My first weeks in Mexico

So, tonight I realized that I have been here 15 days.  I honestly can’t believe it.  For some reason I thought I’d come here and be sad and mad and long for my lost home in D.C., but I am totally fine.  I know I am here for 2 years and thinking of this makes me happy. 
 
First, I need to comment on where I live.  The area where my apartment is located – Polanco – is the poshest area of Mexico City (not my words, I’ve read it in the local American Express guide to Mexico City).  The building that is neighbouring my apartment is the Intercontinental Hotel, and you know where those are usually located.  So, as I found out already, my view of the city is greatly distorted by my apartment’s address.  This stark realization came to me last Friday as I was lounging in my government issued armchair, eating, liking my life and watching news.  The news lady said that while I was stuffing my face in my marble-y and echo-y apartment (lots of space hence lots of echo), there were areas of Mexico City completely inundated by the rain which happens here every day right now (aka “rainy season”).  They also showed other parts of this big city – the famous Mexico City slums.  So, the gist is – I do live as a very privileged person here.
 
The people here are super nice.  I mean, people say “Muy amable” (“Very pleasant”) when I deny them a visa.  And if you ask someone on the street for directions, they will stop going where they were going to show you where you are going.  I know there are bad guys…but I hope I do not encounter them.
 
The food…it is wonderful.  When I lived in AZ I thought I did not like Mexican food.  So coming here I was expected to starve.  Instead, I am trying to watch how much I eat because the food is great and I eat a lot.  I am wondering if the altitude has anything to do with it, but I eat constantly.  My scale has not arrived yet, so by the time it arrives it will be too late I am afraid.  The best edible things I like so far are amazing mangos, avocados, tostadas, Oaxaca cheese and cream.  This is what I eat daily.  It does help that a great, colorful farm market happens on my block every Saturday.  They actually bring all the goodies to me!  The one drawback with the food here is that beyond Mexican I won’t have much luck.  I tried pad thai in a very expensive Japanese restaurant and it tasted like pasta with salsa and the sushi I tried today in a famous sushi restaurant was like eating rice at a theme park…Mexican waiters were sporting Japanese looking clothes and bandanas. 
 
The work is interesting.  On some days I feel completely wiped out, but at the same time I am secretly enjoying it.  E.g., I was interviewing twins today and yesterday, I talk to old grandmas and little kids, to super rich urbanites and very poor campesinos.  

Amazingly, I do have free time here.  Although the visa work is demanding, it ends by 4:00.  So I get my evenings and it is a great thing.  And this is how I started yoga.  Never done yoga before and always wanted to, and here there is a studio 5 blocks from me.  The 2 teachers whose classes I took are wonderful.  Beyond stretches and lots of instruction in Spanish most of which I do not understand, we also get burning incense and yesterday while meditating at the end of the class (I was not, but I was pretending I was), we were even sprayed with rose water…it did feel divine!  And once my Aikido uniform arrives with my shipment, I will also check out the Aikido dojo in my neighbourhood.  I pray it is a nice one because if it is not, I’d need to drive for hours to get to a nice one. 
 
And weekends promise to be cool.  In the last 2 weekends that I have been here I went to the Museum of Anthropology (top notch), Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling), Italian ballet (La Scala), movie (Indiana Jones), Chapultepec Park (I visited mariposario=butterflyario).  Next weekend I am going to Taxco – the silver capital of Mexico and the following weekend to Acapulco, for some sun on the ocean. 
 
So, my friends, all is good on this end.  I look forward to seeing you here as soon as you possibly can travel here.  One of my 3 bedrooms beckons. 
 
Hugs and talk to you soon!
Alla

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