Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More house photos

House photos

Settling in . . .

Apologies for not updating the blog for quite a while . . . after the “honeymoon” phase of making lots of discoveries, finding everything exciting and enchanting, and going to Mexico City, I experienced the little dip that always comes when you’re getting used to a new place. My dip came in the form of some intestinal parasites and bureaucratic migration issues, what are called here a “papeleo” – basically lots of paperwork and trips to the National Migration Institute. I have one more trip to make to the NMI, and then everything should be taken care of, and my tummy is doing better.

I’m feeling more settled in now; a somewhat normal routine is starting to materialize. I have a favorite café and bookstore where I hope to spend time studying when I need a break from the library or house. I found a family of women who sell fresh vegetables in a sort of mini plaza, so now I can avoid buying produce at the Safeway-type place where I buy other food. And, my housemates and I are bonding over chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are nothing special, but Erika and Abel love eating them with coffee, and they’ve promised to show me how to make some Mexican desserts. Erika’s mom has been visiting for the past week or so, and she has also been sharing some of her recipes. I know I’m here to study literature, not food, but I love having conversations with people from other places about what they like to eat!

In terms of classes, I’m slowly adjusting to the less structured format . . . I have a lot of independent reading to work on (at least reading that I’d like to do to make the most of the time here). I’m finding that most of my classmates already have a broad repertoire of Latin American authors they’re familiar with, if not from college then from from high school. Obviously we don’t read literature in foreign languages in American high schools, and I wasn’t a Spanish major, so I feel like I need to somehow catch up. Bueno, poco a poco.

I’m including some photos of the house and also Mexico’s independence day (September 16th). Actually, everybody celebrates during the night of the El grito – the cry of independence – happens at 11 or 12 the night of the 15th.