Irma, who was born in the city of Jalapa in the Mexican state of Veracruz, is a very dear friend of mine. I have known her since my college days when her late husband was one of my Spanish professors. She still lives here in Ohio, just a few minutes' drive from my house. She left a little over a week ago for Mexico City. Unfortunately, by the time I get there, she will have already moved on to Jalapa where she still has family. It would have been nice to go out for dinner with her down there.
Then, less than two weeks ago, I received an email from Amy, the daughter of one of my former teaching colleagues. I have known Amy since she was a baby. She now lives near Washington, D.C., and she takes frequent international business trips. She wrote to ask if I were in Mexico City because she was going to attend a conference there and hoped that we might be able to get together. I said that that I wouldn't be there until April, but I told her to let me know if she had any questions.
She wrote back and said that one afternoon she had three hours free. She wanted to know what she should see, and wondered it she should go to the Anthropology Museum. She also wanted to know if I had any restaurant recommendations. I answered that although the Anthropology Museum is a "must-see" sight, it merits more time, especially since she would be wasting part of those three hours just getting there and returning to her hotel. Since she is staying downtown, I suggested that she explore the "Centro Histórico" of the city. I planned out a walking tour for her to take. I also recommended my favorite restaurant, "Angelopolitano", and told her that it had the best "mole" and "chiles en nogada" in the city.
Last Saturday, while she was on her way to the airport, Amy wrote again and thanked me for the advice. "You're better than Rick Steves," she said. "I'm looking forward to my walking tour and to eating 'mole'!"