Sunday, November 23, 2008

Do I Really Get To Live HERE?

My first impression of San Miguel was tainted by the thought of, "I'm cold and I'm tired." But it was all bueno after that. Once I had slept, showered, and got over the fact that all the buildings here are concrete and are remarkably cold at night in the 40 degree weather it drops down to (from mid 70s during the day), I was totally pumped. And you know, I think I had spent so much time thinking/planning/getting excited for moving to Iasi that I totally failed to think about the fact that I would be living in Mexico for a month. An entire month. That's kind of a long time. As it goes, this town is wonderful and amazing. Yes it's cold at night, but it is warm bordering on hot during the day. No bugs. No humidity. No problema.

I didn't quite understand what my team members (those who have been here before) meant when they said that you literally get into conversations with people all the time until it started happening. Left and right I am meeting people... in cafes, in restaurants, in shops, in the park, every stinkin where. There are oodles of retired Americans living here, loads of artists, and plenty of people who just want to talk. My first day, just sitting in a cafe for several hours I met a lovely older couple from Maryland vacationing here, several older women who were taking an astrology class at the cafe (alllll kinds of classes around here), and a Mexican classical/gypsy guitarist named Javier. Emily and I went to a concert he had in the library later that evening, and oh how wonderful it was! Such wonderful music and we talked with him for quite some time. This kind of thing has been repeated nearly every day. I met two Americans (one my age, one a little bit older) and am planning on seeing them again for karaoke this week. We met an older American couple at church today who took us out to lunch and is going to have the entire team over for a birthday party for a girl on the team. It's insane. People here are lovely, friendly, willing to chat, and simply have TIME. And I kind of love it.

Let's talk about the fact that life here is one big party. This past week was the celebration for the Revolution, and man did they celebrate. Parades, oh, say, every day. Winding through the city, with people lined 3 deep on either side of the sidewalk. Bands in the park every night. People just out having a good time. Random fireworks. It's just a lively place. And this morning we had the distinct pleasure of waking up at 6am to the sound of cannons. Or fireworks. Or cannons and fireworks. Apparently every Sunday an icon of some sort is moved from one church to another and as they process they fire off cannons to ward off demons. Let's talking about a whole new culture... Woh. But fire away they did, for a good long while.

Let's also talk about the food. It's just wonderful. I was not a fan of corn tortillas until I started eating homemade ones. IN MEXICO. Mmmm mmm good. And the meat! Ohhh so good! Fresh veggies! Fresh everything! Did I mention the baked goods? Yea.

One thing that is taking some getting used to is the toilet paper situation. In that, since no modern development has happened here since the 1920s, I guess the city's septic system is tres bad. So, you don't flush toilet paper here. I was thinking it was perhaps just our hostel, but oh no, no one flushes the TP. You wipe, fold, and dispose in a trash bin near the toilet. It's been, well, interesting.

That about sums up my first few days. I have so many thoughts, so many observations, so many great things to say, but alas, the time will come to share some more. It's time now for dinner. So I must depart. Peace out.

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