I found him in a bar in Mexico City.
He was hunched over a book with a creased spine. The pages swallowed him and he refused to look away as he reached for his beer, piercing through bottle and froth to the words below. He had the habit of folding his upper lip beneath the lower after every sip, making a loud noise as he drained droplets of beer that clung to the blonde stubble descending over his face. He read maniacally and drank frequently.
‘That Jack Kerouac was a crazy bastard’ he thought to himself as he read. His face was sun kissed and his clothes had the appearance of being slept in. His hair was shorter, but it was him. The same blisters that had tramped across the pavements of cities drowned in sun were returning to his feet, the same gust of wind that stole oxygen among the mountains and volcanoes filled his longs, the same brightness that glowed with each new place began to return to his eyes, the same obliteration of borders, and barriers, and fears coursed through his veins.
It was him.
Her jerked his head to the right, cracking the bones in his jaw and neck welded shut by fists and pavement. None of that mattered now. He was back. He pushed the empty bottle of beer away from him, snapped shut his abused copy of ‘On The Road”, jumped to his feet and stepped out onto the sunny streets.
He walked with the same gait, the same levity, the same drive. He was back. It was him.
He had found himself in a bar in Mexico City.
So here I am. Sitting in my room, in Mexico City, one of the most densely populated places in the world, 20 million people. Twenty million breathing, singing, writhing, swirling, multiplying, living people.
Flying into the city the hills of houses rose up like waves, they crashed and folded into one another until all that was left was a dull white sea that consumed my entire view from the airplane window.
Stepping out of the airport and into a cab it all came thundering back to me, Latin America, my favourite place on earth. The smells, the sound, the sun, it all rushed back to me like I was waking up after a very long sleep, like the life I lived in between was a dream that fades from memory by the time you open your eyes.
And in the cab we plummeted through the city of over twenty million people, dodging cars, motorcycles and angry pedestrians. Mexico City welcomed me with a symphony of screaming traffic, and I loved it.
I spent my first few days drinking with travellers at the hostel’s terrace bar that looked over Zocalo , the central plaza of the city, with the mighty Metropolitan Cathedral; as well as looking for places to live. Luckily enough I found a place within the second day of trekking across pavement and subway systems. Before moving in I enjoyed a few nights exploring the food, history and nightlife of the city.
Now I spend my days soaking up the sun and walking along tree-lined boulevards of my neighbourhood, Condesa/Roma Norte. I can understand why many of my favourite authors wrote their greatest masterpieces from the cafes of this place. I have so much to explore and experience before starting work on the 5th of May, and I can’t get enough.
Pictures and stories to come!