Sunset in Zapopan.

Time is beginning to pass faster these days. I’ve been in Guadalajara almost three months now, and it feels like no time has passed. It does help that I was foolish enough to try and study three languages, practice two forms of martial arts, get my bachelor’s degree, and work as a teacher at the same time. Fortunately street food is fast and easy to find here, so I don’t have to cook. On the other hand, nap time is looking to be endangered.

It’s not that any of it is that difficult, and I’m really loving it, but it does eat up a lot of time. I’m beginning to be corrupted by coffee. I still don’t like it, but I drink it every now and then. Sooner or later I’m sure I’ll become lost to the stuff like so many others before me. I’m really surprised I lasted this long without needing the stuff. I still prefer to actually sleep though.

I’ve started to get really settled in here. I moved the furniture in my room to suit my liking and everything. Something of an ancient nesting ritual, I’m sure. It’s still not the most comfortable place in the world, but at least I’m not tripping over the bed in the dark anymore. I prefer the open space I have now too. Makes it much easier to practice my Qi Gung without having to go outside. It’s been cold here lately, and I finally got to wear my trench coat. It’s not really waterproof, but it only rained lightly.

My classes are all falling into place. The pattern is getting easier, and I’m finding it easier to keep the flow going for the most part. In some cases, there is conflict when I have to follow something that is not completely correct, but as far as I can tell the books we use are mostly East Coast and British English. In other words, completely wrong English. West Coast rules, bitches.

It’s actually just weird seeing something I normally consider slang or bad English being taught in an old book as correct. I guess it works both ways. Anything too new or too old just sounds wrong sometimes. I still have to work on my accent. I’ve noticed the speed at which I speak changes constantly as I speak. Firstitcomesoutveryquickly, then, slower, as I pause to think. Thenallthewordstrytocomeoutatonceagain, before I, slow down again. I wonder if that’s the San Diego or the New York accent coming through. Maybe it’s both of them fighting to express themselves. It’s not much of a problem, unless I’m dealing with a class with a lower skill level.

The students are mostly good here, and that makes the classes easy, even when I only have one or two students. That night class still sucks though, lazy kids. It’s nice to have a day off tomorrow, but I’ll probably spend some time trying to get ahead of my classes for next week.

My mom is heading down on Friday for the holiday weekend. I’ve taken an extra day off to show her around, but I wish I had more time. There is plenty we can do, but most of it will involve wandering and street food. I’ve been finding places she’ll like everywhere, but there is only so much you can eat in such a short amount of time. Maybe once everything is settled here we can find more time. Probably next year. Maybe.

There were a few amusing events over the week. I was heading to the Diplomat’s house when there was a police road block in the way. It was fun to have our bus and the bus in front of us both try to make u-turns in the middle of the road as cars kept driving around us. Even more fun was having the bus chop apart the tree branches the kept popping in the windows since we took a side road that was never meant for buses. Wait, not fun, disturbing and a little scary. I’m just glad the branches were on the far side of the bus from me.

I am still a bit surprised by the construction here sometimes. I was talking with the Diplomat about all the flawed repairs in this city. There are so many things here that irritate the plumber inside me. So many doors jury rigged to be somewhat functional, walls patched with the wrong texture or color, wires hanging from telephone poles connected to nothing, and holes in the concrete revealing two to ten foot holes beneath. Part of me understands that it’s a lack of funds, time, or training that create these conditions, but it still gets under my skin. So many places to get injured.

My favorite is the razorwire. They cover the tops of chain link fences with the stuff here. Unfortunately for me, the top of the fence is sometimes at the level of my face. I haven’t walked into it yet, but I expect to eventually since I’m always watching for the pit traps in the concrete instead of looking up. Part of the frustration is just the construction training. When you learn the trade working on million dollar houses with virtually unlimited budgets it’s hard to look at the conditions here and realize that it’s not so easy to replace the entire driveway when it cracks, or cut down the tree that cracked it in the first place.This is just the edge of the iceberg that is the world at large. There are so many more joys and problems that I cannot even imagine yet waiting out there. I’m glad to be here in Guadalajara for now, but I can’t help looking to the horizon to see what might be next. Colombia and Peru keep floating through my mind. In a year, I might be ready to move on, or I might be happier staying here for a bit longer, but sooner or later the wind changes and I will cast off into the world

I forget to look at the sky some days.

I forget to look at the sky some days.

Sunset on a long day.

Sunset on a long day.

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A couple of altars from Dia de los Muertos.

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Sunrise over the industrial wasteland.

Sunrise over the industrial wasteland.

Pozole for a rainy day.

Posole for a rainy day.

Just on the way to work in Zapopan.

Just on the way to work in Zapopan.

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