Mexico City will always have a very special place in my heart. In fact a year and a half after leaving Mexico, both C and I still miss the country, the life we had, and our friends dearly. The older more travel weary Foreign Service Officers say that your first post is always your favourite, and I think there is an element of truth to that.
Our life in Mexico had so many firsts and life milestones. Not only was it the first time C and I lived in the same country, it was also the first time we lived together! So many experiences go hand in hand with that such as discovering ourselves and each other, as well as discovering the country we were living in. It was also during this time, that we got engaged, adopted our beloved Mexican street cats and got married. Ultimately Mexico was where our family started.
When I first moved to Mexico 3 years ago C’s colleagues invited me to the office for breakfast one day. One of his colleagues Luis, was going to prepare a special breakfast of green chorizo for us.
I had never seen, let alone heard of green chorizo before and I was excited – it turned out to be one of my most memorable and enjoyable breakfasts I have had in Mexico. When I told Luis this a couple of weeks ago, he insisted he would make it for us one more time before we left.
Mexico City can be rather overwhelming the first time you visit this colossal city. There is so much to see and do, but where to start? Here are my top ten absolute favourite places to go when we have guests in town, and I thought I would share them with you.
What do all of the above have in common?! Yep, you got it! BRAZIL!
We are moving to Brazil! :)
2 weeks ago C and I found out our next post was going to be Brasilia. 1 week ago, we found out that instead of moving in 2014 (which was planned) we are going to be moving in the summer. I can tell you one thing – there is nothing that can distract you more from your own wedding plans, than finding out that you are moving to a new country in less than 6 months!
We have done nothing but talk and think about Brasilia since we found out we were moving there. If I am going to be honest, the news was not met immediately with joy on my part…quite the opposite. I really had my hopes set on Tokyo which was our first choice, at the end of the day my heart is and always will be in Asia, and finding out I was moving further away from my family was hard. But as the reality sank in, that Brasilia is going to be our new home for the next 3-4 years, I have slowly warmed to the idea and am now quite excited about the prospect.
Even as I write this post, I still cannot completely fathom that I am moving to Brazil! Those of you who knew me in my late teens and early 20s, know that I was obsessed with Brazil, Brazilians, Latin American’s in general –there was something so exotic about that side of the world. In my rather uptight boarding school in Sweden I used to bore my friends by playing Manu Chau and Shakira on repeat (I know Manu Chau is not even Latin…but his music coincided with my fantasy of what Latin America would be like!) and dream about living in South America. This was also the time, my biggest aspiration was to live on a beach, work in a bar and date a surfer….oh how things have changed…
Or have they? Have you heard the theory of Positive Thinking? That if you think about something you want hard enough, long enough, honestly enough..it will happen? Well I think I am about to be a believer. Here I am 10 years later and I am living in Mexico, marrying a Peruvian and about to move to Brasilia….I tell you, careful for what you wish for :)
Worryingly however, is the lack of information that I can found on line regarding Brasilia, and the little I can, does not seem that exciting: In summary Brasilia is a man-made city with interesting architecture, cut out of the middle of the rain forest and is shaped like a plane….riiigghht. Not quite the South American ideal I was dreaming of as a teen…
When I have told friends and colleagues where our next post is, I cannot begin to tell you how many women have told me – its a great place to make babies! REALLY? that is what my future is destined for- 3 to 4 years of baby making? There must be more to this city than meets the eye, and I promise you I will find it! :)
Although I am excited about our move to Brazil – I must admit, it makes me very sad as well. We have made so many good friends here in Mexico, have such a good life here that it will be sad to leave. Also, leaving in 6 months has seriously disrupted my plans! Now everything I wanted to do before we left has to be all crammed into the next 6 months, not to mention we will be in Peru nearly all of March for the wedding (EEEK our wedding is tomorrow in a month!)
So I have decided that I need to seriously get blogging on all the amazing things there is to see and do here – be prepared for a whole barrage of ‘all things Mexico’ in the upcoming months!
Last week, on November 2nd was Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead – which is one of Mexico’s most vibrant and fascinating holidays. It’s an amalgamation of pre-hispanic beliefs, merged with Catholic traditions, but ultimately it is a time to celebrate and remember the life of your deceased loved ones. Last year C and I went to San Angel during Dia de Los Muertos, and saw some fantastic alters – you can see the post and pictures here.
The Sunday before last C and I, along with a friend decided to spend the day at Tepotzlan – a little town about 1.5 hour south of Mexico City. If I’m going to be honest, I am the one that wanted to spend the day at Tepotzlan, and I bullied C into driving us :)
We had been to Tepotzlan a few months prior with some good friends of ours, and I really wanted to return as not only is it a very picturesque little town with cobbled streets, but there is hike up a hill that I wanted to do to go visit an old temple called Tepoztecalt.
Where do I start? It has been over two months since I last wrote a post and I feel thoroughly guilty for neglecting the TTC. I am sure however you have all managed quite well without me ;)
I have a back-log of posts that I have wanted to share with you – but the more time that has passed, the more daunting the task it is to start. However, I am just going to have to start from the beginning! Keep Reading
Some of you who read The Travelling Chopsticks regularly, may wonder why I never write about Mexican food, and I really must admit to you that when I first moved to Mexico, I really wasn’t all that impressed with it (I can almost hear your disappointment in me!)
I really don’t know why I didn’t like it – maybe it was a combination of eating in the wrong places, or not really knowing what to eat – but I just always felt uninspired. However until recently this view has begun to change, and change quite drastically at that, and I find myself even starting to crave certain dishes! I had even thought to start being more adventurous, and begin to showcase the best Mexico has to offer on this blog.
Yesterday was Day of the Dead or rather Dia de los Muertos – which has to be one of Mexico’s most interesting, extraordinary and colourful celebrations. You may think the combination of the words ‘dead’ and ‘celebration’ in one sentence slightly off-kilter, but this is what the day is all about – a celebration of death, and hence a celebration of life.
Unlike in Europe or most “Western” culture death is not something to be feared here in Mexico, it is (quite rightly) something to be embraced, as ultimately we are all going to die so why be scared of it? Traditionally the Aztecs believed that life was a dream and that you only started living once you died – then you were truly awake.
I fell in love with Mexico pretty much the first time I came to visit ‘C’ almost two years ago! I don’t know if I initially fell in love with it because of the country itself, or rather because the man I was in love with lived here and it represented an unknown future– but now that I have been living here for over a year, I can say without a doubt that I love it because of the country that it is.
When I talk to my friends back in Europe and Asia, they always ask me what is it like living in Mexico? Aren’t I scared due to all the violence? How do I cope living in one of the world’s largest and most dangerous cities?