I'm A Legal Alien Now

Saturday, June 30, 2007

I have a new hero, and Mexico Dos

My new hero:

Now for Wednesday in Mexico:

After passing this rather startling building in the Zona Rosa, I began a long trek up the Paseo de la Reforma to the Centro Historico. It was much further than I anticipated. I was headed for the brand new Museo Arte Popular which showcases Mexican handicrafts, which I love (I have only just realised, apart from leaving my pyjamas in the hotel room, I neglected to buy some Day of the Dead stuff, and that saddens me). It was a great museum, with a neat shop.

I then stopped in the Alameda Central, a big formal park, where I saw mounted policemen wearing sombreros, which greatly amused me, so I took a discreet photo.

At the end of the Alameda Central is the Palacio Belles Artes, which has become one of my favourite buildings in the world. It was also hosting the world's largest ever Frida Kahlo exhibition. I like Kahlo's work, but it was very crowded. I was hoping to learn a bit about her, but everything was unsurprisingly in Spanish. However, the interior of the building was so wonderful it was well worth the stop.

I then confidently set out on what I thought was the Avenida Cinco de Mayo. I had this problem quite frequently, in that I thought I was on one street, when I was actually on another heading the opposite direction. This time I ended up in a very scruffy part of town where I would not want to be after dark. One other time I ended up on the shoulder of a highway. After stumbling upon the naked protestors again I eventually found my way to the Central Cathedral and Zocala, the huge town square.

It was very smoggy and quite warm and I started to feel dizzy and faint. The altitude and pollution? What is startling is that Mexico City is at the same altitude as Australia's highest mountain. I didn't get headachey apart from this one time, but I later discovered that it was affecting my sleep. I had thought that the constant bolting awake then falling asleep was just an unfamiliar bed and slightly noisy hotel corridor, but it a common symptom of your body readjusting to a foreign altitude. Anyway, I was also starving to I retired to a groovy Mexican diner (groovy as in wonderfully unfashionable and authentic). Feeling much better, it was time for a kip.

Post kip, I headed up to Polanco, a posh residential area to pay a courtesy call on my colleagues at our Embassy there. There are many lovely houses.

Walking back, I took this photo which for me just screams Mexico City. I took it from the aforementioned highway shoulder.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Mexico, Uno

Back from Mexico DF! I can barely walk, for reasons which will become evident in Mexico Tre. Dulles was the predictable nightmare. I hate how you have to stand around in those stupid shuttles for twenty minutes. What's the point of charging off the plane to beat the lines at Immigration if you all just get herded onto a stupid shuttle? Then all the computers were done at Immigration so we stood around for a while. Luckily my guy was nice, once he saw my visa of course.

So I flew to Mexico City on Monday night. Untied was relatively pleasant. I upgraded myself to Economy Plus, which was a good idea, and I was able to see Breach which I had wanted to see at the cinemas. Landed in Mexico around 10pm, Immigration was painless then I pressed the Customs button and got GREEN so I was GOOD TO GO.

Arrived at the Hotel Geneve, which was great. In the middle of the Zona Rosa, close to Paseo de la Reforma and the Insurgentes Metro stop.


Hello Angel of Independence, on the Paseo de la Reforma!

The Paseo de la Reforma is Mexico City's Champs Elysees (I believe it was directly modeled after it). They have all these roundabouts with various statues and things. Mexican traffic is totally insane. Traffic lights are seen as a mere suggestion, a guideline.

I walked up the Paseo to the Bosque Chapultepec, the big park ('chapultepec' means 'place of the crickets'). There was a monument of some sort:

That's the castle in the background built for Emperor Maxmilian, who was installed by the French around the 1860s. He was subsequent executed by the Mexican people, but his heir currently lives in Melbourne. I was headed for the Anthropology Museum, one of the best museums in the world for bits of Azteca. They also have an astounding courtyard, with a vast concrete canopy supported by a single column.

It was pretty cool. There were jungle ruins:

And an inside temple:

And look what is inside the temple!

I swanned around to the Museo Tamayo for some modern art, but it was pretty sucky so I decided to instead find some lunch and have a kip.

Now whilst Mexican food does indeed taste better in Mexico, they don't really go for presentation in a big way. I had several delicious meals, but all were covered in thick sauces of brown and green which bring to mind all sorts of things I'd rather not think about when eating.

After my lunch, I was heading to Condesa to buy some NaCo t-shirts when I stumbled upon a nude protest.

This was as close I dared get, lest I see more saggy breasts and wrinkled penii than I bargained for. Apparently nude protests are quite common in Mexico. At first, I blush to admit, I thought the lithe Mexican boys in speedos handing out flyers were some sort of gay club promotion until I rounded the corner and saw this (the photo is but a portion, there were also naked drummers, and dancers).

I eventually made my way to Condesa on the marvellous Metro system. It costs like 2c to ride but what I love is that each station also has a fascinating pictogram due to the large number of illiterates in Mexico. My local, Insurgentes, was a bell.

Condesa is all a bit hip and happening. But I stumbled upon a market.

And some rather festively coloured houses:

Once I got back to the Zona Rosa, I hit the beer. Hard. I was successfully mellow enough to brave a gay bar on my lonesome, which is not something I tend to do. Anyway, I was wildly popular perhaps due to my blonde hair. Shennagins were afoot for the rest of the evening, and I dare not commit them to so public a forum.

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Monday, June 25, 2007


Off to Mexico in a few hours, and there are thunderstorms just for a change.

I do however love being at home when everyone else is at work. If the weather weren't so miserable I'd wander down to Dean & DeLuca. Being in the shops with the hausfraus is always so interesting during the week.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007


I am on my first ever vacation time, so to celebrate on Monday I'm off to Mexico City until Friday. Now, I go to my hot Saturday night date sleeping over/babysitting with C's five year old. I'm embarrassingly excited.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Doctor, doctor, tell me the news

I got my first taste of the American healthcare system today and oh boy!

First up, thank god I have insurance.

To get my 'primary care physician' I got a reference from a colleague to get into this super-exclusive clinic (I believe they are trying to keep themselves gay. Something about it bothers me at any rate). My new PCP however is really nice but because of crazy medical liability here, seems only to be able to diagnose which specialist I need to see. As a funky mole is on the menu, I'm off to a dermatologist and the earliest I could get in was August 3. The mole is probably fine- I've had it since I was a wee one- but it started getting a bit flaky then stopped. The derms will decide to chop it off, and it doesn't worry me, but I am going to insist on waiting until cooler weather as I've had mole removal in summer before and it is not pleasant.

The only funny bit about all of this is that he asked a series of bizarrely personal questions for my personal health history including intimate details of sexual activity but only one, and one only, question made me blush. It was, and I quote-

"Do you exercise?"

"ummmmmm..... no."

I mean I walk to and from work every day but I figure the icecream negates that.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

2's and 3's

It's been a while since I posted- nothing much of note has happened. My new boss arrives in DC tonight but doesn't start work until July 2. I go to Mexico in just over a week (yay!).

I've been feeling a bit lonely of late. I'm not sure why, because I've been quite sociable with people like Jack and Scarlett. I really need a holiday, so hurrah for Mexico City next week. Also, I bought a new computer which is supposed to ship on Monday. I'm a bit screwed if it doesn't, because then it will probably arrive when I'm in Mexico and I don't want it sitting in the lobby for a week.

One of the things I've been meaning to blog about for a while is the problem Americans (mostly Asian-Americans, but not exclusively) have with my way of saying 'two'. For some reason they hear it as 'three'. Considering that my cell number is full of 2's and my work number full of 3's this can be problematic. It seems to be better if I group the numbers in pairs though, so instead of saying 2133 as 2, 1, 3, 3 I say it as 21, 33. It can be a bit frustrating.

I also learnt why so many Americans say my name so it sounds more like iron than ee-an. In Spanish, the 'i' sound is like 'eye' all the time, unlike pesky English where it can be 'eye' or 'ee'. Still, it's not as good as a freight supplies company who think they're dealing with Diane or my drycleaners who have me down as Enian.

Very lazy today. I may vacuum. I'm going to go and find lunch at some point and Xena and I are supposed to make a welcome basket from Whole Foods for the new boss.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Little Pride Moment

I dutifully went to the Pride parade yesterday afternoon. It was alright I guess. Kinda long. Not particularly entertaining- I can't get excited about people waving at me for 90 minutes. There were some highlights though including the Gay Ninjas (though there was some disagreement on whether they were actually ninjas or making a burka-related statement) and the Men of Discipline. I'm not sure what or who Men of Discipline are but they wear black uniforms like stormtroopers and everyone wasn't quite sure whether to clap or not. The Dupont Circle Citizens Association was represented by the dog from the 'Scoop Your Poop' signs that are everywhere. It was cute, but I'm not sure that scooping poop is the best imagery for gay pride.

This was followed by an excruciating dinner (the restaurant, not the company- I was sitting next to my favourite Georgian-accented-hottie/friend crush and he gave me one of his leis from the parade). Americans are very precise about splitting the bill. I understand where it comes from- and certainly, for example, I was happy to pay more as my meal was considerably more expensive- but it takes FOREVER and I find it so painful. You could have had a wonderful, lively dinner then you spend ten minutes dissecting who had what plus what share of tip each person should contribute and you practically need a calculator. As an example, we (it was a table of 10) eventually worked out that we were $2 short of the $368 total and they were about to re-calculate the whole damn thing, so I donated $2. Like I said, I see why people do it and last night the dinner really was quite different for each person (I had steak, some people just had an appetiser) but it really ruins a meal for me.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Alanis' lumps

Alanis Morrissette has made one of my most loathed songs ever something that is mocking and full of pain at the same time:

So Gay Pride tomorrow. I'm sort of going. This is a bizarre new development.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Future Linen Suit

British Airways has always done great ads but I do love this one for many reasons. One is the timpanis in the construction zone. The other is that I have a burning ambition to stride up a white sand beach and meet and then kiss someone whilst wearing uncrushed linen. The only way it could be better is if I stepped off a dhow or outrigger canoe on to the beach.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Torn Rotary Cuff

Last Wednesday night I pinched a nerve in my shoulder while sleeping so I've been in a fair bit of pain since then, but it's finally starting to fade (I think). I could barely turn my neck to the left, which was driving me insane. Anyway, wikipedia told me that I could have arthritis, tendonitis or a torn rotary cuff, but I've done this before and it did just go away within a few days.

Yesterday I saw Knocked Up with Sexy T. It's by the same guys who did 40 Year Old Virgin but is way, way better. Gonzalez's boyfriend was having a farewell BBQ before he goes to Iraq (pretty depressing) somewhere in the ghetto NE so we went there after the movie, got home about midnight. It was fun. I was also amused that the party segregated into buff gay and fat gay and by virtue of my friendship with T and my friend crush on this hilarious Mexican-Georgian accent friend of Gonzalez's, I got to sit with Buff Gay. I was much amused. There was this guy there taking photos of arm pits, and some other guy who is the gay man I sometimes wish I could be. Fauxhawk and a very animated face.

The neighbours were Ethiopian and at some point they were offering shots of a traditional Ethiopian spirit. Well I had a go and it was very possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever drunk. Whilst I do not want to besmirch the fine nation of Ethiopia and their culture, it tasted like ashtrays mixed with gasoline.

Brunch this morning at Open City with Scarlett and her boyfriend. I love brioche french toast. And now, I nap.

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