It’s 4:30 in the morning and I’ve just landed at the Mexico City Airport. I’ve come from Los Angeles for the occasion of Alejandro’s Bar Mitzvah. Alejandro is my cousin’s son.
I pick up my luggage and agree with the cab driver on the fare for taking me to my Mother-in-law’s apartment in Polanco, a beautiful old residential and commercial neighborhood in the city.
We head out into the chilly, still dark Mexico morning. I peer out the window at the dimly lit streets, and detect inside of me a certain primal nostalgia. Happiness and sadness wash over me, there is so much history here…my history.
At. 5:30 we pull up to my mother-in-law’s building, there’s a garbage truck parked across the street from us. Four young guys on the truck are sorting and separating the recyclables from the trash. I get out of the cab, the driver takes the luggage out and brings it to the door. The doorman sleeps through my ringing and knocking, I ask the driver not to leave until I get in.
Finally, I’m inside, my mother-in-law and I hug tightly for a long time, one of those hugs that speaks what words can’t. I change, get into bed and go to sleep for hours.
I wake up, I’m in Mexico! I go into the cozy and familiar kitchen where I’ve always been safe from the world; we plan our day. My brother-in-law Kive, and his wife Malka are with us, we go into the Polanco commercial district; they want to do a little shopping, all I want is to find a warm tortilla.
While they stop at the candy/nuts/dried fruits store, my mother-in-law, and I cross the street to the Tortilleria, a store where they churn out freshly made Tortillas all day long. We ask for a warm tortilla, we roll it up, take a bite and…yep this is it, I’m in Mexico and all is well with the world.