7:47 AM: I roll over and look at the clock. There’s SO much I could get done if I wake up now. At the very least, I could read the newspapers, take some photos on Reforma (I’ve heard the people coming on peregrination for the Virgen de Guadalupe feast day this Sunday have been clogging up traffic all week). But I’m tired. I call the front desk and ask how long the continental breakfast is served. “Noon, senorita.” I love this hotel. I roll over and go back to sleep.
9:19 AM: Up with no excuses. I’ve got an 11 AM meeting in Polanco–a director of sales and marketing is going to give me a tour of a hotel and we’re going to have lunch at one of the hotel’s restaurants around 1 PM. I try to schedule meetings around meals– it’s a good way to maximize time (meeting + meal). It’s also one way to economize. There’s no way I can afford to eat at all the restaurants I’m expected to review and include, and I don’t recommend places I’ve never visited. Since I have multiple outlets, I’m generally seen as a good investment.
9:30 AM: Dress and check all the photo gear. Probably should have charged the camera battery last night, but since I have a grip that holds two batteries, I’ll (hopefully) be ok.
9:48 AM: Downstairs for breakfast. The maid asks if she can clean my room while I’m out. I tell her there’s no need, but she insists. I think of my writer friend Liz, who, I just learned, worked as a hotel maid for several years. Mental note: Be sure to leave this maid a nice tip.
I grab one local paper, La Jornada, ask for a cappuccino super cargado , and am glad to see the continental breakfast includes more than white bread and corn flakes. There are guavas, bananas, pineapple, peaches, cottage cheese, and a few yogurts, as well as local breads, like conchas.
I eat, check email, and think about a conversation I had yesterday with a local writer friend. She’s just been assigned two pieces for major US magazines. It all really comes down to making real connections, I think to myself. She followed all the regular “rules” for pitching, but I think what really landed her both assignments (apart from being a great writer and knowing her subject matter) were the personal connections she’d made with the editorial team– through a combination of luck and circumstance. At first, I can’t decide whether that depresses me or encourages me, but I ultimately select the latter.
9:55 AM: Get ready to shut the laptop, order another cappuccino cargado, read the paper, and then take a taxi to Polanco. I could (and should) take the Metro, but am not likely to arrive on time if I do. Make a mental note that I still haven’t picked up a couple local magazines I like to read. Stuff some museum and gallery addresses into my camera bag. Confirm dinner with my friend Carmen. Get ready to take a package around the corner to mail to a friend in Puerta Vallarta. Continue thinking about another piece I’m working on here–a long narrative essay about night in Mexico City.