snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative

Another Friend in the NYT
May 26, 2009, 10:58 am
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My good friend Colleen,  fellow Fulbrighter and a talented writer to boot, was published in the New York Time this past Sunday.  The topic?  While Mexico City has returned to post-swine flu normalcy, a month ago was a far different story

Congrats, Colleen!


Protect Your Statues
May 20, 2009, 12:28 am
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Zach and I stumbled across this little scene the other day, and luckily he happened to have his camera with him.

Zach and I stumbled across this little scene, and luckily he had his camera with him.Fun with Swine H1N1 Flu

Winding Down, Looking Back
May 13, 2009, 10:00 am
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Somehow the year has gone flying by, and I find myself with only a few weeks left before I head back to my other home, Chicago.  While I haven’t quite left yet, the nostalgia is already kicking in, big-time…

Partial list of things I’m going to miss about living in Mexico City:

1)      My Mexican family (if they don’t kidnap me to make me stay, as they often threaten)


4)      The weather.  As much as bad weather doesn’t bother me, I’m going to miss knowing that every day the weather will be perfect.


7)  My neighborhood taco stand, and the sweet, sweet tacos campechanos it serves up.


15)    Neighborhood fruit stands (and other markets of all types).  The Chicago farmers markets are great, but once or twice a week in summer doesn’t quite match every day all year, and low low prices.  Plus, there’s no mangos or dominicos in Chicago.


22)    Guanajuato, Acapulco, Jalapa, and countless other cool cities to visit within a 5 hour bus ride.


37)    Bugambilia, Jacarandas, and all the other flowers that are everywhere in the DF year-round.


44)    The Metrobus.  Having to wait more than 30 seconds for a bus to come is going to be a rough reminder of US public transportation.


102)    Boing de Guayaba, the startlingly addictive bright pink guava drink available at taco stands and convenience stores everywhere.


1,345—1,347) (Tie)  Toss up between mosquito bites, air pollution, and lack of Ethiopian food as what I will miss least

Fun Mexican Word:  Tapaboca – Literally “cover mouth”, the tapabocas craze kicked off several weeks ago when swine flu hit the news.  While their use has dropped since the end of April—perhaps because people calmed down about the “pandemic”, perhaps because pharmacies and hospitals ran out of them—they still are a fairly common site on the street in Mexico City.

Picture:  La Granada waterfall.  I’ve already posted several pictures of this, but as it was one of the coolest things I’ve done in Mexico up to this point (or maybe just the coolest thing I’ve done recently, but whatever) I think it’s earned the right to show up multiple times on the blog.

La Grabada

La Granada

Something I miss (aside from all of you, of course):  Oak Street Beach.  I expect to be playing Frisbee there the evening after I return.  June 2, you know who you are.

Something I like about DF:  The lizards that I see every day scampering away as I walk by their sunning spots.  (If you’re interested, that’s #256 on the list from above)


See you Chicagoans soon,


Calming down
May 1, 2009, 6:05 pm
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A long walk in Mexico City today (Del Valle to the Basilica) revealed a city still largely quiet and shut down from the swine flu outbreak, but far less affected by the accompanying  irrational panic outbreak.  Restaurants, while not serving seated customers, were open for carry-out.  Stores and shops, while largely empty, were open.  Street markets were set up for business, pilgrims were headed to the basilica, and the tapabocas, Mexico City’s new favorite fashion accessory, seems to have fallen largely out of style.  While still a far cry from the bustle and chaos of a normal Mexico City day, there are very clear signs of returning normality and sanity.  After my 4+ hour walk, my major health concern is no longer swine flu, but my sore feet.

April 30, 2009, 1:59 pm
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…of all this swine flu stuff.  Hopefully not sick with all this swine flu stuff.

Anyway, two more funny links on swine flu and then I officially stop paying attention to it, at least for a day or so.

Bumblin’ Biden “calms” the country

Decorating the tapabocas

Non-Swine Flu Pigs
April 29, 2009, 12:51 pm
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Frisky Japanese Pigs on the News

The Cutest Pig Ever. (thanks Jackie!)

Important Genetic Research

Muppets deal with their own strange medical issues

Today in Swine Flu, via quotes
April 29, 2009, 9:10 am
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First US death:

“‘This is obviously a serious situation, serious enough to take the utmost precautions,’ Mr. Obama said” – NYT

Flu reaches Chicago?

“A probable case of swine flu has prompted the closing of a North Side elementary school for at least two days” – Chicago Tribune

First identified case, a 5 year old in Veracruz, but still no closer to finding the source:

“I was very bad” – Edgar Hernandez, NYT

“We have more questions than answers,” – Dr Miguel Angel Lozana, Chicago Tribune

Knee Jerk Reaction of the Day:

“Egypt, for its part, began a mass slaughter of all 300,000 pigs in the country in an effort to fight swine flu – although no cases have been reported in the country.” – BBC

Best summary of atmosphere in Mexico City in a single quote:

“‘The customers are scared stupid – they don’t want to go out,’ said hairdresser Esther Gonzalez” – BBC