One Wild and Precious, E4: The unique city of Guanajuato, sharing a multicultural house, making panditas, and human connection

New episode! This is the first time I experimented with recording a conversation in the same room rather than over Zoom. I don’t have professional audio equipment, so we recorded a single audio track, hunched over Andrés’ little table, crumbs of mota and my laptop. The sound quality isn’t perfect – but it worked well enough!

I’ve been living with three Mexicans, and on this episode, I talk to one of my housemates: Andrés Ortega. We chat about the trials and tribulations of living with strangers, cultural differences, the colors and facets of Guanajuato City, and what we have learned from each other. Get ready for laughter, city stories, lots of mutual appreciation, and a rant about pocket-less pants!

I’m really glad I found this house, and the three wonderful people already living in it. You guys are awesome! Game has been enjoying it here as well. She’s loving the leftovers that are being saved for her (especialls the month Ivan used to cook way too much), and every time tortillas go bad, or Andrés buys an entire roast chicken. Game has also received two toys from Moi. One of them, the yellow sheep, is still alive and being well loved. It is her new favorite, and even went on a road trip with us.

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Moi opened the door to his room to Game and I when we first moved in. We were invited to take over his bed – even Game! – and hang out, watching movies. We both felt comfortable and at ease right away. I’m thankful for Moi’s intuition and perceptiveness about making me feel at home!

I am grateful to have met my three housemates, having learned new modismos and gotten to know Los Simuladores. I couldn’t have found better people to share a house with. I appreciated sharing my imperfect pizza experiment with you all, having lots of coffee breaks with Andrés, sharing lunch tortas with Moi, lounging on the kitchen furniture with my dog at my feet and new friends by my side. And Ivan! Thank you for lending me your car, and introducing me to your inflables and their casa. (Ivan runs what probably is a not-entirely-legal bouncy house rental business. He also forges data for the government, but the bouncy house business is way cooler and more fun.)

I’m the lucky one. I don’t believe in God, but if I did, I would thank them for my time here, and for the freedom I rediscovered. And for something I thought everyone did, but am realizing may not be as common as I used to think: I see beauty around me all the time. I meet amazing people. (I, too, see the shadows, but also: so much good stuff!)

There’s something else I learned from Moisés that I didn’t mention on this podcast, but have to share with you because it’s brilliant! If you have raw eggs that aren’t fresh, and you aren’t sure they are still good, there’s an easy way to find out: fill a pot with water. Put the egg into it. If it sinks to the bottom of the pot, it’s still good. If it floats, it’s bad.

The other trick I learned: if you’re making coffee in a drip coffee machine (we are making a lot of coffee!), you don’t have to put entirely new coffee into the machine for every new can of coffee! You can just add a spoon or two of coffee to the used coffee already in the filter, add water, and you’ll end up with coffee just as tasty as the previous round … And you’ll be using up less coffee overall! (This is going to save me a lot of money going forwards, since I drink LOADS of coffee.) Up until now, I used to empty out and refill my filter every single time!

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You all, whether you’re reading this or not – I’m going to tell you in person again anyway: thank you for the conversations, the movie nights, water-refill and bouncy-house-recovering trips. Thank you for cotorrear-ing about dogs and the world, girlfriends and human beings, and anything from our personal challenges to family history.

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I’ll be leaving because I want to live in the middle of nowhere again, not in a place surrounded by highways. But if I could bring Moisés, Andrés and Ivan (just pack up the entire house), I totally would.


Get in touch with Andrés:

Get in touch with Chrissi:

chrissi.schranz [at]

Thank you …

Thank you to Lesfm for providing our royalty-free intro, outro and en-tro music, and to Isabelle Grubert for designing the logo of the show!

Kitchens and stuff

Today, I ordered the kitchen for my new place. IKEA it is. I’ve been running around furniture stores, compared prices on the internet, and talked stuff through with friends over and over. Now, finally, the decision is made and the order has been placed. That’s a relief. I’m prone to Decision Fatigue. In the last days, I’d rather have stayed in bed than faced all the decisions required when furnishing a kitchen: color, size, price? Handles, appliances, countertop? Delivery or pick-up? IKEA, Kika, Mömax?

Im’s grateful to have friends to talk kitchen talk with. Friends who come with me to IKEA and give me plush toys to get me through the day. Architect friends.


Plush Dachshund from Becky 🙂

And, equally important, I’m grateful to have a Poodle who’ll join me on Mömax, Leiner and IKEA trips. A Poodle who’ll enjoy the smell and wander through the corridors like they’ve been created just for her to sniff and explore. A Poodle who’ll settle down and chill when I sit and ask questions or try and plan a kitchen at one of these IKEA terminals with a very nice guy called Harald.

Today, having Phoebe with me kept me calm when I might have gotten annoyed at the eternity it takes to walk through a furniture store. You know, all these arrows on the floor you’re supposed to follow, forcing you to walk the most time-consuming and tiring serpentines? It gave me something to focus on when waiting for my turn at the information desk (reinforce default downs, pet/treat, play LAT). It made me look at the little things (like plush crocodiles and white pillows and piles of 40-euro-carpets), one little thing at a time, rather than getting overwhelmed by all the colors and choices. It made me walk more slowly, and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells with Phoebe. I waited for her to finish checking out the stuff she wanted to check out. I asked her to jump up on piles of carpets rather than getting lost in the self-service area. She was such a patient companion today, and she made me smile and made me proud. There’s no such thing as emotional support animals in Austria, but if there were, she’d be mine.