FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30
I arrived to Mexico City around 8pm at night after a connection through Atlanta. My friend and former roommate, Natalia (a native resident of el D.F.) picked me up at the airport and we drove to her weekend house in Cuernavaca which is about an hour and a half away from the airport in Mexico City. There was a gridlock of traffic coming from the airport and Natalia told me that if you can drive in Mexico, you can drive anywhere. It was slightly unsettling as people don’t really follow any standard US driving rules (sometimes the concept of stopping at a red light was ignored) and usually just pull out whenever they see fit. Once we arrived at Natalia’s parents house, they gave me a small tour and we ate a small meal at around 10pm consisting of some cheese quesadillas with salsa y crema and then I went to bed around 11 – I was exhausted!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31
Today is New Year’s Eve! New Year’s Eve in Mexico is a big party just like many other places around the world. Today after breakfast, Natalia and I just sat by the pool and soaked up some sun. It was so nice to get some sun after the cold weather in DC. In the evening, some friends of Natalia’s family came over to celebrate New Year’s with us. We had some refreshments and listened to music outside by the pool. We had some cod and other snacks that Natalia told me were traditional for a Mexican New Year. I tried so hard to stay up until midnight but unfortunately I only was able to stay up until 11pm and then I went to bed early. There is only an hour difference between the US and Mexico so thankfully it was not a huge difference but being out in the sun all day really tired me out!
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1
Today is the day that I’m going to see my Spanish immersion house for the first time. It can be nerve-wracking visiting a new country by yourself and having to stay in a house by yourself as well. I spent one last afternoon by the pool with Natalia and around 2pm I showered, ate some lunch, and then we departed with our GPS based directions for the neighborhood of Lomas de Cuernavaca, where I would be staying. Thanks to our technology, we found Calle Almendros 67 (ironically, as my teacher pointed out to me later on, that almendros is the Spanish word for walnuts – something I’m very allergic to). Raul, the manager of the Cuernavaca location of Anders Language School, was here to meet me and Natalia and show me to my room. Although I selected the standard room, I was upgraded for free because this first week after New Year’s meant that I would be the only one here. That was an unexpected nicety! I had already eaten lunch at Natalia’s house and it was a good thing too because meals are not served by staff on the weekends. I made myself comfortable and I finally had good wifi so I was able to call my parents! We were able to Skype and it was so nice getting to talk to them after a few days of scarce emailing back and forth. After walking around the house and helping myself to a Coca Cola from the fridge, I went back to my room, watched a little bit of TV in Spanish and then went to bed excited for tomorrow’s start of class!
MONDAY, JANUARY 2
Today is the first day of my classes! Breakfast begins at 9am so I woke up around 8:30, took a shower and dressed for class. Breakfast today consisted of chilaquiles which are known as a popular breakfast food here. They are basically fried tortilla strips covered with a salsa, sour cream, and fresh shredded cheese. Not sure how healthy they are but they are extremely tasty! Today was just time for me to introduce myself to my instructor and explain to her how long I have studied Spanish. We spent most of today practicing my oral Spanish and her assessing my grammar through basic conversation. We talked a little bit about literature and my instructor promised there would be some stories read these next two weeks. Those are the stories that formed the basis for my other page on this blog. My teacher, Claudia, specializes in teaching Spanish but particularly literature so she will be passing her knowledge to me.