Not going to bury the lede on this one: today’s main accomplishment was finding a place to live. I have keys, I move in on Tuesday. I also bought a local cellphone and even ate dinner with another human but the room is the real highlight.
I woke up and went downstairs for breakfast. At the table was bread and jam, yogurt, granola and cereal. They brought out coffee, fresh juice and fruit salad. This, I figured, influenced by so many hostel breakfasts in Argnetina, was it. I ate some yogurt and granola, hoped for a refill on the coffee, the usual. Then this chef comes out with full plates full of tortilla strips and queso fresco with a small carafe of black bean puree to pour over it. It was like deconstructed chilequiles and omg the black beans were delicious. I also told him I was a vegetarian and I know he’ll have breakfast options for me for the next few days. Then, I figured we were done but no: out came corn muffins that were free of flour (and so moist) for a sweet finish. The Chef explained that he got the recipe from his grandmother on her deathbed (she was in the bed, but not yet dead, he said). Classic. I’m excited for tomorrow morning (I may take pictures) and glad this place takes the breakfast part of bed and breakfast seriously.
Then I went to check out the place I’m living, about a 20 minute walk from where I’m staying now. It’s a group house with 16 rotating people. There are three stories and it’s so clean and well decorated. Everyone has cubbies in the fridge and kitchen and I’m only going to have to share a bathroom with one other person. I chose a room on the third floor with the biggest closet. There’s also a desk and a shelf so I can’t wait to unpack there on tuesday. I went back to the b&b to tell my parents I had a home and then headed out to try and buy a local pay as you go phone. The first two locations I visited were closed on saturdays but I found a department store that sold phones, even IPHONES (this is a huge deal after Argentina) and got the cheapest one they had: a Nokia that will serve its purpose. It’s weird to adjust to life without a smartphone but I know I’ll get used to it and I’ll have wifi all day at work and in my room. All these errands are a great excuse to walk around the city and the weather has been perfect. Condesa and Roma are so charming and not at all crowded. There are trees and families walking around and the worst part is crossing the street. Phone in hand, I settled into a late lunch at a cafe on a terrace. The waiters must have thought I was very lost but they were very nice to me and did things like let me taste two types of wine rather than just saying which kinds they had. No complaints. I haven’t had this much free time in months.
I went back to the b and b around 6 and was kind of resigned to a solo dinner nearby when I decided to email someone else from Penn who’s interning here. I didn’t know he existed until today but saw his name on email chain about housing that said he arrived today and the woman who owns the house mentioned an intern arriving. We met for dinner in between our two places and while the original place we wanted to go to was closed we found a really casual decent spot which was adequate. We were both really tired but it was nice to meet someone who’s familiar from context (and we have some mutual friends) and see someone who I’ll be living and working with. Tomorrow we’re going to try to visit some touristy spot which may require figuring out the subways? I’ll keep you posted.