Mexico, spur of the moment

When you decide at the last minute to rush off on vacation you will wanna check and see if your passport is still valid, as I did, and mine was, just barely. It expires at the end of April. So I booked my trip. Mexico City. Groovy boutique hotel, Frida Kahlo, markets, ruins, museums, pyramids….la la la lalalala la, serapes, huaraches, sombreros, ponchos, Estoy dentro!

Here’s an interesting tip. You cannot travel with a passport that is going to expire in less than 30 days…checking the math on Saturday morning (when I discovered this fact), once I had peeled myself off the ceiling and began the process of sweating profusely, I discovered that yes indeed my passport expired in a mere 27 days. So there was that.

I can be pretty cool in the face of adversity. High pitched whine/screaming interspersed with hyperventilating as I google-searched the solution, words searches like “JESUS H CHRST HELP ME GET A PASSPORT ASAP” tend not as useful as one might imagine even if one might find them inventive. Eventually, after I calmed down to a gentle eye bulging-vibrating level of anxiety I discovered that all I had to do was take the train to Chicago at the buttcrack of dawn to the US Immigration and Passport Service, go through airport-like security and stand in line with, well, let’s say the dregs of humanity—other people who let their passports expire, you know, people like me.

It all got done with relative ease, I’m sure my cool demeanor had a lot to do with it. You put in your application and then you wait for 5 hours and pick it up. So now it is 9:30 with 5 hours of nothing and it’s freezing cold in Chicago. I am sitting in a Starbucks drinking coffee and being blasted with icy air every time the door opens (It’s, of course, a tiny Starbucks with none of the luxurious couches and chaises longues that all the other Starbucks on Earth seem to have). Sitting in this corner (see below) on an uncomfortable metal stool listening to 50 conversations and some music that in better circumstances I might put ear plugs in to avoid, but it doesn’t make any difference here with all the clatter.

The Art Institute opens in 45 minutes and I will kill some time there before I decide what else to complain about.


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