Back from Mexico City

WE RETURNED from Mexico City yesterday after spending five nights in that tumultuous burg, and I’ve never been so happy to get back to the Hacienda.

We own a condo there, where my child bride lived when we met over 16 years ago, and we visit a couple of times a year to air it out. Otherwise, it just sits there, furnished and idle. We’d rent it if we could find someone reliable.

condo
Our condo is one of many in one of these buildings.

Two of the four full days were dedicated to straightening out a financial matter, a pension fund, left over from when my wife worked as a civil engineer with the federal highway department. For some reason, offices at UNAM, the massive National Autonomous University of Mexico, are involved in the matter.

I had never been to UNAM, which is in the southern side of Mexico City. Alas, our condo stands in the northern side. Since Mexico City traffic is beyond dreadful, this meant hours of sitting in taxis inching through traffic.

Otherwise, the visit entailed cleaning the condo, and eating caldo de gallina one day in a nearby restaurant we found recently and barbecue hamburgers in a food truck just across the street from our place.

So you get a feel for things, at top is a brief video I shot during the bus ride to the national capital, and below is another I shot from a Mexico City taxi. We were on our way to UNAM. Or maybe we were returning from UNAM. It really makes no difference whatsoever.

Now I’ve got yard work to do. Things pile up when you’re gone.

Mexico City lives!

THERE WE WERE, walking down the sidewalk in the middle of the leafy Calle Amsterdam last Tuesday in the trendy Colónia Roma, one of the worst-hit, we had read, areas of Mexico City during September’s killer quake.

We did not see any damage whatsoever.

Quake? What quake?

Not only that, we didn’t spot any earthquake damage at all during the four days we spent in the nation’s chaotic capital.

We go to Mexico City twice a year to air out our small condo and pay a few bills we can’t pay online. About the only thing left in that category is the security service, listless guys who hang out at the entrance to our “gated community.”

This condo, one might recall, is where my child bride lived when we met during a visit she made in 2001 to my mountaintop town. The rest, as they say, is history.

She worked as a civil engineer for the federal highway department, and the “gated community,” a series of five-story buildings, each with 10 apartments, was constructed specifically for, and sold to, employees of the highway department.

Deed at last!

We paid off our unit years ago but only received the deed last Spring. Mexican bureaucracy moves at its own laughable pace.

Aside from airing out the place and paying the security service, we didn’t do much. Washed sheets and towels from the previous visit and hit a few dining spots, our favorites being Rock N’ Burger, a food truck across the street, and a new restaurant a short taxi ride away that serves the best caldo de gallina on Earth.

The caldo de gallina was served at a restaurant named La Jefa. I wrote a review for TripAdvisor, but since the eight-month-old restaurant had never been reviewed, it has not yet appeared on that travel website.

We found La Jefa by sheer luck, walking down the street.

Caldo explained

FYI: Caldo de gallina is chicken soup, but it’s better than your mama’s chicken soup.* It comes with garbanzo beans, rice, and other ingredients, depending on the eatery in question. La Jefa serves a knockout caldo de gallina.

I view our Mexico City digs only as an investment for my wife. It’s worth a good bit more now than when she signed the mortgage in 1997. We spotted a For Rent sign on one of the identical apartments, so we called to inquire.

They were asking 6,000 pesos monthly, which surprised us, favorably. We may rent it in the future, especially when I cannot walk up the four floors due to decrepitude. That day, however, has yet to arrive. I still bound up like a teenager.

Sardine can

The two-bedroom condo is small, so small that it would fit, literally, inside the living room here at the Hacienda. This makes it easy to tidy up. It gives me claustrophobia at times. However, entire families of four or more, plus dogs, live in some of the adjoining, identical units. Incredible.

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Here’s the living room. We sit here evenings and watch DVD movies and, like back at the Hacienda, dine on salads made by me.

I remember well the first time I set hoof in this place back in 2001. She had invited me to visit. The furnishings and wall colors were entirely different, but I recall the visit fondly.

Memories

I took this photo that first night while she was in the kitchen fixing something for supper. It’s one of my favorite shots, and she hasn’t changed much in the last 16 years.

Some women age very well.

* * * *

* Unless your mama’s Mexican.