Mexico Journey - Day 1, September 17

Wow. What a day! It all began at 5:00am this morning, when I met my Uber driver in Cambridge – an absolutely wonderful man from Somalia. We talked about love, and heartache, and how you can never give up hope.  I literally wish that I had recorded this conversation, because it was so deep and so thoughtful that as he was speaking I thought, “this guy should be on NPR.”

Sunset in Akumal on September 17, 2014. Day one of my journey! 

Sunset in Akumal on September 17, 2014. Day one of my journey! 

I can’t even remember how we started on the topic, but somehow we did. I didn’t  ever say, “I am heartbroken” – he just knew. And he told me about his worst heartbreak. A woman he had been madly in love with, together for 3 years, and she left him because he would not marry her quickly enough. He said that after that happened, he didn’t talk to anyone for 4 years. He couldn’t remember what day or hour it was, and it didn’t matter to him. And then one day, as a cab driver in Cairo, he picked up a female professor from the US, working at a University there, and he mentioned to her that he wanted to go to America someday. She managed to get him a visa, and granted his wish of visiting the US. They remained friends for years, and they are now happily married. “She is the BEST, the BEST. She is the most amazing person,” he said of her. This is what he told me: “She is my best friend. I can tell her any secret. Even after the worst day. No matter what, I can come home to her and tell her anything and she will comfort me. That is what you need. A true friend. Someone you can tell anything. Someone who you can tell your secrets - not someone who keeps secrets. Friendship is the key. Sex complicates things. Don’t have sex with men too quickly. Make them wait. If they get what they want right away, they just move on to the next thing. You need a true friend.”

 

“Don’t give up hope,” he said, “The next one will be the one, you know? I feel that way about you. The next one will be the right one for you. But don’t go looking for him, OK? You don’t have to look for him. He will come. Don’t give up hope. I know it is hard. I have been there. Oh, it is so painful. But, I am telling you, I am so happy now. My wife is the BEST.”

 

$28.00 for a ride to the airport and thousands of dollars worth of therapy crammed into one Uber ride conversation. I am telling you, Uber is magic.

 

Then, arriving at Logan, with 3 large luggages, I struggled to the check-in (with no offer of assistance from anyone). Each bag weighed 52 pounds. The Jetblue agent told me that both bags were overweight, and the fee was heavy. I took out one sneaker, some pastels, and a sketchbook and crammed those into my purse. 50.5 on each bag. I gave him a look like, don’t even mess with me on the last half pound buddy.

 

Flash forward to finding my window seat, settling in, and taking a deep exhale. “Ah, I am finally on my way,” I thought calmly. Then, I looked out the window, and on the luggage belt going into the plane was a large gray luggage, wide open, unzipped, with a bra hanging out. “How unfortunate,” I thought to myself. But WAIT. That’s my bra! Hold on! That’s my suitcase!

 

Cue the only time I have ever asked a flight attendant for anything – “could someone please zip my bag, so that I actually have clothes and art supplies when I arrive?”

 

The flight attendant returned, minutes later, and said, “The captain has entered the underbelly of the plane to zip the luggage.” “The Pilot!?,” I thought. To have the Pilot take care of that task seemed a bit drastic to me, but hey, it arrived in Cancun zipped, all undergarments in tack. Thank you JetBlue. Thank you.

 

A couple weird things happened in Orlando, where I was making my connection. The only thing worth mentioning is that I ate a Burger King cheeseburger and a container full of grapes to try to counteract that. It was gross.

 

When I landed in Cancun, every person there offered to help me with my bags – just a tad different than Boston. I told one man who I was looking for, and literally, magically, he found the person I was supposed to get a ride from for me. Thank god I know Spanish, and thank God I had an attitude with him. I thought he was just hitting on me, but he actually really helped me. OK, that is another point for humanity. Before this magic helping man appeared, I was standing next to a mean looking Doberman, and I thought, “ I hope he doesn’t bite.” Literally a few seconds later he furiously bit a cab driver, but he escaped with only bruises and a lot of dog saliva on his shirt and arm.

 

And now, I have arrived safely in Akumal, to my rustically beautiful room. Despite the heat and the mosquitoes, it is amazingly beautiful, as always. My room is literally on the edge of the jungle. Lots of jungle noises right now as I head to sleep. I have been warned of snakes and tarantulas, but have also been told that the bird watching is amazing here. I saw many tejonas this afternoon, which are sort of like jungle raccoons. I hung the tibetan prayer flags that I found in a free box at Harvard, and ate a happy hour pizza and a Jamaica water with another Artist. I was able to watch the sunset and take deep breaths and capture of photo of the beach as the sun was going down (above). I took a cold shower and have a fan blowing in my face, and life feels good. Like my UberGuru said, I can’t give up hope! Look at all of the beauty in the world! If you just head out into it, and just show up, it can really amaze and surprise you. It feels so amazingly freeing to not be at a desk. I know that this time is precious – this 5 weeks of time to do as I please, and I really want to fully be present for it. Not worrying about what is next, what is past. Namaste!