We made it! Despite all odds, our trip was surprisingly easy. The thing that took the longest was to get the cats approved for customs once we reached Mexico, but the only reason that took awhile was because their printer was acting up! Our friend Jorge (www.jorgesosa.com) met us at our new apartment (which is owned by his family) and helped us get settled. Our neighborhood is really nice and you can pretty much find anything that you need within walking distance. Just within two blocks of our apartment we have a laundromat, dry cleaners, ice cream shop, bakery, barber, gym, pharmacy, supermarket, tortilla stand, etc. And that’s all just in one direction! There are numerous little places to eat as well, including a Chinese place that Jeff is particularly excited to try. Also on Tuesdays, we discovered that there is an open-air market just down the street where you can buy just about anything that you could want. The produce is amazing! Vendors were practically shoving samples at us and I have to say that I’ve never tasted such fantastic fruit before! We did have a great “gringo” moment when we were trying to buy plums (while having someone else attacking us with honeydew and cantaloupe) and apparently gave the vendor a peso note that is no longer in circulation. Many years ago, Jeff’s grandparents visited Mexico and brought him pesos, so we just added them to our peso stash, not knowing that they wouldn’t be in circulation now. So yeah, we have now established ourselves as the new village idiots 🙂
Yesterday after our trip to the market, Jorge took us out to see part of the city. It was so much fun! We went to a massive arts and crafts market where you can buy all sorts of beautiful things from blankets to jewelry to pottery, etc. Then, we headed to el centro (the center) of the city and had a couple of drinks on the roof of a hotel that overlooks the main square. The view includes the Palacio Nacional (National Palace), the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María (Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary), and the Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor. We walked around the area and went through the cathedral, which is the oldest church in the Americas, dating back to 1570. We tried to go into the Palacio Nacional but it had already closed for the day. So, we went to a different restaurant also overlooking the square and had a truly awesome dinner.
Although everything is very different and we are still learning our way around, we are enjoying ourselves and think that we will be OK here. Our goal is to understand one more sentence every day that someone says to us without us having to stare blankly at them!