After two months in Latin America, I have now made it to American America. Arriving in Boston for a whirl wind one-hot-night stopover was a bit of a culture shock, honestly. I said ‘gracias’ to several people within the first 10 minutes of landing and went to throw my toilet paper in the bin (a requirement throughout Latin America), only to find no appropriate receptacle. This is America.
I felt really sad to leave Mexico City. What a place! It’s like a Latin American New York. The architecture was stunning, especially for an art deco fan-girl like myself. We ate at gorgeous fancy restaurants, as well as tiny little taco stands with plastic stools. The suburb we stayed in, the very trendy Condesa, was replete with the requisite tiny dogs and gigantic dogs of any gentrified area. I think I say this about anywhere that I vaguely like, but I could easily imagine living in Mexico City. In Mexico City we were staying with two friends from LA in a super cool art-deco Air BnB, which was just lovely. Not only were there plenty of curved walls and polished floor boards to quench my thirst for well designed surroundings (especially after so many mural-ed hostels), but it was also lovely to spend time with other friends that we know well, not having to have the same back packer conversations with over and over again. It’s also nice to spend time with your partner with other people. As much as it has been a joy to spend so much time with Neil, it feels good to have other people to talk to with him, see him lighting up and telling stories to old friends.
I flew to Boston on a little bit of a whim. I am a huge Alanis Morisette fan. And when I saw her perform live earlier in the year in Sydney, she mentioned that she was working on a musical theatre adaptation of her seminal album ‘Jagged Little Pill’. I’d be lying if I said I immediately booked tickets, because Boston really wasn’t on my agenda. I actually agonised over it for a while. Of course I wanted to see the show. But I would have to fork out for tickets, flights, accomodation… It just seemed like an extravagance for just one night, just one show. But then I received some sage advice from a friend and mentor: “go see Alanis. Spend the money. It’s no use just sitting in your account”. And so I did.
The show was wonderful. It was so joyous, contemporary and full of anger. The songs from the album already have a strong narrative to them, but it was woven through a story of a modern family, dealing with themes of addiction, race, gender, falling in and out of love, and the meaning of family. I have no doubt that the musical will go on to be a huge success on Broadway, and I’m glad I was there to see it in it’s first iteration.
After one night in Boston, I flew to Chicago yesterday, where I am spending the next five weeks studying improvised comedy at iO, one of the most well regarded establishments of it’s kind in Chicago - the home of improvised comedy. Improv is something I already do a lot of at home, and has been a passion I’ve been pursuing for a couple of years now. I feel confident and comfortable with my abilities as an improviser at home, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely shitting myself about starting classes today. I’m nervous to meet new people, I’m nervous I’ve forgotten how to be funny, I’m nervous I won’t like doing improv so much for so long. But do it I will. I actually felt on the verge of a panic attack all of yesterday in anticipation. But now, there’s nothing to it but to do it. I look forward to letting you know how improvising 4 days a week from 11am to 5pm goes!