I had never flown a domestic flight in Mexico until we flew from Cancun to Mexico City. I'm so used to people not speaking English here that I was a little surprised at how much English I heard on the flight - from the pilot to the flight attendants to some of the passengers.
The flight attendants brought around some lime peanuts, and although I wasn't hungry, I ate them (force of habit just to get rid of them). By the time the drink cart came within sight, I was really thirsty, and as I listened to everyone placing their orders, I got a craving for apple juice. Yup, I was going to order apple juice.
The flight attendant who would be serving our row was rushing, pouring drinks and handing them out faster than I've ever seen before. She never spilled a drop; she was all business. The three people in our row were all sitting up waiting for her to reach us. She served the three people on the other side of our row, and then announced "listo" (done) and pushed the cart along. The three of us in our row exchanged shocked glances. Did she forget us? I thought she would come back to us, but she just kept pouring those drinks for everyone else and never even looked back in our direction. The guy on the end of our row kept looking hopefully at her back, and I was trying to catch the eye of either of the attendants. But they were just chatting with each other and flinging drinks, and didn't pay us the least attention. Miguel just sat staring forward - his culture is not to make a scene for anything. So it was going to be up to me or the guy on the end to make a scene, and the guy on the end just kept looking back but didn't do anything to help the situation.
So I rang the call button. Nobody paid any attention except the people in the row behind us - now they were interested to see what we were going to do about not being served. My thirst was even greater, I could almost taste that apple juice.
So I rang the call button again. Still nobody paid any attention, and now all the rows around us, realizing what was going on, sort of snickered in sympathy.
The two women manning the drink cart were now at the end of the plane, and still not paying the least attention to a passenger calling for help. A third attendant was standing behind them, facing us, and I tried, without luck, to catch her eye.
So I rang the call button for a third time, and almost climbed the back of the seat as I twisted around and waved my hands to try to get some attention. Finally the third woman looked at me and nodded, and when the other two, with their cart, got to the galley, the woman came down to see what we needed.
She quickly sized up the situation and asked what we'd like to drink. For some reason I cannot explain, I asked for orange juice instead of apple juice. "Naranja" instead of "Manzana". I did not realize what I'd said until she came back and handed me the jugo naranja. Rats! I really wanted apple juice, which is what Miguel ordered and which is what he got. Orange juice, unless it is fresh-squeezed, gives me heartburn.
But at least I had something to drink. Maybe. Because as I took the plastic cup of juice from the woman, the cup split and the juice poured out the side of the cup. Right over Miguel's lap. I quickly stuck my finger in the hole and showed the woman what had happened, expecting her to give me another cup. She handed us some napkins, and left. So I drank to the level of the split as quickly as I could, tipping the cup away from the hole. Then I downed the rest and decided to just go to sleep.
But no. Now I was going to get service. The attendant came back with another full glass of orange juice to make up for the juice I'd lost in Miguel's lap. I didn't want it, but I drank it anyway. To heck with heartburn.
Then I went to sleep.