I finally reached Cancun. The very first impression as I got out of the plane was the heat. As I walked down that hall I could not help but notice people starring at my winter clothes. No wonder when it was about 30 degrees on the outside! For a person who was in the temperatures below zero just half a day before this was quite a change. I folded my winter coat underarms and placed my hat and scarf into my backpack and hurried through the airport hallway to meet the love of my life. However, as it always happens, there occurred some obstacles to make it a bit harder for me.
Obstacle #1: Border Control
The border control went rather well, I gave my passport to the lady at the control. In a very bad English she asked “Vacation?” I was confused at first, wondering in what language that might be said, and already questioning my Spanish language skills, as well as English or any other language that I might be familiar with. I then decided to just slip my itinerary into her hands hoping that that would answer all ofher questions. She took a look at it, and handed me the card, saying something that I also did not understand but I like to believe it meant “Have a pleasant stay”.
Obstacle #2: Luggage
Waiting for the luggage took us a lot longer than I anticipated. My impatience was thus more supported by the heat, and by being inadequately dressed for the Cancun temperatures. As I waited for my suitcase, I took a look around and noticed that the other travellers seemed to have the same problem. The luggage track was very narrow and every now and then some of the luggage would fall out of the track being hit by another suitcase, and this was amusing to everybody except to the people whose luggage it was. Finally, about half an hour later I got my suitcase off the track and headed to the customs.
Obstacle #3: Customs
At the customs you have all your belongings scanned and pass on to the stand with a random check. This is very simple technology, you push the red button and the light comes up. If the light is green, you are free to go. But if the light is red, then you will have your clothes checked by the customs officers. I pressed and the red light came up.
Unexpected obstacle #1: Red Light
The lady standing by the light looked at me and pointed to the side desk where several customs officers were standing in their uniforms. I brought my suitcases and placed them on the desk. The lady was checking my purse and hand luggage, and the man was looking through my suitcase. They found the little figurines which I brought as the souvenirs from Serbia to my friends, and made me unpack it. The man commented about my clothes and how I had a “Chanel” lotion in my suitcase, saying “She is so sophisticated having a Chanel in her luggage, she must be rich” in Spanish, thinking I wouldn’t understand. I laughed a little on the inside, but kept my “foreign tourist” look and waited. I had two bottles of Serbian Rakija, the alcoholic drink and I just waited for them to say something about it. It was packed in my suitcase and it was not properly labeled so I worried that they would confiscate it. After a few minutes of going through my stuff they let me pass. Saying goodbye to them in English I was happy to go through the “Salida” door, and there was another surprise waiting for me.
Unexpected Obstacle #2: Wrong Exit
As I got out from the airport, I got overwhelmed by the heat of the night. The exit path was long and crowded by taxi drivers wearing white uniforms and offering their services to the city. As I kept walking each of them asked me if I needed a transport. At the end of the track I figured this was not the right place to exit, so I returned. I stood for a second looking at where I should go next when one of the people from the crowd, a taxi driver, asked me in Spanish if I want a taxi to the city. He was short, dark skinned, round faced man in his forties, with a mustache, wearing a taxi driver uniform. I thanked him in Spanish and said that I already have somebody waiting for me. Then he pointed to his left and said that the friends and families wait on the other side. I thanked him again and headed in that direction towards the little gate kept by two airport guards. Behind the gate there was a crowd of people expecting their friends and family. But he wasn’t there.
Unexpected obstacle #3: He is not here
So, I looked through the crowd and could not locate my boyfriend. It came to my notice that I was standing at the entrance to the DEPARTURES area of the airport, not the ARRIVALLS. This was bad, because we had arranged that he waited for me at the INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS. I went inside and asked the lady where the international arrivals section was, and she explained that it was on the other terminal and that the bus in front can take me there. I looked at my phone and saw that it had 10% battery left. I had three options: to go to the other terminal and look for him in there, to wait, or to take a bus or a taxi to the hotel where I was about to stay. I immediately discarded the first option as it would be hard to move with all my luggage and it was most likely that once they see I am not in that area they would look elsewhere and most likely come here. Then I decided to wait and see what happens. The third option was still on in case they don’t show up soon.
The miracle called WiFi
I found the perfect spot to the right of the entrance where I could perfectly see anyone who enters. I placed my winter coat on the floor, placed my belongings around me and sat on the floor. People at the airport were used to foreigners sitting wherever they find a free spot, and paid no attention to me. I took my phone and got a notification: the message from my boyfriend saying he was on his way to the airport. I sent him my location in details hoping that he will see it soon. As soon as I sent the message, the phone went off. And not long after that, I heard excited screams and I saw this guy running towards me and lifting me in a hug.
All the good things in life do not come easily, and it was the day of our victory. Once again we beat the distance after two years long struggle. This was yet another beginning and we have many more opportunities to pursue and more obstacles to overcome until we achieve all our goals.