Month one.

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I walked back (up) from the mercado, all 332 stairs, in the penetrating afternoon sun, and gave new meaning to the word “trudging.” I put away the 12lbs of fruit, peeled off my bra, put up my hair, and sat down to my computer with a fresh strawberry daiquiri.

All of a sudden, it’s pouring outside, and thundering. Despite being in a desert, this is jungle-level rain, like the type of rain you see in movies when something shady is going down, or when two people in love find each other. This rain is enveloping, and inescapable as it pushes its way under doors and in-between the seals of windows. The thunder is not the ordinary, mumbling thunder of which we’ve grown accustomed to, either. Every minute or so, the downpour pauses to accommodate a shred of lightning, the dogs lick their lips nervously, and we all brace ourselves as the sky tears itself into a thousand pieces, its shots echoing magnificently off the surrounding hills. It’s the sound of cannon fire, fireworks bursting, glass breaking, metal crunching, boulders rolling, animals screaming  – all competing for the loudest decibel, all at once. It’s violent. It’s fantastic.

This is the rainy season in Guanajuato, Mexico.

It has been nearly one month since we moved in, and I’ve found that my level of content & comfort changes as quickly as the weather. As cliche as that seems, sunshine is not always the harbinger of happiness; often, the jarring crack of lightning and peal of the first raindrops rattle me back into a positive perspective. A friend asked me, not only if I am happy here, but if my “soul feels at home.” Without any offence meant towards this beautiful city and fascinating country-  gods no, my soul doesn’t feel at home. But, it has been a very long time since it did, longer than I can accurately remember, and there’s still plenty of time to find a piece of home (whatever that means) here in Mexico. It’s a pendulous country: a land of rain and sun, of dichotomies and conflict;  leaving much to be wanted, yet having a great many things to offer.

It’s best to be flexible.

I finish my daiquiri as I type, and by the time this post is complete, the dogs are lying out in the sunshine again.

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Eclairs & Expletives

To elaborate, this week has been a gem. Ugh. BUT LOOK AT THAT TASCHEN BOOK! ermahgerd, it’s just as lovely as it seems. Taschen, take all my money.

It was training week at work, which means because our entire team is remote, we secured a conference room in a downtown hotel to host our newest franchisees. After being initially skeptical (you’d think they’d get something a little further from Chinatown!), I think we were all pleasantly surprised with how well it worked out. Also, food. Goddamn, the embassy suites serves a mean lunch spread. (And snacks. And coffee. With real cream!)

We had one attendee who is just a darn special raindrop of a person, and by raindrop I actually mean she’s a tsunami, or a typhoon, or a sharknado. In addition to dealing with all of the crazy, my former kitty (now belonging to a coworker) was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, my boyfriend had a strenuous week, famous people died, I’ve hardly sketched, and we haven’t hit the gym once. It’s just one of those weeks where you’ve had so much to do and been so busy, yet so little felt accomplished.

Ah, well.

Only 32 days until Europe!! I’ve been keeping busy planning and researching until my eyes bleed. As much as I wanted (in theory) this trip to be spontaneous… yeah, no. With 4 people going via train, on a budget, from Brussels to Prague (via Amsterdam, Cologne, & Berlin) – there’s not a lot of room for error here. Spontaneity is for rich people. I’ve got 75% of accommodations and transportation already figured out and I’m waiting (impatiently) for another to take over and book the last three nights in Prague & Bratislava. From there, my boyfriend and I go solo to Budapest for a night, then take the Railjet (!!!) to Zurich where we fly home the following morning. I’ve been obsessing over what to bring and how to bring it all, scouring all the “what to wear in Europe in June” articles I can find. I cringe saying this, but I bought a pair of Crocs brand flats in the hope that they will eventually prove as comfortable as all the old ladies say they are. They are actually pretty cute little canvas shoes with a lot of support, and much better-looking than Toms, if I say so myself. I do have to stretch out the part around the ball of my foot though because they are suuuper tight, but apparently you can do this with either freezing or a hair-dryer? Huh. We’ll find out, I guess.

One major milestone accomplished last week was committing to a property management company to manage my house when we are in Mexico. He’s letting me advertise and show the house myself, which saves me about $700 and a hell of a lot of inconvenience. I’ve also been told we can list it partially furnished and see what happens. God knows I don’t want to get a storage unit, but Everything Must Go. I’m still waiting for my contact in Todos Santos to confirm our rental arrangement, but hopefully I’ll hear back from her in the next few. If this doesn’t work out, I’m still a little torn between the Cortez side of Baja, or going inland to Guanajuato where I wanted to go in the first place. Either way, I feel good about it all. I’m positive about 95% of people think I’ve lost my mind. Maybe I have. But it’s worth the journey to find out.