‘Flowers?’ you might be wondering as you consider the banner for this blog… ‘what’s up with the flowers? That could be anywhere. Fair enough – most blogs about Mexico City feature iconic images of famous buildings, the boats of Xochimilco, colourful street scenes, and all the rest of it. A fairly generic picture of some flowers (that could not have been taken, I should point out, in my previous home in Winterland) for a blog about Mexico City begs an explanation.
This image of flowers was the banner I used when I first started blogging about my experiences as a new expat in Mexico City; I chose it because it captured my first impressions of this city – this chaotic, vibrant, colourful city – better than any building or river or angel. I remember walking around during my first weeks here amazed by everything, but mostly by all the flowers. They were everywhere, hanging over fences, falling down from trees, filling the parks, and I took pictures of them all.
Of course, it didn’t take long before the realities of expatting set in, and I began to experience the frustrations of living in a different culture, of not speaking the language, and of not knowing how to do things (while remaining certain that I knew better about how they should be done). Today, I definitely have a more balanced view of things. You can’t get through the gauntlet of setting up life in Mexico City without wondering on occasion if you made a big mistake leaving everything you knew behind you. That said, I cannot deny that I love this city. Don’t misunderstand – it still drives me absolutely bonkers in so many ways, but it has become home. Everything that appears in this blog will unavoidably reflect both of those feelings.
At the same time, I run the risk of slowing taking things here, my life here, for granted. All of the craziness of those first weeks and months as an expat could become normalised and I could forget how I felt in those early days. In a sense, this might be a good thing – if this blog is going to be useful to any of you who are thinking about moving to Mexico City, or to those of you who have already made the leap, it will be good that I have come some way in figuring out how to navigate life here.
But, if this blog is also going to be a bit interesting at the same time, then I will need to remind myself of just how chaotic, colourful, and vibrant life here can be. I will need to remember how it all looked to me in the beginning – strange, different…and interesting. The flowers are good for that.