Sitting patiently in the wait area watching people line-up to board my flight from Mexico City to LA, I took a bite of my dulce de cajeta and thought to myself: “Why in the world do people stand in a long line to get on the airplane when everyone with a ticket is going to get on?” As the line diminished to just a few, I gathered my things and headed to the check-in gate. The agent asked, “Where is your immigration slip to leave the country?” I promptly replied that I am a permanent resident and don’t need one. Miffed, he looked at me and proceeded to tell me that I needed to go to Immigration and get my permission to leave. I tried arguing my way out of it telling him it made no sense since now I am a permanent resident, and my mom was scheduled to have an operation the next day, and I had to get on the flight, but to no avail. I was struck with a sense of panic and asked him if the plane would wait. “No, I suggest you run,” was his reply. ¿¿Cómo?? I took off running like a crazy woman through that CDMX airport shouting “¡¡Con permiso, a su izquierda, por favor déjenme pasar, se me va el avión!!” I am positive I looked like a gringa who was completely out of her mind, hair flying, bumping into women and children, gripping desperately to all her belongings, probably leaving a trail of dulce de cajeta in her wake. Finally I arrived at immigration completely flustered. The officer looked at me with the same indifference as the check-in agent. “Lo siento señora, pero no es mi culpa”. I didn’t even have time to be offended that he called me “señora” and just said: “Yo sé, yo sé…pero POR FAVOR que se apure”. I got my slip and raced back to the gate absolutely sure I had missed my flight. To my utter surprise, passengers were still boarding! A huge feeling of relief came over me and the same check-in agent smirked as I handed him my boarding pass and my immigration paper, which I am sure will be put in some pile and will never be seen again.
Crisis averted and panting heavily, I trod toward my seat in economy class. Passing by business class, I glanced to the left locking eyes with a man sitting in the fourth row. Not wanting to be rude or suggestive, I looked away, but then I kept sneaking a look back to him, he looking right back at me. I recognized him. I looked away again and then looked back. He finally asked me if I was sitting in the seat next to him. Feigning confusion, I just shook my head and said, “no”. The line continued on and I finally arrived at my seat, quite happy to have made it. I just had to ask the man next to me if he saw a Mexican rock star in first class. He hadn’t noticed. So I shrugged it off and, as we took off, I went to sleep.
Disembarking in Los Angeles, I headed to baggage claim. As we waited for the bags to come through the chute, I became aware that standing right next to me was the man, the Rock Star. I knew who he was, but I had that annoying familiar doubt that comes over me sometimes when everything inside tells me I am right, yet I question. I gazed at him nonchalantly and he glanced back at me. I am sure he was thinking “¿Qué le pasa a esta mujer? ¿Porqué me mira?” Finally, I said to myself “What’s the worst that could happen if I approach him?” So I turned to him and shyly uttered: “¿Disculpa, pero tú eres músico?” He smiled: “Sí soy músico.” “Cómo te llamas?” I sheepishly asked. He replied: Aleks Syntek.
I threw my hands in the air and exclaimed: “I knew it! I knew it!” I was thrilled and completely starstruck!
I know many of you who haven’t spent much time in Latin America are thinking, who is Aleks Syntek? He is one of the most well-known Mexican pop artists of his time. He is a singer and song-writer who has earned nine nominations for the Latin Grammy Awards, a Grammy nomination, five nominations for the MTV Latin Awards, and is the winner of three Latin Billboard awards. He is big time, an incredibly talented musician. This story doesn’t end here, but I will have to leave the second part of this article for another column. However, I will tell you this: I haven’t been this inspired by another person in a very long time. Sometimes fate and serendipity come together at a most unexpected time and, for a fleeting moment, I felt that intriguing excitement for life as I did in the innocence of my childhood.
By Stephanie Carmon for TYT
Stephanie Carmon, “language lover,” is an English and Spanish language professional with over 18 years of experience teaching and providing clients with effective communication skills. She works both online and in person with companies and individual learners and from Mexico, Russia, U.S. and Canada as a freelance language consultant, translator, interpreter and teacher. She currently lives in Mérida, Yucatan.
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