I Moved To Oaxaca

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Well, a long day. Yesterday Manuel, the Instructional Supervisor, mentioned that in September all the adult classes would switch teachers, and that I'd pick up two adult classes. He said one of them meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30am, and would I observe the class this Thursday? Maybe he saw the misery in my eyes, and said that I could observe the second half of the class, at 8:15am. I'm thankful for small favors. Our earliest class so far has been our 10:30am Spanish class, with all of our English classes in the late afternoon/evenings. So typically, we don't get home until 8:30 or 9:00 if we go to the Internet cafe first. We usually eat after 10:00pm. So suddenly having to get up at 7:00am this morning after months of staying up late weren't easy, as Tom Sawyer might say. And Manuel and I kept trying to meet during the day to work on the schedules for my classes, but one thing or another would come up -- like Patti Topper coming in and a big flurry of activity happening in Patricia's office -- so I spent a lot of the day at Berlitz without much happening. I did manage to squeeze in a Donut Lady lunch of tasty chicken taquitos and a donut as well as a short nap.

The car is still parked on the street, but at least it's in front of our building. Luis loves our car. He tells us every time he sees it. Wednesday night, about midnight, Greg and I heard the chihuahua barking, and rushed out to see if someone was messing with the car. It was fine, and a pair of policia turista were tsk-tsking over the broken window. We explained that that had happened several nights ago. As we came back, Luis saw us and suggested moving Little Jumbo to its present location. And today when Rosa saw me she rushed over to say that the window was broken and the police were asking about it, so I explained to her, Monday night, blah blah blah. Since she doesn't speak English our conversation was heavy on the blah. We're going to be sad leaving this neighborhood, broken car window and all. We really like the building we're in, we like Rosa and Luis, our neighbors, the area. Rosa even offered to rent us one of the big apartments in the back for the same price we're paying for the little unit we're in, but we had to say that we could not, as we will soon have our cats. When Greg explained that Miss Izzy is seventeen, she understood. And really, it's too expensive for us to stay there long term. But still, too bad.

A little on prices. I saved the receipt from Pitico the other day (all prices in pesos): a dozen huevos organicos, $14.40 (they weren't sorted according to size, so I got to pick and choose me some big ones); 200g pasta (enough for a good-sized dinner for two), $1.70 per bag; one-liter boxes of juice (mango and pineapple), $11.50 each; a package of napkins, $3.60; a box of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds, $25.50; that tiny-ass jar of chunky peanut butter, $23.80. I didn't buy any yesterday, but a bag of beans or rice is about $6 pesos or thereabouts. You'll notice no produce; that's because tomorrow the roving mercado is on near our apartment, and I'm gonna load up there. Last week, a big canvas grocery bag of produce cost me about US$5.

Oh! Our kitchen, and others I've seen, is equipped with this wood utensil, the purpose of which is a mystery to me. It looks way too fancy to use as a kitchen gadget. I saw a poster of a collection of these wood thingies, and rushed to read the caption, "...utensiles madera," or "wood utensil." Some help. But we ran into Osbelia one night as we were both heading home, so she stopped in at our place for a bit of chat. I asked her, and she said it's for making hot chocolate. The end is shaped somewhat like a flower in order to squish up the partially-melted chocolate, then when it's almost ready you spin the handle between your hands to froth the milk. Groovy. Greg wrote down the name but it's in his old notebook.

Finally, walking home yesterday, we had a clear sky and could look up and see Mars, in all its luminescent glory, shining down on our apartment. I hope you got to see it, too.

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