This is an impulse trip — or, well, it’s a planned trip for me and an impulse trip for you. I mentioned I was going to Mexico City once, and you said you’d never been, and I kept myself from blurting out, Oh my god, you wanna go?! on the spot, exercising restraint and thinking about it for a day or two before hesitantly bringing it up on your last night in LA.
You immediately looked up flights, and we worked out departure and arrival times, and we’ve spent the last few weeks swapping notes about where to eat and what to do and, well, where to eat.
You land before I do, and you’re waiting outside customs for me, sitting on a stone bench in front of a Carl’s Jr. We find an ATM to get cash, laugh at all the familiar brands in the terminal, things from America we can’t seem to escape — Krispy Kreme, 7-11, Wingstop. There’s even a Maison Kayser, and I want to go over and buy madeleines but don’t — we’re going to go eat churros after dinner tonight.
Traffic is awful, and we learn quickly that being in a car in Mexico City is vastly different from being in a car in the States. For one, it seems like there are no lanes, no rules, cars squeezing their way between other cars wherever they can fit, and, more than once, I swear we’re going to be smashed between two trucks, us in this tiny little car aggressively forcing its way between vehicles three, four times its size.
We make it to our Airbnb safely, though, and our car lets us off on a quiet tree-lined street in La Condesa. Our host is waiting for us, and she explains the keys to us, tells us where the nearest supermarket is, recommends a breakfast spot nearby. We settle in, pee, count out cash, make a communal pot of money.
We go out for tacos.
I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to eat tacos or al pastor in LA ever again.