Eat, Play, Study!
Trip Start Jul 27, 2012
18Trip End Dec 17, 2012
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I called this entry "Eat, Play Study" because finally I feel that the balance is now equal between the three things. Yes, I am still feeling the pressure of study, especially as this is now week 10 and at Sussex that would be the end of term….and I know that I usually feel totally wiped out. But here we have another seven weeks to go!! Today was probably not my finest hour as I lost it with one of the other students just before we had to present “the international news” together. I am also trying to hold it together knowing I have to deliver the transcript of a 15 minute interview in 2 weeks and so far the subject of my interview has not responded to my email request!! So I just went for it, by emailing a whole range of other possibilities but I doubt I will hear anything back since I emailed in English
Nonetheless I am enjoying life here and every day I seem to learn another lesson and usually feel just a little more comfortable in my new life here. This last weekend was awesome! It began when I finished my classes at 2.30pm on Friday afternoon and headed off to meet a group of people to go and “drink coffee”. Apparently that is what they do in Croatia……it is a synonym for drinking whatever you want! So we headed to Coyoacán which is an especially beautiful part of Mexico City. Before I came here everyone spoke about it, but until this weekend I had not been there…….now I have been there 3 times in the last 3 days! It was such a relaxed afternoon/evening. We also ate “churros” which seem to be like doughnuts but in a long stick rather than a circle. I had been looking forward to trying them but had been waiting until I could find a place where they cooked them fresh…..and here was my chance! After that we just strolled around the area and eventually came back to the main plaza and found somewhere to have a beer and later somewhere to eat dinner
The following day I had arranged to go to visit the “Frida Kahlo” museum with Kim. He is the Danish student I had coffee with a few weeks ago and we discovered that actually we had things in common, since we both wanted to do well here and were not so much into “partying” as we both enjoyed our own space. The weather was beautiful and we set off quite early…back to Coyoacán. I have been reading a book called “The Lacuna” which is a novel but has a lot of factual information about Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky, so it was wonderful to visit her home and experience the book coming to life. Likewise, when we went to Trotsky's home and saw the bullet holes in the walls….I had just read the part of the book that explained the assassination attempt and the subsequent attack that killed him. But I did not know, until we visited, that he is actually buried there.
Inevitably after all that “culture” we felt the need to drink a beer or two and somehow time just passed. We decided to stay and have dinner……at which point I realised that I was supposed to be going to a party. But it was such a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where we were I just didn’t want to leave, so we stayed and drank a few more beers before finding our way home………so I am afraid I did not make it to the fancy dress party
On Sunday I eventually managed to meet up with the person who I was supposed to meet when I first arrived. I had a large box of teabags and a card for her from a mutual friend in England. But for various reasons we just had not managed to get together. It transpired that she lived in Coyoacán so once again I found myself back in the area. This time we drank tea and ate scones…..yes really……and then took the tour on an open top bus. Once again it was just such a lovely experience. I also got to try some other street food. As we were walking back home we heard this piercing whistle. Martha explained that this was the sound that signified a street vendor selling hot sweet potatoes and plantains. Once I expressed my interest we were off in pursuit of the guy and once we found him we took a portion of each and headed back to her apartment to eat them along with another cup of tea!
Although I knew I wasn’t going away this weekend I still had the best time. I love the fact that I have met people with whom I can connect and each day it seems I learn something else about the food and culture in Mexico. I had such fun, in different ways, with all the people I was with this weekend. I know that with “partials” coming up over the next few weeks I can’t go away but once they have finished I have a weekend away planned. A small group of us are going to a little place called Pie de la Cuesta which is next to Acapulco but much quieter! I have also booked a flight to Cancun for when I finish here as it is such a log bus journey. But my plan is not to stay in Cancun but to travel back through Mexico towards Mexico City by bus, taking in all the places I want to see before flying home
I just remembered one of the photos you will see is of a scorpion……I could not believe it when it scuttled across the floor of my room the other night!! I think I was in shock yet still I had the presence of mind to grab my camera and take a photo before I ushered it out of the door!! I have no idea how it got in or how long it had been residing under my bed……yes I am a little nervous about what else could be under there!
The other news I have just remembered is that I have managed to watch a couple of episodes of Downton Abbey and in theory I should be able to watch “Strictly”……..but the internet here is so frustrating. The only thing that works consistently is Sky on the go as I can download and watch programmes. I know that Homeland has also started but it is equally frustrating as I can’t download it and streaming is so “iffy”. If any of you have some advice on that front I would be most grateful!! In fact I am hoping to try and catch up with “Strictly” now since I have left it streaming whilst I write this. I think the balance is likely to be tipping towards “study” for the next two weeks so don’t expect to hear from me until the next stress point has passed.