18 May 2009

Change of plans

After getting back to the city I checked my budget/checked myself. And decided to stay!
So now I am in San Cristobal de Las Casas. It is fun, and a lovely jumping off point for both Zapatista villages and beautiful scenery.

San Cristobal calle

art from Zapatista puebla

a friend with some Zapatista artwork

yours truly in front of the weaving cooperative (yay female-dominated craft!)

05 May 2009

and all you create, and all you destroy

Well hello there.
Re-cap of events.

My apartment became a warzone of repression and oh yeah AN EARTHQUAKE. So after feeling like Adrien Brody´s character in The Pianist when he is in that apartment and can´t make any noise and starts to sweat and go insane, I (impulsively and 'like a woman', as a man from Hamburg so kindly informed me)bought a plane ticket to...where else? The Caribbean coast. But Kenz, you already went there! you may say. I already looked at your flickr photos dozens of times and imagined myself there enjoying all the escapades, you continue. I already plastered the walls of my bedroom-bathroom ensuite with your grinning face sucking on coconut milk and looking not-tan, you may go on as I hold my palm near your face in the international symbol for 'enough enough enough'.

Don't worry, it has been a markedly different trip.

Arrived in the Cancun airport, took my mask off, and got a bus to Playa del Caremen. It was a lot nicer this time, and probably 20 minutes into my stay there I had already made friend with two fellow Chilangos (Mexico City inhabs)and ate fish tacos. Was a bit tired and weary from all the goings on, so went to bed (Maria Sabina Inn) and the next day got to Tulum.

Bought a hammock after bargaining him down almost 500 pesos (woo! one for the home team!) and then rented a palapa in which I could hang said hammock. Swam in the sea and enjoyed the salty, warm air. At night I was actually quite bored, so walked to where I had stayed before and drank a beer while making small talk with the bartenders. There a fisherman chanted to me in Mayan and I almost asked him about the silver capping of his teeth (those that know me know that I have a fascination with fake or otherwise missing body parts, ie metal teeth and amputees...)Walking home on the beach there was someone taking pictures of the lovely crescent moon, and we got to chatting. His name was Manuel from El Salvador, studying in Cancun. The next day we chilled on the beach and then parted ways. I went back to Cancun and then onwards to Isla Mujeres. On the bus a lovely young man from Austrian named Sebastian and I became friends, and decided to travel to isla Mujeres together.

We stayed at Poc Na hostel and had a grand old time. The first night Sebastian and I went to a great restaurant for fish and then talked about all sorts of things. The next day we had breakfast, went to the beach, went to a supermarket, and then walked almost to the end of the island. It was certainly an adventure. We got back to the hostel to see a live band and ended up hanging out with one of the bartenders in his tent that had a double bed in it! Mattress and all. Ingenuity, really. This was especially interesting because the bartender didn't really speak English, and Sebastian doesn't speak Spanish. Played translator to mixed results.

Basically the stay at Poc Na made me feel like a Spanish superstar. Was my grammar any better? Probably not. But comprehension...wow. All of a sudden everything was clicking. I understood what people were saying and felt like I was actually a part of the Spanish-speaking world. This was a huge step and success in terms of gaining fluency. Although undoubtedly those that spoke to me at the hostel were speaking slowly and intentionally using words that weren't so complicated, it was still really great to pass by a conversation being held in Spanish and without context and understand what was going on. Talked to a lot of peopole on the beach and used this new-found ability (it felt magical) to be a whole lot more friendly and typically Mackenzie-like.

Being in Mexico has forced me to grapple with feelings of identity. Who am I, what do I want, how do I interact? A lot of 'I'-centric musings, completely self-centered...but if this isn't the time, when is? And this time around on Isla Mujeres made me feel the most 'myself' that I have felt in a very long time. When you have no fallback plan sometimes you are forced to not fall.

Needless to say leaving Isla was hard, so I really only said goodbye to one person and then slipped off into the muggy unknown. Took a bus to Mérida, and Lady Fate was definitely smiling on this. I knew it was right to come here yesterday though it couldn't be explained. During our spring vacation my friends and I were in Tulum, and met some students from the US studying in Mérida. We became quite friendly with two of them in particular, but then when it was time for them to go no one really got anyone else's contact info. So turning a corner last nigth after buying a calling card I literally almost ran into Eric, one oif the people we had met, from Michigan. How bizarre! So we went to a very cool bar called The Mayan and then to the Plaza Central. It is extremely warm here and I really like it without being able to explain exactly why. Kind of a warmer Guadalajara. Stayed in Santa Lucia Hostal, really nice though a bit empty, 95 pesos with included breakfast with eggs, fruit, coffee! Good find.

Now I am in an internet cafe, and plan on writing in my actual journal while vying for a shady spot in the Plaza. Going to take a bus back to Cancun around 2ish and stay in a hostel for tonight there. (By the way, happy Cinco de Mayo. Wish I was with friend for this one, oh well.) My flight back to the city leaves around 1:30 pm on the 6th, so I will be back in Df and rarin' to go. If school keeps getting postponed then I'm coming home. If not, then back to the grind. I will be more than glad.

All this being said, because of this impromptu vacation my budget has been severly rearranged. I am going to come home for the summer (or at least 2 months of it)and work for some cold hard cash. It will be nice to come home, even better to know that I will be returning. Never fear, Mexico. A money cushion really affords peace of mind, sad but true.

Love you all, thanks for reading!