Day 120 – Mexico City

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I am grateful for Mexico City.  I think it is an amazing city, which has so much to offer.  I’ve honestly enjoyed living here for the past two months and I’m kinda sad I’m starting my last week here.  There is always something to do, to see, to experience.  This city is a world on its own.  At this point it is the biggest city in the world, with a population of about twenty million people.  It also feels that way, yet at the same time it doesn’t feel crowed.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Mexico City is the city with the largest number of museums.  It is undoubtedly a city full of surprises and lately I’ve been surprised myself when I discovered how I’ve been subconsciously considering living here.  I have created this subtle fondness for the city.  I’ll see what the future brings, but I guess this is yet another option for me.  How great life is and all its abundant opportunities!

Day 119 – My Mexican Mom’s Cooking Skills

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I am extremely grateful for My Mexican Mom’s Cooking Skills.  She is the reason why for the last two months half of my blog posts have been about food.  The dishes she creates make everything else fade away.  It is ridiculous.  She has the incredible talent to turn the most simple dishes into a culinary festival and let me tell you this: My taste buds have been partying a lot lately.  It is amazing and so beautiful to watch her cook with all the passion she has.  How she caresses every tomato, worships every pepper and gives a single onion so much more meaning, attention and respect.  It’s admirable and inspiring.  I love helping her out with preparing food and during one of our encounters in the kitchen we naturally combined our talents, which led to our concept of the ‘Cucina Cantante’ (Translation: “The Singing Kitchen”).  I don’t want to go into too much detail, but let me tell you that cooking can get even more fun if you do it while singing.  Thank you Mamá for all the wonderful moments together, that I truly cherish.  Spending time with you, talking, cooking, listening to music, watching a movie, getting groceries,…  it is something I deeply enjoy and something I am eternally grateful for.  Te amo.

Day 118 – Tomato

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I am grateful for Tomato.  I absolutely love the flavor and the versatility of it.  There are so many ways of preparing and eating it.  So far, I don’t think I have encountered one I do not like.  Whether I just eat them raw, cut into slices or cubes with some sea salt and pepper or I use them to create a tomato sauce or I make them part of a vegetable dish, it always does the job.  Even though it is widely used a vegetable, a tomato is actually categorized as a piece of fruit.  I am very amused by all the stories of its origin, but as linguist I was mostly fascinated by the Italian story.  You see, in Italian Tomato is “Pomodoro”, which comes from Pomo d’Oro, literally translated as “Apple of Gold”.  When the Tomato was brought from Central and South America to Europe, it was introduced into Italy as a golden yellow piece of fruit.  When people started cultivating the Tomato in Sicily and the South of Italy the  favorable warm climate gave the Tomato its beautifully soft and deep warm red color.  However, people still nowadays keep on calling a Tomato “Pomodoro” even though it is not really yellow anymore.  A fun fact related to that is that the first cookbook containing Tomato recipes was published in Naples in the 17th Century.  Anyway, there are obviously many varieties of tomatoes – about 7500 of them – and you find them in all kinds of colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, black, brown, ivory, white, and purple.  I love all of them and I am excited to discover new ways of cooking or eating them.

Day 117 – Clouds

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I am grateful for Clouds and all the breathtaking formations they create.  I sometimes feel like it’s a never ending ever changing work of art.  In the morning you see them float in from the mountains colored by the rising sun in tints of soft pink, orange, yellow or just pure white.  During the day they sporadically appear in clumps or perfectly designed shapes or they simply hoover together creating a tapestry of future condensation.  From the darkest purple, blue, grey or almost even black to the clearest snowy unpolluted fresh white.  In the evening a unique, unmatched, extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime live spectacle of colors and movements.  Some may say that Clouds forewarn us, that they are a sign of the unavoidable rain and therefore should be disdained.  I say I just enjoy the moment.  I stop and watch the Clouds, knowing that this particular moment is a gift unseen and unheard of, knowing that now and only now I will be able to marvel at its beauty.  Nature keeps amazing me and I am so grateful for its swiftly and perfectly composed brushstrokes of Clouds against those eternal black and blue skies.

Day 116 – Colorful Schedules

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I am grateful for Colorful Schedules.  They make things much more easy and clear for me.  I really enjoy the process of creating them and it makes me smile every time I look at it.  It gives me an immediate overview of what is going on and what I still need to work on, focus on, fix.  I like using sticky notes because I know that if I have to make a change I can just replace a sticky note instead of having to tear my entire schedule apart and start all over again.  This picture is an example of part of Cast Week in Up with People.  I love how the colors make things instantly comprehensible.  In this case the yellow represents all the logistics I needed to think about, the green referred to anything relating to the Education department and the pink ones were exceptions or things I needed to pay extra attention to.  And in general the colors just make it all the more frivolous and fun.  There are so many ways to make work more fun.  I suggest you give it a try!

Day 115 – The xx

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I am grateful The xx.  They are an English Indie Pop band consisting of a group of talented young men.  So far they only released their debut album entitled “xx” and I think it such an amazing record.  The guys also produced the album themselves and it is very impressive to hear the sound they created.  Just like ‘Passive Me . Aggressive You’ by The Naked And Famous, it is one of those albums that completely blows me away.  To me it is one of those concept albums in the sense that the entire album just fits perfectly together.  There is no other possible way this album could’ve been constructed but the way it is now.  I find myself playing it regularly, not realizing I put it on once again.  The music just feels good, it feels right.  It’s exactly that kind of music I enjoy most.  I feel like it helps me find my balance and I feel how it naturally connects with my inner me.  So thank you very much to The xx for creating such a wonderful work of art.  I am so grateful to be able to play “xx” over and over and over again.

Day 114 – Guacamole

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I am so grateful for Guacamole!  I just love everything about it.  And I am so lucky to be right here in Mexico City right now, because Mamá Laura makes the best Guacamole.  There are obviously a lot of different recipes and she even uses several different ones on different occasions.  For today she decided to make one including avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, sea salt and habanero.  Mostly the habanero made the difference.  It brings that particular flavor and that unavoidable spiciness, which makes it all the better.  I honestly think I could eat Guacamole everyday.  Maybe I should.