When I arrive at Guadalajara’s airport at 6:00 a.m., I am dismayed to see thousands of other travelers scurrying to get home too. For some reason, I expected that Sunday would be the heaviest travel day.
I have less than an hour before my plane departs for Tijuana, and the queue at the check-in desk is long. But the airline personnel are efficient, and it takes me less than 10 minutes to reach the desk, show my passport, check my luggage and receive my boarding pass.
The worst is yet to come. The serpentine line leading to security is crowded with hundreds and hundreds of travelers, some of them only barely awake. We weave around and around the crowd-control barriers at a snail’s pace. I can’t imagine that we’ll ever get through security at this rate.
The room is unventilated and rapidly heating up with hundreds of bodies. I fan myself with my boarding pass. “It’s pretty hot in here,” says the young man ahead of me, who turns out to be from Los Angeles.
We chat as we inch along. When we finally reach security, and place our belongings in plastic bins to be X-rayed, I notice that the young Angeleno, has removed his shoes and put them in a bin.
“You’re too American,” I say with a laugh. “You don’t have to take off your shoes in Mexico.”
After security, it’s a long hike to the departure gate. The boarding process has already begun, but I’m able to stow my backpack, claim my seat, and dream on the three-hour flight of my next trip to poetic Mexico.
December’s last day—
drinking tea with an old friend
as we watch the clock
Text and photo © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved