18 of October
Back home at OCSA, the art institution I attended in Orange County, about thirty minutes away from my house in Long Beach, I went on a field trip with my conservatory to a museum. Conservatories are basically an “aka” for the classes a student takes after their academic day is over. OCSA has over twelve of these conservatory classes one tried out for to get into the school- spanning art forms such as creative writing, three types of dance, opera, musical theatre, culinary arts, and, of course, my conservatory, visual arts. So naturally, my conservatory class took a field trip to an art museum to view the artwork of a Richard Jackson. That day was a memorable one, but in retrospect, it was nothing compared to the field trip I took in Mexico today. As a reward for completing our exam week, all of secundaria, including the absent, nonparticipant Daisy, hightailed it to the beach by my house through the entrance by Mamitas Club. In the hottest part of the day, the cocaine sand reflected the sun like a pewter platter, and the ocean was pure gold. We had a wonderful time adding to the racket the Mamitas people cause with their bare-chested tanning and burly men in speedos who tip their glasses and shout when you walk by. While we walked back to school at 2:30, Juan pestered me with possibilities of hanging out with the boys this weekend. He invited me to the cinema with him and some other guys tonight, but I won’t be able to make it because I’ll be in Cancun in about twenty minutes. Why? After 56 days, we are finally picking up Papa from the airport. With him is the laundry list of goods one can only get from America we just couldn’t do without: a well packaged pile of peanut butter! I’m kidding, that’s not all he has for us, but Papa is bringing peanut butter for us because the organic cans are 110 pesos each! We also asked him to bring clothes we ordered online and sent to our American house because, mis amigos, Nordstrom doesn’t ship to Mexico and besides, it’s stupid to ship things here. You don’t know who works at the post office, but you can bet they’ll sift through any, if not all, expensive goods that pass under their noses. Papa is bringing me a container of seaweed too, and I’m so excited to be able to enjoy a delicacy so fine once more. It might sound repulsive to some, as it used to for me, but I believe seaweed became my comfort food over the summer, and it isn’t available here in Mexico.
Anyways, we are about thirty minutes away from Cancun now, and the car hasn’t broken down yet after all this driving, so that’s a plus! It is actually a good thing to be driving like this on the freeway- it charges up the battery- so if Mum turns off the engine, hopefully we will have enough battery to turn it back on without a jump. But even if the car does break, the adrenaline rush of not knowing whether or not your car is going to suddenly stop in the middle of the freeway is incredible.
Fridays are sushi nights, which we will be purchasing from our favorite place right up the street as soon as we pick Papa up, but Mum still packed a bag with some snacks in it for the kids- they can’t go far without food usually. I saw her slip in the bag one of those travel packets of tissue paper as well- is that a foreshadow for the emotional welcome Papa is undoubtedly going to receive? I’ll update you in a bit.
Later That Night
Although it may not seem a prominent event when I look back on all my blogs, on this night, I finally felt as if I live here. It hit my chest, squarely, as I mouthed the words I’ve been dying to believe in since I arrived in Mexico: I live here. I’ve been attempting to convince my sub conscience for so long that I live in this impossible paradise, and finally my inner battle with my doubts is gone.
We are sitting in the beater van in front of terminal three at the confusing Cancun airport. I remember when I first stepped into the soupy air of the Mexican Caribbean, and I recall a stifling front blow into my face and envelope me in its hospitable arms. Now, as I sit at the airport for the third time, the air conditioning in the beater van feels unnaturally cold, and when I step into the once thick air of Cancun, it feels as if this is the only way the atmosphere has ever been. Mum relied on me to ask where arriving flights get out because we were utterly lost in the Spanish signs and arrows and off-ramps. I guess I let her down, because in the heat of the moment, I forgot how to say “arriving”, so I couldn’t ask for directions. After lots of confusion and bickering for upward of an hour, Papa appeared at the end on the terminal with a dolly filled with baggage. Aidan, Kalin, Delilah, and I jumped out of the car and began to break into a sprint as Papa drew closer. We threw ourselves into his arms and walked back to the car with him, each one of us helping to push the dolly. The rest of the kids loaded up the car while Mum, Papa, and I struggled with jamming the bags into the trunk of the car, and then we were finally off.
“Welcome home!” We all exclaimed jubilantly. It’s now &:30, and we are on the freeway home to Playa, food, and our beds- in that order. Mum and Pop went out to get sushi and pizza while the kids and I stayed home and hung out. When they got back, we filled our bellies with scrumptious- vegan-Asian cuisine and then migrated to the living room to unpack the four bags Papa brought for us from America. It was as if it was an Ocotber Christmas.