Sunday, July 09, 2006

Guadalajara: Posting numero uno

I have had some internet problems, so I am finally getting to update my travel blog. Trust me, these internet issues have not been without their share of emotions on my part, pero está bien.

Ok, so . . . Estoy en Guadalajara, Mexico. Actually I live in Zappopan and my school is there too, but it is like a suburb of Guadalajara. So far it has been . . . um . . . interesting. I was trying not to expect much since I had no clue, but it’s still quite a culture shock. Even though I have been to Mexico before, I was no where ready for this.

So I live muy lejos (very far – you will pick up good Spanish lingo reading my blog, ok?) from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara. My roommate and I take a crazy, muy peligroso (very dangerous) autobus from about 5 or 6 blocks away from our house to the school each day. It costs about 40¢ each trip, but on Monday we can buy some tickets at the school for 20¢ trips, so that won’t be so bad because 80¢ a day or more for bus will get expensive!

Next: my roommate. Oh! She is soooo fabulous! I absolutely love this girl! Her name is Holly and she is from Washington. She has already graduated and has been a first and second year Spanish teacher for one year in a high school, but she is still only 22. She’s such a sweetheart and she can speak Spanish muy, muy bien (very, very well). If I didn’t have her here, I don’t know what I would do. She helps me with my Spanish since she is so good, but I can also help her with her grammar at times because it is a bit fresher on my mind since I am still in school. She is a good girl who doesn’t like “fiestar” (to party) so she is perfect for me. Also, she is similar to me about how we think about being careful walking around so we always go everywhere together – it’s nice to have someone who wants to stay with you and you can watch out for one another. She even has pepper spray! Oh, and I’m lucky because she really wants to practice Spanish while she is here, so she and I even speak Spanish to each other when we are together! I think that I can tell that I am already getting better. I’m going to forget how to speak English by the time I return!

Oh, that’s another thing. I feel like I have already been here for soooo long! As I am writing this, I have only been here for 2 ½ days but it feels like forever. I can’t imagine how I will feel after I’ve been here for 4 weeks. I’m thinking that it is a little too long, but what can I do?

Ok, so now: mi casa (my house). I live with a Señora soltera named Hilda Flores. I’m not sure if she is divorced or a widow – Holly and I have not gotten the courage to ask yet. She is very cute and nice. She acts as if she truly wants us to be really happy here. We had a conversation with her today about how she thinks that we should be like a happy family here in Mexico and how one time she kicked a French girl out of her homestay for being disrespectful [she accused Hilda of trying to rob her by taking her cigarettes, lol, we got the whole long story]. Anyways, I want to take fotos of her to show everyone, but she said she wants to look bonita (pretty) first, lol. Also, her daughter – Sochitl, or something like that, there is a tl at the end that we just can’t pronounce – just had a baby the night before I arrived. He is soooo beautiful and is named Mariano. She also has a one-year-old daughter named Lucia. Her husband is Victor and he speaks English very well because he studied in the U.S. when he was younger. They are staying here for two weeks so that Hilda can help with the new baby and everything. I want to take pictures of all of them to put here, but I haven’t gotten the courage to ask yet, but I will. They are all very nice and Hilda is all the time trying to feed us. But sometimes it is akward. We eat breakfast and it’s hard to tell her what we want for that because we don’t want anything heavy like eggs and bacon or whatever, but we might ask if we can go grocery shopping with her one day. Also, lunch is the big meal, you never know what you’re going to get to eat. The first day I was here, I ate pozole (po-zo-lay) which I thought was a soup type dish with chicken in tomato sauce and a few veggies and then she put cabbage and radishes on top and then squeezed limón (lime) over it. Well, today she told me it was vaca (cow) not pollo (chicken) but whatever. It was okay, not my fave, but I could eat it. Dinner has been hard because it is a small meal, and she’s always like, “Que quieres?” (“what do you want?”) and we don’t really know what is an option or we don’t want to eat what are the small foods around here. They don’t put some things that they should in the fridge – como mayonesa (like mayonnaise) – so we have to be careful.

The house is interesting. downstairs: It seems to me that a long time ago, like in the 70s, it was quite hip, but since then has been kept the exact same and not cleaned too too often. downstairs: I mean, I don’t feel dirty eating here or anything, but it’s still a little dusty and old. And it’s very far from the school. We went to use the internet at a Starbucks tonight and it was about 10 blocks or so away and it seemed like such a far walk, and that is at the place where the bus drops us off to come home! [Yes, the bus picks up and drops off at different places, no sé por qué (i don’t know why)]. Another thing about the house is the dogs. We learned today that they’re not actually her own dogs, but strays that she feels sorry for, and feeds, and has named, so they might as well be. They bark ALL NIGHT LONG. It’s quite annoying, but I’ve been so cansada (tired) that it hasn’t mattered too much. What has mattered is the heat. I’m used to going to Mexico and having to wear sweatshirts at night, but here, there will be no breaking-out of the sweatshirts. It is miserably hot in my bed at night. Holly brought a fan, and it’s fabulous. We’re going to Wal-mart tomorrow so I think I will buy a small one.

my room:


rest of house:

That’s another problem because I haven’t been able to go to an open bank to exchange my American dollars for pesos and I’m running low, so hopefully Wal-mart will take USD (U.S. dollars) tomorrow.

This will have to be continued tomorrow, I am out of internet time! Hasta luego!


  1. Well...I cannot say that I would have expected Mexico to be like that. I mean a walmart, and not to metion a starbucks?!?! I think my favorite part of the house is the pink bathroom! I mean what else could you ask for? ;) I hope that your night goes well! I will keep visiting your blog! Take lots of pictures & have fun! love you!

  2. Natalie, Please send Holly my love - aunt Janette - and thank you very much for your posts! It's great to see and share where you are and what you are experiencing.