A Friday is a Friday – Not All the Time!

As I neared Paseo Reform on Ecobici through the Insurgentes Metro Plaza, a man in a Jehovah Witness-like shirt and tie ran past at full speed, with a few feet behind a woman in tow, screaming – “Por Favor – Parar parar!” With an extreme look of panic on her face. As I turned around and stopped, I did see he almost made it to the exit of the metro plaza but someone took the chance and stopped him, he fell to the ground, he tried to get up, and he was easily knocked back down to the ground.

I would like to think he was guilty of snatching something from the lady and it certainly did seem those around in the plaza weren’t afraid to make sure he was stopped and anything she might have of value, would be stopped right where he was on the ground.

Certainly this was enough to jolt you out of the events of anyone’s day and make you think, what if that were me? If I thought I had a bad day, did I really or not as bad if I would have been that person who had something snatched? Luckily, whether he was guilty or not (I am assuming he was) – those around came to the rescue.

Shocking is the possibility in Mexico City, but yet, so is it in all areas of all cities, as many stores are kept under wraps and not made public. I say this as I sit in the new Gino’s East in Reforma, anticipating what the taste of the Jumbo Wings will be like before I dive into an original deep dish pizza to see how this comparison fares based on the experience I had at the Gino’s East in Chicago.

The dark, and wood-based interior along with the brick walls definitely serves to set its own personality, although I prefer the open window and high stools I had in Chicago, but more on the experience and taste later.

I realized today I still have a very very long way to go to set aside my anxious side of reacting to events as they happen and happen without the way I anticipate them, just when I think I am mastering that feeling, well, today for example happens.

Setting my ipad to an IOS update should have triggered that the update would over ride my alarm usually set on the ipad, especially as I came in from a 10:00 night from a Back to School night. Yet, the tiredness finally set in and I had not even a second thought that the alarm would NOT go off, until morning that is.     6:10 comes fast, and I jumped up and realized I was already behind, but it was Friday, right? I multitasked, feeding the dogs, then right beside the shower jumping in while they digested their meal, running to grab my ASF shirt and jeans nearby, out the door with the three, walking and noticing the rain from the previous night. We did our normal circular route, made it back in and looking at my watch I knew Id be a bit late, as it just turned 7:10AM! AGH!

I ran, literally, out the door, all the way to Insurgentes Metro, while anxiously squeezing between EVERY SINGLE person in the metro, I finally arrived at Observatorio, literally, ran every single stair up to the top then jogged a bit to the school hitting at 7:25 AM, to find, finally, my Advocacy waiting and just after 7:45, and knew, my partner in crime had called off today ( I knew he was feeling bad last night at Back to School Night but didn’t realize he would be that sick, and I realized how short-handed the library would have been without us there and our third colleague opening up everything and feeling the space of no one there. Within 10 minutes we had all caught up to speed, while my heart was still racing from the “Moctezuma stairs” I bounded up.

Today was not just any Friday, I was due in Ms. Patterson’s art room as a model for the students for their art project and realized, this might be a dead end today to be there at 8:15. I also realized, I had to leave at 8:45 AM to get my permanent residency and lie ESP, Ms Patterson came in wondering if I had forgotten the sitting time. In my rapid fire style, I spilled out the eventful moments of the AM, and we agreed we could pick up on Tuesday when things quieted down a bit. Within minutes I also realized we had a class coming in 4th period and I realized how exciting it would be to actually think I’d be back before the end of the day from Immigration.

However, I plodded forward, and we realized the laptops would be a slightly easy gig with every one being reserved for the whole day, but I wondered how the absence of two of us, leaving one colleague would work. However, it was almost perfect when we had a substitute, Bruno, come into the library which just made me at ease knowing, I’d do my best to be the first one out of Immigration, even if remotely possible, but we had backup for a bit. Before I realized it, 8:45 was here and I was grabbing my backpack and heading out full speed to catch the chance to get my status elevated to permanent residency. Three if us went, on our way to Immigration, dicing into the Mexican traffic we know so well for a Friday, towards Polanco, and pulled up to the familiar Immigration building.

Was that a student at the entrance? Sure enough, a fellow study hall student was with her family and waved as were going forward with what I thought was the same experience. As I thought we would start the last few times – into the building, and lines, but no, we initially were met my a smaller female lawyer, and lead around the corner to Office Depot and realized we needed pictures taken for the new visa. However, I also realized if I would have known I could have brought the last pictures I had taken, extras, that fit the description we needed for the visa. However, we moved forward into the process of finishing this errand.

I was told to take off my glasses but, then did not understand what hair hanging down the front of my forehead matters, but I did find out it mattered enough to not be able to take a picture and have it accepted unless we complied. I looked desperately at my partner in crime for the day, Trent, and he gave me his Bobble bottle, and I took the water and put it on my hair and damped down my hair from my forehead as best as possible, and that seemed to do the trick, and yes, my picture pretty much looked like HELL.

Once we finished up at the photograph process, we made out way back to the Immigration Office, and started in the line that would get us to the process of our visa. The funny, thing, actually unusual, about starting the experience at Immigration is how the lawyers just happen to find you. Literally, you stand at the entrance and all of a sudden they find you – and it seems as if it was all planned. Yet we dived into the lines.   However, Trent was told he had to take a new picture due to an earring in his ear? I was flabbergasted, , but not before a Canadian couple in front of us , who Trent began to translate saying that she was being told she could not have a valid photo with the earring in her ear, which was permanent and unable to be taken out.

I’m JUST the translator!” Trent emphasized, and I laughed as he could gauge the level of anxiety she was feeling from finding out HER experience was not going the way she had expected for the day. I realized how dangerous it can be when you are translating and yet, you cant separate the emotions from the reality of the truth that sometimes appears with a foreign language.

Trent went back to get new photos as I sat and waited my turn. Honestly, even though Trent made it back before I had been called, the wait was relatively smooth and fast (blasphemy!) – I went up, inked my fingerprints on the card, and before I knew it I received my passport back – done!

As Trent and Jennifer stayed behind with different issues, they allowed me to go off back ahead of them to the school, so I could arrive before things became too impossible to get caught up with let alone caught up.

I jumped into the first taxi (let me not forget that Trent covered my roadblock of hair thanks to his water, covered my photo costs while I did not have my correct card with any money (not knowing that would be a factor) and let me have his pass with the tax to allow me to go back on time – hero for the day? I would say definitely yes!

I made it back realizing the voucher we had from the school was for Servitaxi and I was definitely not in a taxi from that company. Sucking it up, I ran back into the school upon arrival, taxi waiting, to retrieve the funds to go back out and pay the taxi. Nearly knocking a student over trying to weave between everyone at the bell, I paid the taxi, ran back in, and braced for how behind in missing a homecoming meeting, grabbing my papers for the Health lab Exam I signed up for next week, and not to mention preparing for the incoming class into the library.

Yet now after what seemed to have been the storm, the rest of the Friday played out and I stood wondering, WHAT HAPPENED? How did this Friday become so incredibly CRAZY? Such is the way of live, whether in Mexico, or in any country, you never know what will turn up and even you will not be sure how will get through it, but, yet – you do. J

That class? It went pretty well and while very every minute packed, it worked like we had it mapped out way before the class, and how about that Chicago-style pizza?

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.01.53 AM

Sometimes all you need is a picture.  🙂

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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