As anyone who’s ever met me and Ivan before might reasonably suspect, I spent the first week of being here full of worry, while Ivan greeted it with calm and curiosity. Not that I’m not curious, but calm is a cultivated state of being on my part, while anxiety tends to fly to my side far more readily, like that high school friend you never liked to begin with but at least you’d never have to be alone at parties.
This anxiety clustered mostly around finding an apartment. (Its clearest immediate origins are obviously connected to finally getting my wish and moving to a different, highly chaotic city, working on my dissertation, and having ancestors who themselves wandered the desert for 40 years in search of the perfect apartment).
So, I woke up every morning and scoured AirBnB. (Furnished place, no need for a lease, no light/gas/internet expenses, etc. etc. The stuff you deal with when you live somewhere permanently). Every morning I’d put in Feb. 1 to Mar. 1, center the map over Roma and Condesa (i.e.: Williamsburg 20 years ago and Williamsburg now). Wait, maybe perhaps more Condesa. Hm, no actually, more Roma. Oh. Or Roma Norte or Roma Sur? Six blocks to the left? To the right? Maybe more to the North. I really like that pretty gold statue I saw in that roundabout. Seems like a nice place to read. (Reading in the middle of busy traffic is a family trait from what I’ve heard. Apparently my brother spent his years at Columbia studying at a bench on the median of Broadway). Hm, well…hm. I don’t know. More minuscule clicks and drags. More waiting for Ivan to wake up two hours later and give his, inevitably positive regarding everything, opinion. I message seven people to go see their places, Ivan finally calms me down (Ivan, 2 phone calls to my mother and 7 text messages to Sue, if we’re being accurate), and I kick myself for not having spent the golden hours working on my dissertation.
A lot of sweating the small stuff. In reality, all the apartments we saw were nice, even those across from a building under construction or smelling of someone’s grandmother’s less delicious recipes from the old country. Even nicer, were the people. Welcoming, accommodating, patient. We did find a place. It is perfect. We’re moving into it soon.