Friday, 8 November 2013

Yo estudia, tu estudias, el estudia, nosotros estudiamos..... It's your own time you're wasting!

A week in one place has been a bit of a luxury.   Got ourselves a very nice hotel (all things being relative - not talking Kensington boutique but hot water, clean sheets and breakfast that includes fruit), and have really enjoyed going back to school. 
 We are rubbish at Spanish and a week has only gone to show us how much there is to learn still but confidence is growing and pronunciation improving slightly. 

Our class was 5 people of varying degrees of beginner & unlike real school was friendly, relaxed and non-pressured. Something about electing to study that makes you work harder so we did our homework each night and paid real attention for 4 hours a day. Having an English degree you'd think I'd know how to conjugate verbs but I didn't until this week. After each class we were brain dead and could barely string a sentence together in English - thank god for siestas, kindles and Madmen on the ipad. 

After day 1 we went shopping in the market, and from day 2 onwards have been eating lunch there at one of the many food stalls. Turns out the trick to veggie food is to ask for any dish but stress it's without meat. As most dishes here are a combo of tortilla, chilli, beans, tomato & cheese it's no hardship. Chris chooses which meat he wants, I chose what shape tortilla ( open, folded, rolled etc,). Unlike restaurants that seem far more interested in getting you to eat the more expensive dishes, they don't seem to care in the market. Suspect silly gringos are a source of amusement.

The only downside is that white skin is a magnet for hawkers, buskers etc. today a Mariachi band came and sang at us much to the bemusement of the locals sharing the bench. And theres a constant stream of woman with baskets of Chapalinos - crickets fried in various spices, wooden carvings and kids with usherette style boxes round their necks trying to sell sweets and cigarettes.  

Not sure what % of kids get a school education here but the cigarette boys are about 6 yrs old & are out all hours. The other night we were walking through the market as it was clearing up and a group of street kids were putting the discarded cardboard boxes on their arms and legs to make themselves into robots.  There's always entertainment - you've just got to know where to find it!  Mexico is far richer than some of the places we're planning on going to so will have to toughen up to that sort of thing. Otherwise we might be coming home with an extended family looking like a Benetton advert. 

Living without deadlines is proving remarkably easy. Getting up for school has been an effort & we're both glad to turn off the alarm clock again and go back to 'whenever' time.  Trying to get our act together and loosely map out where we need to get to by Christmas hasn't happened yet! Think we might need to skip a few places if we're going to find another language school  and cross continents by the end of the year. 

Tonight we get the night bus to San Cristobal de las cases- about 12 hour of bus which clearly we're very excited about (in a few months time we'll be laughing in the face of such small journeys but not yet). Plan is to see more indigenous peoples villages, have a squizz at some churches ( Catholics do seem a little obsessed with churches we've noticed) then head ito Guatamala. 

Must dash. Got to pack our extensive wardrobes into backpacks and schlep across town like a pack mule to the bus station. Anyone out there doing Friday Fizz?  B*stards! 

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