If you ever find you have a choice, never go with getting sick in a foreign country. I only came down with laryngitis, which makes teaching difficult, and it still sucks. The one thing I really miss is being able to send people to get me stuff. Here, I can’t even get decent soup delivered, partially because everything closes on Sunday, and partially because of the language barrier combined with laryngitis. I don’t even feel bad, I just can’t speak and I don’t want to pass it on to the other teachers. It’s also been raining for three days, which means all the street vendors are gone. Not enough business to be worth it.
On the good side of things, they’re changing my schedule again. I’ll now be working from 8 to 4 on weekdays, with half days on Friday and Saturday. So, now I have nights off, and I may try to weasel out of my class on Saturday eventually also. For now, this works out fine. No lunch break kind of sucks, but I usually have someone who cancels at least once during the week, so I just have to work around that.
I’m going to miss my morning classes. They were good students, even if their attendance was erratic. On the last day we moved on to the topic of cursing, which usually comes up when students mispronounce beach. They started talking about the different types of cursing here, and I mentioned the angry grandmother from the lucha libre. I did discover that some of the common greetings from Tijuana can be extremely offensive here. I’m not surprised, and it amuses me to no end so I’ll probably keep using them when the opportunity arises. It’s like listening to the cab drivers in the rain.
I enjoy the rain here, at least at this time of year. I still miss the thunderstorms of New York, but the rain here is gentle, and cold enough to make soup wonderful. The sky is tricky though, not like it is at sea level. In San Diego and New York you can always tell which clouds are storm clouds. They are always very dark and stand out against the light grey sky. Here, everything is grey and you never know which cloud carries rain. The only warning is the wind. When the pressure changes, the wind picks up and you know it’s going to get cold and wet.
Walking to the market today I had two different people ask me for directions today. It surprised me that I know the area well enough now to be able to answer without checking my phone. They were both simple questions, but still unusual that people are asking the weyro for directions. I can get used to most anything here, but I don’t think that will ever stop surprising me. If it happened once or twice I would understand, but with how often I get asked it seems like a cultural thing. Maybe it’s easier to ask because I’m usually alone and confronting a group is different. Maybe I just happen to be in the right place and they will ask anyone they come across. Maybe I’m just too used to the fact that every American has a gps locator and world map at all times. It used to be the stereotype that men don’t ask for directions, now if you ask it’s like asking for the time. The only person who asks for the time now just wants you to stop so they can ask for, or take, more.
I was reading an article by a cop recently, and he was saying that it’s getting easier to spot the predators in a crowd. The predators are the ones looking around and not wearing headphones. Here in Mexico they are still a little behind, but all of the younger crowd are wearing them unless they are talking to their friends. I understand on the train, or a bus where you are relatively safe in the crowd, but walking down the street it’s just a distraction from all the things that can go wrong. Not just people, but how often do people begin to walk into traffic without noticing or miss important details because of their phones? Even when I can wear them I don’t, I’m distracted enough as it is.
Being sick has reduced my commentary for the week, and my classes in school have not been anything interesting or challenging yet, so I will leave you here. One more thing, make sure you have hobbies that do not require wifi or the need to leave the house. Sometimes all you can do is hang out and read, draw, or write.