DAY 312 - KILLING TIME IN CONDESA

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Day 312 - Condesa, Mexico City

Peaceful Condesa, my favourite neighbourhood in Mexico City. It’s already a month ago that my bike got stolen. A new one has arrived and people are sending me gear from overseas. Everything is sorted, but mail in Mexico takes a lot of time. So I’m still stuck. 

For me this is not a problem at all. I love it here. Condesa, Hippodromo, Parque Mexico with its green plazas. Amsterdam, the street named after my hometown, which runs parallel in an egg shape around the park. The old colonial buildings, and the newer art-deco style from the 20s, some damaged badly by the numerous earthquakes. Especially Condesa is a sensitive area, with its soft soil. Mexico City was built on a lake. I’ve been in one earthquake, which feels like a large boat on a wavy ocean. It’s more like an ‘earth-swing’. Because of the damages there is a lot of construction going on. The typical noises of Mexico City. Hammerin, grinders, iron on stone. A police car waiting first in line behind a red traffic light, eating a hamburger, with sirens on. The tingling bells of the garbage collectors at 11am everyday. The pre-recorded female voice-over through a cranky speaker, on top of the cars of metal junk collectors, driving through the neighbourhoods. If you’ve visited Mexico City, you know what I’m talking about. 

In my apartment on the third floor at Plaza Popocatepetl I’m photographing my friend Agna, a beautiful brown-haired, blue-eyed Mexican. It’s quiet now and the sun is out, as always. A green view on the plaza, a fresh breeze through the windows. Then she gets an unsettling text message from her roommate. Confusion, tears… her room just got robbed. She shows me photos. It’s a mess. Valuables stolen - laptop, tablet, shoes, money… I’m surrounded by robberies it seems. A month ago my bike. Three days ago the bike of my friend Daniele from Italy, who cycled around the world for 4 years together with his girlfriend (@becycling), and now this. It’s spreads fear. I don’t like to share this, after so many great experiences and made friendships here in Mexico. The city grew on me. A handshake at home, is a hug Latin America. But there’s the fear, and suspicion too. The reason for the second lock on the door. 

Another morning. Martha, one of my best friends in the city, texts me she is downstairs walking her dog. I text if she is hungry. I walk down with a plate of bread, fish salad, avocado and lime. We sit at the old fountain of Plaza Popocatepetl, a beautiful run down monument built in 1927. The fountaint doesn’t work. Barto (the dog) is still afraid of me. We chat the coffee in the cafe next door, which is not as good as its furniture. Than I go for a run on Amsterdam, which is about 4 km around the park and I work out for a bit in the outdoor gym in Parque Mexico. In the afternoon I have an appointment with a Clara, a Danish model, for a photoshoot. It’s just for fun. In the evening I receive feedback on a design project, so there’s more work to do. This is how I fill my days, while I wait for my bicycle gear to be delivered.