Saturday, June 30, 2012


One of the issues that has captivated me the most in Mexico is corruption. Polices officers, security forces, government, etc. Who can Mexican's trust? Who can they call when a crime is committed?

My internship supervisor told me about a survey on corruption in different areas of Mexico. It asked residents how corrupt they thought their state was. It turns out some of the most corrupt states residents believed they were the least corrupt, because they thought the corrupt behavior was totally normal. Of course we have corrupt officials in the U.S., but in general we believe that we should be able to call on the police to help us and that there are certain things government employees should and shouldn't do.

The recent shooting in the Mexico City airport between corrupt security forces definitely brought this closer to home for me. I'm not sure how bad it is in Mexico City and I don't want to push my luck to find out, but it seems that in the northern states and areas particularly high in drug violence people don't bother calling the police if something happens. Changing how all of these organizations function on a daily basis seems insurmountable, but is essential to successful economic and social development.

I am taking a corruption course this coming fall semester and I can't wait to dig into these issues a little more!

Friday, June 29, 2012


Being sick in a foreign country is no fun. There is so much you want to do, but you know if you don't rest you'll never get better. I have lots of experience (I think I almost met my death bed the first weekend I was studying abroad in Poland). Luckily I get to explore the usually have super potent medicine that you don't need a prescription to get!

My boss has been warning me for two or three weeks that I should be taking vitamins. He said that the viruses (especially the cold and flu) in Mexico City hit him really hard and seem to be a lot stronger, since it never gets cold enough or hot enough to kill them. I finally listened and bought some Vitamin C on Wednesday night... then Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat. Bad timing. It just got worse today.

To be fair, I haven't been sleeping as much as I should or eating as many vegetables as I normally do.

What sucks: today is a beautiful day and I am laying in bed. I missed lunch with my co-workers who are only working the election, so they will be gone come next week. Plus, I am missing going shopping with my housemates (there are big sales this weekend).

So alas, when I should be drinking cerveza in the sun with my coworkers or shopping with my housemates, I'm watching t.v. shows, drinking hot herbal tea, and practicing saying "me duele la garganta."

Still hoping to avoid the worst: stuffy nose etc. I hope at least it will wait until Tuesday so I can enjoy the long weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I love trying new food, especially when they are fruits or vegetables, so when my coworker suggested we get some cactus at a market, I was all in. I hadn't bought it before because I wasn't sure how to eat it.

They are called tunas here (not to be confused with tuna fish, which is "atun").

Here is Elena peeling the tunas. The next day our co-workers corrected us and showed us that you only need to cut the top and bottom off, make a slit, and then the skin comes right off.

The tunas have a texture like watermelon, but super juicy. There are a lot of seeds like watermelon has too, but we just eat them. I have been having one or two a day and I'm hooked!

mm cactus popsicle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Streets and Sidewalks

I walk for a total of 1.5 to 2 hours each day (which makes me really hungry). I thought it would be fun to take some pictures of things I see while I´m walking so you can get an idea of what its like to walk around in Mexico City.

First of all, the sidewalks are... interesting. They seem to be random slabs of concrete thrown together, with some blocks totally torn up as if an earthquake just happened (which I guess it sorta did). This picture is actually a pretty good sidewalk. Its fine when I´m walking by myself, but when I´m with someone else and we are talking it is easy to forget to look down! I have tripped more than once, but luckily have not fallen yet. Just try walking in heels!

The second thing is that for the population of this city there are hardly any other people walking. 

Third, cars are often parked on the sidewalk and I have to walk around them.

The palm trees make up for it all.

Speaking of parking... This is not a parking lot. It is actually a diagonal intersection and I´m on the corner. The cars park in a triangle like shape and I have to walk through them to cross the street.

I walk at the same time each day, but some days there is a ton of traffic and other days there isn´t much. It seems pretty unpredictable!

And just for fun... I always smile when I see these trucks with open sides.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Museo Nacional de Antropología

On Saturday I headed to the neighborhood of Roma Norte to meet my co-worker. We got brunch and then walked to the National Anthropology Museum.

The weather was nice (well cloudy, but it wasn´t raining at least), so it was ok when we got a little bit lost. I have realized that even when a route looks direct on the map, do not be fooled, you will get lost.

The Anthropology Museum is huge with tons of stuff to see. I think we were there for around four hours. I took a lot of pictures, so enjoy!

Chilaquiles, my favorite!
The cafe where I had my first chilaquiles in Mexico, needed to document it.
A park in Roma Norte.

Entrance to Chapultepec Park (the museum is near the park).
Middle of the Museum.

After all of that we decided to treat ourselves to a relaxing drink. Being a tourist can be exhausting!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Pictures

Today I headed to the Centro Historico with one of my roommates. She wanted to go to La Merced to buy a duffle bag. The market was huge, crowded, and it was so easy to get lost. 

We were lucky enough to find our way out after browsing and get directions to the Zocalo. It was about 5 blocks away, which the people we asked for directions thought was really far. People don't walk a lot here!

We went into the cathedral and then had lunch at Cafe de Tacuba. I had enough cheese in my enchiladas to last me a couple of weeks.

Here are a few pictures from the afternoon.
Cathedral on the Zocalo.
Inside the Cathedral. 
Traditional dancers.
Every type of chip and nut you could want. We bought plantain chips!
Some biking event that made me miss my bike so much!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Castilo de Chapultepec

Me outside of the Castilo de Chapultepec.
As I mentioned last weekend when I went to the Bosque de Chapultepec with my coworker, we stopped into the Castilo de Chapultepec which used to be a presidential residence and is now the National History Museum. The castle is on the top of a hill in the middle of the park.

Here are some of the pictures I took!

The main entrance staircase.
The mural above the staircase entrance.
There were murals everywhere. Some were what you would expect to see and others looked like that!

Gardens. It started pouring while we were inside.

One of the bedrooms with really high ceilings.

Beautiful stained glass.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cupcake Love

A block or two away from my house there is a lovely little cupcake cafe called ¨Cupcake Love.¨ It has a Beatles theme, with Beatles music playing and the cupcakes all named after a Beatles song. They even give you your bill inside a box with the British flag on it. 

I went there last weekend with two of my roommates. I got there after them and found out they have been waiting 20 minutes for their drinks. I ordered mine and it came very fast and even had this cute decoration on it:

mmmm, sweet and spicy chai tea.

Although I didn´t get a cupcake this time, I did have one for my birthday and thought the frosting was super delicious. We did get some free cookies, but unfortunately I was full. They serve food and brunch on Saturdays and have free Wi-fi, making it a great place to check emails or study.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bosque De Chapultepec

This past weekend the weather was not great, which I think was due to the tropical depression moving along the west coast of Mexico. It rained pretty much all day Saturday, so I went grocery shopping and relaxed.

On Sunday I was hoping to go to a volcano with my roommate, but we decided to place our bets on one of the next few weekends being better weather. Instead, I went with my coworker to Bosque de Chapultepec, which is apparently the largest park in Latin American and is about a 20 minute walk from my house. Bosque actually means forest.

It took us a while to find each other because the park is huge and neither of us could successfully reach our meeting point. I entered the park in a peaceful area but soon found myself on a road with tons of people and vendors selling everything from water to toys. They were also yelling out what they had and the price, which made it extremely loud.

We finally met at the zoo. There is a zoo, a couple of lakes, and a bunch of museums in the park. We eventually made our way to the castle and went inside (which is the National History Museum and former Presidential residence). I´ll post some pictures from that soon.

I have to say the most entertaining thing about the park was people taking photographs of squirrels. Someone would bait the squirrel with food and a whole group would crowd around to take pictures of it. The worst part was they were gray and scraggly looking squirrels, not exactly a picture to hang on the wall?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fancy Salmon

So, Argentinian steakhouses seem to be a thing here. I have been out to eat four times since I got here and three of those times were at Argentinian steakhouses. Luckily they serve delicious salads and empanadas.

Last week I decided I was tired of salad, since I have it for lunch basically every day, so I ordered one of the house specials, which was a salmon carpaccio. I was expecting some thinly sliced raw salmon. When I asked the guy if it was a lot of food he said no, so I ordered an empanada and some french fries to go with it.

When I actually got my food it was really entertaining. They set up a little tray next to the table with a bunch of toppings, lime juice, and olive oil and got to work. The waiter diligently and slowly sprinkled capers, onions, hard boiled egg, and salt on top. It must have taken 15 minutes. He finished it off with a super fancy drizzle of olive oil using a spoon and fork. I need to learn the technique!

Well, it came with bread and turned out to be a lot of food. Definitely didn´t need the french fries! I prefer my salmon plain with some capers, but it was worth it to watch.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Parque Hundido

I get a two hour lunch break every day, from 2 to 4. I normally go to the gym for an hour to an hour and a half, then eat my lunch at my desk while I update my blog, write emails, or read the news. But last week the other intern, Elena, started, so now I have someone I can do things with during lunch.

I lifted weights quickly then we took of to Parque Hundido, which means the sunken park. It is a little below street level. It was about a mile and a half walk from our office.  Elena's taxi driver that morning had talked it up to her and said we should check out the beautiful flower clock. We were really excited to find the clock and were disappointed when we got there:

Not even a single flower! Our coworkers said they had never seen it like this and guessed that they were changing the flowers out. 

Well, even though we didn't see the flower clock with actual flowers on it, it was nice to get into some green space in this sprawling city. Maybe we'll head back in a month and see if its any different.