little. 

I have to admit, it felt really good to help out a fellow traveler. I have lost my debit card in Budapest, misplaced my shoes at a temple in Bangkok and had my journal stolen in Singapore. I know what it's like to be across the world and lose something valuable. But thanks to some kind people, I also know what its like to have perfect strangers help me out of a sticky situation. 

James and I traded phone numbers and made plans to go to the ATM first thing in the morning. Our little group of world travelers spent the rest of the night, lounging on comfy suede couches, looking at each other's passport stamps, and sharing things we wanted to see in the city.

Mexican Beer, Snacks & Passport Stamps

"Do you speak Spanish?" I asked James

"Yea, even though my parents are Mexican, I taught myself Spanish by moving to Chilé for a while."

"Oh, I thought you were Black."

And then there was one

"I get that alot."

The common area of the hostel
One by one people said their buenas noches and started to go to bed. It was nearly 2 in the morning when just James, Huey and I were left sitting in the common room.

I’m exhausted from traveling guys. I’m going to bed.”

You sure you don’t want to go get a drink?” James suggested. “Now that I’ve got my money situation figured out I could definitely eat too.”

Huey put his hand on his stomach. “I’m always down to eat.”

I’m still full from pizza, but you guys go on with out me. I’ll see you in the morning.”

For the next 4 days we were nearly inseparable 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ghost of Christmas Past

The best kiss I’ve ever had was in the empty parking lot of a Japanese restaurant. I was back home in Charlotte for Christmas and this was the third night in a row I had met up with JC, an old acquaintance from high school. You may remember JC from my post “Welcome to My African American Home.

The first night we met up I was nervous. Not because I had a crush on JC, but because I thought we wouldn’t have anything to talk about. Of course this fear was ridiculous because

1. Who is a social butterfly?

2. We had also been texting and occasionally talking on the phone for hours at a time over the past 2 years.

That night was unseasonably warm for December, even in North Carolina. It was so warm that I was able to wear a short black dress with knee high boots and no stockings. After dinner, I sat in my car with the driver’s side door open, bare legs facing JC in the parking lot. We talked a little more about nothing in particular, like people do when they don’t want the night to end. Suddenly the floodlight illuminating the parking lot went out and surrounded us in darkness.

I guess that’s our cue to go home,” JC said, opening his arms, inviting a hug.

I scooted to the edge of the leather seat, adjusting my dress so I didn’t show off my goodies. Goodies meaning granny panties, which I am not ashamed to say I wear. They are comfortable, affordable and last longer than the overpriced lace held together by post-it note glue that’s for sale at Victoria’s Secret.

JC moved towards me and enveloped me in a huge bear hug. I immediately thought to myself, When I back away from this hug, I’m going to kiss him on the cheek.

But he beat me to it.

Right before we pulled apart, JC turned his head toward mine and softly kissed me. He stopped and lingered at my lips for a moment, literally causing me to lose my breath.

I hope that wasn’t inappropriate,” he apologized. “I don’t know when I’ll see you again.”

My flight back to Chicago was in the morning.

It wasn’t inappropriate,” I said lowering my gaze to the asphalt beneath his wheelchair.

And sorry if it was bad, I’m also out of practice.” He laughed nervously.

His hand rested on the metal rim of his chair, and I noticed the moonlight shining off of it. Without making eye contact I said, “You could kiss me again. You know, for practice.

At this moment, JC slowly reached out his hand and cupped my chin. He brought my face up to his, leaned in and parted my lips with his own. I think this is what old people mean when they say, “I felt my love come down.

I promise ya’ll it was like I had bit into a York peppermint pattie and was instantly transported into a shampoo commercial.  As he kissed me, a light breeze wafted the scent of Herbal Essences in a cloud around us. In my head I started yelling “YES, YES YES!
It was soooooo nice to be kissed. And even more so by someone I actually liked. Who also happened to smell like reasonably priced hair conditioner!
Thanks Santa!

I was so excited that of course I told all my friends about it.

But 8 Months later, in a different parking lot from where we shared our first kiss, I sat alone in my car. My tears splashed onto my Texas toast, making it a soggy mess, while I chanted positive affirmations to myself.

“If he liked it, then he would of put a ring on it.
Don’t be mad. Hopefully, you can grow from it.
You’re a single lady. You’re a single lady." 

To this day, I can no longer eat at the Zaxby’s on Highway 74 because that’s where I went after my heart was broken. The memory is too much for me to even use the bathroom there. That night I held back my tears long enough to order a #5 with Zax sauce at the drive-thru window and then I parked in the back of the restaurant to eat my woes.

I’d like to say I ended up at Zaxby’s because chicken fingers give me clarity, but it was mostly because I was crying so hard that my eyes started stinging and I couldn’t see the road clearly. I also didn’t want to die in a fiery car crash on the same day our friendship forever changed. To add insult to injury, JC told me he would no longer be my plus one at my best friend’s wedding that same weekend.

That was the last night JC and I spoke to each other. He stopped answering my phone calls and he stopped replying to my text messages. After years of friendship and months of dating, typical of an Aquarius, he ghosted me.

Speaking of ghosts, earlier in the relationship, JC and I had planned a trip to México City to experience  Día de Muertos. The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is when families and friends come together to remember their loved ones who have passed. There are elaborate parades and church services, tombs are decorated with colorful flowers and special foods. Ofrendas or alters are arranged with offerings and photos of ancestors.

I was so excited to see it first hand, but I was extremely anxious about the outbound flight to México too. I hadn’t heard anything from JC since the night I was left crying outside of his hockey practice, 3 months prior. When I got to the airport I didn’t see him. He wasn’t at the gate and he wasn’t on the plane.

I didn't know how to feel about him not being there. Should I be mad or should I be relieved? Part of me hoped for reconciliation. To sit next to each other on the plane and talk about any and everything like we used to do as friends. Maybe even get caught up in that Herbal Essences cloud again, heavily kissing under our jackets and banned from flying Delta Airlines after a viral Twitter scandal. 

But even with slight sadness about my travel partner/ex boyfriend abandoning me, my trip to México started off on a high note when I got bumped to first class.

After I settled into my seat, the flight attendant brought me a mimosa and asked if I thought the passenger sitting across the aisle from me was cute.

Good evening, I’m Vonda. I picked you two to come to first class to balance out the plane.” Then Vonda lowered her voice, leaned down and whispered to me, “I also thought you two would make beautiful babies.”

I almost choked on my mimosa
I didn’t see a wedding ring on his finger honey. You should talk to him.” She raised her eyebrows at me before walking away.

To a different person, Vonda’s words may have been seen as unprofessional or too forward, but to me, they were right up my alley. In fact, fowardness was one of the things that made me like JC. On our first date, he said I could have his children.

Sometimes you miss out on what’s in front of you because you’re too busy thinking about what’s behind you. So after Vonda went to service another passenger, I made a big show of taking off my jacket so that I could check out my first class neighbor without being too obvious. I peaked over and saw his face. I can not believe I didn’t notice this guy sooner.

Hot Passenger (as he will now be called) looked like what happens when God takes his time to expertly craft an individual instead of just throwing together a torso and random body parts like most of the men I normally see walking around. 

When Vonda came back with our meals, she stood in the middle of the aisle, between our seats and struck up a conversation with the both of us.

How old are you two and what do you both do for a living? Are you traveling for work or traveling for vacation?

I don’t know if she had a bet with the other flight attendants but she was trying really hard to make a love connection.

At one point she brought us complimentary shots of tequila, because Ayyyyyeee, Viva México! Not gonna lie, I’m kinda surprised she didn’t give me a lime and some salt to lick off of Hot Passenger’s expertly crafted torso.
I'm almost positive that if I had asked Vonda if Hot Passenger and I could join the mile high club, that she would have found a way to arrange it.

When we landed at Benito Juarez International Airport and deplaned, Hot Passenger grinned at me and helped me with my carry on luggage.

I’m going to visit family in Monterrey for a few days. How long are you in México City?” he asked,  handing me my bag.

 I couldn’t help but notice the visible veins on his muscular forearms. They were like a road map to mi corazón.

4 nights and 3 days,” I said while trying not to get lost like Nemo in his dark brown eyes.

He looked up at the flight connections board. “My connecting flight is boarding. Ay dios mío, I have to go.

Oh. Ok. It was nice meeting you.

Hot Passenger grabbed my hand and kissed it. Then he flipped it over and pressed his business card into my palm in one seamless move.

Damn they suave like that out here? Orale? I better be careful before I end up pregnant in some Mexican man’s kitchen, hand-pressing tortillas with his mom and sisters.  

Nos vemos, que te vaya bien morencita!” he yelled as he ran towards his gate.

I waved goodbye and stuffed his business card into my back pocket. Dragging my bags behind me, I stepped outside into the humid night air and ordered an uber to my Hostel.

This was going to be a fun trip.