snapshots of mexico, literal and figurative


Mexican Time
September 23, 2008, 12:01 am
Filed under: Photo, Update | Tags: , ,

I’m running on Mexican time now. This is basically just a nice way of saying that I take forever to do things, and expect the same from others. For example, I’m in the process of registering as a foreign national in Mexico. This needs to be done during the first month in the country, which for me means by Thursday. I finally got my forms completed yesterday; I’m going to be waiting all day for a copy of my host mom’s ID to prove I live with her, and then I expect all day tomorrow to be spent in various lines with other foreigners hoping to collect all the stamps necessary to be legal (I think something like 17% of the Mexican government’s annual budget is spent on rubber stamps. Yes, I just made that up, but it honestly feels like that could be true). I think in the US this same process would probably be completed in 15 minutes by filling out an online form, but then again I’d miss out on all the cool stamps.

I’m hoping to start my project in October, as well as spend the month rotating with Mexican medical students at one of the hospitals here in the city. I’ve gotten confirmation from the doctors I’m in contact with that both are in the works so theoretically there’s a good chance they’ll happen soon, but there’s an equally good chance I’ll spend another month waiting for both to actually get rolling. Mexican time strikes again.

My Chinese classes (my one productive-feeling activity) have been going well. I’m now able to say such useful phrases as “My little brother’s phone number is 815xxxxxxx”, “Do you want coffee?” and “I am not Mexican”. I think my host family probably thinks I’m a little nuts when they hear me sitting in my room mumbling things like “Wŏ shì mĕiguó rén”, and in their defense they would probably be right. It’s fun though, and gives me a scheduled activity at least 2 nights a week. And perhaps most importantly, as it’s run by Chinese and not Mexicans, it actually happens when it’s scheduled.

Fun Mexican word: Callejoneada – Imagine 25 young Mexicans (15-30 years old or so). Now imagine they are dressed in fancy medieval costumes and carrying a variety of unusual string instruments. Now, imagine that you are wandering around steep alleys and hidden plazas with 40 other people watching this group sing 500 year old ballads. All while drinking. Yeah, you don’t find that in the States…

Picture: From a march protesting several recent kidnappings and demanding the government take action. I’m not sure if anything concrete was accomplished, but it was an impressive and moving demonstration.

La Marcha en Blanca - Crowd gathers at the Angel

La Marcha en Blanca - Crowd gathers at the Angel

Something I miss (aside from all of you, of course): Lake Michigan. I miss the sudden change you get going from the skyscrapers of the city to the nothingness of the lake.

Something I like about DF: The plants. It’s amazing how things grow here. There are waist high impatiens, 12 foot tall poinsettias, Calla lilies that grow practically as roadside weeds, what might be coffee trees that scatter their beans all over the sidewalk, and more sculpted ficus trees than you can shake a stick at.

Viva Hidalgo! Viva Morelos! Viva Allende! Viva México! Viva México! Viva México!

Hope all’s well back home.

k

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