Along the years that I have dedicated to teach the English language, I’ve had the privilege to meet remarkable and very interesting people from all over the world. Among my students I’ve had many Mexican citizens, whom had travelled to the United States with the only purpose of learning English or improving their skills in the language. I must say that the majority of them were the most compromised, hardworking and dedicated students that I’ve had.
Although it is always advisable to maintain a certain distance between teacher and students, to promote mutual respect and avoid any personal disagreement, I never reject a friendship when it starts growing. And that particularly happened with a student from Mexico, with whom I shared my predilection for books and especially for Hispanic literature.
After he graduated from the English program and went back to his country, we kept in touch via e-mail. We usually exchanged book recommendations and comments, and he also began to tell me more about his homeland and the places he liked the most. It was no longer before the idea of going to Mexico on vacations began to take shape in my head.
When I finally made up my mind and told him that I would be going to Mexico City in the summer, he was sincerely happy and immediately offered to be my host. I didn’t expect that and had already made some research about lodgings. But since he insisted so much and offered his home with all his might, I thought it may be rude not to accept.
He showed me the best hospitality that I have ever received since the beginning of my holidays. When I arrived at the airport he was there, ready to take me home. He had already told me that he doesn’t have a car, because where he lives (an apartment complex known as Departamentos en la Condesa) it is safe and easy (or so he thinks) to move around biking or walking. So we had to take a taxi to get home. Of course I was determined to pay, but he simply answered that I was his guest and he would take care of everything.
When we got home, a delicious meal was already waiting for us at the apartment. My flight landed at midday and I was actually hungry, so I totally enjoyed his delicious and kind surprise. Then I had some time to rest and unpack, and since I wasn’t really tired, we went out for a stroll. From my perspective –someone who lives in a small and quiet town– the city was extremely crowded and agitated, but I have to admit that my friend’s neighbourhood was a bit different from that; a bit more quiet, silent and gracefully populated with trees and flowers.
We went to a beautiful park –Parque España– and then we had some drinks in a fancy bar. During the next days I tried to make out the best from my visit. We went to Chapultepec and all the nearby museums. We visited the “Centro Histórico”, with all its Prehispanic and Colonial treasures. We had a day for shopping and gourmet meals in Polanco and the trip ended with a wonderful visit to Teotihuacan.
Days went by very fast, probably because I was having a great time. It goes without saying that my friend took me to the airport and stayed there until we waved goodbye, after I went through the security check. After the trip, I concluded that I’ve got the privilege to stay at the best place to live in Mexico City; not because my friend’s home is in one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods, but, precisely, because I was at my friend’s home.