This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Arriving in Guadalajara, Mexico. Day 1 and 2.

Hey, you know what? I'm in Mexico now. Crazy. And warm!

Arriving yesterday around 2 PM, I took a taxi from the airport to the center of the city like I had promised Jesus. For sure it was the best solution with all my luggage, though it took him a while to convince me about it... So yeah, for 220 pesos, 103 kroner, 18 US$, or 14€, whichever you prefer, I got to the center of the city.  I hadn't booked any accommodation, as I figured that would be easier once I was here, so instead I went to the IMAC School where I will be taking a one-week Spanish course next week.

Ok, so I dragged my stuff inside, and met Martha, with whom I have been in touch with via email lately. She sent me straight to a "discussion class" despite my worried claims that I spoke no Spanish what so ever. She really didn't care, which turned out to be fine. The class was watching a movie about some Mexican ruins, and afterwards we were divided in groups with Spanish-students and Mexican English-students mixed up. There were some questions to discuss about the movie, but really the point was just to be talking. The teacher asked us to start in English, then switched to Spanish, and the two languages interchanged throughout the class. Was nice to experience that I actually did catch some on the points in Spanish, and cool to have the option to ask to have a sentence in Spanish translated directly to English. Really a nice class to start out with!

After class I was asked to wait for one of the staff members to get information about my weekend. They didn't really have to care much, since my program doesn't start till Sunday, but this guy, Mario, helped me out with a lot of stuff. Making sure I had somewhere to stay that night, invited me on a Saturday trip with some other students, and informed me about my homestay - oh, I should say more about that. I had different options for accommodation, hotels, hostels, but also to stay with a Mexican family, which I figured would be a fun challenge, and would help me learn even more in this crash course of mine. At the time of writing, Saturday night, I am a little worried about meeting the family tomorrow, and getting to some level of communication with them. But well... Actually I have no doubt that it will work out one way or the other. And, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? :)

The rest of Friday afternoon I spent taking a nap in the hotel. I have a single room with shared bathroom,  super cheap - 220 pesos (see above ;)) pr. night. Afterwards I went to the reception to ask for a map and a supermarket, all done in very very simple Spanish with a receptionist with no English vocabulary. But I understood her directions, got my map, and found the supermarket. :) Yey!

Coming back from the market I really felt much better than when I left. All day I had had this horrible feeling of having left so much behind in Arizona, and I was feeling so alone and sad. However the small victory of coming back with some eatable things, having figured out a little more about this city, realizing that I have "conquered" so many non-English speaking cities before, made me feel better.

I ate my dinner in the hotel yard, as I was practically dragged there by a Canadian woman I met in the kitchen. She was enjoying the warm evening outside with some friends, and I joined the party for a little while. Very nice. Then I went back to my room, and slept rather soon after. :)

Sorry for this long post, but I might as well tell you about my Saturday now that Im at it. So like I said, Mario invited me on a day trip, though actually it wasn't supposed to be open for other students than this particular group from an American university. I'm not sure why he let me, actually, but who cares. I was there. :) We started at 9 AM from the school, which is just around the corner from my hotel. I stopped by the bakery on the corner for a fresh supplement to my juice from the supermarket. Then we were off in a bus towards some ruins just outside the city, Guachimontones. Actually those were the topic of the class movie the day before. It was interesting site with circular pyramids surrounded by square plateaus. So now I have seen my first pyramids! :)

The Agave for tequila
After this stop, we went to the town of Tequila, where obviously we visited a tequila distillery. But first we had lunch in a local restaurant, and finally I managed to get into conversation with the American students who had been a little hard to get to in the first hours. The tour of the distillery came with taste samples of the different stages from the tequila production - including a margarita in the end. ;) We also saw the church in the city, pretty decorated inside with white and blue colors. Afterwards we had some time to browse through the town, and I went to have an ice cream and sit in the sun with some of the others. Then back home to the city.

Has been a nice day, really. :) I am really happy that I could join the group on the tour, as I would otherwise probably not have been able to go to those places. And tomorrow I am going to stay with the host family, I even accepter their invitation to go to a party in the afternoon. Sigh... Now wondering if I am too much up for challenges, if I would have a better stay if I didn't get into these hard situations. But then again, its a unique situation and I would hate to take the easy way out, not knowing what I am missing out on.

I will keep you posted! :)

1 comment:

  1. You'll enjoy it more if you place yourself outside of your comfort zone. You learn things about yourself as well.