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Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:25 am

This one is for my México Lindo y Querido; my hubby and my three four-legged Mexican miracles; and for Latinplane, my best friend whom I met through and through Mexico; and, of course, for which helped me survive through Western Mexico’s remoteness

JFK-MEX on Flight MX 1

I never understood why they labeled JFK-MEX as MX 1 and not the other way around. Is MX 1 JFK-MEX Mexicana’s truly flagship flight? I think it will be so much better to assign MX 1 flight number to MEX-EZE. But that’s just my two cents worth.

-the aircraft due to leave JFK at 235AM. I think the scheduling is smart and adapted to NYC. You can save one night of hotel, enjoy a whole day of NYC and a Broadway show by flying on this flight, which is exactly what I did.

-the food. I can’t believe MX wakes passengers up on this redeye flight only to serve this stuff. Usually, when you fly MX and AM on a redeye, especially from the West Coast into Mexico, they just give you a drink and let you sleep (you get warm nuts served in a ramekin in AeroMexico’s Clase Premier). I was so pissed off that I had to wake up for this soggy sandwich and the same palmier cookie Mexicana always use as dessert. It’s supposed to be assorted cookies but I’ve been served about 10-15 meals on MX over the past year and a half and all I’ve been getting were palmier cookies. This ain’t no fun. It’s like getting the same words of wisdom from your fortune cookies. And I don’t know why we call it palmier in the U.S. That’s so retarded. It doesn’t look like a palm tree to me. It looks like human ears. The Mexicans got it right. They call ’em orejitas.

-This is what Mexicana’s frequent flyer looks like. Their ears get larger and larger as they eat this junkie cookie full of saturated fat. And it’s so dry and flaky. Why can’t they serve you a Mexican flan or a yoghurt or something? The palmier made me so thirsty I bottomed up a generous shot of tequila to quench the thirst. Instead of making me sleepy, the tequila made me instantly depressed and nostalgic. I started having these reminiscences of Mexico.


I still remember my very first day at Mexico City Airport almost 4 years ago. I knew exactly three Spanish words then: “hola,” “de nada,” and “gracias.” Our family relocated to Mexico upon one-week notice. We packed what we could, threw out what we had to, and left Paris behind for a new life in Old Mexico. To me, landing in Mexico, then, was like landing on Mars. I had imagined taxi drivers pulling up on their donkeys, people poking at my Asian face, and me dethorning cactus for dinner. Little did I realize that Mexico would become my rite of passage; where I would learn, in three years, what would have taken me at least twenty had I stayed in the U.S. or in Europe.

Mexico is a passion that’s got a life of its own. It’s truly an art—which I have not quite mastered—to appreciate Mexico in all its splendors and contrasts. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s a country that’s so rich, so beautiful, but also bountiful of many human miseries. Not that there aren’t miseries elsewhere in the world. The U.S., for example, is full of miseries that are hidden so well, so entrenched in our wainscoted way of life. In Thailand, miseries are obscured by gratifications through feasting and believing that your karma will land you in a better place, if not in this life then in the next ones. What distinguishes Mexico apart, for me, was the sheer visibility of human hardship. You could be driving down from Guadalajara’s richest gated community in your bullet-proof Jaguar and you’re still not impervious to the sight of human privation. You can’t help but realize, after a while, that there’s something gravely wrong with the world. That the wealth you enjoy is not the fruit of your own labor. That it is, in fact, something you’ve been harvesting on other people’s backs. That the obscene margins we earn come from somebody—somebody else other than us, our family, our own people; that we are barely trusted with all that wealth; and that one day the enormous debts we owe might be reclaimed. It’s with this realization that you feel the imminent doom. You either spend your entire life defending your wealth like Fort Knox. Or you just learn to pay it back, pay it forward, whenever you can. I think the latter was my life’s most important lesson. And it was Mexico that taught me all that: to care and to give.


The plane landed in Mexico City at 6 in the morning. I got goose bumps thinking that this would be the last time that I land in Mexico in a long long long long while. After this, I don’t know when I’m coming back. We went directly to Acapulco and stayed at this beautiful Bed & Breakfast. I always wanted to go to Acapulco but never had the chance. Domestic air travel in Mexico is just so expensive. With the advent of low-cost in Mexico, I hope this will soon change. In order for a country to be extraordinary, it is so important to have ordinary people traveling conveniently: by cars, by train, by air.

-This is the coolest Bed & Breakfast in Acapulco. This place is somewhat private, accessible only to a VIP (Very Insignificant Person) like me. It’s usually used for fashion shoots, preferred by a Mexican designer house Andrea, as well as for European reality shows. As a matter of fact, when we checked in, a whole crew of a Belgian reality show just left. Do we have Belgians on this forum who watch reality shows? I forgot to ask the name of the show they filmed. I hope somebody can recognize it from these pictures though. I’m curious to find out too because they supposedly left such a mess. They also forgot a box of good Belgian chocolates in my bedroom. Muahahahahahaha…all mine now.

-there's this lighthouse on the Isla Roqueta off of Acapulco Bay. It is the first time in my life that I see a real lighthouse functioning the old-fashioned way with a traditional lighthouse lamp. It's so beautiful at night and it's so symbolic to me. Wherever I go and however long I live, I will always look up to Mexico as the lighthouse to orient and calibrate my morals. on plantain leaf anyone?

-The owner of the place said that he got this idea from Thailand. (Oh don’t beat yourself up, my friend. Nobody’s perfect.) It’s true that this flower floating thing is so Thai. Sometimes they overdo it. Sometimes they put too many flowers and you can see layer of pesticide floating iridescently on the surface.

-My bibles!!! Do I miss these things. Contained therin are answers to life’s most important questions. When I lived in Mexico, I never missed a single issue of these gossip revistas. Now I buy the Argentine equivalents.

-I became such an expert on these magazines that, even before I opened these two, I said to myself “I bet you a million bucks that there’s gonna be pictures of some people getting married at the Colegio de Vizcaínas in Mexico City, and the evening will be peopled by all the Mexican magnates. Oh yeah, I knew also that there was gonna be at least one scoop on Juan Carlos Peralta. And, look, I was right 100%!!! The rich Mexicans are so predictable!

Truth be known, all those sarcastic and stupid comments I made about rich Mexicans were just my defense mechanism and my tendency to dramatize. I really didn’t mean that. I think rich Mexicans are cool people although I wish more of them would share the country’s infinite wealth with other Mexicans. Rich Mexicans contributed to my life lessons too: they taught me what I should not become. I guess I made all those comments because it was my way of dealing with the unknown. I didn’t know why I am so attached to this land and its people so much, this most foreign land whose realities are so foreign to me. I didn’t know I could be so much in love with Mexico. This is why I did everything I could to hide it, to deny it and it came out as personal attacks on rich Mexicans. I was afraid that if I told anyone about my relentless passion for Mexico, I would be sent off to the realm of the dupe and the simple-minded.

-Mexican football team on a special AM flight heading to Germany for the World Cup. Geez people, we actually shipped you guys out in Clase Premier, giving you all these First-Class goodies on this brand new 777 and you still couldn’t even beat the Argentine team!!! What a disgrace! You turned my Chihuahua down, look.

p.s. I put the Argentine jerseys on my dogs only because I didn’t want the Argentine fans, who were so enthused about their team this year, to beat us all up.



My last but most important mission on this trip was to pay homage to La Virgen de Guadalupe. I remember my Mexican domestic help who, after her trip to Mexico City, brought me an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe. She told me the story of about La Virgen, about how an Indian man of no noble origin witnessed her apparition. The man would later be known as San Juan Diego and the apparition would become the most respected icon of Mexico, uniting all Mexicans, the same way the Emerald Buddha is revered by the Thai. Even though I’m not in any way a religious person, my faith is vested in La Virgen. I guess that makes me a Mexican—a pocho, but still. When I left Mexico for good in March, I meant to come to the Basilica to pay homage to Her. Unfortunately, my flight out of Guadalajara to Mexico City and to Buenos Aires were delayed and disrupted that my plan to visit the Basilica for the first time and the last time was hijacked altogether.

I prayed for Her forgiveness if I had trespassed her sons and daughters in the past, whether indirectly or directly. That She accept me as her son too. Although not by birth, I am Mexican in my spirit—resilient and strong. I thanked Her for the newfound wealth our family has made from our stint in Mexico. I prayed, and still do every night, that She protect me wherever I go and that She allow me to bring everything I’ve earned and learned from Mexico to really help those not as fortunate as I.

But to respect the ThaiboyNMexico-ish tradition, I caused yet another scandal at the Basilica. I blundered again. I was so clumsy and stupid. I went to ask one of the nuns there: “What’s the name of the artist who painted this original image of La Virgen? Was he someone commissioned by the Holy See? Was he a Mexican or a Spaniard?” The nuns and some other pilgrims were just shocked by my question. They were so mad at me. One of the nuns, rather upset, explained that the apparition was miraculously emblazoned on San Juan Diego’s cloak!!! You irreverent fool! Woops, I did it again. I made the sign of the cross and ran out as fast as I could to catch a taxi: “¡Aeropuerto, como muy muy muy rapido, por favor!”

Here are some magical moments extracted from my photographic repertoire compiled here in Mexico.

MEX-EZE on Flight MX 1691

-I cried like a baby when flight MX 1691 lifted off from MEX. I was distraught. I was hesitant to say “adiós”. That would be too permanent. So I wiped my tears and kissed the plastic window and said with my broken Spanish: “Hasta la vista, México. Te amo con todo mi corazón pero te dejo por necesidad. Un día regresaré.”

……………………………………..All of my desperations and vulgarity, of flying out of Mexico and then back in again and again, of writing those trip reports attacking people here and there, were just pretexts to postpone this very moment, this very trip report that has taken me almost a year to put the enormity of the experience into one coherent and concise piece. What else can I say? What else can I say but this: being a Mexican, even a fake one, is the best thing that has ever happened to me all my life. ¡VIVA MEXICO!…………………………………..


Posts: 2497
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:03 am


First of all, thanks for dedicated this trip report to me. You made my day!  blush 

God, what can I say that I haven't said to you already. God bless you wherever it is that life takes you.

Always your friend ~ LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
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RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:15 am

This was a wonderful, colorful , personal and very rich trip report.
thanks for sharing.

btw. could you give me the adress of that great bed & breakfast in Acapulco?

Regards: DALelite
They loved to fly and it showed..
Posts: 4187
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 9:03 pm

RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:07 am

Quoting DALelite (Reply 2):
could you give me the adress of that great bed & breakfast in Acapulco?

Me too! Bed looks nice... Big grin
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:28 am

Again, a stroke of aviation/literary genius. Very meaningful with your personal commentary. Many times a particular trip has very deep memories and feelings for an individual. I've felt that many times, as well. Just different times and places.

Thanks so much for deepening the whole trip report experience. And your photos certainly highlight such well written text. I am most appreciative for having read this report.

Posts: 911
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:05 pm


Each report gets more and more fantastic - in every sense of the word. Sense like "dramatic", "artistic", etc.

Hope you fly again soon. Hope you fly again soon to Thailand, but I'll just be patient. Tawn and I still owe you dinner. And you need to hear how much progress I've made with pasathay.

More than a decade flying in and around Asia...
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RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Fri Aug 11, 2006 4:01 pm

Hey buddy... I don`t use to write here from some time ago... but this report is so beautiful!!!!!!!!!.

I can understand you so much... 7 years ago I came to this beautiful country just for vacations from Caracas & I never went back!!!!!... I love this country so much.

... & be sure: Mexico is always waiting for you to come back.

Topic Author
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:20 am

RE: Confession Of A Thai Pocho: JFK-MEX-EZE

Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:41 pm

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 1):
God, what can I say that I haven't said to you already.

Same here, Latinplane. Thank you

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 4):
Many times a particular trip has very deep memories and feelings for an individual. I've felt that many times, as well.

 checkmark   yes   checkmark . And thank you for your very kind comment.

Quoting WiLdmanVzla (Reply 6):
Hey buddy... I don`t use to write here from some time ago... but this report is so beautiful!!!!!!!!!.

Thank you...and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one on this forum who is insanely in love with Mexico

Quoting Christao17 (Reply 5):
Each report gets more and more fantastic - in every sense of the word. Sense like "dramatic", "artistic", etc.

Kohb Khun Krupp, Khun Chris  pray . When I signed up for the new username on, "DramaMagnet" was actually one of my choices. (To whom do I owe that idea?). hehehe.


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