Real Talk 17/09/18: Viva

Life has been a bit hectic so I’m going to keep this one a bit short. On the bright side, all the things going on in my life right now translates to lots of interesting Real Talk down the road!

Un Día Más

Over the weekend I took my girlfriend to see Les Misérables in honor of our 22 month anniversary (yes, we’re one of those insufferable couples who celebrate every month). We saw it in the Teatro Telcel here in Mexico City, which is a beautiful building in Polanco, a beautiful part of town.

I can understand Spanish pretty well, but it can be tricky to make it out when it’s being sung dramatically. The fact that I wasn’t able to understand many of the words, and was only faintly familiar with the story going in, only proved how amazing the performance was. Even with my hazy understanding of what was going on, I laughed and cried and became deeply invested in the characters. The book got moved right to the top of my to-read list, and I want to see the film now, too, although the English soundtrack has been ruined for me.

Apparently I’m not alone in my esteem of the Mexican cast. After a little research, it seems they’re considered equal to the Broadway production by critics. The country is certainly facing problems right now, but I’m glad to see the arts are still flourishing here.

Tunnel Vision

Part of the reason my life is so crazy is because I’m trying to do so much. It’s my own fault I decided to try and write this blog seven days a week, on top of a five hour podcast each week. To keep up with these projects while balancing them with the projects which actually make me money, I’ve had to hunker down and spend all of my time being productive. For the next little while, I’m doing my best to abstain from any entertainment–video games, TV, etc.–except for what I’m consuming for the sake of the blog and podcast.

It might seem a bit dull short-term, and you might say I need to take on less and give myself some time to enjoy life. I see it as an investment. Maybe my life will be a bit boring short-term, but if everything I’m working on now pans out, I should be setting myself up for a much more fun life in the future.

Viva México

Mexican Independence Day is the 16th of September, though it’s celebrated by and large on the evening of the 15th. I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on some of the things I love about my adopted country.

There are the surface level things, of course. The food is without compare. If you haven’t been to Mexico and therefore haven’t tasted actual Mexican food, the trip is worth it for that alone. Tacos al pastor, a dish with Lebanese origins, tops the list, but also see chilaquiles, chiles en nogada, esquites, molletes, enchiladas suizas, mole poblano, tacos gobernador, chapulines, and countless others. Then there’s the music, from ranchera to reggaeton, and the weather.

More than all that, I love the culture. Everyone is different, of course, but the majority of people are relaxed and friendly. Even in Mexico City, one of the biggest cities in the world, the atmosphere is calmer than you would find in most cities in the States or Canada. Family, community, hard work, and honesty seem to be held in high regard here, and the people are only stronger for the problems their country faces.

Finally, I love Mexican art. There’s something unique about the Mexican perspective that I can’t put my finger on. It’s subtle, but Mexican art deals differently with love, death, family, history, music–everything. Nobody writes like Octavio Paz or Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Nobody makes movies like del Toro or Cuarón or Iñárritu. Nobody paints like Diego Rivera or Frida Kahlo, though perhaps that’s for the best.

There remains no doubt in my mind that moving here was the best decision I ever made.

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