Note: Long story short, I don’t have access to my pics right now, and I don’t want to delay this post any longer. So I’m borrowing some Creative Commons photos from flickr.

Stray dogs, green trees (the orange, lemon, and clementine trees are currently hanging with ripe fruit), traffic, flowers, green tomatoes on vines in early spring, palm trees, barely visible (because of the smog) snow-capped mountains, pigeons, car brands we’ve never seen before, landscaping, sidewalks, doormen, people bundled up in sweaters and scarves – it seems most are more “chilly-boned” than me, security gate after gate after gate after gate…

Petty theft is rampant here. Incidents of violent crime here is equal to or less than what it is in the states, but petty theft is a different story as is evidenced by iron bars and gates around practically every property, both residential and commercial.

The city is full of houses, high-rises and parks. The parks! – lots of green grass, playgrounds sprinkled around, nicely landscaped in the midst of so much concrete, brick and cobblestone. Many of the parks also have exercise equipment – similar to these here. We arrived in early spring, and since it rarely freezes here, roses and geraniums were already in full bloom. Maybe they were blooming all winter — I don’t know.

Public transportation — bus and metro routes. After a month, we have about figured out the public transportation system. There are different bus/metro lines that only make stops at particular locations. The first time I was at the bus stop waiting for a bus, it was perplexing why so many buses zoomed right by without stopping. Many times there is standing room only on the bus and/or metro. Men often give up their seats to women passengers; the young often to the same for the elderly. For the most part, it’s a polite culture. The young refer to the old as “abuelitos” (grandparents) and vice-versa. Sudoku helped an older lady tie up her produce bag in the supermarket, and the lady, in thanking her, called her “ninita” (granddaughter).