Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saturday we went downtown

I was on campus by 8:30.

I’ll say that again. I was on campus by 8:30 AM.

“Mom” drove Kiki and I in and dropped us off. Sure it was Saturday, but we’d been told at the orientation about a little trip to the city center and we wanted to take advantage of it. It was hit and miss, and mostly miss. The common theme here is, nobody knows what’s going on and we’re all really under-informed. So we weren’t really told what we were going to do, got there and kinda just stood around for a good twenty minutes wondering what the hell we were doing there, and you KNOW how I can be early in the morning…

Eventually this guide showed up and led us into the building we were standing in front of. Not just us, though; also a few guards with big friggin guns. I don’t know what they were, but I took a picture of Kiki standing in front of them so maybe one of you can tell me. We did a lot of wandering around, a handful of hours, and he told us what we were seeing. Problem is, let’s be honest – my Spanish isn’t exactly perfect. What’s more, he was talking into one of those bullhorn things and while it did raise the overall volume of his voice, it muffled it so much that I understood half or less of the sum total of what he said. It really felt like a total waste – I could show myself around, read, ask questions, and learn that way rather than be rushed from one place to the next never really understanding what’s being said. Le sigh!

We finished up in a plaza in front of some old building, who knows what, with some statues, who knows by whom, and went to eat in a little restaurant nearby. There was stuff all over the menu, but you know as soon as I saw they had fish tacos I quit looking.

For more fun and confusion, the two boys who went as ‘guides’ from the school with us had each told people a different time to meet back up – one said at 1 and one said at 2. The boy from my school and I ran into a group of kids, two boys and a girl, from the United States, who were drunk. They had come to meet back up with the group at 1, didn’t see anyone, and decided to go back to drink more – they invited us to come with. At first we were a little interested, but then as we walked we saw that not only did they not speak any Spanish, but they weren’t even trying. I’m just not trying to be *that* tourist in any country I visit. They were drunk and acting silly and really weren’t worried about meeting back up to catch the bus back at all… so we ditched them. Went back and immediately found the group and made the precious 19 second video you may have seen on my facebook page.

Kiki’s fascinated with accents, I think, and encouraged us to talk in an Arkansan one about how smoking hot we thought she was. It just happened. It was pretty fun.

Now I can’t remember if it was Friday or Saturday that we went back out after the siesta with our “Mom.” We hit up a local market and went to the Wal-Mart. Oh yeah, I said it. It was actually kinda nifty – it was in a little plaza with a group of other shops which we also explored. It was a super cool mall. That night I ate more of the leftover meat in the sauce, and some more taquitos on the side. Y’all, I am eating like a queen here.

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