Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I just might survive this trip.

I'm a slow judge. Like, really slow. To a fault, sometimes. It has definitely hurt me in the past, but if I have to err on one side or the other, I'd still rather be a slow judge.

So I've been in México a month and a half, and I was starting to commit to the idea that the country just wasn't for me, for a list of reasons. But then I realized, I had pretty much stayed exclusively in Guadalajara and the surrounding municipalities. I needed to get out of town and see what else was out there.

My North American housemates had plans to go to a town called Guanajuato. I'm interested in checking it out, but I was more interested in doing some traveling on my own, which I generally enjoy - or at the very least, not with the people I live with seven days a week. I needed to clear my head, to leave some things behind. Another girl in the program said she was dying to go to the beach.

That's all I needed to hear. Water, I thought, will get my head right when few other things will. She found the hostel, I found the bus tickets, and we left from school after my piano class on Friday.

The drive was fucking ridiculous. Just gorgeous. Seriously otherworldly at many moments, and not just because we were in another country where the signs were in a different language - different architecture, differents ways of living, different cemeteries, different people, different ways of laying out the towns, different markets on the side of the road, but also the mountains we climbed and wove between, and the clouds that were some times just right above us, perched on the tips of the mountains, and other times right beside or even below us, and the magic they have to the trees they hugged, and the fields of agave, an eerie blue green, and the fields with cows and horses all alongside one another and...

Seriously, I was feeling better just on the bus. We got to the station in Puerto Vallarta and found a bus into town. We asked one of the workers in the station which bus we should take and where to find it. In Spanish we asked him. He responded that we could take any bus that was VERDE (and pointed at my shirt) or AZUL (and pointed at my water bottle) - really derogative and patronizing and I said Honestly? We clearly know enough Spanish to ask where the bus is, and you're going to point out colors to us? We just walked away, figuring we could manage.

It was still light, but the sun was setting - and we wanted to see the sunset from the rooftop of the hostel if we couldn't make it to the beach in time. We didn't even make it to the hostel in time. The bus took a really windy route, and when we started to wonder, a good half hour into the ride, whether we should find out when we would be getting to the part of town where the hostel was, we decided to just ask the women sitting behind us. Pardon, I said, good evening, like a good foreigner, playing by the rules of Mexican conduct. ¿Do you know if or when this bus will go through El Remance? They said not too much further, through the tunnel and across the bridge. Then they told us that we were going to be able to get to know this part of town on our way there, bragged on its beauty, its safety, the fact that a girl can walk alone at night with no worries. One got off, then when the other went to, she said, The bus driver will let you know when to get off. She went up to him, said a few words, then got off.

Seriously. When people here are nice, they're fukkin NICE. When we got off the bus, we walked past a tire shop with a really sweet looking and also clean dog. Of course, missing my pooch, I was charmed, so I stopped to say OH SWEET PRECIOUS BABY and the owner came up to greet us. Melissa, my travel companion, is has this gorgeous long blond curly hair, which makes her stand out here in Mexico, so there's a lot of male attention when I go out with her. He showed us the dog's tricks and was super nice, then pointed us up the road to the hostel.

Puerto Vallarta is hot as HELL. Seriously steaming. Over ninety degrees (farenheit, sorry) all weekend and humid as... as something ridiculously painfully humid. So once we got settled in to the super friendly hostel with the rockin good vibes, we went to hang out on the roof. We met the manager/host Guillermo, the guests Jem from England and Anthony from Washington, and Melissa and I went to eat soem delicious street tacos (tortillas made fresh right there to order, several different tasty meats, then beans and onion and cabbage and cilantro and yum) and then to the Oxxo to buy some jalapeño chips for when we got the munchies on the roof. As we walked up to the store, there was a couple, employees both, canoodling in the window. When they saw us and pulled quickly apart, we saw they were both women. Fuck yes! Finally some queer people in this country! We gave them big smiles and waves and hellos, went and bought our chips and our Strawberry Boone's Farm (don't judge) and went back to hang out on the roof of the hostel until it was time to pass out.

Here's my to do list for the next day, Saturday. #1: Go to the beach. End of list.

We got up, ate breakfast, had a quick smoke and headed that way. But we got a little lost and ended up on this curvy street with low visibility and high traffic and no sidewalk. We started freaking out a little and just froze to assess the situation. Just then, a taxi flew past on the other side of the road - we hailed, he motioned that he would come back around, we got in and said take us to the nearest beach, we'll figure it out from there. It was so beautiful. A little cloudy when we got there, so not too hot, and not too populated yet either. But I noticed right away that the only people showing much skin were the men - there weren't many women and the ones who were there were very modest in their swimming clothes. I'm a pretty modest girl anyway, so I didn't want to strip down to my bikini right away - plus the smoke still had me a little head-changed since it had been sooo long since I'd had any. Melissa however was damn ready. She got in and splashed about. I hung out just sitting, chilling, thinking, watching, soaking it all in... and listening to the boom-tisk club music coming from the gay part of the beach. That's right, there was a whole gay section of the beach, and they were FABULOUS.

She got out, we laid out, I eventually took off my shirt and put on sunblock, and then here comes a guy wanting to talk. His name was Abraham and he had a lot of tattoos and liked mine. We talked for a while, he didn't seem too forward or scary, and he seemed to know everyone around us. This fellow with a giant parachute thing for parasailing came near and Abraham told him we needed to try holding it. It looked so easy when he did it but... Soon as I took it, it was this huge struggle to keep it up, keep it from flying this way or that, keep it from crashing into the beach... which it did. Melissa was better at it than I was, and after we had both crashed it the guy decided he should probably move on. By then I was starting to chill out and so when Melissa and Abraham went into the water I went too.

Abraham carried his shirt in too, which confused me for a minute until we saw him drinking from it. He was really reluctant to tell us what it was though, like he not only wouldn't do it but started getting cranky when we pressed with questions. When we got hungry and said we wanted some fish, he said he knew a market we could go to and would lead us there. Said it was really close. We figured we'd follow and if it ever felt creepy we'd jet.

Just four or five blocks he told us, and we turned this way and that. Just four or five blocks, he said after four or five blocks, and every street we went on he had to say hi to someone and say "These are my friends" and show us off. We must have said hi in passing to thirty people or more. Then it started being Just one or two more blocks, and after another six or so we were there. I kept track of the direction of the beach the whole time so we could make it back. The whole time Abraham had been talking about how he couldn't wait to get back and have a bath and a nap so when we got to the market and they had no fish, he headed off to do that and pointed us in the direction of some fish. We never found it so we started heading back to the beach, still hungry as hell, when we passed a sign that said Pollo Asado Estilo Sinaloa. Grilled Chicken, Sinaloa Style. I've had this before when a friend of mine back in Arkanas used to make it every once in a while. Sweet Mary, I told Melissa, we have to eat here.

We split a half chicken, some chicken tacos, and a barley water. It was friggin great. Peed on a toilet with no seat, and went back to the beach. We got there and Melissa needed to jump right in again, gave me time to reapply my sunscreen, and then we heard some wicked drums. Melissa wanted to find them and I was game. When we did, it was a group of four guys and one girl, the guys all had different drums and little metal things to knock on and the chick had a gourd with beads all over it to shake. Then she'd set her gourd down after a couple songs, dance like a crazy woman posessed by demons, pick up the gourd and flip it over where it was open on the bottom, and go around asking for pesos. They were actually awesome. I wanted to buy a disk but they didn't have any. We followed them all the way down the beach.

When they got done, we figured we'd go explore around the other side of the southernmost point, where we had heard there were some nice coves with really crystalline water. On our way there ANOTHER guy stopped us to talk. We chatted for a minute, he was nice enough, and then he asked us what we thought about Mexican guys.

I told him. I said they lack any measure of respect. He said how do you mean? I said, for example, back in the states I wouldn't have to worry about drunk old men grabbing my ass while I wait for the bus. I said Melissa wouldn't have to see guys hanging out of their cars wagging their tongues at her. He said really? That's happened? We said yes and it sucks. He said you know what, I apologize on behalf of us all. Why don't you come hang out with me and my friends and let us try and make it up to you.

Again, we figured, why not, we'll see how it goes and if it gets weird we'll jet. It never did. They were perfect gentlemen, we all had super great conversation and planned to hang out until the sun went down. We played in the sand, played in the water, sat and talked, drank and smoked, joked, laughed... But just as it was about to start getting gorgeous and sunsetty, this killer rainstorm rolled in. We figured, hey, we're clearly already wet, so how can that matter? We stayed and swam and laughed and then figured it was probably time to go since it would be getting dark soon. We splashed our way through the streets to their car, as they'd offered us a ride back to the hostel since we had no idea really how to get there, and on the way we ran into Anthony - perfect, since he'd been there several days, walking to and from the beach every day. He pointed us back and we made plans to go out dancing with the guys later.

We never did. We took showers and washed sand out of all sorts of places and then just laid around in the room on our beds with the fan on, still feeling the waves. When we did leave the hostel, it was with Guillermo's handsome brother Julio to go to a different taco stand, the one his mother cooked at, to eat more delicious street tacos and quesadillas with fresh tortillas. We did call the fellows to let them know at least that we weren't going out, and I passed out early and Melissa stayed up chatting with Jem, the English guy who knows all about numerology and Western and Eastern astrology.

I had already bought my ticket to go back the next day, so I got up and got ready. Melissa had pretty much decided that she was going to stay another day. Despite everyone trying their damndest to convince me to change my mind, I headed back, quite sad to leave the location and the wonderful people I'd met.

Saturday was the single best day I've had since I came to this country. The decision to go to Vallarta was the single best decision I've made since I came to this country. I still haven't judged México yet, but that's because Vallarta pulled me back from the decision I'd been about to make. I'll take some more weekend trips and see what I think about things before I commit. I got my piano class moved to Wednesday now if I need to leave Thursday night instead to have more time. And I'll have one whole week between the end of classes and my flight back to go back to the place I liked most. Vallarts's in the running.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why today was special..

I found a rooftop.

I've been having problems. Mostly between my ears, although my belly was a little screwy for a bit there. I've been having issues with sharing one house and two bathrooms with ten people. I've been having a problem with not having any space I can really call my own since I share a rooom now with a girl who frequently becomes combative with no warning or real reason. I've been bummed that I chose to come to such a macho, conservative, chauvenistic country when I could have gone back to Spain.

When life gets me down and there's nothing I can do about it, I cope through a few different things. When life is really beyond screwed, I chop off all my hair, because for some reason when things are headed toward that place I stop cutting it and it builds up. But it's pretty short currently and things aren't really bad enough to warrant a drastic cut. Another thing I do is think about things in the past that have happened that were also totally screwed up, and how no matter how bad they were (and they're usually worse than what I'm dealing with at the time), they led directly to where I am today, or I gathered from them some knowledge or experience or contact that helped me later. Sometimes I like to get new ink, but I have a rule against doing that ouside of the country ever since my experience in Scotland.

What helps best, though, better than anything else, is to just clear my mind out altogether.

I've never been good at meditating. I tried, believe me. I went to weekly classes for over a year. I tried self-teaching through books. I listened to guided meditation CDs. I had a spiritual teacher for a couple of years who would periodically try and guide the group through meditations. I just have trouble quieting my own mind of my own accord. I don't want to say I can't, because that's a defeatist attitude, but I haven't had any luck with it yet.

What I need are things that help me do that. Two things especially have been great helps through the years - being in water and being up high on rooftops.

Water's the best. Anyone who has been swimming with me in Lake Ouachita knows how happy I get there. Just blissed out on life, and I'm completely incapable of thinking a single negative thought. There are no problems there, no stresses, no negative nothings. But I've been working like crazy to get the necessary paperwork and nonsense done in order to be able to swim at the pool in the campus gym - had to get a blood test to have proof of my type, had to get ID photos taken, had to get 100 pesos, and I still have to get to the office between 9 and 12 (nevermind that I have clases) for some application and medical exam process. That is to say, I haven't gotten it all together yet and so I'm not allowed to get in the water yet. Hopefully that will be happening soon.

So I've been on the lookout for a good roof. I found a good lead, one building we have classes up on the fourth floor and I noticed that the stairs keep going even though that's the top floor. I kept going one day just to see what was there, and there was a tiny door that looked like it would lead to the roof. When I opened it, I was hit with a wave of heat and sunlight and humidity - it was midday in Mexico after all. I closed it but remembered it for later.

Today I was stressed about all sorts of nonsense and I knew I'd be staying on campus late anyway - class gets out at three, and I wanted to practice piano for a couple hours before going home, and was interested in seeing if I could catch a futbol game of the uni students as opposed to the pro team. So I practiced for a while, then went and got a sandwich, and then clouds started to gather and the temperature started to drop.

I headed over. It started to sprinkle - this is the "tiempo de las lluvias" here, the "time of the rains." I didn't care; I have an umbrella. I climbed up there, went through the little door so squat it looked like it should lead into John Malcovich's brain and there I was.

And it was perfect. It was cool but not cold, and breezy so my hair and my skirt got all whipped around and it wasn't so high that I got scared but it was really nice and high up so I had a great view of the city off two sides since it's on the edge of campus. I walked to the edge and tried to think about something that was bothering me... and I got nothing. Nothing! My brain was completely vacant, silent, just reverant of all the beauty and the feeling of openness and freedom. I must have stayed up there forty minutes, just standing, getting sprinkled on now and then, staring out at the city below, watching lights turn on across different streets, occasional cars, watching the storm roll in...

...oh SHIT. That's a big storm. And it was time for the game so I figured I'd get down off that roof with the big damn lightning rod and go looking for the game. If I found it, I'd try and find shelter from the rain to watch and if not, I'd go for the bus. I didn't find it. I went for the bus. The rain started dumping in buckets. My fun flowy skirt that I had been enjoying all day suddently got really damp and difficult to walk in. I made my way over to the bus stand which has a tiny roof, but that only helps when the rain is coming from above. This wind had it coming from the side. So I'd hold my umbrella behind me and that sheltered my head and the top of my back, but my entire backside from the waist down got completely soaked. Then the couple of drunkards decided they needed to start talking to me. They started asking where I was from. The old one says, in English, NOO YAK? IS NOO YAK? WHERE NOO YAK? NORS? SOUS? WESS? EES? IN NOO YAK? I say, no, on the east side of Texas. He says YOU WET! WET WET! Starts patting my back. Starts patting lower than my back.

¡AY SEÑOR! I exclaimed, giving him a very unkind face and running to the other side of the bus stand. He got the hint. His friend figured he was still okay to talk to me. He spoke to me in Spanish, and the first thing he asked was whether I had a boyfriend. I just looked at him. He asked again. He asked if I knew what boyfriend meant. Yes, I said, I know what it means, but I don't have to answer that. Why? says he. Because that's personal information, I say, and I don't know you. He says, but I want to get to know you! I say, when I get off that bus, I'm never going to see you again. I don't want to get to know you. He says, but I can walk you to your house, to know where you live. I say no. Sir. I can say no one time or twenty times, however you want. He says twenty. I say twenty one. He says but you want to go to a movie sometime? You like movies? I just look at him. The bus comes. I flag it. It keeps going. Traffic is getting sick and the rain's getting ridiculous. When the next bus comes twenty minutes later, I go running up the road to catch it and tap on the door until he lets me in. I have to step in a river of muddy street water to get on. I don't care. I don't care about harassy boy, about grabby grandpa, or the booze on their breath. I don't care that I'm completely soaked from the waist down. I don't care that the first bus passed me or that traffic absolutely refuses to move and that a fifteen minute bus ride takes an hour and a half. I don't care. I'm still on that roof, completely zenned out. I get home, and the first words out of Guille's mouth are WHY DIDN'T YOU LET ME KNOW YOU WERE GOING TO BE LATE?

I just look at her and walk in the house. It's nice to see you too, I say. Yes, I am completely soaked and would love a hot shower, thank you for asking. By the way, I have no phone and no way to know the bus trip would take over two hours (when you count waiting time). On the table was a care package from my dad.

It was a belated birthday care package with gifts for the whole house. Lots of stickers, little animal figures, cookies and... He got me a pony.

That rooftop is my new best friend.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's been two weeks since I posted.

You know, I was raised a Southern girl, and I heard if you don't have anything nice to say you shouldn't say nuthin at all.

I haven't been very happy lately.

It's only fair that culture shock should catch up with me at some point, and I spent a good week plus pretty sick. I don't know if something I ate disagreed with me or if I was just stressed, but for at least a week my belly was a war zone. That had me feeling week, generally pissy about life, and sad about my state of being. I also share a room now, in a house where ten people share two bathrooms, as opposed to having a whole house to myself back home. I just completed my first month here, which means I'm able to look at time and measure it, able to say I'm a quarter of the way through which makes the length of the stay really settle in.

And I've had this recurring daydream, this fantasy where I walk in the door of my house back in Little Rock. I picture the front room, the general feel of the place just wraps me up, and I walk down the hall, check out the rooms, go into the kitchen, go into my own room and plop down on my huge pillowtop bed and just relax. I pretend like my dog's there too.

So that's why I haven't posted. I've heard from so many people saying "I just love reading about your experiences! It sounds like you're having so much fun!" and I just haven't been lately. I didn't wan to write while I was still in that place. I wanted to make sure I was on the other side of it before I updated. I love you guys; I don't want you to worry about me because at the end of the day, I'm a big girl, I'm going to survive and look back on this as a positive experience.

But, and I'll never say this in front of a Mexican, I kinda wish I'd gone back to Spain instead. To be fair, I've only really seen one city so I don't know if I can judge yet, but the basic overall vibe I get from the country based upon the people, the media and television, etc... just doesn't compare to the ridiculous overwhelming sticky disgusting love I have for Spain. I'm itching to see, when I get back, if I could do a summer abroad there and what it would cost.

Since I wrote you last, I've been to visit Tonala twice, Tlaquepaque, Zapopan, been to another futbol game, learned a bunch more on piano (I can feel my fingers getting stronger!), went out one night with almost all the kids in the house (grand total of seven) for the Mexican equivalent of the 4th of July for a big party out (lots of drinking, dancing, and the "grito" at midnight of "VIVA MEXICO!). I owe you stories. I'm posting more pictures all the time (still have some more to upload, should have that done tonight). Still going ahead with classes, and loving Lit. I'll see if I can't give you some good stories soon, but for now know this: I'm doing okay. <3

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The bus couple story.

Here’s the thing of it. One of my most favorite things to do in this life (there’s a long list of these things, but this is pretty close to the top) is to make up stories about people I don’t know. People I just see passing by.

Another thing I really enjoy is when the bus driver is actually talking to one of the passengers. It happens very rarely. The other day, and I’ve only seen this one other time here and few few times elsewhere, a lady was actually sitting in the very front seat, holding a whole long conversation with the bus driver. They were having lots of laughs and it was precious.

At the time, I was on the bus with Cory, and I told him about how much I love it when that happened, then about how much I love to make up stories about people. And then I told him about that couple. I told him they were having a conversation catching up about all the people they knew in their little barrio – that they had known each other since preschool and had grown up together. That the guy has always had a crush on the girl, but she has no idea. Of course, some part of her knows, but she ignores it, denies it, to make things easier, but the moment she climbs on his bus every day is about the happiest he gets.

We got to our stop at that point and got off the bus. We started walking, Cory and I, to my house but the story kept going. Because he’s a guy, I said, he naturally thinks about her when he touches himself. But he only fantasizes about really sweet shit – like, about their wedding, and sneaking off to fool around in the bathroom at the reception, or about being on their honeymoon, or doing it in their kitchen of their house someday. Here’s where Cory chimed in on the story, and I like when people help me write them. Yeah, he said, after they tuck their kids in to bed. Exactly, sez I. And, sez Cory, he’s got a cat named Chi Chi.

Dude, I said. You know that means titty. Well yeah, sez Cory, but he didn’t know that when he named Chi Chi. He was in preschool so he didn’t know any better, and it was cute so his mom let him keep the name. Well then, I said, that’s the magical part of the story, because if he named Chi Chi when he was in preschool, and he’s clearly around 30 now, Chi Chi happens to be immortal. Oh no, Cory corrected me, he went off at one point, to university or military or something, and Chi Chi died, but his mom replaced her.

Ah, no, sez I. It’s even better than that. The girl went to visit mom one day, because they live in the same barrio, and she saw mom crying. Mom told her that Chi Chi had passed and she didn’t know how to tell her son. The girl told her, don’t worry, leave it to me. She then proceeded to go all over Guadalajara, looking in every vet clinic, every pet shop, every animal shelter, every alleyway until she found the perfect replacement for Chi Chi. Some part of the guy knows something happened to Chi Chi while he was away, but that part also knows the girl had something to do with whatever happened, so he doesn’t mind and just overlooks it.

That was the end of the story until Kiki came home. I told Kiki the story and she had to go and get all logical and cynical on me. Why, she interrupted, at the part about the kitchen and the babies, are they having more babies? He’s just a bus driver, he has no money, he can’t support a family, and the last thing Mexico needs is more poor babies. And why doesn’t he just ask her out?

She was right, of course, and I hated it. And I thought about how much the bus driver guy probably knows all that and hates it too. And he thinks about it a lot, because the girl doesn’t always catch his bus, sometimes she gets on a bus before or after his, depending on when she gets out of work. One day, he was really deep in these depressive thoughts, and it was one of those days when the bus gets really crowded. When the girl got on, there wasn’t room to get on in the front, so she did like many do, and got on through the back door and passed her bus fare up to the front to get her ticket passed back. He didn't know she'd gotten on.

She had been thinking about him all day that day and at first she wasn’t sure why. But as the day rolled on, she realized that he was in love with her, and always had been, and that she had always been in love with him too. She had decided to tell him that day, somehow, even if it was cloaked in some other meaning, just to say, let’s go see a movie Sunday or something. So when she got on and it was crowded, she decided she would just ride the bus until it wasn’t anymore, even if it went past her stop, so she could talk to him. But the more she looked at his face in the mirror, the more she saw how depressed he was, and she knew she was the cause of it.

And the moment they went over the bridge, the moment he broke through the barrier to drive off the edge, the moment the bus became airborne and she knew they were going to die was the happiest moment of her life. She felt more complete in that moment than she ever had before. Sublime.

Happy birthday to me.

I’ve always been fascinated by the way the brain stores information. I’ve talked about this before with some of you in conversations, I know. Like the fact that in high school, I knew how to do chemical equations and loved them. I could look at the periodic chart and pick an element and tell you how many rings of electrons it had, how many electrons were in the outer rings, how well it would bond with which other elements… that’s gone now, but after having gone to culinary school I can tell you the components of mirepoix, and what ratio of it to bones you should have in a stock. I look at the brain as having only so much room, and when something new moves in, what, I always wonder, have I had to move out? What do I lose every time I gain? My friends and I here are watching that happen in real time. For me, I find that when I can’t think of a word in Spanish I frequently can’t think of it in English either, even though I know exactly the concept I’m trying to convey. Kiki and Cory have found that their English has been affected – that they use phrases in English they would never normally use just because they’re the direct translations of the common Spanish phrases we use. I also find that I’m having problems spelling English words when I type with my friends back home. The other day I tried to spell soak as soke. In Spanish, it’s necesitar… so the other day I called something necesari when typing English. Whaaat?

Another thing that fascinates me is long-distance travel and my own experience of recognizing the location. I said at first that I didn’t feel like I was in a foreign country, and that’s true. I finally had my moment where I went “Ah! Mexico!” And I find, when I compare it to other moments I’ve had in the past during long-distance travels and when I realized and really accepted and came to terms with my location, a common theme. It usually happens when I return to something I’ve done there before and it feels familiar. For me, it happened at the last futbol game.

I told you I went to one already. I told you it was wild and raucous and intense and fun. There was something familiar and exciting about going to this second one. It was like, we knew the routine already, we get the student discount, we’ll be sitting behind the goal with the fans, and as soon as we made it through security and all the little kids and old men trying to buy and sell us tickets, we walked through the entry of the stadium and into the stands just in time to hear a fellow scream the most horrible obscenities at his own team.

They take shit seriously here when it comes to their futbol. Just last night, at a rockin’ house party, we were watching the Mexico v. Costa Rica game. Mexico was smoking Costa Rica three nothing, and the Costa Rican fans were not only leaving with a good fifteen minutes left in the game, but they were leaving their jerseys behind in the stands. The stands were two thirds empty, but still completely filled with red. Bizarre. As Kiki said, “Futbol fans are serious. When they love you, they fucking love you, but when they hate you, they really fucking hate you.” She said this at our game because our people were starting to leave toward the end.

And that’s when I felt like I was in Mexico, and I knew it, because things were feeling familiar and foreign at the same time. The same chants from the last game, the same crazy kids leading them, but this time less enthusiastically. The last game was magic – we thought we were definitely gonna lose but ended up smoking them three nothing. This time, it was bizarre. It seemed like they had twice as many players on the field, they knew where we were going before we did and they were just toying with us. They were up three to two until the very end, and here we were, those of us who stayed to watch, chanting SI SE PUEDE, hoping for one last goal to get us a little more time – until the other guys scored a fourth and then the stands practically emptied. We stayed, my little group of exchange students, bitching about how the micheladas tasted wrong, the other team were a bunch of assholes, but still having fun. At the end of the game, though, our fans who were still there got really really crazy. Sure, they threw beers at the end of the game last time, but they were happy beers, celebratory throws. This time they were angry and trying to hit the refs, the other team, the police with shields guarding both. The two teams almost got in a nasty fight on the way off the field (the police with shields broke it up) and then the cops had to go guard the team on their way off the field as our fans shook the fence, screamed the most awful things, threw beers and cups and anything they could get their hands on.

It was wild… but I’m still glad I went, and I’m planning to go to all the ones I can until I’m gone. I’m really developing a taste for this futbol game. I don’t reckon I’ll get as crazy as these beer-tossing obscenity-screaming fence-shakers… but I want me a jersey baaaad.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Things I should have already told you about:

1) The party for the German boy's birthday and the best taxi ride ever.
2) Goin' downtown for the International Mariachi Parade and getting dumped on by rain, finding a clown supply store, some crazy sculptures, and a wedding in a cathedral.
3) Making a bunch more sushi for the fam and going to Bar Americas with Lore and Cory.
4) Finding the best-smelling flowers in the world.
5) Kiki coming home and we met her in the airport with balloons with curious messages on them.
6) Lots of rain lately, getting dumped on all over Guadalajara and watching floods, losing cable/internet as well as hotness for the water :(
7) The rain-soaked trip to Tonala'
8) The second futbol game with Christian from Quebec and his many amazing quotes.

I'm going out soon to go dancing the night before my birthday. Hopefully I'll hit you up soon with some good stories. I'll tell you the one we wrote about the couple on the bus one day. So beautiful, so tragic, so sublime.