I’m sitting on my bed, curtains drawn back, looking out over Moctezuma Hill. Our room is completely bare save the bed I’m sitting on and our half-unpacked suitcases still strewn across the floor. Already I have lists: desk, bookshelf, mirrors, picture frames. So many things I want to do to make it feel like home.
It’s hard to believe that I’m actually here. In Mexico. In my room. I have a room in Mexico.
We spent the weekend getting to know our new housemates, exploring the neighborhood, filling the fridge with groceries, and trying to get over our exhausting day of travel.
We walked to the store on Saturday. There’s an entire aisle dedicated to hot sauce. They also play salsa music there. On the walk back up Moctezuma, I felt my chest tightening, I was absurdly short of breath.
“I think I’m dying,” I said to Luke.
“It’s probably the altitude,” he said.
I forgot we’re over 7,000 feet (2,250m) above sea level. I’ve never lived at an altitude like this and I think it’s going to take some getting used to.
I haven’t had a taco yet, which is actually shameful, but I have sampled some pretty average Mexican beer called Tecate and the best avocado I’ve ever had (why don’t all avocados taste like this?!).
I like it here. It doesn’t feel like it did when we arrived in Korea and we felt lost, like maybe we should leave. It doesn’t feel like that at all. In fact, I can’t wait to get out and start exploring.
When we moved to Korea I was scared of speaking Korean, afraid of getting it wrong. I dreaded our study sessions each morning, but I’m actually excited to speak Spanish. I’ve been using it every chance I get and I am actively studying it without Luke forcing me to.
We have a cleaning lady. She told me we need to cut our tree, “es necesario cortar el árbol” she said as she pointed to the tree outside our front window. I understood without having to look it up so naturally I enthusiastically told her “bueno!” As if I was about to grab the sheers and head out there myself.
She’s probably not going to try to speak to me again.
I’m happy. Sure, I’m nervous, I’m slightly uncomfortable, and I mostly have no idea what’s happening around me, but I’m loving it. It’s been so long since I’ve been surrounded by newness and I am totally in my element.
I’m hoping to write monthly updates of life in Mexico City, separate from any posts that I actually write about the city itself and what we get up to. I want to help people who are thinking about moving here. There simply doesn’t seem to be much recent information out there about life as an expat in Mexico City, so I’m going to bring it to you!
Until then I’ll be putting hot sauce on everything I eat and trying to figure out how to casually salsa dance in the supermarket.