A week short of my one year anniversary in Mexico it was time to go home. I made the decision to take the Winter off from my current job. I wanted a chance to relax and explore other pursuits for a while. I was long overdue a holiday. Too much work, too much driving. I was running back and forward to the Island usually catching the 5.30 “prostitute” ferry to get to work in time. I was exhausted. That is not to say I didn’t have a great year. I got the chance to see some of Mexico’s greatest sights, Chichen Itza, Coba, I had many nights destroying Cancun and spent many days watching the World go by in Puerto Morelos. Throughout the year I met some people I will treasure forever. I was blessed to have a room mate, colleague and best friend all rolled into one. She was my rock, I was her extended closet and I was going to miss her a lot. I was less tanned than when I arrived and I had managed to learn a grand total of about 10 words in Spanish.
A year is the perfect time to stay in one country. In a year you see all the seasons, all the holidays, you get a birthday and a Christmas. A year is just enough. I found myself madly in love with Mexico. The people who are always laughing and partying and have always made me feel more than welcome. I am The Bandita and I am everyone’s cousin. The beautiful weather, the multi-coloured culture. I spend a lot of time feeling lost. That feeling had gone. For the first time in a long while I wasn’t running. I was the happiest I could be. I had found everything I didn’t even know I was looking for. I knew it would be hard to say goodbye. So I didn’t.
I had 24 hours from finishing work to pack up my whole apartment and get to the airport. So I did what I always do, got outrageously drunk and left everything to the last second. On my final afternoon I sat in the courtyard of my apartment for the first time. I settled under the shade of the tree with my book. It was bliss … for about 20 seconds… until a bird shit on me. Seriously? I must have a target on me that only birds can see. I got pooped on a lot this summer. Perhaps that explains why I was feeling so lucky. That evening Myer and I went to visit my boyfriend, Plaza Las Americas, for the last time. After a year of boring beige and pinky-beige gel nails I was buzzing to get a Halloween manicure. Pumpkin orange, with one black and one luminous lime nail. No more dull nails, pulled back hair and uniform. I was already starting to feel like myself again. I was well and truly in the holiday mood. It was then straight onto the ferry for a night to celebrate my freedom on Isla. We danced on the beach and got very merry until very late.
I got back to my apartment in Cancun at about 11am, so hungover I could hardly breathe. I had 2 hours to get to the airport and because I am a genius, I had not yet started to pack. Seven years living overseas and I leave my packing to the last second EVERY SINGLE TIME. I never learn. Despite feeling like I was in a living hell, packing hungover does have its benefits. I pretty much left all my Worldly belongings in a pile on the floor labelled Donate. I shoved everything else into one bag in minutes and spent the rest of the time curled up in a ball, hating the person who invented alcohol and parties. When it was time to go to the airport, I peeled myself off the floor only to find that all the zips on my rucksack had rusted open. Bloody humidity. I had no choice but to transfer all my belongings into a very chic carrier bag. Traveling in style as always.
I had been warned that getting through immigration might be a problem. The officers at the airport were notoriously strict. I was instructed to just agree with everything that was asked of me. I was nervous. I was too hungover to go to Mexican prison. In general I think I could last 2 hours in jail here. With the amount of alcohol I had consumed I would probably give up and die before they had locked the gate. My customs man turned out to be an angel. I sat down, we exchanged pleasantries. Oh… he had conveniently lost the forms he needed to complete. Stamp stamp stamp. Customs done. I was no longer a temporary Mexican resident. He even let me keep my residents cards as a souvenir. Job done. Thank you to that gentleman for his laziness and complete incompetence, what could have been a gruelling process was over in a minute. No tears, no jail, not even a bribe in sight.
I flew from Cancun to Glasgow on the new Dreamliner flight and the journey could not have been better. It was a dream. The new planes live up to the hype. They are modern, comfortable, spacious and have cool disco style lighting. I fell asleep when they brought my dinner and woke up to a bacon roll for breakfast. The flight was super fast, we arrived in Glasgow early, and my bag was the first one on the carousel … perhaps my lucky bird poop in action?
I was back in the Motherland, Hola Scotland!