The Wi-Fi is acting up tonight. It makes it impossible to do homework and difficult to do anything else. Sunday is a family day in Guadalajara, and most people stay home. Most of the place I like are closed, and all that’s left are expensive restaurants. I’ve been cooking at home more, so food isn’t a problem, but it does get boring at times.
I wandered down Chapultepec today, through the artist’s square. The big paintings are always the same, no matter how good they are. The small ones change often, but they are usually the more simple ones that sell quickly. I like the watercolors, but there is a lot of good art in that area. I’m sure there is better, but I haven’t found it yet. Tlaquepaque is too touristy and Tonala is just workshops. I like the individual artists, doing what they love. I like it when it’s not just more of the same, when you know it means something. Every once in a while I’ll find a back alley, or a street you can only walk through, and there will be artists of all mediums selling what they made. That is one of my favorite parts of this city.
It’s been raining here for almost a week. In the mountains, when there is no sun, there is no warmth. Back in San Diego even when the clouds rolled in it wouldn’t be too cold. If the sun did not shine, you still put on sunblock before you went surfing. Here, when the sun is out you feel it hitting you. It feels like someone hit you with a wet towel, but everywhere the sun touches. When it’s gone you can feel the chill in the air. It’s interesting when you stand facing the sun and your face is burning hot while your back is cold. I know this changes when summer comes, but I’m enjoying it for now.
The thing I love about the rain is that it makes soup taste that much better. I wandered around Santa Tere while I was looking for a zapateria that does repairs on shoes. There was a place with decent birria in an old style building. There is a type of street music here that I can only assume is traditional because of how annoying it is. Its two men, one playing a giant xylophone, the other running a stick along ridges on a maraca with a big hole in it. It sounds exactly the same as when you’re a child and you and your friend play home made instruments. When they ask for money the one with the maraca stops playing and holds it out so you can put money in. When I saw that, I really thought that I would rather give him money to stop playing. It’s like the bad Southern music in the States when they play the spoons and washboard. Interesting and annoying at the same time.
Maraca guy was wandering around with the cup of annoyance while I was eating. He went over to the table next to me an put the cup out. It was sweet when the little girl at the table put a lollipop in his cup. The family gave him money too, and the dad gave the girl a thumbs up. These are things I wish I had pictures of. People are always the most interesting thing in any city.
The school keeps trying to give me more classes. I find I’m having to negotiate for time. They want to give me a class on Monday and Wednesday, but I’ll only take it if the give me Tuesday and Thursday off. It should work out, I keep complaining about the classes taking up too much of my time. There are still a couple of gaps in my day, but they just lost four teachers, and there will be more leaving soon. Everyone seems to be just passing through.
Trainman is tired of dealing with the system and is heading back to the States, the two new Brits are only here for six months or so, the Australian went home, and so did the German.
The English teaching community here tends to be pretty transient, even while a few stay here for years. I guess I’m part of that crowd too. It’s fun staying here, but I won’t mind too much when I move on. There will always be friends I’ll miss, but you only get to keep people for so long. After that, you just remember them at their best and keep going.
It has been an interesting week here. There was a big fire in one of the buildings between Las Fuentes and Toluquia as I passed. Standard yellow smoke and burning smell. At least it didn’t smell like we were all going to die of lung cancer in a few years. I never liked the smell of burning plastic, but on that scale it can do serious damage also. Mu favorite part was when the driver closed the window, but didn’t get off his cellphone. I always find priorities interesting.
The rest was typical. Game night at the Diplomat’s place was fun. In one of the war games I’ve been using a mini of a generic solder for a few games. Every time I do the dice start rolling in my favor. I named him Klaus. The dice love Klaus as much as they hate me. I wish I could use him in every game. I’ve started speaking more Spanish over there too. Laziness interferes as much as my lack of language. I still feel the social barrier everyone does, but I’m learning to bypass it. A true bard cannot be held back by other people’s opinions.
I am finding it easier to connect with people here. A lot of the old fears that held me back have stayed in San Diego. Nothing is as hard here, from work to diet to recreation. For all the cursing about the Wi-Fi I’m happier here than I was at home.