Thursday, May 10, 2012

What is louder than a group of Guatemalan/ Latina women ?

I don't know. I just walked out wearing my pajamas of t-shirt and shorts and one of the ladies stared at me as if I were an alien. I know there is not much leg shown in public, but I would have thought it would be okay inside the house. I was tempted to scratch myself like an ape just to see her reaction.

Helped some guys with their English homework, acted as an interview subject. Glad that I could be of help to them. Aside from going to school, then Transiciones, life is pretty damn boring, especially because I do not venture outdoors after dark. I know I should probably just park myself in a caf√© somewhere and strike up conversation with whomever, but my Spanish is so limited that it would be a very short conversation. I’ve already run out of things to say to Maria and Senora Rodriguez.
John and I were discussing how depression is viewed in Guatemala, and not surprisingly, the attitude is one of “get over it”, life is hard and everyone has their problems. That is a totally valid perspective to have, especially if you live in this kind of environment, but it does make it hard for people to empathize with any depressed person. I have to be uber-careful about taking my meds, making sure that I do not implode while I am here, because that would be quite disastrous. I suppose I can’t completely self-destruct while I’m here because I am living with other people, having to go to the Fondacion etc.
Looking forward to having a day off school tomorrow. Will be going to the wheelchair workshop in the AM, have lunch with the guys, then in the afternoon go to Francisco’s house. I am already looking forward to the motorcycle ride. I’ve never ridden on one before. Tomorrow will be a very rough introduction, I’m sure.  It is funny that I would never dream of riding a motorbike/scooter without a helmet in the US, or drive without my seat belt. But for some strange reason, when I’m in developing/third-world countries, such worries are trivial and I will go ahead and not wear my seat belt or ride a bike without a helmet. Foolish? Yes, exceedingly.
I am so tempted to vent about my Mum’s needling and bombardment of emails and questions. I won’t, but it is exceedingly tiresome and even corrosive. I am not sure if they are going out of their way to make my experience here as awful as possible There are enough stressors in my life right now (new country, new language, new culture, new work etc) and my parents excessive worrying just adds to things. There is the usual, oh, they’re just being parents, and then there is over-stepping boundaries by a mile. My case is the latter.
Senora and her friends are in the living room cackling. I feel quite uncomfortable joining them. My Spanish comprehension is improving, I think, bits here and there. I got a list of (regular) verbs to memorize today. Woohoo. Hopefully my topics of discussion will increase exponentially.
Tortillas here rock. A fresh, hot tortilla is so good, surprising for someone who hated them when she first arrived in the US. I have gotten use to consuming them with my meals. I am digging the cuisine for the most part. There isn’t anything particularly strange or offensive, flavours are pretty mild. Tamales are popular. The Guatemalan diet seems very healthy and portion sizes are much more reasonable here. It doesn’t seem like there is much snacking here. I’ve also become accustomed to ultra-refined bread products (pan). I’ve developed a taste for this completely nutrition-less food, unfortunately L But panaderias proliferate every street so it is hard to avoid consuming the stuff. Oh well, I will probably come back looking like a plump tortilla :) It seems that butter is something that is scarce/expensive because instead of buttery, flakey pastries, there seem to be a myriad of stale-bread products. The “crispiness” is supposed to be akin to a pastry. It does not work.
I find it amusing that the napkin holder on the dining room table is a metal moose :) The house has a potpourri of items, cups from N. Dakota, some Japanese candy, a picture of Niagara Falls, Chinese-style plates…

In the early morning

Famous bakery where I get my breakfast most days

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