Archive for June, 2013

A House Full of Cheeseless Quesadillas
June 16, 2013

I’m spending the summer in Mexico City, doing an internship with Disability Rights International, (http://www.disabilityrightsintl.org/) an organization that advocates for the rights of people with psychosocial disabilities. I’ll be writing about my work for McGill’s Human Rights Intern’s blog soon.   Otherwise I’m staying busy with the endless activities offered by this enormous city: kickboxing (once), salsa dancing (a few times) and pretending to understand Spanish (daily).   I’m living in a big house, which I’m sharing with four roommates. Prior to my arrival the house was mostly populated by Brits, so of course it was filthy. I spent the first few days cleaning away, earning me the not particularly lovely nickname of Senorita Escoba. I live with two Mexicans, Debra and Francisco,  a Frenchwoman, Daphne, and an Australian, named either Nick or Nico. There is also one dog (Momo), countless spiders and dead cockroaches and two scorpions (though only one was discovered alive).   Daphne is my favourite because she’s French and let’s me use her blowdryer. She also practices kickboxing a few times a week, meaning I don’t argue with her when she writes ridiculous things in my journal. For example: “My roomies are so mean to me. But I deserve it. They are the best. They will help me get back on the right path. Bless them.”   Daphne is dating a Mexican named Nyvse, whose most redeeming quality is his ability to flush scorpions down the toilet while I hide in fear. Last week Nyvse was mad at me because I “hurted” him when I stepped on his foot. I was told to stop damaging people like a fucking bus and that his forgiveness could be bought for a taco.   Then there is Francisco, whose signature feature is his ability to stare intensely into the depths of your soul, discovering all vulnerabilities, which he will then use against you at the most oppertune moment. Notable Franciscisms include: “Wow your legs are a lot bigger than mine,” and “you know in this light you kind of have a beard.” I’ve yet to decide whether we will be best friends or whether I will dedicate the rest of the summer to destroying him. Having yet to prove his ability to kill a scorpion I am leaning toward the latter.   Then there is Nick, whom I barely know because he ran off to Australia to refortify his accent, which was, regrettably, becoming largely comprehensible. I eagerly anticipate his return, since there clearly isn’t enough crazy here yet.   gg gggg goo

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On a weekend trip to Puebla, with Francisco and Daphne

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And now my feet are dirty… again
June 2, 2013

I’ve been in Mexico City for a week now, which means that in a few more months I should be used to all its noise and people and traffic and food and smells and noise.

There are 22 million people in Mexico City (that’s also the population of all of Australia), which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that every single one of them takes the same metro line to work as I do. Many metro lines reserve the first few cars for women and children only, which is great, unless you forget about this and get into one of the later cars exclusively populated by men.

The upshot of such a large population is that every night feels like Canada Day. Not so much in the sense of ra-ra patriotic celebrations, but in the sense that there are always a ton of people on the streets and in public parks and squares. There are vendors selling ice cream and churros, as well as buskers, clowns and tourists.

During these events a favourite pastime of the Mexican couple is to sit on park bench already populated by a Canadian and proceed to attempt to suck each others tongues out of each others faces while the Canadian cringes in horror.

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I’ve found an apartment in Coyoacan, a bohemian neighbourhood to the south of the city famous as Frida Kahlo’s former stomping ground. Indeed, her famous blue house (now a delightful museum full of her gruesome paintings) is only a ten-minute walk away.  I’m living with two Mexicans, a French girl an Australian, as well as a dog, countless spiders, cucarachas and a single dead scorpion. Together we make a rather handsome bunch.

I’ve been reading the Alquimist in Spanish, which is rather ridiculous since it was originally written in Portugese. My Spanish is coming along swimmingly, unless an important part of learning a language is being able to understand people when they speak to you. In that case I’ve still got a ways to go.