In an email recently, my dad asked me for “impressions of the city” so far. So after being here for less than 24 hours, in no particular order, here they are:
1) I’ve gained 20 pounds just LOOKING at and SMELLING the street food.
2) My apartment is small, but nice and in an interesting neighborhood (I even have a place for my keys! And I can’t forget them cause I need them to lock the door on the way out. GENIUS!)
3) A woman named Danielle greeted me at the airport and has been incredibly helpful (that’s her role, but I think she’s gone above and beyond).
4) It is a huuuuuge city and I don’t quite feel “home” yet (well, duh, you might say).
5) Apparently there’s a buddhist center near my apartment…yoga classes? and Danielle pointed out the main supermarket and also another more “local” market that has a bit more character and such.
6) They gave us a cell phone, but I’m feeling a bit materialistic. It’s little and not good for texting so I may go cell phone hunting tomorrow.
7) I have used my Spanish a lot already.
8) Some people have trouble understanding my Spanish. I think that’s funny!
9) I’ve managed to eat fairly healthy so far….(despite the 20 pounds I gained looking at the street food).
10) There are two parks not too too far away from me that I can run to and then run around. I’m super restless and I’m not sure exactly what would make me feel better. I think just knowing where to get my coffee in the morning and just knowing the streets and what’s what. All in time, I know.
11) Danielle dropped me off at my apt. yesterday and then she felt bad jetting off, leaving me to talk to the landlady. I was surprised at how fine that was with me and how competent I was at asking questions and understanding my landlady. She left me a plate of fruit and a bottle of wine. She also has an adorable one year old granddaughter.
12) Everyone in my building is Mexican. Which is great. Salsa music was blaring from the apartment above me at 11:00 at night….oy.
13) Getting hot water is slightly different here…I kinda forgot the instructions the landlady gave me and ended up taking a freezing cold shower last night. Growing pains!
12) I’m looking forward to being in a routine! I think that will help me feel more grounded….
13) I was walking on the major street yesterday (Insurgentes Sur) and I ran into the head of ASF (Juan)! He thought I was brave to say “hi” just in case it wasn’t him. I told him that there were so few people that i knew in Mexico City I would be sure to recognize the ones I did know. The chances of meeting him like that are quite slim. But somehow I always run into people. It was nice that that happened. It made me feel more at home if that makes any sense).
14) Juan (the director of the school) asked me where I lived. I pointed in a direction and said, “Roma Sur.” He got a slightly amused/puzzled look on his face and said, “Well actually if you live in Roma Sur you live that way,” and pointed in the opposite direction. There’s a familiar pattern….
15) I had dinner at a really cute little place on Avenida Amsterdam near a fountain. I didn’t feel like not knowing quite how to get back so I took a cab. I felt a little silly about that.
16) Appliances (such as juicers and coffee makers) are more expensive here :(.
17)The city feels so familiar (with the farmacias and lavanderias and street carts)! In some ways, I feel like I’m home again, and by the same token…
18) It’s weird to be in a city that seems familiar (cause it has big streets and cars and restaurants and stores) but to not know really how everything works or where anythinf is.
19) As Danielle was driving, I definitely had the imaginary brake on. Red-lights are suggested stop signs and make a wish when you cross the street! Pedestrians are second-class citizens here.
20) I unpacked in like an hour! I have so little, it’s kind of liberating. We’ll see how I feel in a month…
20) It is fun to have a couple days to be in this transition place and to explore!
21) Fun little fact: Insurgentes Sur apparently runs all the way through Canada.