Travel Journal: Mexico
Living in a city for three months while attending school, job sites, and such, one might believe that routine would develop and begin to usher in and hurry out each day without much excitement. This daily grind, without fail, always comes for a visit too early and overstays its welcome throughout each entire term. In Mexico, I was expecting at least a taste of the same phenomenon. Of course there would be much more to adapt to and therefore delay the inevitable mundane regimens. But still, I was waiting for the morning when I'd wake up and the only thing I'd look forward to was putting my head back on my pillow about 15 or 16 hours later. Guess what...I'm still waiting!
Here's my weekly routine: (Yes, I do have one.)
- School — Mondays and Wednesdays
- Homework — Tuesdays, Thursdays, possibly Fridays
- Church — Sunday
Every single day, however, comes with its own surprises. For example, I'm home all day long writing a paper and...SURPRISE! Papa Gonzalo stops by the panadería and brings me a cuello (flaky pastry stick). With eight hours of school every Monday, arriving home is wonderful; a shower—even better; sharing a shower with a peeping Tom cockroach—priceless! Every conversation at the kitchen table over meals, every new Spanish word I learn through the incredible charading skills of my mama, and every obscure event I witness that seems so normal and part of everyday Mexican life leaves me with a pondering brow that never fails to catapult an ordinary day into a grand adventure all by itself.
Even one of the most routine elements of my time here—walking to and from school each morning and evening for classes—has yet to grow tiresome. As the morning sun rises, bringing with it the thick heat of the day, Megan and I start off on our 1 hour and 20 minute walk to school. The birds are chirping, loncherías are crowded, and the streets are bustling. We give our greetings to two very unique cars that we rarely fail to see—Nancy, a black & white checkered VW Bug, and a Jurassic Park-ish white Jeep Wrangler. A grand panadería always beckons us to indulge, like Sirens calling to sailors, but enticing the nose instead of the ears. The sweet yeasty breeze tickles our senses, but we keep on walking forward, past the Monumento de la Bandera and the various street cafés open on Paseo Montejo, and then taking the final turn towards Casa Centre. The only word I have to describe this twice-a-week walk is “sweet.” What a sweet privilege to experience the city in its early hours in such a personal manner.
It's a bus ride home for lunch (catching, riding, and exiting never lacks some sort of escapade) to spend a few hours with my mama, enjoy a meal, and more frequent than not, a delightful siesta. Well-fed, rested, and ready for the second half of my school day, I'm back on the street flagging down a bus to carry me back to Casa Centre.
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