Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back at it!

These disappearing acts should not, and will not! happen too often anymore. Prometida! Even though I've been away, I've been thinking a lot about content, so this will be a long one ;) I hope you have your reading glasses on...

So last week our 25 boxes (remember those?) were shipped, for the last time, to our apartment here in Mexico City. Por fin! Obviously I couldn't wait to unpack, to see if everything made it in one piece from Shanghai. It did, thankfully. And I owe it to this:

YES! What you see above is paper, paper, and more paper! Jeez…I think most of my shipping expense constituted of this bulk…but like I said, nothing was broken, so it served its purpose.
So with all our belongings in place somewhat, we set out to make our first very mature adult purchase – our refrigerator (*blush*) OK, maybe to some people it’s no biggie, but this will be the first relatively large appliance we actually own. Armed with my Sam’s membership card, we went off on our mission. Success. And now I have a brand new ref. Yay. It’s still practically empty, but it looks great in our kitchen!
We’ve been really lucky because the Administrador of our building, Edgar, has been super helpful. Not to mention our polis (guards) Domingo and Jovito ;) We had to wait a few days while they hooked up the gas, but otherwise, we haven’t had to deal with all the different utility companies, Edgar has handled most of it. And I’m hoping that with the 3 in 1 deal of CableVision, internet, cable, and phone won’t be a hassle either.
Ok, so enough about me. For now at least ;) My gordo whisked me away over the weekend to Valle del Bravo, Estado de Mexico. OK, he had to go for work, but hey, let me be romantic, no? :P

About 2.5 hours west from Mexico City, Valle is this quaint mountain town where all the gente nice (or so I’m told…) from the city escape to over the weekends. With its cool weather, the lake, and numerous outdoorsy activities to choose from, you really do feel that you are in another world compared to D.F.
Something that continues to amaze me about Mexico is the diversity in landscapes. Having lived most of my life in the Philippines, I sort of got used to always seeing palm trees – which is not bad of course; but you can go from the north to the south of the country, and the flora doesn’t change that much. There is some variation if you make it up to Baguio (the Switzerland of the Philippines, or so they like to say…), but the coldest it gets is about 10˚C, so you can imagine just how much like the Swiss Alps it is :P Anyway, with the weather being so tropical, it doesn’t matter which part of the country you are in, it’s all quite similar…
But Mexico – its great how we can be in Cuernavaca with palm trees, and three hours later, we are in Valle del Bravo with pine trees. A completely different feeling, and fabulous because now I always have an excuse to have a wardrobe suited for 4 seasons ;) minus the snow.

On the drive up I did get nostalgic for the summer days spent in Finland, smelling the mountain air and enjoying all the green.
We did the touristy thing and had lunch by the lake:

Walked around the zocalo:

Wandered through the Sunday market with all its temptations:

En fin, great couple of days and hopefully we will make it back sometime in the winter. I’m craving a night by the fireplace and hot chocolate. Or a glass of red wine. Maybe two ;)
So back to me again :) My future suegra told me that we should always announce to the world (i.e. random people on the street), when it’s your birthday; simply because it makes you feel good to hear many felicidades. So I figure, why not? This is not the street, but it will do ;) It was my birthday a couple of days ago: Tuesday, the 21st of July. To mark the day and the fact we moved into our new place, instead of dinner out, we decided to stay in and cook.
So we went to City Market, a great new supermarket/deli. This is the finer (ahem, more expensive) version of Comercial Mexicana, also known as MEGA or la COMER. The wholesale part of la COMER is CostCo. This is just like how Wal-Mart also has its finer version: Superama; with Sam's Club on the other end of the spectrum. That is just how it works here.
Anyway, there are only 2 City Markets in all of D.F. and we are lucky to have one of them 6 blocks from our house.
So my gordo completely spoiled me with my favorite wine and favorite cheese (at some point, I think I will dedicate a whole blog to tête de moine). Then followed by a delicious pasta and salad. Aaaahhh. The simplicity of good things in life. And a perfect end to the day.

*Make sure to click on the photos if you want to see them larger*


  1. Wow Joanna, this is lovely and I'm glad you are having such a good time. I would love to go to Valle de Bravo some day. The City Market sounds lovely. There's one called that in Hong Kong. I wonder if it's the same company because it is lovely...sounds similar. Have fun and enjoy!

  2. Thanks Jan! There is also something similar in Shanghai called City Shop, where the expats could buy all the "foreign" treats you couldn't find in the local supermarkets...not sure they have anything to do with the one here though ;)

    Valle would definitely be worth the trip! Go for it! ;)

  3. I've been dying to go to City Market. I'm jealous you're only six blocks away! I think I might hit it up this Saturday -- I'm looking for good dark chocolate. My local Superama only carries dark chocolate hershey kisses. (Seriously. This is how the other side lives.) I wanna hear more about that cheese, too....