Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Apartment

Note: This post was written at the beginning of my parent's visit and should have been posted last week.

After a month in our Chimalhuacan apartment, we decided to move. It had just gotten too hard to live in Chimalhuacan and in our apartment in particular. It was obvious that life in Chimalhuacan wasn’t going to be what we had expected.

When my parents and Anna arrived in Chimalhuacan, it was obvious that it wasn’t what they had expected either. They all looked shocked, and a little disgusted, by the area. Jose and I weren’t surprised that they weren’t thrilled by it, because we too had been slightly disgusted when we first arrived. We had gotten used to the area, though, and I, although definitely not Jose, had started to enjoy it. My parents described it as a slum, and no one thought we should continue to live there.

I like that I feel safe in Chimalhuacan, and after just a month, I already feel like part of the community. I wave and say “hi” to the woman who sells juice up the street, we are surrounded by Jose’s family members, and I know vendors at the market, pharmacy, computer store, vet’s office, and the corner store. While it is anything but pretty or luxurious, I liked the feeling of being a part of the area.

After talking with my parents, we decided to start looking for an apartment. Instantly I knew I wanted to live in Coyoacan, my favorite place in Mexico City so far, and I’m pretty positive it always will be. The center of Coyoacan, where I want to live, is a 10 minute bus ride from the metro station. Since it is out of the way, there is no traffic and very few people during the day and weekdays. On weekend nights, it’s a popular place to go for coffee and filled churros. Coffee and churros attracts couples and people looking for a relaxing evening chatting with their friends, so I’ll be able to avoid the late-night partiers and noise. Coyoacan (which means “place of the coyote” in the Aztec language Nahuatl) was a town outside of Mexico City until the 1940’s. It was swallowed by the city, but it was able to keep much of its small town charm. The streets are cobblestone, lined with trees, quiet, and surrounded by old buildings. There are multiple gorgeous parks where we can take Cholula to throw a ball and have picnics. In Coyoacan, we will avoid the noise, fast pace, dirtiness, and danger of living in many other parts of Mexico City. It really will be like living in a town, but we will be just a few short minutes away from the heart of busy Mexico City.

We walked through Coyoacan for hours one day, trying to find an apartment. We called apartment after apartment, and they were either too expensive, didn’t allow pets, or were on a street we didn’t like. At the end of the day, we viewed a 2 bedroom apartment with a balcony that allowed dogs. We liked it, and decided that we wanted it. When Jose called the next day, we found out we needed a cosigner who owned property in the Federal District to get it. Jose tried to explain that we have money sent to us each month from the United States, and that we would have enough to pay the rent. The property manager said she would think about it, and call us if she wanted to give us an interview. No surprise, we never heard from her. It was extremely disappointing. It sounded like we were never going to be able to get a nice apartment in the Federal District.

The next morning, everyone promised me an apartment, pulled me out of my gloom, and we got to Coyoacan early. We started walking again, looking for “For Rent” signs. A sign in a café said we could get information about an apartment for rent there, and Jose went in to ask. That one didn’t allow dogs, but Jose talked to the café owner who owned the apartment. He told Jose about the cosigner policies in Mexico City, and recommended that we offer to pay the entire year of rent upfront. The next apartment we found, we called about and got to view it five minutes later. We offered to pay all the rent upfront, and were promised that the apartment was ours if we paid.

A few hours after seeing the apartment, we decided it was the one. Jose called the manager, and we have an appointment to sign the contract and pay the rent on January 28th. We will soon be the renters of a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 balcony apartment in Coyoacan. There is also an extra room we are going to use as a guest room/office, so we will have room for whoever wants to visit!

We are really excited about the apartment, living in Coyoacan, and being closer to all the great things Mexico City offers. With Anna living with us, a new apartment in a great place, and lots of things to do, I’m sure we’ll be feeling lucky to live here before we know it.


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