ÑOR: From "señor" (mister). Used as a colloquial form of treatment aimed at men over 40 years old.
Though this very good friend of mine was referring to someone else when he said "that ñor?", I loved the word (which I had never heard in it's masculine form). I loved its sound, its terseness, and its initial eñe. And since I'm over 40 now, why not embrace it? especially if I like it so? So starting on my birthday a week ago, I playfully embraced ñorness - after all, I'm as unbothered by age as by plenty other things, so vive la ñorité!
Contrasting starkly with last year's birthday, my ñorday was, quite frankly, quiet. But also multi-day. And good. Just having moved here and with so many urgent things to arrange for life to attain the slightest sense of normalcy, I had no energy left for birthdaying up my week, kept a low profile, and just did a few simple things I wanted to...
STUNNING VIEWS OF THE PALACIO DE BELLAS ARTES
OK, this was the huz's idea. But one of my birthday pleasures was, most definitely, seeing him all happy for taking me for a double espresso (my favourite) in a sunny terrace (we inherited sun-worshipping from our stay in Canada) with views of this beautiful building. A real treat. Plus a chance to admire the building's Art Déco staircase. Double treat!
MEMORIES FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
My huz took me to another very interesting site of the city's historic centre - the Ottoman Clock Tower. Given to Mexico by Turkey in 1910 to commemorate Mexico's 100th Independence anniversary, it includes Turkish, Lebanese and Mexican symbols as a sign of their friendship. I love its design, I loved seeing again Arabic numerals (two of the clock's faces have Arabic numerals instead of Roman ones), and it was nice to remember a bit of my stay in Lebanon. You gotta pay your respects to your past, right? We might have seemed a bit silly, but there we were, reciting out loud the numbers on the clock face, in our very Lebanese version of Arabic. Happy.
Then we rushed to another symbolic place - the Mexican-Israeli Cultural Centre. There was nothing Canadian or Canadian-related nearby. But this did wonderfully for my Canadian experience, since it was in Canada where I recognized and identified with the part of my heritage that was Jewish. What an intense lunch hour! (oh, yeah, in case you didn't know, all this was done during my business lunchtime!)
REMEMBERING WHY WE'RE HERE
The last stop - at least during my lunchtime "celebration" - was the Templo de San Hipólito. I'm still totally unreligious and decidedly atheist. But I was my mom's first child, and she was so worried something could go wrong she prayed to this church's saint (reputedly the saint to pray for when you have a difficult situation) asking for the birth to go well. So I thought it appropriate to come here and take a few moments to think about my mom, who passed away some years ago while I lived in China. It was comforting to sit there, looking at the candles, remembering her.
ÑORDAY + HOUSEHOLD ITEMS ARRIVAL = PARTY!
So, yeah, my birthday was over, officially. But our household items arrived home from Canada safe and sound! No way we weren't going to celebrate, right? So we headed to this very cool - almost hipster but still relaxed and very pleasant - bar called El Bósforo, and we toasted with mezcal both to my birthday and our things being back with us! hurray! hell, having them at home again felt most definitely like a huge birthday gift!
THE HUZ, THE HUZ
And what followed mezcal? Home cooked dinner by someone who loves you dearly and who went through the trouble of finding vegan mole tamales. Effing A. MAY. ZING. And probably the most Mexican birthday celebration I had ever had in my entire life! I mean, tamales? mezcal? nopales? tortillas? Whoa! And super yum! Score!
WE'RE GONNA GIVE YOU CAKE AND CANDLES WHETHER YOU WANT IT OR NOT
Several days later, I was still being pampered. This time by my sis. Who despite everybody's gentle and joking but still somewhat serious protests, she made a wholly vegan chocolate cake for me. And caring little or nothing that the actual date was well past and that I hadn't even suggested she do anything, she still got us all together (including my dad), found candles, and had everybody singing happy birthday to me. Awww. How could I say no to that? WHO could say no to that?
AND YOU GOTTA LOOK GOOD TOO, ÑOR
And were that not enough, I even got a gift from a very close friend, and it amazes me how perfect it was - a gift card for a haircut and a beard trim at a barbershop! No ordinary barbershop, BTW. Nope. Mexico City had long lost its barbershop tradition, caught in a whirlwind of fancy places doing stylish things. Only the older guys in some isolated places could still attempt a decent barbershop job. And then these guys opened up Barbería Capital with people that had been training long up north (in Canada and the US) where the tradition has kept going uninterrupted. And so, over a week after my birthday, I got to enjoy the last of my birthday treats - a full treatment with masters of the scissor and blade. So I can still look hot in my ñorness. LOL.
Totally not bad for a birthday I tried to push aside in order to concentrate on "pressing matters". Like an Argentinean cartoon character - Mafalda - once complained: "COMO SIEMPRE: LO URGENTE NO DEJA TIEMPO PARA LO IMPORTANTE" (as always, what's urgent leaves no time for what's important). Fortunately, I had a team around me (huz, family, friends) making sure I still enjoyed some "importante" time. Like I said, it may have been quiet. But it was good. And multi-day. And I've armed myself with a new word I love: ÑOR!