It’s day 3 and we are basically unpacked and getting somewhat regimented with meals, cooking, cleaning, cat maintenance, etc. Last night, we went out with some friends (old and new) to the jazz club ZINCO for some drinks, conversation (primarily in Español) and some very cool (chido) music provided by the tango/klezmer-fusion trio TRES TRISTES TANGOS (consisting of a clarinet, accordion, and double bass, slapped so as to be the percussion as well). The club is actually located below the former BANCO DE MÉXICO, and we checked out the old vault that is located right by the dressing rooms! I thought that is was somewhat disorienting because we walked down to the club from an old, pedestrian Mexican road into a club that looks like a jazz club that could be located anywhere in the world (except that the stagehand, who otherwise looked very Mexican, had crazy, coiffed jet-black Snape-like hair that looked like a wig!).
I really love our apartment and find it comfortable and charming. I am attaching some photos of the orange exterior, and Mary E. will post some more pictures of the interior later. The hot water heater is located outside of our kitchen window. We turn it to CALIENTE about 15 minutes before showering, and then turn it back to FRIO for the rest of the day to save gas. We have a large bottle of water (like a water cooler) with a hand-pump in the kitchen that we take to local tienditas for refilling. That much water is actually quite inexpensive considering how much water you get. (In the U.S., we must be paying so much for all of the plastic used in the little bottles. Thus, the Mexican system is seemingly better in many ways.)
Today I also took out the trash, which is very fun. Los basureros come down the street once or twice a day at completely random times ringing a bell so loudly that you really can’t miss it, and if you have trash that needs to be taken out, you stop what you are doing immediately and run down with the trash and about $20 (pesos). You don’t need to separate out the recycling because los basureros do it for you! There are in fact a lot of traditional tradespeople in the city that come around randomly with different “calls” (e.g. The knife sharpener strolls down the street whistling at a very high pitch. In the same way, you run out with your knives and some pesos, and then he sharpens them for you. It’s a pretty neat system.)
The mail is also funny here…it’s nothing like in the U.S. The mail person comes occasionally and just drops the mail on a nearby windowsill. Residents periodically rifle through the papers and take their bills, but there isn’t nearly as much mail as in the U.S. (no junk mail either!), and it is apparently a common occurrence not to even get a bill every month from certain utilities if they forget to send one out (it’s very relaxed.)
More photos from Zamora, Col. Condesa to follow!