A weekend in San Diego is never enough, but it was good. No time to see anyone but family, my regular family and my Kung Fu family. I didn’t get to see everyone, but it was a good time. Good tea, good friends, good laughs, and a painful lack of sleep. I picked up some herbs for a friend who was attacked right before I left Mexico. Someone stole her bag and put her in the hospital. The question that always comes up is what she could have done. If she had started training years ago, she might have seen it coming, or could have found a safer place to walk. The problem is, he hit her from behind, and never asked questions. If she had hurt him, he probably would have tried to kill her.
That’s the problem we face, spend our lives preparing for those few moments when we need our skills. In martial arts we train our bodies, pushing them, breaking them, healing them, then repeat endlessly to become something powerful. I never realized the difference between what I was learning and what most people learn until I started seeing other schools. I tried to stay at the Wushu studio, but I will never fit that style. Wushu is for people to fly, and my body was not built for it. Trying to fight the people there based on their point system is difficult at best. I’m used to destroying limbs and blocking, they are used to kicking and punching just hard enough to get a point. The only person there who was interesting to fight was the Boxer.
I moved over to the studio run by my friends here in Guadalajara. The style still needs work, and there is no real master, but the sense of family is there. That’s what I missed, fighting and laughing, getting hurt as we smile. I miss fighting on that level. I’m glad to be back into it. I’m learning what I can, and I’ll show them what I know, something I can’t really do at the other studio. I’m also supposed to start going to another school tonight at El Dragon. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out though. They practice really late. I also offered to start teaching a few of the other teachers some basic self defense on the weekends. If nothing else, I’m really good at overloading my schedule.
The good thing is that I found an appropriate place at work to sleep. The good thing about working at an American company is that they have couches. There are a lot of employees who use them to nap during the day, taking a half hour to rest and relax when they can. Sometimes when I have an hour or more I relax there and sleep for a bit. It makes up for the nights when I can’t get to sleep, or when I just don’t want to.
Work may be changing a bit though. The company I’m at is going through a restructuring and a lot of people are moving to other facilities in the city. I don’t know if I’m going to move or if they’re going to refill my schedule with new students. I don’t really care enough to worry about it. I’m hoping I lose enough students that I will be able to take a few days off. Find someplace interesting to go, maybe stay at the beach for a long weekend. The Russian gave me the number of a Mayan family in Palanque, maybe I’ll fly down to Chiapas and visit them. I love having the freedom to do anything I want at this point in my life.
We’re getting into storm season though, and all the joys of Mexico come with it. The power in the back of the house cuts out every time it rains, and with it goes the wifi. They fixed that for the moment. Not the power, they just ran a long extension cord to the modem from the front of the house. They are problem solvers, even if the solution is questionable. I wish they had solved it before I spent seven hours in a MacDonald’s just because they have wifi and it’s quieter than Starbucks. Just as depressing, and it makes cursing at the computer glitch that just deleted an hour’s work more socially akward.
I was able to make it out for a while on Saturday, but I made the mistake of drinking two pints on an empty stomach. The storm started after we hit the bar, but had mostly stopped by the time I headed home. The rain here is so strange. In New York the moment you step into the rain you get drenched, but here you stay mostly dry even while everything is flooding. I still don’t like the feeling of being drunk, but there is a certain clarity to walking drunk through the rain.
I got home in time to work on my paper some, which now qualifies me as a real college student. I wrote my first drunk paper, and it came out so much better than when I was fighting through it sober. Sometimes I just don’t want to do the work. It’s never the writing, it’s only the time it takes to find references that prove my point.
I still have trouble understanding Mexico some time. I passed by a broken guitar in the street, I watched a guy try to put a light back into it’s socket on a bus with a stick, and I’ve been told to be careful walking in the rain. The potholes and booby traps quickly get hidden under the deluge and people are rumored to have disappeared into the sewers. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Musician, since there isn’t much to do but play scrabble in Spanish when the power is out. I tend to hold my own, points-wise, but I can only play if the background music and conversation are in Spanish too. I still can’t mix languages all that well. It’s funny though, after playing in Spanish I also find it difficult to play words with friends in English also. I’m either stuck in one language or the other at this point.
The only real unpleasant surprised this week were from a friend of mine. No one should wake their brother up by punching him in the balls, or stabbing him with a fork. I thought I was bad with some of the times I scared the Goth, but I never did physical harm. I also never put ranch dressing on a pizza.