That’s why you always feel sick after. I think the last one I had was about four months ago.

I feel like I am slipping into a routine. Not a bad routine, not the kind of routine that has you weeping so hard into the toilet bowl in the morning you don’t even have to flush your morning constitutional. The kind of routine that feels like it’s my choice, is full of thing’s I have chosen, and have the freedom to change as I like. Hopefully, it lasts.

a group of succulents

At the moment I am being woken up every morning by builders. They are the only people in Mexico that function before 11 am. 11 am is a good time to start everything, it means nobody has to rush. You want fresh bread for your breakfast at 8 am? Well, the bakery was open till midnight last night, you should have got it then. The same goes for most things.

Apart from these builders.

They have decided the wall by my head needs to be de-plastered, and re-plastered, battened, drywalled, and then painted, all using automatic weapons. They protect their own hearing by singing at the top of their lungs and smashing girders together. They begin at 9 am, and then take a break at 11 am because the caf, or Mexican equivalent, is open. By then I’m usually desperately awake anyway.

a large fern

This cacophonous ear fucking is quite the contrast to the usual calls of a San Rafael morning. I had become quite used to the regular sounds that rattle by every day. It took me a while to work out what they are, but after some inquiry, they all make a lot of sense.

The first one I repeatedly heard was what I thought was someone bellowing a quote from that godawful eyesore of a TV show Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Every morning, someone rides around the streets amplifying a call of OH YAAAAAAAAAAS. I was into it, you want to let everyone know you feel fabulous every morning, who am I to piss on your bonfire. Turns out he sells gas; most places work off outdoor LPG. OHHH GASSSSS.

dogs in a waterfall

The second one had me thinking I was in a fever dream. It has such a melody that it recalls both the cooing of a wood pigeon and the demented heckling of a smackhead. It has a loop of perhaps 15-20 seconds of a child’s voice crying something out. Again, amplified from some kind of vehicle, so add the doppler effect to it also. It happens every morning.

This is a very old recording of a ten-year-old girl who used to, perhaps still does, buy your old shit. Mattresses, washing machines, microwaves, fridges, whatever the fuck, if you don’t want it, they’ll buy it. All the scrap merchants still use this one recording all over Mexico. Had me bugging out for a while.

There is also an avocado guy who peddles the good shit out of his boot, literally full of avocados. But he just freestyles, he also doesn’t stop, he works entirely when he wants to and he is never not busy.

pork skin

As I said, I have a vague routine. I wake up as and when, check my daily writing tasks, have some breakfast, make a pot of coffee, and slurp it up as I finish my work. I find somewhere to go, a new attraction or gallery, or just a new market, and make my way over there. Sometimes I’ll grab something on the way, it’s rarely more than a few quid and is almost always delicious. I’ll spend a few hours taking in the new place, find somewhere to sit and read, have a drink maybe, and find out what’s happening in the evening.

I’ll make my way back, squeezing onto the busses and metros. According to someone who, at a party I was at the other day, used the phrase “how you say?” despite being entirely American, riding the bus and metro is ghetto and only done by ‘locals’. But as I said, she pretended she wasn’t born and bred American because she uses the bus… ‘how you say’? Idiot.

I’ll usually go to the gym before I eat, taking tips from the friendly, in-house, personal trainer. I’ve told him I don’t want lessons, but he still always greets me, and always loads up more plates on every machine I’m on. It’s a great gym, and I think he just wants me to stop lowering the overall ‘beefcake’ ratio. Skinny bitch that I am.

suadero teco

The gym is a short, ten-minute walk from my apartment. It takes me past multiple markets selling everything you could possibly want. I have done one supermarket food shop since I’ve been here, and it wasn’t any cheaper, just a little more soulless.

I’ll grab something to cook for dinner or stop off at a street food joint. When your legs are all of a quiver from squatting the earth, nothing hits the spot harder than five overloaded, dripping, meat-packed, saucy, spicy, sweet tacos. Suaderoh-My-God. It brings a tear to my eye even thinking about them. They cost less than a UK meal deal and have more protein and nutrients in them than the entire aforementioned chilled section in your local Sainsburys.

suadero taco

A shower and a change has me either ready to sleep or hop on another metro to another part of town. I have quickly realized, it is incredibly easy to go out pretty much every night. There are a lot of very active groups for whatever it is you’re into. I have restraint (read budget) though.

I went to an exhibition the other day in a gallery owned by a young Canadian man. I was in the area having a drink with my book and the event popped up on a chat, it was only ten minutes away. I said I was interested, said where I was, and within fifteen minutes, a woman from Worcester joined me for a swifty before we headed over. It’s a small world.

beautiful glass roof

The crowd was much more up my street. Struggling, and not so struggling artists. Barely a word of business was spoken, and the drink + ‘mixers’ flowed. It was nice to meet some people I feel like I know or can understand a little better. Although ‘how you say’ was deffo a highlight. She openly advertised how many group chats she had been kicked out of, I wonder if it’s because she didn’t know how to say anything.

I’m looking forward to my next place in Mexico City. They have dogs and a cat, a balcony, a big bed, and a kitchen with more than one solitary knife in it. Writing in this basement-type building isn’t great for the tan or the creativity.

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