Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 17 - Tehuacan, not Teotihuacan...

Day 17
31 October 2011
Tehuacan, not Teotihuacan

Initial Impressions: I've learned my procrastination lesson. And also that I really need to work on my listening skills.

So today, after barely getting any sleep as I did my homework last night I get my bum to class to find out we are going to Tehuacan (the Pueblo) not Teotihuacan, which is why the drive is about 4 hours and I'm staying overnight. SO there will be no pyramid photos BUT I will get to experience the 'real' traditional Dia Del Muerto.  We are (myself and Mireille and her family) are going to head out to some place that starts with a "C" and will update that name tomorrow and watch them kill wild goats and then check out a parade and maybe eat goat head meat... unless I've turned vegetarian after watching an animal be killed. I'm certain at this point that this will be one of the most traumatic events of my life, next to maybe birthing children and I wasn't sure I was going to deal with that without copious amounts of drugs.

I did get a bunch of photos of the Day of the Dead stuff on campus, though I wont be home until midafternoon Wednesday so my 'touristy' photo uploads of the Day of the Dead might be limited. I might, if I'm not totally damaged mentally and emotionally force you people to watch photos of the experience with the goats tomorrow but we'll see.  All the photos I took today will not end up online until I return as I forgot to bring the cord that connects my camera to my computer (hehe).

The bus ride was quite long, though I watched part of Narnia and part of Confessions of a Shopaholic in Spanish while not napping.  After arriving Mireille's parents picked us up at the bus station and asked up if we wanted to stay till Wednesday morning (which was fine with me).  Then we checked into the hotel, which is awesome here, very pretty and comfortable and headed to dinner followed by a walk around town.  I had some local wine, a red one, and it was very good. First Cabernet that I've ever liked as I normally go for cheap Chardonnay. We talked chile, as Mireille's stepdad ordered me their hottest salsa, which wasn't that hot. So they laughed and said tomorrow we will find chile that burns on the way in and on the way out.... *nervous* maybe I should stop complaining that the chile/salsa here isn't all that hot.

Well that was the extent of my day so far.  I'll upload photos once I've gotten back home and will blog tomorrow after the goat murdering experience.  So, as a final heads up to family I will have both my cell phones ON for phone calls and will try to check in from the hotel for internet in the evenings but since I'll be here an extra day it is possible that my phone will run low... regardless I'm doing great and I miss and love you guys... even if I'll be a goat killer.... *cry*


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 16 - Meet my little friend

Day 16
30 October 2011
Meet my little friend.... (Channeling my inner scar face voice)

Initial Impression: Okay so weekends definitely will not mean sleep. Is that 80's Madonna?!?!

Well today was another day where I've accepted and have come to the conclusion that I do not get any sleep.  Everyone is up early on the weekends, in the park, blaring radios, laughing and just being happy. I'm taking that  as a sign to get by ass out of bed and be productive.  Speaking of productive, I basically got everything done in the shower before I ran out of hot water! Tomorrow I'm certain I can have it down *bam*. 3 minutes record is being established.   I spent all afternoon working on papers. I wrote the rough draft for my Women's Health, which is about The Global Gag Rule/Mexico City Policy. I edited (briefly) my Human Sexuality class paper on Comprehensive vs. Abstinence only Sexual Education before I realized I need to have my rough draft (5 pages starting point) for my Spanish paper on Surrealism in Literature and the Influence of Latin American Culture which is due in two days. *Panic!*  So I have now been focused on doing that, and not going to the store to add minutes to my phone like planned.  I did get invited out to Coyoacan with Anthony if I'm interested this evening. And I might go... if I get at least 4 pages written. I have to finish this so I can edit it once before turning it in. I spent a part of today going over ALL my homework that is due to make sure that I've got it all down and know what goes where and when.  While taking a break I discovered I've got a new friend. He is chilling outside my window. I scared him into the tree, and only managed to snap two photos as he was contemplating the bribe I gave him and then running away with it. :D  I think he will come back, as I started feeding him.. we'll see. I just have to make sure he wont starve after I leave.  I've named him Obi.  It's short for obsidian, as he kinda has that color.  He just got shortened to Obi for two reasons, 1. He's a squirrel, He doesn't need the whole damn name and 2. He's a bit like a Jedi... disappearing and scampering about in my tree.  :D  If I go out I'll get more photos otherwise, here's the two I got of my little friend.

Meet Obi

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 15 - Uneventful and I like it

Day 15
29 October 2011
Uneventful and I like it

Initial Impressions: Laundry. Must do laundry.

Well today was a wake up early day, but mostly because the housekeeper was 'talking' to someone and I'm certain there is either a bird or a crazy  person living near me that only hollers a strange kind of "aaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaa" call on the weekend mornings.  Its very detrimental to my sleep pattern/wish to sleep until 2 pm on Saturday and Sundays. This whole waking up early thing is going to kill me when I'm back home in the States and staying up until 3 or 4 am normally.  After waking up early I decide I'm going to go do laundry. I get everything together and head downstairs to find out that Anthony has beat me to the machine. *sigh*.  Okay. So I'll wait and eat some breakfast. After breakfast I head upstairs until I figure enough time has passed... to just walk by Shin, (the guy from Vietnam) who had just started his laundry. *Damn it*... Okay go back upstairs, check on some homework, be productive, then figure, alright been about 30 mins lets go check... so see the housekeeper adding soap to whatever she is washing.  At this point I'm just super irritated. My timing is way off today AND the housekeeper has her own laundry machine we people aren't allowed to use why are they using ours? :(  Turns out she wanted to wash two loads at the same time... So I set my damn clothes right there in the basket in front of the machine. Clearly stating that I'm going next.  Instead of going upstairs I sit in the kitchen talking with Anthony and one of his travel friends/coworkers, watching that machine like a hawk. *Glare*

After finally, and successfully washing my laundry I head up to the third floor to hang it to dry. After that I head back to my room to spend the rest of the day alternating between homework and WOW.  I didn't get any pictures or go out at all :D and I kinda enjoyed it.  Especially since I'll be going to Teotihuacan Monday/Tuesday and Tuesday night I'm going to either a bar or to find something related to the Day of the Dead.  Anthony heard of some place in a different town that sells cool stuff and I was recommended a town that has an old style traditional celebration by my teacher. I figure tomorrow we can sit down and map everything, as well as figure out what time I'll be back from Teotihuacan so we can go out. *yay!*

I am very much missing Halloween and the costumes. I have seen everyone photos online for facebook and I am quite jealous. I'm missing my favorite holiday!!!!  I figure the experience of being in Mexico as well as the friends I am making will be worth it though. (I hope >.>) Today while talking with Anthony it turns out one of his comrades from the diplomatic program he is with has a foreign boyfriend (I don't recall where he was from) who was kidnapped off the Metro around 2 pm last week. The family got a call immediately demanding 50,000 pesos in exchange. The guy was returned safely after they got the money.  I know this is very very scary, and my family will probably be up in arms over this so I want to let you know that I am aware of the risks and am taking precautions.  Anthony and I exchanged numbers and plan to keep and eye out if we don't see the other for a day or so.  We won't take cabs to school alone (if we have to flag one down instead of calling), nor will we just hail cabs casually.  We also wont ride the Metro alone unless it can not be helped and then we will ride in a car with many people and not speak with anyone (as we don't know much Spanish and our accents are terrible we want to avoid being clearly foreigners).  He doesn't know all the details, but had just heard about it today and wanted to let me know what was up.  So yes, it is dangerous and I know there are risks and I am trying to be as safe as humanly possible.

Anyway, this is the end of today. I don't have much else to report as I didn't do anything really productive. I hope to have awesome photos of both Teotihuacan and the Day of the Dead soon.  Sending my love to family and thinking of you guys.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 14 - Musical Performance

Day 14
28 October 2011
Musical Performance

Initial Impressions: I'm sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. I shouldn't have stayed up til 2 am, I can barely drag my butt out of bed.

Today was extremely difficult for me to stay awake in class. It is only a 3 hour class and it is quite interactive but jeeze if I had a whole minute to set my head down I'd have been out.  I didn't have much planned today, other than class and homework for both schools. After class Mireille and I were going to head to the Superama to grab some food (as I'm kinda low at home) but we got distracted by some noise while climbing down the 4 flights of stairs from class. There was a procession across campus (well the CEPE campus, not the whole UNAM) leading to the stage/theater space. We decided to get photos and follow it to see what was going on.  We were given a program and everyone filed into the theater.  Turns out it was going to be a musical performance. We both thought it would be cool to get some photo/video and stayed for the whole thing.  It was quite good.  I've put pretty much all the videos of the performance on here just so you guys can watch them too.  Some of the videos get kinda wobbly because my arms got tired from holding the phone above the bald guy and the lady with the hair in front of me. - Okay I've spent a bit here trying to get these videos uploaded and it is just not working. I am not sure if my internet is too slow or if the file is messed up *shrug*.  I'll try to get them up on some kind of site somewhere and I'll post a link here of them videos. Instead this is the photos of the program and the back half of the procession in the mean time.

After that we went to the store.  I bought a few things that I would need around the house and some veggies, juice, milk and cereal.  We had a cart since I didn't want to juggle everything. As I was walking out the store a guy in a reflective vest comes up and says, "Taxi?". I say, "Si por favor." So he takes my cart away from me and we walk up to the street. Mireille and I stop, waiting for him to get a taxi for us when he just keeps walking, waving at us to follow him... I'm curious as to where he is going with my damn groceries, so we follow and he asks where I need to go, "Copilco el Alto". "Bien" he says and he keeps walking.... I say, "Quiero un taxi". "Si, Si!" and he keeps walking.... we walk past the walmart, across the streets and he is happily walking me pretty much half way home. I am totally confused at this point, if I knew I could just walk home with my damn cart I would have done it AND not had him be pushing it.  I ask Mireille if she has any idea what the hell this guy is doing.  She doesn't.  After walking for a bit and him not waving a cab down I finally get the idea that maybe he really is walking me home... and I sure as hell don't want to pay for that.  So I jog up to my cart, grab the side and say "No, senor. Quiero un Taxi".  He sighs, stops and flags one down.  As he is loading my groceries into the taxi Mireille figures it would be best to tip him. I was more annoyed than anything and wasn't all to keen on that idea but I figured 5 pesos, then she tossed in another 5, cause she is just way friendlier and kinder than I am.  After thanking her for walking with me half way to my home I get in the taxi and get home where I *dun dun dun* made food that didn't have BREAD or CHEESE in it. I even took a photo since none of you people will believe me.
See! It had rice, chicken, carrots, broccoli and green peppers...
so you guys can't give me shit for eating only bread and cheese anymore.

OOOH!! I got my access to the site for Spanish!! :D Now I'll get distracted with that instead of those research papers I have to do. *hehehe*  So far that's been my day. I don't intend to do anything else but homework and video games or a movie for the rest of the night, but if that changes I will update this later on.

Here is the list of songs that they performed. I do not think I have videos of all of them, but you can use it for some reference.


Libre al fin - Jacob Regnat (1530-1599)
Ay linda amiga - Anonimo. Siglo XVI
Riu, riu chiu - Anomino. Cancionero de Uppsala
No la debemos dormir - Anonimo. Cancionero de Uppsala
Verbum caro factum est - Anonimo. Cancionero de Uppsala
Hanacpachap - Anonimo. Siglo XVII
Tourdion - Pierre Attaignat


Pompa ya circunstancia - Sir Edward W. Elgar (1857-1954)
Siyahamba - Tradicional Zulu
Canten senores cantores - Popular Argentina
La catalana - Xavier Montsalvatge (1912-2002) [This song was skipped]
Santa Lucia - Tradicional Napolintana
Torna a Surriento - Ernesto de Curtis (1875 - 1937)
Va pensiero - G. Verdi (1813-1901)
Si la nieve resbala - Anonimo Canionero Asturiano
Zorongo - F. Garcia Lorca (1898 - 1936)
La Llarona - Tradicional Oaxaqueno [This was the final song]
Vois sur ton chemin - Christopher Barratier (1963 - ) Bruno Coulais (1954 - )


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 13 - Photo's Galore!

Day 13
27 October 2011
Photo's Galore!

Initial Impressions: I found my first stop sign in Mexico!! Also, I've found a taxi driver who must not be native to Mexico with the way he drives... And unfortunately I've discovered new foods I enjoy, no that might be too strong of a word... tolerate? (Still not tomatoes though) Oh! How come no one told me that there is derechO and derechA?!?! That could have been useful people, come on.  Also, apparently I found out from my cousin who is applying to colleges in Washington State (woot!) that my littlest sister (she's 8) thinks that if you are 'going to college' you are 'going to leave the country'.  Aren't I the best influence? : D

* I want to say "Hi!!! I miss and love you guys. I hope things are going well and everyone is doing good. Grandpa, you have to save me some Green Chile and love on Digger for me.  Grandma, I miss getting to visit with you in the afternoons while I complain about work. I can't wait to see you for Christmas!" to my Grandparents who are reading my blog too : D  Also to the rest of my family, but most of you I talk to frequently via other modes of communication. Even you Aunt Cathi who said she didn't want to talk to me tonight!!! *


This morning I followed my landlord's advice and let the water run for about 5 minutes before I got into ensure it was hot... let's say that the plan was a total and complete utter fail.  Majorly.  I literally go into the shower put shampoo in my hair and the water got cold. I hadn't even had time to wash it.  So I finished in a record 2 minutes and then tried to blow dry my hair.... I looked like a lion!! : (  So I had to take the curling iron to it, and then I looked like a lion with wavy hair. *Rawr*

Well today was filled with large sums of walking, yet again.  I had class then had to run to the ATM, then home, then back to campus, then was heading home when I got waylaid by Luis, the Brazilian housemate to go to a second play.  Class was the same, we are covering material at a much faster pace so I am not nearly as bored *yay!*.  I also was pulled out of class (uh oh, they caught me ditching dance!!!) for some good news!  The woman who tested me feels like since I will be here for two months and where my Spanish level is, despite my test score - and my lack of actually using Spanish (right Pablo?) - I can email her to get set up with some software that will advance me to Basico 3 (that's 2 levels for those of you who don't like math). :D  Yay! Smartness I do not use...much like my common sense!!  >.>

Well back to my day, after class I went to the ATM got me some spending moohla and headed home to take a break since I was meeting up with Pablo for lunch.  Lunch was interesting, after I got lost (I really should comment more on the time I DO NOT get lost, as those seem to be far fewer and much in between), I took Pablo's recommendation and just ate what he ordered.  I had a club sandwich was good, except the tomatoes, which I picked out, mostly. Even though someone decided to point out there are starving children who would be happy to eat those tomatoes and I shouldn't be so picky and then threatened to show me said starving children... (Hey family, want a new 'grandchild'? With my luck I'll be trying to take them all home.)  I also tried whatever he was eating, I forgot the name, but it had avocado in it. Damn it! That's a new food I normally didn't like...I don't think.  I also tried some kind of orangish dressing that came on the side for my food, I think it was 1000 Island, which was surprisingly good. Not that I'm going to eat it when I'm back home, mind you... : D

This is about what I picture when
I think Evil Las Vegas Show Girl
After lunch, where I discovered Karma looks a lot like Pablo and less like some Evil Las Vegas Show Girl that I was picturing... (as in the whole making me speak Spanish thing, except I really appreciate that lunch was in English ^.^). I started my walk back home. It was about 5 and I had a ton of homework to get too (which I am barely finishing now *sigh*) I got waylaid by Luis who was on his way to the play I had declined going to a few days ago due to plans.  As my plans were clearly wrapped up, and honestly I need to get out and listen to the language as much as possible I agreed.  So we turned around and headed back to campus (yay! walking...).  Once on campus we decided to wait for the Puma bus (my first time on that one).  We caught the bus to the theater on campus.  Once in line Luis went to check out the ticket situation while I manned the fort, I was approached by someone asking something about something... That went over as well as can be expected, though I got a pat on the back for my efforts. >.>  Turns out the tickets (due to the opening week and the very low cost) had sold out days ago *grrr*.  So instead and after declining to come back next Thursday we head to the museum that was right next door.

The museum was fantastic! We showed up a bit late, so we didn't get a chance to see the whole museum, but what I saw was very... interesting. Some of it was fantastic, some of it was weird, even more of it was disturbing and slightly controversial.  I've taken several photos which I dumped below. After being kicked out of the museum at 8 we had to wait about an hour to get back to our side of campus after riding the bus pretty much around the whole campus.  Those damn buses get packed.  I got very well acquainted with a gentleman after 7 women stormed the already full bus and elbowed, shoved, and pretty much football (American style) rushed you to get past.  What I'm saying is I ended up in his lap... it was a very "oh, hello there..." kind of moment, unfortunately it was too much shock and trying to catch my breath to pull off a successful wink/leer. (haha) That was probably the closest I've been to anyone as I am not much on the whole "hey unnecessary physical contact? why not!" in a while, again, haha...  After the worlds longest bus ride while being molested by some woman's boob on my back *ewwww* We decided to go get a hot dog at this store on the way home.  I was hesitant, street food at 9:30 pm on a week night that costs only 6 pesos? Meeeeeh... turns out it was surprisingly good! Turkey hot dogs covered in cheese *nom nom nom*

After the yummy hot dogs (please don't let me get sick) I made it home to do mounds of homework.  I spoke a bit with my housemate from South America, Anthony, who was very nervous.  Apparently last night while showering he got a strange pain, followed by numbness, and then a 'pulling' sensation on his scalp.  Apparently on campus we get free health care (?) as students and he went to the clinic but they told him he needs an appointment and turned him away.  He is going to go tomorrow morning instead of class.  : ( I hope things turn out well and he is fine, I know he is very worried.  So I'll hopefully hear more on that and it turns out to be nothing since he was being very paranoid about it tonight.

Okay, I've run out of things to say/ramble on about.  So I'll leave you to the massive amounts of photos I've loaded.

Tilt your head sideways, sorry I forgot to straighten it...

They took my big bag and gave me this mini one... >. >

I LOVED THIS SECTION (below).  This section was titled, Entre Utopia y Distopia - Palestra Asia.  I took several photos of the charcoal drawings and was astounded by the skill and depth of each piece.  I know much of it is controversial, but that is part of why I love it.  I hope you like the photos as well. 

This section was interesting, I am curious if the same artist who did the prior charcoal work did the helicopter below. During some of these photos while looking at the exhibits random bursts of gun fire would sound... I had taken more photos but due the fact the gun fire made me jump each time I had to delete many of them.

This section was paying 'homage' so to speak to the 90's. At this point someone pointed out I can't be using my flash so photos tend to be a bit blurry as I forget with out the flash I have to pause for about 30 seconds while exhaling to get a photo that is clear... Sorry :D

 After the above section we moved into this room:

Look! I can see me! :)

 This was in the opposite side of the room.  There was a section leading into an area where they played videos.

The next room:

Again, I'm too lazy to turn the photos. Sorry :D

 On the way out:

Today was eventful.