A very busy week. I had to turn in my final for Sociology of Social Problems today. Not a difficult class, but I have never made a PowerPoint production before, so I don’t know if it’s what he’s looking for or not. I wish the class had a PowerPoint required earlier so I could get some practice, but I’m not worried. As long as I get a C on it, I get an A in the class. I really didn’t enjoy digging through the photos of violence on google for the research I needed. It makes movies seem like a joke.
Fortunately, there was a party Saturday night so I could get away from it for a while. Good people, good talks, but the same issue as always. When people stand at a party they are easily distracted and wander off a lot. I kept finding the conversation getting interesting, then something would happen and it would end suddenly. It always feels weird to try and pick the conversation back up after that gap too. There’s something about the social dynamic that feels like fighting against the current. That’s why I typically avoid parties like that, the frustration of being interrupted when the conversation feels important. I’m glad I was enjoying the time there, and I’m glad I get to practice enduring frustration.
Other than that the party was great. Third floor with a decent view, but my camera wasn’t good enough to get pictures. There was a bowl of punch, basically sugarwater and mescal with a bit of vodka thrown in. There was chopped fruit floating in the top of it, so I guess it counts as punch. The grouping was mostly by language, Spanish, German, and English. There was a lot of overflow, and I got to teach someone some Tijuana cursing. It’s strange to hear that with British accent, but endlessly amusing. There were five people there with instruments, and they gathered together to play. Good music, good people, good times.
My life here is changing as I start to integrate more with the people here. I have been avoiding for long enough, and I don’t really have time to make more Spanish speaking friends. As always, I’ll take what I can and let the rest go.
I spent my last Spanish class explaining sociology to my teacher. Apparently she understood, but I found there are a lot of words that I’m missing. I like the subject, and she wants me to start writing about it in Spanish. It’s something I always recommend to my students, so I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before now. I had been planning to start writing about random things, but it’s easier if I just write about what I’m learning in class to her. I don’t have to think about the subject, only about describing it in Spanish.
I am getting better at thinking in Spanish, but I find that I have started blurring the two languages together. Sometimes if I’m not thinking I start speaking Spanish and finish the sentence in English, or I use English words randomly in the sentence. It’s so bizarre. I don’t always realize I’m doing it either, which is the worst part. I can’t fix what I don’t hear.
It was interesting going to Santa Tere today and listening to the Americans at the lunch counter. The guy’s Spanish was okay, but he didn’t really understand the questions they asked him. He seemed to be trying, but I found one thing really weird. He ordered food for himself and his friends, then jokingly bragged that it was only for the appetizer. Afterward I exchanged a look with the lady behind the counter and she made a comment. We both laughed and shook our heads at them. It’s nice to know that I’ve become a regular enough there that I don’t count as a gringo anymore, but I know that those are still my people, my culture. I did find that I’m not a big fan of Americans on vacation, too much douchebaggery.
I still haven’t made it out to all the places I want to go, but there hasn’t been much time lately. I did make it to Bosque los Colomos though, in the Northwest of the city. The Diplomat took me there a couple weeks ago after we looked at the Tai Chi class in the park. This time I went for about five hours, just wandering and taking pictures. I still hate taking pictures to some extent. I find that the camera makes people behave differently, like all those smiles you see on facebook with the beautiful smiles and dead eyes. I also find that it distracts me from enjoying the moment, but I’m changing. I want to be able to share these moments, but the only way I can is to take pictures and tell stories. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than just being there alone.
The park was cool, technically a forest, but I could still hear the traffic outside so I don’t think it counts. There is a section of the park set up for horseback riding, and there were a lot of horses there. People were riding without guides or caretakers. A horse is an expensive animal to buy and maintain, and in the States it shows. You would never be allowed to ride off alone in a forest, even if that forest had ten foot fences on all sides. Once again, the over zealous nature of Americans and their litigation. Nothing here is exactly what I expect it to be, and yet it’s not really surprising either. I’m glad for that.
Other than that the forest is kind of lacking. Not bad, after being in the city, but there are trails everywhere worn several inches deep into the dirt with all the people traveling there over the years. The feeling of the place reminded me of the mountains in California, but with more dirt and less granite. There was something about it though, not safe, it’s still Mexico, but definitely not wild. From the chickens wandering the forest to the squirrels begging for food, there was a feel to it that there was nothing new there.
I’m glad I decided to start in Guadalajara, but I definitely want to go somewhere much further from the things of man.