snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative


The Arrival
August 30, 2008, 12:32 am
Filed under: Photo, Update | Tags: ,

Update 1.0

In Chicago, I have accidentally wandered onto the set of a movie in the Loop (The Weatherman), had the filming of a TV drama (ER) close down my workplace in Lincoln Park (Princeton Review), and crossed paths with news cameras an incalculable number of times (most recently, a near miss with Barack Obama on the night of my going away party). My first full day back in DF, however, I came across a group filming something that I have never seen before: a Discovery Channel special. As I walked home from Starbucks (my primary source of internet at the moment) and crossed through Tlacoquemecatl Park (try saying that ten times fast), I saw a group of children crowding around a heavy-set older man holding a large bunch of silver balloons. While a balloon vendor in a Mexican Park is unremarkable, the fact that the man was speaking English with another man who ran around with a videocamera and shouted instructions about microphone levels and proper angles caught my attention. As I had no plans for several hours (i.e. I was bored), I decided to stick around and watch the filming. I spoke with the cameraman, who informed me that they were filming a show on UFO sightings around the world, and were releasing the balloons in an attempt to spark claims by an individual that regularly reports mysterious flying objects above Mexico City. Keep your eyes out for such a TV show in several months…

The majority of my week was not spent watching a TV show’s filming, however, but rather at an orientation for my Fulbright program. While I don’t feel any more “oriented” than before, the chance to meet the other becarios was awesome. The projects range from artistic (Paper and print making with native plants of Xalapa) to political (drug policy in Mexico) to the slightly odd (lizard sex). There are people from all around the US, going to all around Mexico, and ranging in age from recent college grads to families with kids to one woman who is in what Mexico calls la 3o edad (“the third age”). A good number have spare rooms in cool cities; they will definitely be getting a visit or several over the next few months.

I’m signed up for Chinese classes, will hopefully be joining a basketball team in the neighborhood soon, and plan to do some rotations at one of the hospitals here. It’ll be especially good to have all this stuff to do during the first few months as I think it’s going to take several months to get my actual project off the ground. I’m hoping the IRB approval goes smoothly, but I’m pretty sure it won’t (particularly as I haven’t gone through the entire process before), so I’m thinking I’ll probably start actual interviews in November.

Fun Mexican word: Tlacoquemecatl. I’m guessing it’s Nahua (the language of the Aztecs/Mexica) but have no clue what the meaning is. In my world, it’s a street and a park of the same name about half a kilometer south of my house.

Picture: I think it’s appropriate after the DNC this past week.

Prior to becoming the US President, Barack owned a Fiat dealership in Colonia del Valle

Prior to becoming the US President, Barack owned a Fiat dealership in Colonia del Valle

Something I miss (aside from all of you, of course): Being able to ride a bike places; crossing the street in Mexico City is dangerous enough; riding in the street would be suicide.

Something I like about DF: The Metrobus. It comes literally every minute or so (imagine the L doing that…) yet still manages to be packed at all times of day.

Hope all’s well back home. Keep me updated on what’s going on with you, and (i mean this seriously) come visit.

k

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