Dia de los Muertos.

And here I am, another year older. It’s not really a big mark in my calender these days. A lot of warm wishes from home, some people I didn’t expect to hear from, and the ones I did expect to hear from were late. I tend to befriend people who are as busy as I am. It always interests me how people attract a certain type of person to them. The Herald attracts the weirdest people you can find, and that amuses me to no end. He is an endless font of stories about random weird people in places you would never expect. Maybe it’s just how he views the world, but I’ve seen enough weirdness around him to question that possibility.

It’s hard to say who I’m finding here, everyone is busy in this city, at least when I am free. It can be difficult working only early and late. I should be getting more hours soon, we just need to hear back from immigration and then deal with some paperwork and other stuff. Everyone complains about the system, but so far I found it to be slow, but functional. We’ll see when it comes to the next step. I’m glad I got a job that will deal with most of the work for me. Makes it much easier.

I found a Lebanese food restaurant here, amazingly good, but really expensive. I find if I limit myself to 100 pesos a day for food, I usually wind up with some change. The buffet there was 220 pesos, and the dinner my friend and I split was 132. It was designed as a meal for two, and there was plenty of kafta for both of us. I want to hit the buffet one day, but I can wait. My mom sent me money for my birthday, maybe I’ll go out to eat there or at Matera, the Argentinian buffet. I haven’t decided yet. It’s hard for me to spend that much money on a meal, even though I did that or more weekly back at home. Au revoir was close to thirty dollars a person, and some of the best food in San Diego. It was always worth it.

We are hitting the night of Halloween, and no one here really cares. Dia de los Muertos is what matters. There are a couple of parties that I am looking at going to, and I’ll definitely go to one of them. The other is just a possibility. I still want to visit the cemetery for their guided tour. It sounds like a lot of fun, but not a place I’d like to go alone, or with people interested in agitating the dead. It’s never a good idea to toy with something that literally has all the time in the world to get you back, and less reason to show restraint.

There were skeletons in the plaza outside el Catedral de Guadalajara. Maybe twenty-five or thirty of them. There were all different shapes and styles except for kung fu. Not a surprise since it’s not a Chinese holiday. I hope they celebrate Chinese New Year here, but if nothing else my martial arts studio should. The celebrations here are so big and over the top compared to back in the States. Almost every holiday there is lost to commercialism and alcoholism. Still fun in it’s own way, but not like this.

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The dead.

The dead.

There was a convoy of bicycles, all of them with lights. Some of the people were painted as skeletons, and all of them were wearing white. They made a lot of noise as they passed by, moving around traffic with the help of the police. There were several double-decker buses filled with people dressed up also. They were shouting and hooting, then they started chanting “besos, besos, besos…” at a couple on the corner. The couple kissed and there was more shouting and chanting, but this time I couldn’t understand what they were saying. The couple waved them off and walked away. The streets were filled with alters and people, but my camera phone has a timing issue with the flash so most of them did not come out. I’ll take my good camera out later.

On the way home there were more displays of alters and costumed people in cars. There was a stream of mustangs, old and new, filled with people dressed for the occasion. They honked as they slowly moved through traffic toward the center of the city. There were three volkswagon minibuses also, their sliding doors open revealing alters inside. I really don’t think that lit candles are ever a good idea in moving vehicles. There was also a gremlin, worth noting simply because I didn’t think that car would be found in Mexico in such good condition. All in all, an amusing night wandering the festivities.

I spent Friday night at the Diplomat’s house. We played Gloom, a card game, and had general merriment and snacks. It was a good night, and it’s hard to find time with the schedule I have for work. I’m hoping we can get a game of dungeons and dragons going eventually, but it’s hard to get out there when the buses stop running between nine and ten. At least I still have the old game through google hangouts, but it’s not the same as being there.

The good news this week is that school finally started. The English class is annoying, just a research paper writing class. I could write that paper tomorrow and ace the class, but nope, I get to go through the whole process over the course of eight weeks instead. I wish I could challenge it, but maybe I’ll learn something useful in the process. I can only hope. The Sociology class, on the other hand, looks really fun. So far I’m glad I chose it as my major. It’s exactly what I love doing anyway, just with the scientific method applied to it. I know it doesn’t ever sound like the scientific method would make something more enjoyable, but it suits me very well. That is my favorite part of school. Everything is written down, the path set. All you have to do is follow it and you ace the class. Makes it a simple task.

My VISA should be coming through in a week or so, at least the next step for it. I don’t have high hopes, especially after talking to the other teachers about the process. The VISA is never that easy to get, and mine will not be an exception. Even if it might be, I don’t want to jinx my chances. At least I’ll get to go back home for dim sum and surfing. Maybe. Dim sum will be easy, surfing might not be. Have to be sure I can access my gear in the storage locker first. If not, I’ll fix it so I can go around Christmas. It will be cold, but the water always is in San Diego.

There is a cow on the wall.

There is a cow on the wall.

No, really.

No, really.

I don't even know what this is, but I think we have a Lovecraft fan or two here.

I don’t even know what this is, but I think we have a Lovecraft fan or two here.

This one makes even less sense than the octopus with the baby's head.

This one makes even less sense than the octopus with the baby’s head.

I do like the amount of random art you find in this city, though.

I do like the amount of random art you find in this city, though.

One of the alters to the dead.

One of the alters to the dead.

I finally found out what was behind the wall covered with broken glass. It's a little disappointing.

I finally found out what was behind the wall covered with broken glass. It’s a little disappointing.

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A little slice of the States I found here.

A little slice of the States I found here.

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