I have been incredibly ill for the past three weeks. Over this time I have endured an ER visit, two surgeries (and another coming in a week), numerous doctors visits, and a litany of blood work. I am exhausted from my body making attempts to heal itself. I am groggy from the medicines designed to make me forget that I am in pain. I am frustrated that I have been relegated to near constant bed rest. I am anxious to find out what exactly is wrong with me, and why my body is rebelling against itself and the physicians trying to fix me. But in spite of all of this, I am grateful that the universe is proving to me that being alone can be a blessing.
Everyone always talks about the wonderful things that happen to a person when they are living and traveling abroad. In fact, if every travel post on social media were true, one would believe that expat and wanderer life is a utopia where everything free, everyone is friendly, and all the food tastes good. Instagram shows us that climbing mountains, rafting down powerful rivers, or jamming precariously into a van does not carry safety risks; Vine gives you 15 seconds of bliss as you sneak a peak into beach side concerts, bungee jumps, and safaris; and Twitter tells you that everything is #fun and #amazing because those who have the ability to travel are #blessed.
But you know what, sometimes sh*t happens and you end up in the hospital; I was reminded of this harsh reality just a few days ago when I got emergency surgery in Mexico City.
On Thursday morning at about 4 AM, I woke up with a pain in my left side. I thought it could have been a result of not eating lunch or dinner the day before (I have been working fourteen hours at my real job) so I had some water and went back to bed. By 5:30 the pain had intensified to a point beyond discomfort, no position gave me relief from the stabbing sensation. At 7:30 I was shaking, sweating, crying, and doubled over in pain - I knew I needed to to get to a hospital, quickly.
I have had the privilege of calling Tijuana home for the past two years, but sadly it is time for me to go. The past few weeks have been filled with boxes, tape, and customs forms along with way too many tacos, mezcal cocktails, and tearful goodbyes.
I will miss so many things about this complicated town that I have grown to call home:
Mi primer blog en español - que fino, padre, bacán, y chevere! No será perfecto porque estoy escribiendo en mi segunda idioma, pero vendrá del corazón, y eso es lo importante.
Por los últimos 10 años de mi vida, he estudiado, trabajado, y vivido en 12 países Latino Americanos. La diversidad de las culturas, energía de las ciudades, y amabilidad de la gente son solo algunas de las razones que esta region del mundo es mi favorita. Con cada viaje, trabajo, y curso, he hecho amigos que ahora son mis familiares y todos me dicen lo mismo - "Kashia, eres una gringa latina."
I first met Veronica Hernandez, the energetic and easy-going owner of Object showroom, at a Christmas bazaar this past holiday season. Initially drawn to her booth for smokey mezcal and its accoutrement - spicy sal de gusano, I ended up spending quite a bit of time there chatting and admiring the unique, yet sophisticated pieces for sale. "We have more [at the shop], I only brought a little bit today," Veronica said as I lingered, asking more questions about the high-end, uniquely Mexican products, "you should come sometime!" she continued, simultaneously handing me a business card.
Shortly after the start of the new year I made the trek downtown and visited Object for the first time. Just north of the iconic arch that marks the infamous Avenida la Revolucion, the showroom is located in a building that is home to a craft beer brewery, private architecture school, and the office of a well-known architectural firm in the region. The aesthetic of the space immediately captivates visitors because it effortlessly teeters between being industrial yet inviting, traditional but edgy, and simple with understated elegance. I spent hours at the showroom with Veronica, trying on jewelry, admiring modern housewares, and flipping through El Show de Burro Nino - a colorful set of prints by local artist Charles Glaubitz. After much internal debate, I decided to purchase a beautiful leather handbag that was on display. "You're going to love it, and just let me know whenever you want to come back" she said as I pranced out the door with my newest piece of Baja.
A few weeks later, I returned to Object because I needed to know the story behind a showroom in Tijuana that could easily fit in with its peers in San Francisco and New York. Over the course of the afternoon, I learned more about Mexico, the unique products offered at Object, and what drives Veronica to improve the city that she calls home, at the grassroots level.