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Subtle Messages…

We fly out of Mexico City bright and early tomorrow. As sad as we are to leave, I do feel we’ve been getting small, subtle signals from Mexico that our time here is meant to come to an end.

1) We got rear-ended last Thursday, 3 days after having $6000 pesos of car work done to fix up the Maxima from all the ills and suffering of driving in Mexico. We were stopped trying to merge off one major road onto another, as was the car behind us, and someone flew up & slammed into that car which then hit us. The best part was, John didn’t even stop. We just kept on going; it just wasn’t worth talking about it. :)

John mockingly offers the Mexican "thanks" gesture in the area of our bumper where we now have an imprint of a stranger's license plate. Luckily that was the only very minor damage we had. :)

2) The closest I got to seeing the much-heralded Michael Phelps at the Festival Olímpico Bicentenario was in these photos for sale on the street.  (But I did read a great quote from another Mexican athlete that it would have been much cheaper for the Mexican government to have hired some strippers to take their shirts off & entertain the crowd instead of Phelps doing the same for roughly 2 hours @ a price of $100,000.)

This was unsatisfying.

3) I unintentionally viewed several middle-age men prancing around wearing what seemed to be baggy leather boy-shorts. To be clear, men who shouldn’t have been wearing leather boy-shorts.

This image is seared into my mind forever. What sport was this anyway?

4) While on our hotel’s 16th-floor lounge/roof deck, we discovered we could still hear an organ grinder on the street level of Zona Rosa. For those who haven’t heard this sound, remove all preconceptions of “precious, old-timey music makers” from your mind. These sound like dying cats.

Stop. Please. Just stop. Learn a real instrument. Or consider having that one tuned. But in the interim, just stop.

5) A bird with serious gastric distress unloaded on our car while it was parked on the street near our hotel. Really, I’m no vet, but this bird *probably* needs some sort of medical care. ASAP.

You know it's bad when you drive around Mexico City for a day & no one volunteers to wash your windshield at a traffic light.

6) I saw an advertisement for food in the subway that almost made me want to throw up a little bit in my mouth. Just because your product has a new image doesn’t make me want to eat your Sphinx-shaped potato substitute.

What is happening here, exactly?

7) And last but not least, I was nearly attacked by a massive owl. I think he felt threatened by me.

This was a narrow miss.

It brought back terrifying memories of that time John was almost eaten by a lizard. I believe this owl attack may have been brought on by me mocking his family earlier this week.

I dropped & broke my camera that could actually take decent night photos, so you will just have to live with this vague image of me using my sweater to simulate owl-wings in front of this horrific movie poster.

All these signs combined make me think it is probably time to go, for now at least.

I’ve been considering continuing with this blog for a few more months, at least while I get through the backload of hundreds of photos I’ve snapped, trips we’ve taken, tasty restaurants we’ve discovered, hot Mexico tips we’ve learned, etc. There are still a variety of posts I’ve been meaning to get around to (Yucatan/Quinanta Roo trip, Huatulco trip, Baja California Sur trip, how to become a luchador, my friends’ witty anecdotes of dating in Mexico, where the mother lode of guayaberas can be found in the Centro, Bicentenario photos, etc.).

So, if y’all still have any interest, I may try to keep doing the occasional post until I run out of Mexico experiences to discuss. :)  And I promise to largely avoid the topic of our impending dull, American lives back in Washington D.C. unless something happens that is super-hilarious or Mexico-relevant. What do you think?  (And don’t worry; I won’t be offended if you tell me, “Julie, you just posted a photo of bird-doo on your car windshield… maybe it’s time to close-up shop.”) 😉

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  1. Jonna says:

    I say go for it! Also, I think your impressions on reentering US society would be really interesting. I wonder sometimes if I would have a form of culture shock if I returned.

  2. Joy says:

    It’s so odd to read about this after having done it myself. Now the re-acclimation begins! Best of luck on a seamless move. And please consider me available for any last-minute Mexican beach trips after winter sets in (or any time, actually).

  3. Katie says:

    Great post. I hope you continue posting.

  4. sw says:

    Vaya con Dios! I’ve really enjoyed your blog.

    And I totally agree about the organ grinder. When I go to San Angel, I want to give the guy 50 pesos to STOP THE MADNESS!

  5. Cynthia says:

    You had a much, much different experience in Mexico City than we did and that’s why I kept reading your blog. Our transition home was nice and smooth and we’re very happy to be back in Seattle. Keep writing – we’re curious!

  6. boo. Sad to see you leave.

    But about that bird poo… not even for 20 pesos?!?

  7. Vanessa says:

    Keep posting! Your blog is interesting and hilarious! I look forward to new posts.

  8. Shawna says:

    I will miss your blog so much! Although I live up the autopista from DF, in a much smaller town, I totally related to your articles. I will be curious about your transition back to the US since I will be doing the same early next year.

  9. Laura says:

    Hi Julie,
    I just stumbled upon your blog the other day and I had a great time reading a few of your posts and laughing at many of your anecdotes while living in my hometown. I’m a chilanga and I love my city. I’m delighted to see someone from “overseas” having a good time and a good life here. I have enjoyed your writing, (I think you have a gift right there girl!) your pictures and your insight. You have gone to many wonderful places I’ve never been (like “Las Luchas”) and that makes me envious! Your blog has inspired me to put a remedy to that and now I want to visit all those restaurants, haciendas and other beautiful places you showcase here. Anyway have a safe trip back home. Remember you’re welcome to return to Mexico City any day. In the mean time I’ll entertain myself digging through your archives and having a great time. Suerte! :)

  10. Jody says:

    Don’t stop, please. Thanks for the ride. It’s been great! Deseándoles una vida llena de sorpresas y mucha felicidad en su “nueva capital”.

  11. Don’t stop blogging…love your writing and your humour. Open a new blog please….a midwesterner in DC….I’ve already subscribed. Good luck and safe travels. m:-)

  12. Jenny says:

    Don’t stop the blog, Julie! Our parents have just started reading it – you can’t quit now!

  13. Ken says:

    No! Don’t stop! I am the Bizarro Julie — you are coming home and I am headed down to DF soon for graduate studies at ITAM. I’ve loved the blog, and learned a lot from it about what to expect from life in Mexico City and beyond.

    I hope you’ll keep it up, and keep writing about your new life in DC.

    Safe travels, and saludos!

  14. Lesley says:

    But what if we’re interested in your dull American, D.C. lives? (I am.) So maybe you can post some stuff about that too. Or maybe just on Facebook.

    I think the guys in the baggy shorts were maybe imitating a game of pelota. Am I totally wrong here?

  15. Frank says:

    I think it’s possible for me to want you to continue and wish that you hadn’t posted that bird poop photo.

  16. Liam says:


    Can you believe that last Tuesday the 12th I was in the Freedom sports bar when the organ grinder passed!

    It was the last day of a great holiday and I ended up there trying to find the Ireland soccer match.

    I watched Scotland – Spain instead.

    After two Coronas at altitude I was brave enough to try the Metro for the first time. No worries! I think they were a bit wary of me…

    Were you on the 10am flight to Atlanta with me on the 13?!!



  17. mcm says:

    Yes, do keep posting! Your tales of the Metropolis have ALMOST made me want to venture away from my provincial home (of Merida) — for a visit.
    Good luck, and come back soon!

  18. Ruth says:

    Please keep posting! I have enjoyed your writing about Mexico City and would think your life in Washington D.C. would offer many creative opportunities for stories.

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