I got to the airport in Monterrey at about 11:40. I had been unable to print my e-ticket the night before, probably because I didn't really know what airline I was flying. All I knew was my flight number: MX1549. So I guessed which line to enter, and AeroMexico was the right one. When it was my turn, I was ushered into the Premier passenger area where I had a complimentary margarita and back rub. Just kidding. They gave me a different flight number--AM927. Then I waited for 2 hours until the flight left on time. I had a window seat, but it was over the wing.
They served a pretty good lunch on the plane, but I had to rush to finish it as the plane was already descending by the time I was half-way done.
On the way down I was treated to a spectacular view of Mexico City. It is enormous. As far as you can see (maybe 20 miles, which is pretty good considering the haze) it is pure city, mostly just 2-3 story buildings. I'm sure you've seen pictures before.
At the airport I tried the usual practice of following the crowd to get to the baggage claim. But it thinned out after a while, and I found myself trailing 5 business executives that looked like the probably didn't have luggage. So I asked some shop workers where to go, and they pointed the wrong way (towards immigration, I think). But I didn't know that, and went that way. After a few minutes, I asked a janitor where to go, and he pointed me to immigration. So I went downstairs to immigration, where I admitted to the lady that I was in the wrong place. She finally told me the right place to go--gate 12.
So I went back upstairs, and saw signs for gate 20-26 this way, and 27-33 that way (those aren't the exact numbers, but close). I went in the direction of the lower numbers. After walking about 3/4 of a mile, passing through security, and severely doubting myself, I finally found gate 12, and the baggage claim was down the stairs. It took me a while to find the right conveyor, and by then my two bags and another one of someone else's where the only three left. So off I went to find these people that I wouldn't even recognize.
Fortunately Laura was there and picked out the tall blonde one carrying a sombrero (me). Unfortunately, no one else was there (I had sent Daniella an e-mail on Sunday saying I wouldn't be getting my ticket switched to this Tuesday instead of the next Tuesday, which I figured was reasonable because how could you switch a ticket with such late notice? And then no one except Laura had read my e-mail Monday afternoon saying I would be coming this week. Plus, the flight number I had sent them was wrong.). So we found a phone and she called her sister, who called Javier, who called Laura's cell phone (it could only receive calls, not make them). Laura had taken the subway to the airport, so Javier said he would be there in 40 minutes in his car to pick me up.
Laura and I split a Subway sandwich and talked a little, and then Javier showed up with Amile (age 18), who is the daughter of Laura's sister, Angela. We drove for about 15 minutes, stopped at a little store to get something to drink, and went to their house. I found out that I will be staying in Angela's house, in Amile's former room (she'll be staying in her mom's room). Amile and I talked for a little while in their sitting room, and then Daniela, Stephan (her boyfriend of two years) and Javier (her 13-year-old brother) showed up. After talking for a while more, we went to a taco restaurant. Before we went there, Javier (the dad) cautioned that they shouldn't let me eat the meat that is cooked out on the sidewalk (the "trompo" that I've written about before) because it's not very clean. So of course when we got there they recommended the trompo for me.
When we got back, I went over to Javier's house. They have at least 9 cats, which all live outside. We talked a little bit more, but I guess I was visibly tired, and they gave me some unneeded encouragement to head to bed (at 8:20). My room is on the 3rd floor, and has it's own bathroom and closet (although I have to shower in the room downstairs). There is a lot of noise outside from the busy road, but I suppose I'll get use to sleeping with it.