Title: First Day of School Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
July 19, Monday - First Day of School
I awoke at 5:30 and it was dark. By 6:30 it was pretty much light, but I lazed around in bed until 7, paralyzed at the idea of getting up to face a whole new world, then took a shower and finally went down for breakfast at 8.
I wasn't sure whether the shower would have hot and cold. I don't know what to assume in Mexico. After seeing dogs living on the roof, my whole world is rocked.
It took a while but the water finally got scalding hot. In a typically Sue move, I got shampoo in my eye. That's why I am wearing my glasses, which adds another dimension of surreality and confusion to my already slightly disoriented state. I am used to having better peripheral vision with contact lenses than I do with glasses on.
The bathroom is tiled from floor to ceiling in these brown tiles that have Aztec-looking flowers painted on every other one. The shower is one end of the bathroom, with just a slight 1/2 inch step down, three cancerous-looking terribly rusting metal window frames, and a drain that smells kind of like poop. That is a smell I will get used to while I am here.
The trip to school
Sra. Gloria made me coffee, dry toast with jam, and a very ripe banana and cantalope, sliced up. The fruit has a strong, intense, rich flavor that we don't often find in the States. Like real fruit tastes from the field, not something from Vons.
Sra. Gloria explained very carefully in slow slow Spanish that she would walk me to school today but not tomorrow or any other day. She doesn't have time to babysit me. It takes about 25 minutes from home to school on foot.
She insisted that I write down notes along the way of street names, which was wise because I probably wouldn't have remembered otherwise. I didn't have to refer to my notes on the way home, but writing it down sealed the street names in my memory.
We live on Huerto de los Mangos (Mango Orchard Street) in refraccimiento de los huertos (orchard neighborhood).
The sidewalks are pretty busted up. We walked out and immediately came to a one-way street. People were driving both ways on it. That was a new one on me and impressed on me the disregard people have for laws here. In my neighborhood, only drunk people or the truly lost drive the wrong way on one-way streets.
There is a big pedestrian walk, a really broad and pleasant raised walkway, that goes by a big WalMart-type store. Unlike home, a lot of people were walking to work or school. Apparently the University Benito Juarez is very near here.
Then we walked along a huge busy street, bustling with big old smoking buses, VW beetles, and lots of teeny tiny taxis.
posted by Sue at 5:10 PM 0 comments
You can read more about this trip at: http://3oaxacaweeks.blogspot.com/