I Moved To Oaxaca

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

More pictures! See especially the stuff from our trip to Mitla.

Here's a view from inside Santo Domingo church of the plaza near our house. Just out of view in the lower left are the payphones where we call you all. To the lower right, again just outside of view, is the Internet cafe we patronize. And if you again go out of the picture to the left, one short block, that's where our apartment is, and where the Donut Lady sets up.

This one's a shot of the extensive botanical gardens associated with SD. You can see why I keep raving about the cacti. Can't wait to get some space for plants!

Well, I'm getting pretty desperate for English-language reading materials. The building where we stay has a place to collect old mag and books, but it's mostly filled with the pulpiest of fiction and old Mexico travel guides. Some caring soul did leave a stash of New Yorkers, vintage May 2003, which I happily read as I was on the AT then. Oh, and one Economist, which we both read. So I found myself reading a Niven and Pournelle novel. Ugh. For a novel set in Los Angeles, how can only one of their characters be non-WASP? Quite a feat. Better was the Elmore Leonard novel "Cat Chaser." Oh, I'm not saying I'm going to run out and buy some Elmore Leonard novels, but I didn't dislike it, to use a Gregism. That's the first crime novel I've read since high school (and that one was "The Bourne Identity," my one and only Robert Ludlum novel).

Speaking of high school, in Spanish class today Gilberto used these little stuffed animals to get us producing Spanish ("The pink pig with three legs is lying on the table," "The little rabbit with the blue dress is on the chair, but the brown rabbit with the coat is sitting in the jar"). During our break I started playing with them, changing their clothes around and such. You should've seen the fit Greg had! "No, don't put the dress on that one; it's a boy!" "You're going to confuse us!" What a fantastic display of grammar school "follow the rules" attitude. And of course I just laughed and kept doing it, even after Greg gave me the finger. Maybe we would've been friends in high school, but I don't think we would have gotten along in grammar school at all! Hey, and I also found out today that "drawer" in Spanish is cajon, plural cajones. When I raised my eyebrow and said, that sounds like a bad word, Gilberto wrote down the bad word: cojones (Remember HAL). Well, that provoked another laughing fit when I realized that some people keep their cojones in their cajones. Guess I'm feeling better today.

Went to the store this morning and got some organic eggs, whee! And some more cereal and a jar -- a small jar -- of peanut butter. I don't think they sell peanut butter jars that small in the US. I almost didn't find it, either. The shelves easily devote twenty feet of aisle space to mayonaise, but for peanut butter they had one brand, three types, all in those tiny jars (about the size of the small artichoke hearts jars): sweet (don't want to find out what that's about), smooth, and crunchy. And it cost almost as much as the big box of fancy American cereal. Yeow.

If I had something to read I'd go home and read for a bit before wandering back to class -- we got the first of our parent-teacher conferences, to be conducted in Spanish, and somehow I don't think "the black and white sheep is here on the table; the brown bear from France is there on the floor" is going to get me far.


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