Continued from Mexico City Day 5 Part 1.
I need to head back to the hotel, get my luggage that they have on hold for me, and then head to another hotel in Santa Fe way West of Centro. Not looking forward to being stuck in this rush hour traffic.
Got my stuff and had the hotel call a taxi. When I went to ask for a taxi, the concierge asked me if I want a regular taxi or one for tourists. What’s the difference? The tourist one is supposed to be nicer and safer, but a bit more expensive. The tourist taxi also charge a flat rate, and it’s 220 pesos to Santa Fe. Sure, why not, upgrade me. I am tired of dealing with taxi driver’s small time scam shenanigans.
We arrive at the hotel, and pull up to the unloading area. I am looking through my wallet for money while the porter is unloading my luggage from the trunk. I hand over 520 to the driver expecting to get 300 back(flat rate of 220). Driver gives me incorrect change bacl. I told him it’s wrong. He says something to me. I don’t understand, can you repeat. I think he’s saying its 280 and not 220. No Motherfucker!!(I didn’t actually say that) The reason why I opted for the more expensive cab was so I didn’t have to deal with drivers ripping me off. There is a reason why it’s a flat rate. I can’t believe this is happening!! I won’t budge, and he insists on 280. I said, “It’s a set rate at 220 and that’s all I am paying.” As I said that, I take 300 from the fan of bills he’s holding in his hand and walk out of the cab. This is all too similar to my experience in Jaipur with that one fucking rickshaw driver. I am furious, and I don’t get mad easily!
I exited the cab and went with the porter pushing the bell cart with all my stuff on it. I am looking at the porter and shaking my head. He saw all of that go down too. As we were about to reach the elevators(the lobby is not on the ground floor), I looked at the bell cart. Where The Fuck Is My Backpack. You know, my backpack with my fucking passport, laptop, and other important items. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!!!
I asked the porter if he took out my backpack from the trunk along with all the other items. He said, no, he said that he didn’t see a backpack. What The Fuck!! The driver had told the porter that he had gotten everything when he unloaded the trunk. Fuck me!
I turn back around and the taxi has already driven away. Fuck! I ask the porter to call Hampton Inn, which called the taxi for me. And coincidentally, RT(the groom) shows up at the hotel with his parents at this very moment. I must have looked like a zombie when I met and greeted his parents for the first time. RT goes into action and starts speaking Spanish to the porter to expedite the process of recovering my backpack.
Since I had Hampton Inn call a cab for me, I asked them to call the dispatcher and try to reach the driver so that he can turn around with my backpack that’s still in the trunk. Well, Hampton Inn calls the dispatch, the dispatch calls the driver, and the driver does not pick up. Fuck me! My stomach is sinking. The driver who just tried to fuck me over is now in possession of my backpack, and he is driving through Mexico City with it. Ugh. Well, now is his chance to seek revenge on me, since I was unwilling to bend over and grab my ankles for him earlier and have him rip me off.
The front desk from Intercontinental keeps on calling Hampton Inn, but they get no response from the driver. Finally, Intercontinental front desk gets the taxi dispatch company’s contact from Hampton Inn so that they can call and check on the status of the driver directly. This is all that links between my backpack and I – a couple of names, a cab number, and a phone number. Fuck me!
I decided to go ahead and check in while I wait to hear the fate of my backpack. My room is badass, but it doesn’t excite me. I feel nothing but dread right now. I will say though, this is by far the best hotel room that I’ve gotten for $125.
I need a stiff drink. I feel like my backpack has been kidnapped for ransom. The kidnapper won’t contact me back, so now all I can do is wait, which is emotionally draining and horrifying. If I feel like this about a backpack, I can’t imagine what it feels like to actually have a loved one be kidnapped. Ugh.
The front desk keeps on calling the taxi dispatch to check status. I see the concierge pick up the phone, dial the number, greet the person on the other side and ask about the status. I saw her do this several times already in the past hour, then this time, I saw her face light up and crack a smile. They’ve located the driver and he is on his way back with my backpack. Thank God!! I feel like I won the lottery!!
In another 10 minutes, the front desk gets a call from the drop off area saying that the driver has arrived with my backpack. The driver wants 200 pesos for driving my backpack back!!! My backpack is now literally being held for ransom. I can’t believe this.
I meet the driver at the drive, and he hands my backpack to me. I ask him to look over the backpack, he agrees. Everything is still here, safe and sound. I let out a sigh of relief. I turn to the driver, and he asks for 200 arguing that he had to drive all the way back here after he’s already on the other side of town.
I told him 200 is too much. I’ve got a little bit of bargaining power now with the backpack in my possession. I talk him down some to 150 and decided to stop pushing since I just want this ordeal to be over with. I hand the money over to him with visible disdain on my face. He had the nerve to thank me. This is ransom, motherfucker, you don’t thank your victim!
Fuck the porter for not seeing my backpack, fuck the driver for being a degenerate piece of shit!!
Seriously, how do you miss a fucking full sized backpack? It also scares me to know that if I had just hailed a random taxi from the street, if the backpack had been forgotten in the trunk, I would have probably never seen it again. It did work out that I had the hotel call me a cab from a dispatch, even though the driver fucked me over.
OK, I am putting that event behind me now. I got my stuff back and only suffered an hour’s worth of emotional turmoil and 150 pesos. No more bitching about it, I am moving on.
JM and I had spoke about maybe having dinner together and going out later tonight. He calls me at 8, and we decided against meeting up tonight. I am all the way West here in Santa Fe, and they are still in Polano, in central Mexico City. The hassle and time of getting down there is just too much effort. We make plans to meet up tomorrow morning to go check out the Anthropological Museum.
Santa Fe is a financial hub with mutinational companies occupying tall office buildings. There are very few things within short walking distances. I ask the front desk if there’s a convenience store within walking distance. Nope. I want to buy water, and they suggested the Office Depot next door. I find it a little humorous that I am at an office supply store because I want to buy water since I didn’t want to pay the higher prices in the hotel.
After getting some water, I am out in search of dinner. There are no less than 5 restaurants inside my hotel, but the front desk recommended a restaurant that is in another nearby hotel. Sure, I’ll take a stroll.
The waiter barely speaks any English and the menu is only in Spanish. I get him to suggest a few items to me, and let’s have it a go. I only have a faint idea of what I had ordered.
This was this most basic salad that they have, and it’s fancy. Dehydrated pineapple on top. Delicious, and I believe the first time I’ve had vegetables in any meaningful amount since arriving in Mexico City.
After my paid dessert, I get some free churros. This was good as well. The price ended up being moderate, I don’t remember exactly now, but I think it was $40 or so. Not too bad for such a fancy and delicious meal. I am a satisfied man.
Tomorrow is the wedding. I better get some good rest tonight, as I am expecting tomorrow night to be wild.
To be continued at Mexico City Day 6 Part 1.