It wasn’t even 8 o’clock

It wasn’t even 8 o’clock and she was angry, the kids had been little bastards – her two-year-old little girl didn’t want to get dressed and the little boy is too much like his stupid Dad and it breaks her heart every time she gets back-chat from a five-year-old. She was already late and still needed to stop for petrol, and knew she was going to get a “talking to” at work anyway. Her Mom pops round to take the kids to nursery and school and she gets into her little silver Fiesta, still fuming. She stops for petrol, and tries to be sneaky and push in the line of traffic before the lights change – but some idiot in a red Seat blares her horn “FUCK YOU! FUCK OFF!” she screams as she slams her middle finger against the window. The girl driving the Seat looks at her blankly and drives past. She shows her middle finger again, still shouting but she loses the car in the traffic. About two miles later she thinks, Yes! there she is again, and swears at her again as she sails past.

etroAt work she braces herself as she steps out the car, she’s not as confident since the maternity leave, her replacement for a year seems to be doing it better than her and she’s worried about being pushed out. That’s what her meeting is about, she’s close but not quite hitting those targets but they’re not realistic anyway and her attitude is slipping but this morning she’s so angry about the kids and the car that she’s ready to fight her corner against the younger, prettier and more sociable ex-maternity temp. At least it’s at 9 to get it out of the way, her boss is an idiot and doesn’t know how to manage the team, and he doesn’t even know what she does there. Lunchtime comes and she’s still smarting from all that’s happened but at least her job is safe for the moment. She has a good giggle with the rest of the team and thinks she feels better, then she gets back to her desk and switches her computer back on, that spreadsheet she submitted first thing this morning before her meeting has come back with a glaring mistake and it’s one she cannot reverse or gloss over without letting the whole division know even up to managing director. Shit!

DTDB_PRE_BUDGET7.jpg - wine / alcohol

She collects the kids from her Mom’s house, and as soon as she walks in the door she opens that bottle of wine she’s had in the fridge since she left her verbally abusive husband six weeks ago. It’s a bit sour but she drinks and the kids are fighting over the Skylander figures and The One Show is on and she should put the kids to bed but she has another glass. Her five-year-old must have had a big day as school because he’s out like a light. Then her little girl gets up, it’s 10pm and she’s on her third glass and putting her little girl to bed Supernanny style. Her little girl eventually falls asleep at around 11:30, by then she’s just poured her fourth glass and clears away the chicken nuggets that they wouldn’t eat and starts to doze off herself in front of reruns of Scrubs on Dave. She sleeps, after such a day! She doesn’t hear the quiet crying from her boy’s room until morning.

Little did she know the day she’d have, and little did she know that the idiot in the red Seat would come home and write a blogpost about it. To the lady in the silver Fiesta, I am sorry, it was bad manners on my part – the lights there are not green for very long and I’m sure I am not the only person that would have pipped you. I certainly don’t think all your swearing was justified, it wasn’t very mature and especially not for that long down the road.

My first go at a quick fiction post, based on real events (only the petrol station bit obviously!). Let me know what you think!


Running Update November

I really don’t think pork sausage sandwich and chips was a good idea with all the running I’m trying to do but when old friends come to town it’s the perfect excuse! So I started about three weeks ago, running and walking around the block. Then I mentioned to my friend that I’d started and she said “Get Dani to drop you off at mine, it’s 4km from mine to yours so we’ll do that!” Like an idiot I said OK, then started to have cold feet. I’d only done 2.5km, running and walking. Nothing continuous. She basically told me to get over it and I’ll be fine. So we went!

Before I'd worked out putting it into Metric

Before I’d worked out putting it into Metric

I did 3km non-stop and totally surprised myself! I don’t mean running like fast, just jogging at a nice pace. I walked the last 1km, then spent about 15 minutes stretching afterwards and just – felt – brilliant! That was the start of at least three times a week running. I’m starting slow, working it up because I’ve signed up to this 10K in March. It’s a bit scary but running like this makes it seem a bit more manageable, I can do the shorter ones during the week and longer ones at the weekend. Even without music it’s a brilliant opportunity to put the world at rights, how could I get promoted at work, what would I do if I bumped into various ex-boyfriends, what if I had moved to Spain like the original plan, or moved to France like they wanted, or if I was in charge of education, or a magazine, or everything else in the world.

Weekend Run

Weekend Run

The first long one I did on my own was this weekend, I did 4km on the canal, with a  two minute stop in the middle to make sure I was at the right bridge to turn round. It’s interesting the people you meet on the canal, from the young family enjoying an explore through the inner city canal walk, the old man walking his little dog, other runners far better than me, and the drunk man sitting on a bench at 11am. The only drawback on this route is that the inner-city canal work has a lot of locks, so a lot of up and downs and narrow tunnels and really breathy “ex-cuse-me-hhhhhhh!!!”. By the way, I’m calling this running instead of jogging with the hope to make me a bit more serious about it, to keep going through the Winter with the hope of cancelling my gym subscription come the Run in March.

Ooooooh YEAH!

Ooooooh YEAH!

This morning’s was a last minute option, because I’m off work for two days. This was a lot flatter, and country style because it was towards the university. Again I met the old man walking his dog, a lot of people on their way to work (one of whom was actually walking at the same pace I was running), cyclists, geese – but not the drunk man this time. Wooooo! Running Girl!

Florecitas Mexicanas – Mexican Flowers

En Navidad, Mexico está llenito de nochebuenas, poinsettia en inglés. Me encantan, y en menos de un mes las veré acá. Los Aztecas las utilizaron para su tinta, y para medicina – pero en el siglo 16 se creó la leyenda de un ángel que se le apareció a una niñita pobrecita que no podía encontrar un regalito de Navidad. Le dijo que recogiera unas malas hierbas de la calle, para ponerlos a lado de la iglesia. Las flores rojitas que florecieron fueron las nochebuenas. Con el tiempo, la forma de estrellita empezó a representar la Estrella de Belén, y el color rojo, la sangre de Jesús Cristo. Su nombre en inglés, poinsettia, viene del primer ministro estadounidense de Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett en 1825. Voy a skipoverear las noticias que alegan que es venenosa, mírala! Una de las cositas que me encanta de este país Mexico.

At Christmastime, Mexico is full of poinsettias, nochebuena in Spanish. I love them, and in less than a month I will see them there. The Aztecs used the plant for its dye and for medicine – but in the 16th century a legend was created about an angel that visited a young girl, poor and unable to buy a Christmas present. The angel told her to take some weeds from the road and plant them in the church. The flowers that blossomed were poinsettias. And with time, the star-shape came to represent the Star of Bethlehem, and the red colour the blood of Christ. It’s English name, poinsettia comes from the first United States Minister of Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett in 1825. I’m going to skip over the claims that the plant is poisonous, just look at it! One of the many things I love about this country, Mexico!

My first meagre attempt at a post in Spanish! ¡Mi primer intentito rápido de escribir en español!

First Anniversary


First Birthday Chilanga : Exported

Yes, one year ago today, I had the day off work – very bored – and decided to start a blog. My very first post was about American Football, because we were in the middle of the main season of the NFL, and watching the Denver Broncos every Sunday.

Then let’s face it, things got a bit boring so taking general topics made it a lot easier to write. And here I am, Chilanga : Exported. I enjoy the blog, it’s like I’m talking to everybody but nobody.

Thank you to all my lovely 90 or so followers, your comments and opinions have kept me motivated and happy while writing about a lot of different things, and I just hope I can keep you entertained for as long as I can!

Rage Against the Answer Machine

Rage Against the Answer Machine on Radio 1 with Greg James

Rage Against the Answer Machine on Radio 1 with Greg James

Listening to BBC Radio 1’s Rage Against the Answer Machine every Thursday just makes me giggle on the way home from work. It’s about a half hour drive so I get most of it which makes a nice change – usually I join half-way through some segment and feel like I’ve missed out and start flicking through the stations. The way it works is really simple, there’s a phone number, call it and rage away! Then they play a selection, like Angry Indicator man “That stick on the side of the steering wheel is the indicator!!! If you do not use it – I do not know what you are doing!!!” Not quite having the confidence to call it myself, here is a short list of my rages from the past week or so :

Google seems to think this is do-able in 45 minutes

Google seems to think this is do-able in 45 minutes – in rush hour

1. You might have a massive Audi, or a BMW but you still need to be in the right lane on the island*, that is why I am pipping you, you dumbass-cutting-in-front-of-me-from-the-right-hand-lane-to-go-down-the-Small-Heath-Bypass! The middle lane is for straight on, you are in the lane to go right.

2. Solicitors, why aren’t you open just Saturday morning, or just one late night? Most people work Monday to Friday 9-5, including you, so don’t be so surprised when we ask for an appointment, in Walsall, on a Saturday morning. Walsall! The flat we’re buying is just half a mile from where we live now and we have to go to sodding Walsall. What would you do, faced with an hour drive over there, for your latest appointment that’s still half an hour earlier than you finish work? I hate having time off for things like that, doctors and other appointments that aren’t necessary, why can’t they at least have a late night, just til 18h30, that’s all it would take. Please?

How do you fail to see that this is First Class?

How do you fail to see that this is First Class?

3. Your ticket says Standard Class, you’re quite obviously sitting in First Class despite all the signs stating where you are (including that one at eye-level on the door you opened to get here, and the one that’s actually printed on the seat you are sitting in). Then you act all innocent to the ticket inspector like you cannot actually use your chuffing eyes. People pay full price for a nice quiet First Class seat and you are ruining it with your stupid pumping music and long phone call about what you’re doing tonight with Gaz and Jonesey.

4. Shut up Shut up Shut up!! Heavy loud music on a Sunday night coming from big-marquee-in-garden-over-there. I can still hear you with all windows shut!

I think that’s it, I must be feeling quite chilled out at the moment. A lovely French, Spanish, Portuguese and Mexican juevebes** and dinner yesterday and winding down to the weekend must be taking effect.

What trivial things have pissed you off this week? Would you broadcast it on the radio?

* For all the non-Brummies – this is a roundabout. ** And for all the non-Spanish-speakers – this is a mix of the Spanish words for Thursday and Drink, ie., Cheeky Thursday Drinkie.

A Fat Girl’s Love/Hate of Exercise

I went running this week for the first time in ages. I did four times around the block, which is not much in total – only 1.6miles, 2.5km. I’m not sure how long I took, and I felt great afterwards – but bloody hell it nearly killed me! There are three blocks of flats on our development, all in a nice line so every walkway between was like a marker to start or stop running and walking. Like an idiot I started off so confident and fast pretty much like Mark on Peep Show, exactly the following happened, thanks to David Mitchell in Peep Show :

“Hey! Wow, I’m actually good at this. Maybe I’m a natural – yeah, I’m a jogger! Of course, there had to be a sport for me, I just never realised. Legs like two great steam locomotives, pumping away! I’m Cram, I’m Ovett, I’m unstoppable – JESUS, is that a stitch? Fuck, I’m gonna be sick, I need to walk. Oh, I think I’m gonna puke, I’m literally going to die, ugh, what an idiotic boob I was back ten or eleven seconds ago.”

Not great, but I used to run at the gym

Not great, but I used to run at the gym

It never used to be like this, I used to play sports, I used to walk, and go to the gym. I’m still paying for the stupid bloody gym, but get this – membership has gone up £3.00 a month since I joined, so if I freeze it and then decide I do want it again, I’d have to pay the increased price. So instead I’m paying for a gym I rarely use. Maybe I should look into the classes again, I used to go to an abs class at 06h20 on a Wednesday morning which again, killed me but I liked getting the exercise out of the way before work in the morning.

There are millions of excuses for not exercising : Got out late from work, Cooking Dinner, Got to ring the bank, Haven’t rang my Mom for three days, Scared of all the muscle and slim people in the gym, Need to plan for Guides, Masterchef’s on… Another one of mine is really stupid, I’ve got to cross over Broad Street to get to the gym and if I’m standing there waiting to cross for more than just a minute or so my motivation just disappears. Well I went on the roads this week and really I felt really good about it. I wasn’t counting calories, or timing myself, I just ran until I was tired and walked to the next marker and ran again. Maybe that’s what it takes, putting something immediate in place so I don’t lose motivation.

All the cakes in the world, and the yummy biscuits from the Wahaca book are all very well but there’s got to be a balance. It’s a vicious cycle, I eat a cake then I feel crap and won’t go to the gym then because I feel crap I eat another cake and feel even crapper and won’t go to the gym and round and round until the end of time! But I’ve signed up for a 10K run that I need to practice for. When I do exercise I feel brilliant, all pumped up for eating properly and getting out there again!

Q & A – BritishBloggerSelection

During my Erasmus year, 2003/2004 I had another blog, on LiveJournal – Katty’s Little Adventure. I don’t even remember the username or password so I can’t link to it here. It told the story of my Erasmus year in Spain and then France, it was mainly full of snippets of nights out that I could remember the following day, or other little in-jokes we had between us. One of the things we did a lot, was quizzes! So #BritishBloggerSelection this week has taken me back to a nostalgic time of sitting in the Sala de Ordenadores at Residencia Pignatelli in Zaragoza…

Why do you like blogging? – I’m not a big social network user, so this is an outlet I can have that facebook just doesn’t provide. Facebook is for my photos or arranging nights out, the blog is more like an open e-mail to my friends that I don’t see very often, and a chance to explore things in a bit more detail.

How did you come up with your blog name? A chilango is a person from Mexico City, chilanga is the feminine form. I’m marrying my Mexican, so I’m becoming more and more chilanga every day. And Exported, that refers to both my job in freight forwarding, and the fact that I am a chilanga in the UK.

Where from the UK do you come from? Originally, and still living in Birmingham. In order : Birmingham UK, Leicester UK, Zaragoza Spain, Pau France, Leicester UK, Sheffield UK, Birmingham UK. In my city I’ve lived in Hall Green, Moseley, Ladywood, and now hoping to move to a new housing development in Edgbaston. On the property ladder at last!

Favourite colour? This is Yellow, without doubt. And Silver, and Turquoise and Purple. I just love bright colours.

Do you like Lana Del Rey? I loved her Summertime Sadness song, and I listen to her to cool down at the gym. Lumping her in with Florence and the Machine, Lorde, Goldfrapp’s A&E etc., I like slow songs that sound like a fairy-tale that you can just lose yourself in, they are good day-dream walking songs.

Hidden Talents That You Have? I can catch, netball team and I’m still good at catching things as they fall out the kitchen cupboard before hitting the floor. And jump, at school I was one of the last three or four left in the high-jump but lost the competition in my teenage modesty because would not take my skirt off to get a higher measurement.

Celebrity Crush? None that I care to say here, I don’t bother much with celebrity. I don’t see the point in taking an interest in the lives of people we will never meet, who will continually make is feel inadequate and who have no idea who we are. Ok, fine! Gael Garcia Bernal and Romain Duris!

Favourite Blog Of All Time? I like Lady of the Cakes, she’s living my dream of living and working in Spain. That was my original plan but life took a turn and I couldn’t follow it through. The plan was to move to Zaragoza and surround myself with Spanish. I’m secretly quite glad it didn’t turn out that way, I love my life here in Birmingham with my Danielote and wouldn’t change it for the world. And Brummed Out, I get to hear about other things that are going on in Birmingham here.

What made you want to join #BritishBloggerSelection? I’ve been in the blogosphere for about a year, but haven’t really got much involved until now.

Reading back, this actually sounds really daggy like I’m back at uni! We spent hours coming up with the “coolest” answers to the endless quizzes.