Apologies for the lack of posts this week but I was pretty busy (yay!).
Tuesday was a fairly ordinary day at work and then a weird aerobics classed called Body Attack that was not that revolutionary. I still need to try the tumbling one. It was, like most latin american 1 hour commitments, roughly 42 minutes. That night, we had a house dinner which was lots of fun and absolutely hilarious. As the day wore on, via whatsapp group, plans for dinner devolved from cooking fish to cooking eggplant to ordering pizza. The pizza ordering happened around 10:30 pm after calling one place and rejecting its price. I bit into a slice of pizza hut bread product (it was more of a flatbread with toppings if we’re being quite honest) at 10:58. Thankfully by this time we had opened wine to dull the tastebuds. While it was obviously not the best pizza of my life, it was fun to eat with the whole house and observe how they eat pizza: covered in hot sauce which pizza places make in little ketchup packets. Hey, with pizza this bad, hot sauce makes it pretty edible. As does hunger. I hope we do more house dinners, maybe with some actual cooking involved but hey I can’t be picky. The funniest part was when someone in the house referred to me as not saying a lot, which is the first time in my life I’ve been described as such. It’s such a big group of people I don’t know well that I don’t talk a ton and occasionally comment, which is pretty different than most situations I’m in. When I went upstairs for the night, one roommate said, “Thank you for your moments, Abigail,” which sounds better in spanish and was nice.
The madness began on Wednesday when I got to cover an event for work. Someone from Ashoka gave a workshop on social innovation in marketing at a conference called WOBI on Marketing at an expo center in Santa Fe. I had to go and live tweet the panel (dream scenario!). It’s about a half hour from where I live which means an hour and 15 minutes in early morning traffic. Luckily, my cab will get reimbursed. The conference itself was SO COOL. There were big brands there (thanks for the free starbucks) and lots of cool booths. They built these pop up pink rooms for the workshops and I got to go and listen to the panel and tweet. The wifi network they set up wasn’t working so I convinced a staff member to give me access to their staff one, which he made me promise not to share with anyone else. It was a good moment. It was fun to talk to Juan, who gave the workshop afterwards, he seemed really excited and the room was completely full. I would have stayed there all day but I had to go to another event, a press conference at a hotel to announce this initiative to create a citizenship resumé in Mexico. The goal of this is for people to start participating more in politics and volunteer work which they can use on a non professional resumé that will be good for employers and good for the country. It was a perfectly fine press conference but I was a little bit off because I had just gotten majorly ripped off by my taxi driver on the way there. He quoted me an outrageous price and when I argued, he shot me a scary glance that made me pay him and get out of the car. It was a total buzzkill to my “I am woman with secret wifi and free coffee hear me roar” vibe and shook me for a few hours. I went back to the office (on the subway for the first time woo!) after the press conference, stopped to get lunch and worked for a few hours. Then I went home and sat in my room feeling annoyed at the patriarchy. I cooked a little dinner and was about to go watch netflix when Ramsés, who works at Ashoka and Arjun decided to get dinner. I went with them and had a tamale in Roma Norte, where Ramsés used to live. It was really good, with nopales (cactus) and verdolaga, another green vegetable kind of like chard. I also had atole, this warm beverage made from wheat that is very hard to describe. There are lots of cool restaurants and bars around there and we walked around afterwards and stopped for drinks at La Nacional. I got to sample mezcal for the first time in mexico and had a drink with cucumber and basil and mezcal called El Fresco. I could drink it weekly! I was so glad I didn’t wallow and had (male) friends to go out with after my rollercoaster day.
Thursday brought another event, at IPADE, a business school known for its excellent event spaces. I went to live tweet some stuff and Ashoka is using the space for an event in August so two other people also went to see how this event was run and plan our own. I met Brenda, former birthday girl who does not actually work in communication, on the subway platform and we took a cab from the station. The business school was NICE and the event was very formal. All the girls working it were in this ridiculous uniform of tight shift dresses and such high heels that they could barely walk. I know there are girls wearing ridiculous things to work, for many reasons, in all parts of the world (especially NYC in the summer) but this is one of my first times being in formal business situations and gender parity is but a distant dream. We got a multicourse breakfast, attended some of the panels and left around 3. Juan luckily drove to the event so we got a ride back. I had a late lunch and worked for a little longer. That night, Arjun and I went to an argentine restaurant a few blocks from our house that we pass every day walking to work. The menu took me back to Buenos Aires and I weirdly loved it. From the malbec to the quilmes, to the menu item offering an ensalada porteña (which is just carrot, lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg and DIY oil and vinegar), I was in nostalgia heaven. I had grilled veggies, a corn empanada (they even used the argentine spanish word for corn on the menu) and malbec. PERFECT. Then we watched some NBA playoffs.
Friday was a comparatively late start after all these events and I had a pretty good and chill day at the office. I suggested a few things to my boss that she liked and confirmed that I’m attending two more events next week, one at the same Santa Fe expo and one at a museum. It’s a cool way to explore the city, if nothing else. I went home and debated what to do for dinner since I had not many groceries. I cooked up a little something and then went back to Roma Norte with Ramsés and Arjun to this super cool hipster movie theater/bar/restaurant. There was a sold out stand up comic in the theater that night but the restaurant/bar area was still open so we got popcorn and drinks, served with paper straws, naturally. In terms of hipster restaurants, this was A level for mexico (quinoa on the menu, cucumber mezcal slushies) but would not fly in america (nothing labeled gluten free, some mainstream beers in addition to craft ones). I was wearing printed pants and felt right at home. Then we headed to get ice cream at a place Ramsés’ friends own and I had chocolate oaxaquena flavor which is so good. Ramsés hadn’t had dinner before leaving so we then went to an italian restaurant (after a stop at really hipster bar with an art gallery in it that was way too full/cool for my lifestyle) and got more drinks and some food. It was a really fun night and fun to see how much the Roma area has to offer, just 20 blocks north of where I live.
Today I went to the Pyramids of Teohticuahan which will have to be a separate post and I’m hoping to hang out in Condesa and Roma tomorrow because there’s a special event this weekend called a Corrida which is sort of like a mini restaurant week: promotions, special events etc.