Morelia Travel Mini Series: Traveling with Anxiety

First of all, 

I am giving myself a 【g**d*****】shiny GOLD MEDAL for traveling via airplane and public taxi- in the Americas- during a plague. 

a goddamned shiny gold medal

Why should simple travel be award worthy? 

A҉  N҉  X҉  I҉  E҉  T҉  Y҉

Putting aside the other ailments that shape my outlook on life, I’m going focus on the pandemic anxiety that traveled with me on a packed plane from Tijuana to Morelia and back. The same kind of anxiety has crept into just about everyone I know these days. Even a little. 

The version of pandemic anxiety that I experienced wasn’t so crippling that I couldn’t enjoy anything, but it certainly did altered my ways of thinking and behaviors.

Coming from socially distanced Rosarito, the Tijuana airport felt like a chaos pit to me. At least the part before we got to our gate. 

Children everywhere. 

People traveling with far too many suitcases. 

People not wearing masks correctly. 

No social distancing. 

It’s like Mexicans don’t even know the reality of 1.5 meters any more than Americans do. (Unless you happen to have a firm grasp on the metic system. Bravo to you.)

Hugo and I were on a full flight for three hours sitting behind a “preacher” that would not shut up the entire journey. A bit of face covering was the only thing stopping all his non-stop aerosol from spreading and spreading. I did a magnificent job of not thinking about it too much.

sun set view out of airplane window. land and water can be seen.
michoacan has lakes!

We landed and it was again this cluster-fluff of people waiting for their luggage and for their friends/family in this tiny airport. It’s been remodeled, but it’s tiny! One terminal, two gift shops, four gates. TINY!

Then we just hopped in a taxi at the stand without taking extra precautions. The driver kept his windows open at least. 

On the 40-ish minute ride in, the driver told us a relation of his had the version of Covid19 that effects your intestines instead of your lungs. Oh, joy.

And then there was the historic center of the city. All the inescapable people on all those narrow streets. I was in love and repulsed at the same time.

I had to get over the lack of social distancing thing in a blink. We were going to be elbow brushing lots of people often. There wasn’t much to be done about that. 

Unlike some resort destinations in Mexico, the majority of the people in Morelia took mask wearing and cleaning seriously. Still, some had the lack of mind to go without, especially when they felt they were in open spaces. I gave those people a most withering ‘mom glare’ if they got close.

Any cough I heard was an alarm signal to get away from the source as soon as possible. Children and teens I did my best to keep farthest away from. Hypervigilance is awesome, people! 

But there were times I almost had critical melt downs. 

The worst incident was a surreal nightmare. It shouldn’t have been terrible at all(!), but throw an airborne plague into the mix and, well, it was, I would say–  distressing.

On Sunday the streets were fairly empty and I was happy to finally have some breathing room, but then Hugo and I found ourselves in a part of town where it looked like a tianguis had been set up. That means a few blocks are sectioned off from vehicle traffic so that an open air market can be opened. They sell everything at these markets: anything from yard sale type whatever junk, to car parts, to pizza, to pets. So, basically, all I could see was that they had created a death trap a head. And there we were being  funneled by both car and increasing foot traffic into said death trap. People of all ages, mask or not, were there. Walking slow to check things out; walking even more slowly to stall and stop, to coo and fawn over – puppies. People on the sidewalk were actually holding out puppies for you to fondle and fall in love with.
Puppies for sale… I was never more terrified of tiny dogs and tiny humans then I was in that moment. I was lucky to not have a full on anxiety attack right there in the street and get run over trying to escape.

Then there was a time I almost cursed out an older woman that we could not distance ourselves from who had a persistent cough and wore her mask- on her chin! I was not in any mood to respect an elder who is doing something that foolish.

Our taxi ride back to the airport was a private car called for us by a woman working in a tourist info kiosk. The driver was, in fact, her husband. He was very polite and sprayed our bag when put it in the car and gave us hand sanitizer to use. He was on top of things. We took his card so I will throw some business his way-

Make sure to look up 
Andres Orozco Fraga 
when you go to Morelia! 

The return plane flight seemed more with the sanitary program too. In-flight bathroom use was very limited. Fewer people were eating. We sat in the very back of the plane. We even entered through the back hatch to be seated faster and didn’t have to stand around on the tarmac very long. In a way, it seemed more rock star than being up in the front!

the steps leading up to an air plane door spray painted with the spanish phrase 'sana distancia'
when a sane distance is a healthy distance. these are the stairs up to the plane.

So we didn’t have to wonder or worry for too long Hugo and I got ourselves nose swabbed for Covid19 in San Diego a couple days after returning. We never developed any symptoms, but we wanted to be sure we weren’t carriers. 

Thankfully, the results were negative! Sometimes it pays to be paranoid. We didn’t have to do the whole strict quarantine thing. We just do the normal quarantine thing which is what I hope you all can do until the vaccines get distributed. 

How has Covid19 made you more (or less!) anxious? Leave a comment!

Morelia Travel Mini Series: A Sort of Photo Essay

colorful Mexican trompo

This is going to be a simple post to start off with. 
I’ll just throw at you a string of photos- in no particular order- that don’t even scratch the surface of how amazing it was to be in a Mexican colonial city. Especially after I’ve spent the bulk my time in Mexico in a place that hasn’t been settled for very long. So, I luhurved– ahem- loved being there. The layers of preserved history were just singing at me as soon as I got within the city limits. I mean, there are buildings dating from the 1500s! How could I not be taken in? 

proest graffiti scrawled across a historic building
graffiti that is actually important
protest graffiti in Spanish
if only the ‘boy’s clubs’ of Mexico would listen
man climbs down scaffolding erected inside a cathedral
roof repairs in a colorful cathedral
a tree scared from lightening with Mexican colonial facade in background
a lightening strike
locks of hair, notes, photos, etc hung on a peg board
large skull drawn in white chalk on the stones of the courtyard of a 16th century convent
day of the dead skull
yellow and black butterfly resting on an iron fence
ubiquitous butterfly
a night shot of a motorcycle parked in front of a shoe shop with an open door with a large face of a black cat painted around it. there are a pile of papers in the foreground.
this curious composition
red, round clay lanterns hanging from trees with green leaves. One tree is without leaves.
clay lanterns
empty street corner at night under a bright moon with clouds
before the full moon
red sculpture of a male and female standing on boxes with boxes around them
a work by Javier Marin, one of Mexico’s best fine arts sculptors
four kittens on the windowsill of an old stone building. the window is barred by iron and boarded up.
these kittehs
mop hung on window bars to dry
the stone benches are from 1500 something, the mop is from this morning

Did this pass as a photo essay? Let me know. Leave a comment!

Morelia Travel Mini Series: The Intro

Hey everyone!

I did something really stupid this year!

I traveled to the south of Mexico for a week during a pandemic!

Welcome to my Morelia Travel Mini Series of blog posts. 

Over the next when-ever-I-can-bring-myself-to-do-its,  I will publish posts about spending late October – the beginning of November 2020 in the lovely, historic Morelia. It’s the capital city of the state of Michoacan, Mexico. I went for their yearly film festival, I stayed for the ‘I’d never been there before.’ 

Don’t worry, this is not going to be some epic twenty part series you have to invest hours of your life into. This will just be some small exercise in blog writing like a… like one of those ‘professional travel bloggers.’

Maybe it will end up being five parts. We will see how it goes!

Fancy the idea? Think it’s rubbish? Let me know!
Email. Message. Text. Comment.