2019 March 22: Difficult Love in Mexico

by Lebo Mashifane

We are going to represent Muholi’s film screening of Difficult Love. Liesl Theron is expecting me and Pam Dlungwana in Mexico.

It’s Tuesday the 19th of March 2019, I am traveling to Mexico with Pam Dlungwana. This morning, when I woke up I checked messages from Liesl, she had managed to book new tickets and she was talking about how one day we could hopefully laugh about it. I didn’t understand until I checked the new flight ticket. Initially we were supposed to have traveled on the 18th but due to some misunderstandings our date changed to the following day – the new route freaked me out. The initial ticket route was much better, we were going to fly to JFK airport in USA then catch a connecting flight to Mexico after 3 hours. The new route was a total of 32 hours long and 3 different flights. I was a bit anxious and deducing from an article that Pam is also someone with travel anxiety got to my mind. Thanks to a cup of coffee, it made me gear up and take on responsibility of what needs to be done. 

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Photo by Liesl Theron

I met up with Pam at the airport – found her at the self service ticket machine and she seemed very calm. We got our tickets quick quick, we were done. I told her that I had to go fetch my luggage at the luggage storage at OR Tambo Airport and she was keen on coming with me. She is very mellow and together, I have never travelled with her but I guess her calmness was both pleasant and surprising as to how can we be so orientated as people who have travel anxiety. I guess we are healing and the thought of going with someone who is also not a stranger is helping. 

I had left my luggage the previous day when I flew from Durban to Jozi where I thought in a few hours I would return to be on route to Mexico. There is a luggage storage at the airport called A-teck they charge R70 per bag for 0-5hours of luggage storage and R80 for 5-12hours. When I got my luggage we packed the shopping list that Liesl had asked us to get, bottles of wine for the guests that will be at the screening and Mrs Balls chutney and Black Cat sugar free peanut butter for her. Ya ne, the things we take for granted for being in this lovely Afrika. 

When we got to check in desk they asked us for yellow cards and that we need vaccines – we didn’t know about this so they sent us to the airport clinic where we paid R800 per person for the vaccine. Thank goodness the clinic was empty so we spent about 15 minutes at the clinic and we were back on mission check-in. Everything went smooth then we went to chill at a restaurant for an hour before boarding time. It was lovely spending time with Pam and getting to know each other and our mental gifts. 

In the plane we sat on different seats, destined to Sao Paulo where we will connect to Lima then to our final destination, Mexico. I am amazed by the journey, it just never got dark outside. We left South Africa at 1:30pm to reach Sao Paulo in 11 hours time, Sao Paulo is 5 hours behind South African time. At some point I looked at the plane map on the screen – it’s scary we are moving at a speed of 890 km/h and realising that I am out of Afrika – I have left my home, the shape of the continent is still as lovely. 

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