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Work work. Step 2 on doing it legally

Aaaaaaaaa. Remember step 1? Meanwhile I’m … still not working legally. After going through bureaucracy in Seattle and having enjoyed the fresh air that comes with the sea climate, I received a neat visa that would allow me 30 days in Mexico to get all documents in order and to pick up my real work visa. However. That is where Mexican bureaucracy really starts.

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Work work. Step 1 on doing it legally

The mix of smells. The cheap looks. The high prices. The food court. Once again, I am on an airport, and once again I am in the US. Tired and looking to fill a stomach for a few bucks, I end up getting a Burrito. It tastes bland compared to Mexican standards, but o.k. as is. Tall people. White people. Fat people, but also lean and sporty people. Aggressive customs personnel, safety signs everywhere, probably to preemptively avoid lawsuits. Imagine a tiny 20 cm long, 6 cm high ramp up to a platform with big letters on it reading “WATCH YOUR STEP”. Potable water fountains with a counter on it for the amount of plastic bottles it saved. +1. Likes flying around at a rate of mice’ heartbeat.

Bribery or just a nice gesture?

Blogging, working, and routines

How many blogs have you read, how many traveling reports have you seen where after some really enthusiastic blog entries, usually posted in rapid succession, the periods between the posts become longer, and longer. Then a new blogpost will turn up, starting with the infamous line “It has been sooo long since I’ve written anything! I have been so busy …” Sue me!

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Photoblog: Alebrijes de Ciudad

Alebrijes monumentales: modern Mexican folk art. Colourful and horrid fantasy creatures made of paper mâché were being walked practically at our doorstep along the grand avenue of Mexico City. Avenida Paseo de la Reforma, with its many roundabouts with big statues, was designed in 1860, modelled after the big European boulevards such as the Ringstrasse in Vienna or the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is where the big things happen, such as the Parade of the Alebrijes, apparently.

We unknowingly walked out of our house early afternoon on last Saturday, only to find this parade going on. It is as colourful and frightening as amazing. Enjoy the pictures.

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It’s in the name, it’s in the game – Child labour & playing the right game

In some countries, it would be called child labour. And it would be illegal. In some countries, most countries, it is child labour – but not called child labour – and seen as the start on the road to leading a successful life. Kids have to be in school at 7:45 AM and are allowed to leave at 3:15 PM with a 50 minute break in between. That is 7:30 hours in a row with a single 50 minute break included. Just thinking about that: is it reasonable to ask kids (in my case, 10-12 year olds) to sit still at a bench, be quiet most of the time, listening to each other and the teacher for such a long period of time with just one reasonable break in between? Back when I was still in elementary/middle school I for sure could not – and with me, many classmates. We got through with the idea that we were just not the ideal students, half-sleeping through classes, goofing off because we just had too much energy. It is not ADHD that kids’ attention span is low, it is called being a kid.

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The Ending Hostel Story?

So there was another apartment where we knew the old tenant. Nice two bedroom apartment, good price she used to pay. Let me tell you what a financial representative of a school told me as well: getting a place as a foreigner is HARD. About, bureaucratic hard, rip-off hard, no longer available [to foreigners], blah, blah, blah. So we had to get copies of our job contracts (wherein it’s nice to see our wages, useful for last minute changes to the rent) and a copy of our passport. Furthermore, we had to get a ‘fiador’ – a person who owns ‘land’ in Mexico, to vouch for us and to basically assure the landlord/real estate agent that if we leave with an unpaid bill, the fiador will pay the rest. Or something. Starting with: all documents showing that this person actually owns a piece of land/real estate, a copy of his/her passport, a declaration that he/she is willing to be a fiador, contact information, co-signing the contract.

Time out. I’m telling you all this in one go. No one told us. Even when we asked.

He looks happy. Keep smiling, be happy, and be quiet because others in the hostel are trying to sleep.

The Neverending Hostel Story

No matter how clichéd: just like in the actual neverending story, you have to keep believing. In the cramped hostel room it is a real job to get all stuff like clothing, material, money, and food ready for the next day. The walls are made of cardboard, and the shower water usually cold after a long day of being out – when that hot shower feels much deserved. 15 hours/day from 6:30-21:00 makes even the evening/night a time to have efficiently planned because it is so damn short otherwise.

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Why we put our own habitat into perspective – and can’t do the same with unknown territories

Dear everyone,

I would like your opinion as ‘experts’ on the subject “Safety in Mexico”.

Last week I booked a ticket for September to finally meet a Mexican lady whom I’ve met online, face-to-face. The time we spent together online has been great for the past eight months. However, my parents visited me a week after I booked, insistingly told me not to go because it would be way too dangerous.

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The US, food, service, and tipping culture

Being back from Denver, Colorado (hi, how are you), right back into work, I am having a hard time finding time to write, sit, and relax. Life continues after early hours on airports, long traveling times, still in a hostel. That’s what being on a holiday is like, right?

At least I had my first US experience! Right! Let me tell you about that and specifically, service.

I have met all, definitely compared to that in Mexico, very hospitable and talkative service providers – sometimes so clearly fake and exaggerated that it becomes annoying, but also sometimes very helpful and proactive)….

Who can say no to the kebab-inspired "Tacos Al Pastor" with salsa verde, cheese, pineapple, coriander, and onion?

Mexico City: Big, Bigger, Small

Moving is a bitch. Anywhere, anytime, moving is a bitch. Luckily we do not have that much stuff, but we are definitely no longer moving around backpacker’s style. A lot of places only become available in August, meaning right now… we are… on a holiday. Hostels, apartments of holiday workers in other cities, AirBnB… maybe even CouchSurfing. Why did we get out of our house again? To keep it civilized: because the main renter had to go, and we did not want to be stuck in the decaying remnants.

So basically, we are on a holiday in “our own” city. I just have to work to be able to prolong this vacation, that’s all.