Thursday, September 23, 2004

M8 Una Situacion Nueva

My new neighborhood and house are “padre”, Mexico slang for “cool”.

Firstly, there are actually people here. People. People walking. People walking dogs. People interesting enough that I might want to talk to them. They’re literally teaming about the streets especially when compared with the ghost town I formerly called home.

A Single Bed to Impress the Ladies in My First Pad

My first night here I saw four cute girls. Four more than I had seen in five weeks in the deserted mansion district known as Colonia Anzures. There are stores. Stores other than chains. Stores with Mexican, not US, prices. Stores where for 90 cents, I can purchase a fresh croissant the size of a football, a loaf of bread and a mole empanada at bakery that makes them fresh daily.

When I go down stairs in the morning, I can be eating instead of fleeing. As I open the refrigerator, I won’t have to hold my breath because the stench is so bad it’s like opening one of those cadaver refrigerators on TV. I won’t have to look at or smell the geriatric soup with the bone in the middle left out to soak over night on the counter.

And I won’t have to think thoughts like it might be better to get my meals at the local jail.

I won’t have to pay $15USD to get my laundry done because I now have a washer/dryer and better still a maid who comes twice weekly to do it for me… and by-the-way, it’s included in the rent.

Here I am right in the middle of three subway stops for separate but, equally convenient lines instead of being nowhere near a metro stop. I am one block from a big park and a couple more from the President’s mansion, Los Pinos. I am a ten minute walk from what I think is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world; La Condesa. I can go there for dinner to one of scores of cool restaurants instead of not eating or eating what’s usually for dinner; pancakes a la cardboard or if I am lucky, something packaged like cereal.

When I come home at night the courtyard doesn’t smell like dog shit from the two dogs incarcerated in a cement cell the size of a walk-in closet. I won’t have to wait for the one day each week when it doesn’t smell. The day the guy comes to come to clean up the dog crap. I won’t have to feel badly that the dogs only get walked once a week by yet another hired hand. I won’t have to have debates with myself about clandestinely setting their caged bird free.

I won’t have to wonder whether I will be without threadbare towels in the bathroom because the cleaning man remembered to take the dirty ones out but forgot to replace them with clean ones.

I won’t have to lock my computer in my luggage because the lock to my room doesn’t work and isn’t going to get fixed any time soon.

I won’t have to sleep in the twin bed in the blanket woven with pubic hairs and tiny spiders. When I get up in the morning, I will actually feel clean showering in a modern bathroom that contains none of my former bathroom’s accoutrements; glaring yellow and white tiles a la 1971 pock mocked with mildew, a shower door that is strangely sticky to the touch and broken faucets that sometimes gurgle forth brown water.

When I walk up the stairs to my new room, I don’t have to worry about the creaking noise from the steps waking up the rest of the house and I won’t have to worry about stubbing my toe on the water pipe at the top of the stairs.

My new stairs are marble and there’s no one to wake up. I won’t have to worry about checking in or checking out with anyone or feeling badly because I am not feeling social. I won’t have to wake up at 7am every day when the car leaves the garage billowing exhaust and noise into my sole window.

I have a new place and I am psyched.

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