I’m doing my research as usual on my laptop with a mug of coffee on the dining table taking notes and printing pages out. The clock strikes 12pm. I am thinking of going to my favorite Italian restaurant for a breath of the fresh air.
I open the door of the restaurant and enter the busy dining area. I was amazed by the lively atmosphere. It seems to be a different place from what I am familiar with. Then I realize that I have lived in a dull life. I have put up with with my frustration and depression for a long time without feeling my inner strength which I found in the past.
It was 10 years ago when I stayed in a small town in Mexico, Cuernavaca. I landed at the airport of Mexico City around 8:00pm. Public phones around me were all out of order. My final destination was another 2-hour ride on highway. I had to figure out how to find my accommodation from the terminal station by midnight. I did not speak Spanish. A palm-size dictionary was all I had to guide me through my trip.
I was not feared but somehow felt confident though I had a time limit. Being completely alone and free, my inner strength was the only thing I counted on. I checked several times which bus I should ride on and found one with the sign “Cuernavaca.”
As the bus went through the highland area, I saw houses lit in the darkness with the dim skyline behind. I had never seen such bright stars. It was 1500m above sea level.
A little boy, who was seated on the other side of the aisle, passed me a bottle of Coke served by the bus chauffeur and advised me how to use the cup-holder in front of me. He seemed to care about my well-being probably because I looked either nervous ormiserable. I wanted to say something to him but I simply said, “Muchas gracias (Thank you).”
I arrived at the terminal station around 11pm. It was still busy with lots of passengers from different places. Many people were smoking and drinking. I was happy that it was still active hour in the town even late at night.
I found a red Volks Wagen Golf. I spoke to the driver who I thought was the son of the landload. “Buenas noches. Hugo?” He smiled and answered, ”Welcome! We have been waiting for you all day long!” He had been worried about me since I had been traveling alone on unfamiliar grounds. I felt relaxed for the first time since having landed.
The house was in a quiet residential area. The family warmly welcomed me and served some hot Tortilla with fresh mango juice. I finally felt comfortable in the warm bed that night half way around the globe from my home.
It was just a few hours transportation path from the airport to the accommodation. But for me, it was all valuable experience.
My soul has been buried deep in the daily routines. But the memory of Mexico gives me the desire for a new voyage. I unfurl my soul.
“So, where did I put my suitcase?”