Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Hope it Burns

We spent the weekend in Dallas moving stuff around in our storage unit. I didn't actually get a picture of it, so instead you get a picture of one of our valuable boxes. Just imagine that this is a 10x20 storage unit, looks just the same. We opened the door and all I could think was how much time and energy I'd spent getting it all packed up and out of our house in June. I don't miss any of it. I had a hard time figuring out what it was we'd come to retrieve to take to India with us. I guess I shouldn't say that I hope it burns, since then the insurance might come knocking, but really...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Life Goes On

Last Thursday was my last day in our sublet apartment. Phil will be there until middle of this week, but N, S, and I headed to the states to wrap things up in Dallas and visit family. Which also meant that it was S's last day of school. Let's just say he wasn't overly sad to say goodbye to the teachers and students. I however, was. One of my favorite parts of the day has been the twice daily walks to school.

I love the morning walk especially. There are always lots of people out getting ready for the day, unloading delivery trucks, washing sidewalks in front of restaurants, selling tamales. The weather has been lovely the whole time, it usually feels fresh and clean in the morning after the evening rains have moved on. The intense city smells haven't picked up yet.

So as we rode the elevator downstairs on Thursday morning I was allowing myself to feel a little nostalgic already. I will definitely miss this apartment, this walk, this neighborhood. Then the elevator doors opened and I heard the words, "Oh bla de, oh bla da, Live goes on." The portera (she runs the garage in the building, takes care of the common areas) was listening to the radio. And my life had a soundtrack. Finally. Always thought I deserved one.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ingenuity II

On our walk home from school one day this week, we walked past this knife sharpener. The picture is a little confusing because there is a bike parked right behind the bike of interest. The knife sharpener had all his tools on his bike, and his rear tire was up on a stand. He turned backwards on the bike and pedaled backwards, and thus provided the power to his sharpening stone. The stone revolved and he held the knife to the stone. Yes, we watched for quite a while. Yes, I acted like S was fascinated, but really it was me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

La familia Hamilton

The Hamilton's came to visit this past weekend. We loved having them. A few highlights:



Spent Saturday downtown and


climbed to the top of the cathedral for the bell tower tour. I've been on better tours, though the 12 pesos was worth it for the view, and watching everyone gather round the bull horn guy to hear the stats and names of the various bells.


M went to school with S, where they made Mexican flags for independence day. They waved them all the way home, which people found very entertaining.




And lots of trips to the playground. N seemed to fall in love with C, and was always giving hugs, or poking her eyes out. He did that a lot. She mostly put up with the attention.




Thursday, September 18, 2008

¡Viva Mexico!

Tuesday was Independence Day. It's a big deal, two days off kind of a big deal. It all starts with El Grito in the Zocalo at 11pm on Sept. 15. Since the Hamilton's were visiting (more on that later), and Carrie offered to tend to all the sleeping children, Phil and I went.

Here's the proof:



Phil thinks my extreme whiteness in this picture is very funny.... ha. ha.

Here's Phil on our walk into the Zocalo, which meant running the shaving-cream-like-substance and confetti gauntlet. Everyone had these cans of white foam which they were spraying all over everyone and everything. The streets were white from all the foam, and so were most of the people.

video



When it zooms, notice the guy with the huge fake mustache. I think that it a little homage to Emilano Zapata, but I'm not sure, please fill me in if you know. They were selling the fake mustaches all over.

And if you thought that looked crowded, here we are trying to leave:

video

Unfortunately, this year's celebration was marred by violence. In town plazas all across Mexico this same cry is lead by local government leaders. This year in Morelia grenades were thrown into the crowd. Here's a link to an article: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1634595120080916

I can't imagine how frightening that would be, to be in such a large crowd and hear those blasts. Horrible.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Español

Today a telemarketer complimented me on my Spanish. I don't think that's a good thing. I dream of Spanish that no one needs to comment on at all, because they can just understand it without effort.

I've noticed that I get compliments from people I am paying or who want me to pay them (the cab driver, my Spanish tutor, the telemarketer). I get "que?" "como?" and "mande?" from anyone else (my maid who's paid by my landlord, people I ask directions of in the street, kids on the playground).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Question of the week

Mom, why do superheroes put their pants on first?

Monday, September 1, 2008

La Concentración

I'm guessing that many of you have heard about the anti-crime rally/protest held here in Mexico city this weekend. If not, here's the lowdown: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7590272.stm

We didn't go. Maybe if my in laws hadn't been here? Probably not, given that the last protest I participated in was a walk-out in junior high (they were trying to take away our electives!!), but I wish we had.

We did happen to drive by the starting point about an hour and a half before the protest was to begin and there were already quite a few people there. Everyone was dressed in white with hundreds on candles on the steps of the angel statue on Reforma. There were balloons with names of the missing printed on them. There were banners with pictures on them. And there were policemen, lots of policemen. They were lining both sides of the street all the way along the route.

Phil did go back about an hour later and said it was a sea of white, just packed with people.

Here is our cheesy, "I was almost there" photo:


Note the crunch bar vendor, trying to dispute my chocolate claims.

And the equally bad video (of which my favorite part is the guy dashing across traffic at the end, just a little taste of the frogger-like traffic in el df):


video

A bunch of unrelated pictures

Well, they were all taken this weekend. I guess they have that in common.

My in laws were visiting so we made the tourists rounds again.



And on the way to Teotihuacan we saw this dream machine:


I bet he gets all the chicks... or bunnies.

And if you've ever wondered what the balloon vendors do at the end of the day:



And finally a picture of N, just because: