Published: May 18th 2010May 18th 2010
I need a green house like this.
1. Tacos can be eaten for breakfast, and definitely are.
There is a line up at every street taco cart I pass when I walk to school at 8:30am. And there are dozens of different kinds: frijoles, papas, beef, chicken, tongue, throat... (<--- definite EWW
for those last two!)
2. Siestas are real
and practiced every day in my house, possibly because we eat so much food.
3. There is ALWAYS a fiesta
4. Tequila is glorious.
Especially when mixed with a grapefruit flavoured pop to make a "paloma" and really is enjoyed in copious amounts. The cheapest bottle we could find cost 24 pesos and tasted a little like battery acid, but was still definitely drinkable.
5. I've yet to see a donkey or wear a sombrero.
6. Salsa goes on everything.
Literally, except mi fruta, but I'm sure I could swing even that if I wanted to. It also stays on the table all day long. And it comes in different colours: green and red. I wasn't aware of this.
7. Pretty foreign girls can get bartenders to add 'un poco mas' alcohol to a drink by smiling.
8. Sunscreen definitely does not work in Mexico.
Don't even bring it. Save that space in your bag for tequila. ;)
Last weekend Steven (British Boy) introduced Caroline and I to his friends Andres and Horacio, who invited the three of us to tag along for a birthday fiesta. It was SO much fun!! We stopped by the liquor store to pick up drinks (sangria and 24 peso tequila with mix for the girls, cervezas for the boys), and then drove out to the suburbs to a part of Mexico that I had no idea existed! The homes were absolutely beautiful with manicured lawns and swimming pools ... ignorant sounding, I know, but really, I just thought everything was like I see in Guadalajara (gated!) The theme of the party was "childhood" or something like that, and there was candy everywhere, everyone dressed like children, pinatas (pinatas!!) ... and tequila or cervezas :D The three of us turned out to be the only gringos (definitely okay with us) and it was just really cool to experience a piece of "real" Mexico and to get
to know "real" Mexicans. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and by the end of the night it felt like we were old buddies. We headed out from the party to check out some of Guadalajara's nightlife, definitely way more fun than at home!! I seriously want to move to Mexico! :D
School week two was crappy. We had a big group of students from a University in the states come a week late and two of them were placed in my classes. They seemed to already know what we will study in both of the classes (primarily other tenses for verb conjugation, like past and future) and they seem to understand a whole lot more than I did. In the 3 days I had class with them I didn't learn anything because the lesson went too fast. I was tempted to move down to levels 1 and 2, because I didn't see the point in staying in levels where I wouldn't learn anything, but that too would have been pointless because my knowledge base is a little broader than "Hola, como estas?" and "uno, dos, tres ..." I was SO frustrated ... but the girls ended up retaking
On our drive out to the grutas near Monterrey
the placement test for levels 5 and 6 and moved on. Yay for me!!
This weekend I flew to Monterrey, which is up north about 2 hours from the USA border in the state of Nuevo Leon, to meet up with some friends from my earlier travels. Trevor and I met Maria and Salvador while in Egypt 2.5 years ago and it was nice to catch up! Everyone in GDL warned me that a) Monterrey was sooo dangerous and b) that it was sooo hot and that I'd die, but neither A or B delivered. I didn't feel unsafe at all, and it was cloudy both days. So there.
Maria was super cute and had an itinerary all planned out ... we spent Saturday wandering around the various plazas downtown (definitely don't ask me for names), through a few museums, then shopping, and up to a big lookout point over the city, that was supposed to have the biggest flag in all of Mexico, but because it was windy, no flag for me. Sunday I woke up feeling really sick and ended up going back to bed for 4 hours, which changed our itinerary, but in the afternoon
Maria y Kristena
View from the top of the caves
we made it out to the Las Grutas de Garcia, which are big caves with stalagmites and stalactites up in the mountain. I've seen something similar before, but I can't remember in which country! It was beautiful though, and I liked driving into the countryside a bit, for yet another perspective of Mexico. It was nice to see the city of Monterrey, and to see what life is like for my friends, but more than that, it was just good to catch up!! I also enjoyed ... not having to figure things out on my own and having a break from "spanglish" for a few days!
There was no copious tequila drinking this weekend; I promise (and plan) to make it up next weekend. :D
A group of us from school went to an orphanage last week, and wow, what a heartbreaking experience. Eighty percent of the children do not have parents, and the remaining twenty percent do, but their parents do not have enough money to take care of them. The home has about 80 children, all boys, ranging in age from 4 or 5 up to 14 or 15 I think. We didn't really do much,
Not a good plan ladies, not a good plan. We should have at least splurged on the tequila.
just kinda chased the kids around and played games with them (by "played games" I mean that we were kicked and jumped on and gave endless piggy back rides), as well as fumbled miserably through our knowledge of Spanish. The kids are being taken of, but it still just really gets to me that these children don't have a family. That they don't have their own homes, or their own clothes, or their own toys, and it was clear with many of them that they just wanted love and attention. Still though, I'm grateful for the boys that at least this home exists for them. It's safe and it's clean and they're getting an education, which is a whole lot better than living on the streets. The whole thing makes me sad, but I have hope for them.
My food situation here in GDL is still frustrating me. I'm actually starting to get annoyed and a little less sweet in my replies when 4 bananas are put on the table in front of me for breakfast. That of course, is after I've already eaten a huge bowl of watermelon and cantaloupe and an orange or a mango and 2
tacos or a plate of beans. I'm being as polite as I can be ... but eating to the point of feeling uncomfortable is really starting to annoy me. And it's also kind of annoying me that when I say I'm full, I get a mini lecture about how I don't eat enough or a mini guilt trip about not eating and not liking the food. OY. I DO like the food, but seriously, I'm a grown person, I know when I'm full. Enough already.
That's pretty much it for Mexico week two. This week I plan to take in a Lucha Libre match (or whatever it's called, haha, think "Nacho Libre") and potentially a futbol game. I'm finding that if I actually want to LEARN anything while I'm here, I need to spend 3 or 4 hours a day studying and trying to memorize new verbs and words. It takes a little bit away from always wanting to be on una adventura de tequila, but balance is good I suppose!
There are more photos below