So, I;m going to take advantage of the fact that one of my friends has internet in her home in DF (for the uninitiated, DF is Mexican for "Mexico City" and probably a term I will use to refer to it more and more as I start thinking in Mexican again ;) ) and blog frequently over these next couple of days.
My initial slight disappointment at not going into the Sierra right away has changed to relief. I didn't know just how exhausted i was going to be, but i can barely stay awake today. I want to blame it on changing time zones 3 times in a week... not dramatically, but enough to throw one off a little. Also, I'm still fighting my glandular infection, and the resultant low grade fever does tire me out. So I'm glad now, not only to have a few days of rest in the city, but also to have a few days to get used to the language, the food, the water and all those things... I think this should dramatically reduce the chance of my falling sick once we get to the Sierra. And I hope it will also mean that I can recover completely from the infection and reach there high on energy and in perfect health.
L lost her grandfather yesterday and had to return to her family's village in Oaxaca for a couple of days, so I am now staying with Y until L gets back. In one sense, this feels like such a luxury, it's just the two of us at home, and I get a room to myself! In other ways, it feels strange-- I associate Mexico with too many people and animals in small spaces (L's father is enough of a farmer still as to have not only dogs and birds but also 4 roosters in their Mexico City house!). It's a nice change in terms of being able to get some rest, time to chant and read, time to blog... but in other ways, it feels strange and un-Mexican to me!
But right outside our door, we are very much in Mexico. This morning, I awoke to loud bells, initially wondered if they were church bells but they went on too long; Y told me later that it was the garbage truck announcing its arrival. I also heard various hawkers' cries, not sure what they were selling, but it reminded me of home in India in many ways. And then there are the neighbors: Last night, I wanted to shower after my travels, but Y discovered that we didn't have gas at home because she hadn't paid the monthly gas bill, which not only meant no cooking gas but also no hot water. It was a cool night, she was afraid I'd catch a cold by showering with cold water, so I offered to wait until the next morning. No such compromises needed, she asked me to gather my things and we walked over to a neighbor's house, she explained our situation, and they let me shower there. This morning, we couldn't make breakfast or heat water for coffee, so we walk back to their house with all our ingredients in tow, Y lets herself in, and we make quesadillas on their stove, wash up after ourselves, and leave. All of that feels unusual to me, but in a good way... I like these neighborly relations!
OK, I'm going to go see what we can do for lunch today... not sure I am up for a visit to the center of the city, given that we live in the suburbs and that's a long trip, but would be nice to get out for a while and ground myself in the country again. Also trying to figure out which part of Mexico I want to celebrate my birthday in— it's two days before my friends get done with school, so I could stay here and celebrate in the city with people I actually know, or I could head into the mountains early and celebrate it with a long walk alone to the nearby waterfalls. The latter sounds more tempting, but we shall see :)