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I get in line at Immigration. It doesn’t seem bad at first. Seems like there are four rows of people in line. But, even as we are moving, it still seems like there are four rows of people. That must defy some kind of law, physics or algebra or something. I eventually make it through. Customs is a breeze. I don’t have to collect any bags and I get the green light. I walk purposefully through the gauntlet. I have that, don’t even TRY to fuck with me, expression. It works. I am outside and looking for my name on a sign from Canada Transfers. I find it. That gentleman leads me to my van and very charming driver, Octavio. He quickly transports me to the Grand.
The bellboy obviously does not recognize me, which is weird, because I recognize him immediately. He asks for my passport and zip code (?), and sends me off to the bar. Alex is the bartender and I ask for some sparkling wine – let’s get real, this is NOT champagne. Whatever it is, I have two glasses while I wait.
My hair vs Mexico – Mexico is winning. My curl is hanging on though.
Daniel comes out. Except, he has a name tag that says “Luis.” He tells me he has just arrived. I ask if he forgot his name tag and just picked one in the back to wear. He just smiles. He goes in the back and then comes out and people are coming up to the bar and asking him for drinks and they are calling him Luis. Not in a way like they looked at his name tag and then said it. It is like that’s what they know him as. What. The. Hell? I say to one couple, his name isn’t Luis, you know. They look at me like I maybe needed to knock off the sparkling wine. I am very puzzled.
Raul comes over to welcome me and we chat a bit. He says he will let Raphael and Gabriel know I had arrived. It isn’t too long before Daniel is telling me he is going for his dinner break (but, you just arrived?) and I am going to my room. The bellboy takes me to Building 71 in a golf cart. Victor is there! He tells me that Charly will be up to check me in. Charly is my favorite butler. I always like to catch up with him and find out how his son is doing.
My room has beautiful flowers.
There is a meat and cheese plate, a fruit basket and a bottle of red wine.
I am a bit challenged by the CROTW (ceremonial removal of the watch), but I do manage a picture. It wouldn’t be a Mexico vacation without it. I only have my iPhone to take pictures and this one was tricky.
I start unpacking. Charly arrives and we spend a good amount of time catching up. It’s always a joy to see him. He is in school and is doing his internship right now and is not sure what he is going to do after this.
I ask him to bring me two down pillows and a bottle of Havana Siete. I give him a tip and he doesn’t want to take it. It is an awkward moment and I tell him to buy something for his baby or flowers for his wife.
He quickly brings the pillows and Raul brings the Siete. I is a different Raul from the one who I saw at the lobby bar earlier. This Raul I have seen many times over the years. He is with room service. Whenever room service comes they always ask permission to come into the room.
It is already time to dress, quickly, for dinner at the Mexican restaurant. I pull out my curling iron and I am able to revive my hair.
Good to go!