This story begins with me being lost. Lost in a station called Tapo somewhere in Mexico City. I had arrived after a long bus ride, tired from sightseeing and Couchsurfing in Puebla and Cholula. The sun had already set, it was dark and people told me not to leave the station on foot because it was a dangerous area.
- The mission: Get an Uber (Official taxis are not safe in Mexico City)
- Go to the hotel where my friend had kept my suitcase for me
- Go to the house of my Couchsurfing host.
No battery, no Uber
It turned out to be more difficult than expected to get an Uber because I could only connect to Wifi in the coffee shop inside the station, but it got very weak or turned off as soon as I left the area.
I wrote some confused message to my couchsurfing host: I am not sure when I will arrive, I don’t know where I am, I’m so sorry, I hope I don’t cause you trouble..”
Things like this.
He was out with his friends but assured me that his flat mate will be home and let me in.
I decided to place the Uber pick up pin in the parking area of the station (which was the only exit I found that was connected to the street at all), pressed “Request Uber” and ran to the parking.
I could see the little car on the screen turning and turning, minutes until arrival increased and I realized the driver was struggling to find a way to where I was standing. My phone battery was critically low. I was sweating. I did not have a phone charger and I had no idea what to do in case the driver didn’t find me.
The driver cancelled the trip the moment my phone turned off. No battery.
What a disaster.
I was running around in the parking area, swearing in Austrian accent. I was tired, lost and alone, without phone and without the address of my Couchsurfing host. I sat down on the street and couldn’t decide if I should get chocolate first and then find a toilet or the other way around. I needed both, urgently, before I could start thinking about a solution.
An American guy in a suit had watched the whole scene happening. He came over to me: “Do you need help, by any chance?” I briefly explained my situation and he became my first hero this night: He lent his phone charger to me. So I went inside some waiting room and tried charging my phone, but all the sockets were broken. Great.
The guy in a suit was in a hurry. I thanked him for his help and when I wanted to give him is phone charger he declined: “I have a feeling that you need this charger more then me tonight.”
Halleluja, thank you so much, stranger!
A man, a table, a book
In the meantime I had solved the chocolate versus toilet problem: I really needed to pee so that was my priority now. The toilets were upstairs. Instead of going back down, I started walking another way, along a balcony, and arrived at a random room. It was empty apart from a man, sitting at a table reading a book.
I entered the room. I was really exhausted and desperate by then. I spoke Spanish with this man:
“Sir, I need to charge my phone, can I use any electric socket please?”
He pointed at a socket in the corner by the door. I kneeled down and connected my phone. I turned on. Hell yeah this night was getting better.
Well, I had to hold the cable and the phone together cause the charger was partly broken. The man gave me a confused smile while he brought a chair for me to sit on.
I was sitting there, my back turned to the guy (he must have thought what the hell is wrong with this girl), and thought. I mainly thought about how to express my story in Spanish and what I was gonna tell the guy. Time passed, maybe 15 minutes, maybe 30 minutes, but I waited until I had enough battery before I turned around:
“I don’t know what to do!”
The guy asked me where I was from.
“Ah, there is something about an Austrian lady in my book.”
He started to explain me the story of his book.
It was not exactly the conversation I had expected, but I relaxed a bit and found it funny how useless this information about his book was for me in that moment.
After a while he decided to come back to the topic of rescuing me. There was a place where I could get a registered taxi with a registered driver. In case I disappeared, they would at least know who took me. That’s what he told me. Yeeey.
He could not go down with me because he was on duty so he called another man in the back office. A guy that looked like a lost doctor appeared in a long, white coat. He greeted me with a warm smile. I thanked the book guy a million times and the white coat man dropped me at a pre-paid registered taxi pick up. The way to the taxi was crazy. Homeless or drunk people everywhere, there was some smoke coming from a fire behind a fence, weird music, loud noises. It was late already.
The taxi driver did not kidnap me and the taxi wasn’t hijacked either. I picked up my suitcase from the hotel and got an Uber to my Couchsurfing host’s place from there. Awesome.
“Where is Anna? Let’s go find Anna!”
I rang the door bell of the address. After a while the window opened.
Hola! Soy Anna!
“Anna? I don’t know Anna.”
“This is not a hostel.”
(Is this guy serious?)
“Is this not the flat of Josué?”
“Wait. I will call.”
The guy came back to the window.
“Oh yeah sorry, Anna! I remember now, Josué told me something! I called him now. I’ll come down and open the door!”
Finally! I was so glad to have arrived somewhere.
The flat mate Bruno was super nice and I felt refreshed and hungry after a cold shower.
I told Bruno that I was hungry and that I didn’t know if I preferred chocolate or a beer. He preferred the beer, and so we went to a bar. Seems like I had no luck with chocolate that night.
The food was expensive there so we decided for some street food.
This crazy thing happened on the way to find street food.
We were walking down the street when we bumped into 2 different groups coming from different directions exactly at the corner of the street. All people from the groups started shouting: ANNAAAAA! ANNAAAAA! OH MY GOD WE FOUND ANNA!! We were all searching for Anna and THERE YOU ARE! ANNAAA!
I stopped and stared at those people with the most shocked expression you can imagine. I had not seen any of them in my life before. What the hell was going on in this world?!
This is what had happened.
Josué, my Chouchsurfing host, had been out with his friends at the bar. He received my desperate messages, saying that I was lost. So they found that funny and at some point they decided to leave the bar and split into 2 groups to search for me. That’s so pointless, considering that Mexico City has around 8.8 Million inhabitants, I guess they just found it funny to run around shouting “Where is Anna?!”
The 2 groups randomly met again at the corner and bumped into Bruno and me. They recognised Bruno and therefore knew who I was.
I started to understand the situation and we all couldn’t stop laughing.
What an incredible coincidence!
That’s why I love Couchsurfing. Best and funniest things happen unexpected, unplanned and with fun, crazy, and sometimes random people!