Published: June 13th 2010June 3rd 2010
I loved the colors!
I have met my future latin lover. His name is Salvador, he’s 47, has 3 sons, divorced for 10 years, lives Mexico City, doesn’t speak English and managed to fall in love with me in 5 minutes. Best story ever:
I went to the nearby town of Tlaquepaque, which is known for it’s charm and upscale artisan galleries, to explore for an afternoon by myself. After watching mariachis in the plaza for an hour, I wandered off in search of something refreshing, and found myself at a cart which sells snow cone ice covered in lime juice and sugar. Salvador was standing there with one of his many sons, who had ordered something interesting that I was curious about. I asked them what it was, they insisted I try it, it was nasty, I made a face, they thought it was funny and insisted on buying me my lime snow cone creation. I graciously accepted (actually it was more of a “Uh, it’s 10 pesos, I’m okay, but umm, you’re insisting so uhhh, okay...”) and they invited me to walk with them. Apparently, at that moment, Salvador knew he was in love and his son knew enough to wander ahead
And hahaha, no this isn't him!
of us so that his dad and future step mom could get to "know" each other better.
Kristena: “These streets are really pretty.”
Lover Boy: “Not as pretty as your eyes.”
Kristena (trying not to roll those pretty eyes): “Umm, thank you, sooo how old are you?”
Lover Boy: “I’m 47, how old are you and do you have a boyfriend?”
Kristena: “I’m definitely not 47 and yes I have a boyfriend.”
Lover Boy: “Here in Mexico?”
Kristena: “No, in Canada.”
Lover Boy: “Oh, so you don’t have a Mexican boyfriend then?”
Kristena: “No, I have a Canadian boyfriend. That is enough.”
Lover Boy: “You should have a Mexican boyfriend too.”
Kristena: “I don’t think the Canadian boyfriend would like that very much.”
Lover Boy: “Your feet are beautiful.”
Kristena (thinking WTF??): “Hahaha, I haven’t heard that one before.”
Lover Boy: “You didn’t tell me how old you are?”
Kristena: “How old do you think I am?”
Lover Boy: “Maybe 22 or 23?”
Kristena: “Hahaha, I’m 27.”
Lover Boy: “My love, you are the fountain of youth!!!”
Kristena (thinking Oooh Boy, this keeps getting better...)
Lover Boy: “Come see me in Mexico City.”
Kristena: “Umm, about that Canadian boyfriend...”
Tonala Street Market
And so it went! He was incredibly cheesy and “smooth,” but I found the whole thing amusing and I like adventures and wanted to see what would happen next. He was staying with his brother for the week and invited me to stop by and meet the family. I did; they were cute and welcomed me like I was the new wife. We walked some more, him laying the lines on as thickly as he could, me dodging them and laughing my head off inside. We walked for about an hour, and passed his house again:
Lover Boy: “Want to come in?”
Kristena: “Uh, no, that’s okay. I should go home.”
Lover Boy: “We have puppies.”
Kristena: “Puppies?? I like puppies.”
Oooh Kristena. Okay, this is the thing: I know that’s bad. Like reeaally bad. And even as I was entering the house, I swear I could hear my mom giving me shit. Pretty sure that’s the stuff we learn about in elementary school. But he had puppies and I’m a curious girl and I wondered where the experience was going to go AND I thought his family was going to still be there. Guess who wasn’t
home? That’s when intelligent Kristena smacked curious Kristena and I said something about my Mexican family expecting me for dinner. Salvador walked me out to the bus stop, very gentlemanly, and we parted ways, but not before he drew a picture of a heart with our initials inside and gave me his phone number in the event I decided to rethink my "One Boyfriend Rule.” Tempting... very tempting... in that “old enough to be your dad" kind of way.
You can imagine what Trevor said when I told him about my day: “YOU DID WHAT??!!” Hahahahaha. Oooh Mexico. And oooh Curious Canadian Girl. May karma or just plain dumb luck always continue to be with you! ;)
The last week of school finished up without much more adventure or excitement. I studied hard for my final exams because I’m transferring the credits to my school in Canada and actually want to leave Mexico speaking better Spanish than I came with. I did well and am proud of myself! Joshua and I hung out a few more times, one night riding his bike around the city until almost 5am - I think I'm in love (with the bike that
Oscar, Mike, Kathrin and Meee
is!) - Guadalajara is wonderful without all the craziness of the traffic and/or speed limits! I also really got to know my German amiga from school, Kathrin, and think for sure we’ll keep in touch. As for the goals I set for myself ... there was success with the sombrero and mariachi, but epic failure with the donkey and Nacho Libre. Still a week to go yet though, still a week to go!!
Update on Operation Feed Kristena: Still rough going. The food is good, but I am still fed way more than I can handle and sorta get mini guilt trips if I don't take it all in. My Mexican "brother" tells me to just put my foot down and sometimes tells them to stop feeding me, but it's still a struggle. Their intentions are SO good, I know it, but the whole thing is still really frustrating for me! I mentioned that I really like tamales; they went out and bought tamales. About 20 of them. For me. Oooh yes ... Kristena found herself eating tamales everyday for 4 days. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I wiggled out of the breakfast ones (that's just gross), and sometimes the
I like this picture, it looks like the guy is trying to pick the girl up; good luck Amigo, try telling her she has nice feet!
odd other one, but more or less, I consumed more tamales in a four day span than any foreigner should. I understand that they were just trying to please me (which really is adorable), but their desire to please and my desire to be polite has resulted in what might be a life long animosity towards tamales. I hate them now. Tamales = EW.
Mexico is not cheap. I had thought it would be in comparison to Canada, but definitely not. Street food, yes. Cervezas, yes. Tequila from OXXO, yes. But if you want to go out to a nice dinner, or hit up the mall, or spend liberal amounts of time at the discotecas, big NO. Taking buses and living at taco stands has somewhat helped to balance my mini shopping sprees/night club adventures, but still, it’s not cheap here. That was definitely news to me.
Also, it isn’t “scary” to me anymore. I remember my first day here... everything just seemed so big, so bad, so different - I was terrified. Not so much anymore. I remember the first weekend, what an adventure it was to even walk down the street from my house. I remember
Architeture At It's Finest
This building intrigued me, it looks like it's barely held together.
thinking I had a huge target on my forehead and that everyone was either going to rob me or steal me. Not so much. With the exception of the night we were walking to the bar and saw a car shooting at another car, it’s been peaceful here. And even that wasn’t so scary. More interesting than anything. Even educational if you will: drugs are bad, you might get shot at. I really like that; that I’ve adjusted here and that I feel comfortable/safe (with the exception of walking at night, still not a good idea) and just like it has become “normal.”
I could see myself living in this country, specifically this city and know for sure that I will be returning in the future! Mexico is AMAZING. The food, the culture, the music, the people ... all of it; I still love!
There are more photos below