I can’t believe it’s been a week. All’s well. Only sad thing, that nasty 14 week cough I had has come back with fury. I lost my voice yesterday. Perhaps it’s the contamination and the screaming VIVA MEXICO. Ha, ha. Alejandra has been treating me well with home remedies, honey with lime juice, chamomile tea with honey and cinnamon. Oh and I started taking some antibiotics. How sketch is this? You can get almost every medicine over-the-counter in Mexico. This unfortunately means Mexicans do a lot of self-medications. They have built-up a lot of tolerance to antibiotics. The government is about to change this. I, however, consulted a Mexican doctor who wrote down his “prescription” in my notebook. This is NOT to say that he didn’t know what he is doing. He was a very competent doctor, doubly accessible because he spoke English although not perfectly. One funny thing he said when he was examining me was “do you make poop”? HA, HA. I told him that he needed to find a more doctor appropriate phrase. He laughed.
My girlfriends from the states and I have spent a lot of time with a group of Mexican boys. My brother is our age and takes las Gringas with him and his friends. There are only 6 students and usually only 4 of us go out. That means that the ratio of Mexicanos to Gringas is almost always higher. This is totally different from Costa Rica, where the most of the time I was with the 21 other students from St. Olaf. Anyway, I always tease them that Costa Rica is better than Mexico. However, I’m beginning to think that I’m going to have a better experience here. This is hard to say because I will never forget my first abroad experience which was unbelievable rewarding for me. CR is far more beautiful and the people treated me so well. On MY part, I can understand way more than I did in CR. Also, I speak muchisimo better. I’ve started speaking without translating in my head, surprising myself that I sometimes speak correctly without thinking. And so, I can participate much more and had my first serious conversation in Spanish and felt satisfied with my ability to communicate. Also, I’ve started to accidently throw in Spanish words when i speak in English and have dreamed in Spanish twice.
Some little tidbits:
1. My girlfriends call me “Nature Woman”. Apparently, it’s weird that I love to be barefoot. And jump on things.
2. Mom and Dad, close your eyes. ******are they closed?******
To everyone else, we squeezed 10 people in a car.... –the girls: “What if the police pull us over??” –the boys: “We’ll give them 100 pesos.” HAHAHA. FYI, Mexico is not very corrupt- it is good country.
3. Ya’ll know America doesn’t mean the United States of America, right? Both Costa Ricans and Mexicans have told me how annoying it is that we call the US “America”.
4. Drinking is not out of control here like it is in the U.S. We have yet to see binge drinking. We have yet to see someone puking. The most we’ve seen is a guy lying down with his hand on his head.
5. Mexicans are affectionate drunks. As far as we’ve seen, they are NEVER aggressive.
6. There are few guns here. In fact, you need special permission by the military to carry one. The drug cartels are the ones with the big guns and the military complains that they can’t fight against the guns snuck in from the U.S.
7. The people here don’t complain about their jobs like people in the U.S. They’re happy to have one since there are 10 other people in line to snatch it up should they quit.
8. The richest man in the world lives in Mexico while poverty and hunger is still everywhere.
9. On the other hand, the middle class has enough money that Mexico has become the 2nd fattest country in the world. Number one for fattest kids. 2nd largest soft drink consumer.
10. The people here are friendlier than the people in the United States. Someone said to me today *heavy accent* “Welcome to Mexico!” Apparently, I look foreign. Surprise, surprise.