Friday, May 23, 2008

A new friend?

First of all, I am definately not in Mexico City anymore.

Anyways, Particularly after LA TERM, globalization and me were not good friends. As a matter of fact, I would call it enemies. I hated it.. how it destroyed natural communities and created them all replicas of the US.

But, my heart is in the process of making ammends.

I am staying in a town called Los Idolos, Veracruz... with my brother in law's family! It is beautiful... very tropical. Mangos, frijoles negros, and hammacks are the norm around here. It is hot. humid, hot, and insects are also the norm. Sweat naturally breaks down our backs just sitting inside, or outside a house.

The people have been amazing. They are already making plans for me to never leave... they're trying to marry me so I could stay behind (why do i feel like everybody is on a mission to marry me all of a sudden? lol).

Anyways, it hit me. I got sick. My host mom says she thinks i have a parasyte. Hot weather plus a fever plus diarrhea plus "bichitos" = no good.

But, i am all better. taking it in slowly. And honestly, didnt want to eat posole at 2 in the afternoon in what felt like 110 degree humid weather. seriously.

But today i am all better... im in Xalapa. The city again. Came to do stuff with my internship... there is a huge mall right accross the street from my internship. with AC, and restarants galore. Usually, especially in the past couple weeks, the mall would literally bring me a backache. Today, i felt like it was a space to breathe, and eat me a nice ceasar salad. I am probobly making ammends with globalization... with conditions of course. we'll see.

Dont get me wrong, i like the fact that i am staying where I am... but, a little taste of what is "normal" for me was nice to have on a day like today with my body not in its best aptitude. the weather really wears anyone down... even those who HAVE to work in the fields to eat...

More details on my doings in Veracruz later to come... not too often because the pueblito im in has very very slow internet connection. But when i come to Xalapa, here I could better inform.

For now, all is well... pictures to come later!

Adios amigos,


Bienvenidos a Veracruz

So this is how i feel about it. This song the story of my life at this moment. enjoy and sing along.

(Aladdin:) I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
you last let your heart decide

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways, and under
On a magic carpet ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming

(Jasmine:)A whole new world
A dazzling place i never knew
But now from way up here
It's crystal clear
That now i'm in a whole new world
With you
(Aladdin:)Now i'm in a whole new world with you

(Jasmine:)Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

A whole new world
Don't you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath- it gets better
I'm like a shooting star, I've come so far I can't go back to where i used to be

A whole new world
With new horrizons to pursue

I'll chase them anywhere, there's time to spare, let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming
a whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment gets better
(Both:) I'll chase them anywhere theres time to spare
(Jasmine:) Anywhere
(Aladdin:) Theres time to spare
(Jasmine:) Let me share
(Aladdin:) This whole new world
(Both:) With you

Monday, May 19, 2008

I had cheese ice cream. it was bomb.

I had woken up really tired Sunday morning from the night before. My cousin Grisel invited me to go out with her friends to celebrate two of her friend's birthdays... we left the house later at night and headed to el Rodeo Santa Fe. Let's just say that I really had a good time laughing quite a bit, and that i took advantage of the fact that I am legal here...

Anyways, I got to see bulls at the midnight hour... a people riding-bulls competition... which the entire Rodeo prayed for at the beginning of the competition. I was actually in shock by what was going on that I didn't even pray. Pero bueno, eso es muy peligroso. It was an interesting sport because the cheerleaders, or the cow girls, were all cheering them on. Um... right. I'm in Mexico.

That was just a small portion of the time. Of course, the rest of the time was spent dancing with her and her friends... so nice to dance with men who know how to dance... it makes things so much easier for me!

Sunday morning though was the day we visited Tepotzitlan. There was a Jesuit cathedral, turned into a museum of Hernan Cortez and the conquest of what is now Mexico. The arquitecture was beautiful and as with a lot of things, pictures don't do justice to the detail found on this cathedral's facade.
> I got to see paintings, artifacts, and actual tools found used by the spaniards to conquer the natives on this exact land. Towards the back of the church was a Huerta... I had not seen so much green in a long long time.
I had me bomb snacks and food and it was more of a small town feel than the actual city... there was a market in the shadow of the church with just about all sorts of typical things to purchase. Of course, there was a marichi which I loves, and great hand made potato chips with a lot of salsa. Tepotzitlan is more on the state of Mexico and not in Distrito Federal although not a quiet village. I had a Sopa Azteca, which was the best tortilla soup I've also ever had, and it was here where I was taken to have dessert... cheese ice cream And i loved it.

Que Fuerza tan Bruta.

I was kind of half asleep and half awake as I was trying to get comfortable cuddling with Nayeli in the back seat of my cousin's red coup. Both of us were kind of cold because we were still damp from the Fuerza Bruta spectacular we'd experience a couple hours before. As I moved my Hard Rock Cafe: Mexico leftover box to make more room for my feet, i looked out the window and had to think twice about where I was at the time. Was I on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills all of a sudden? It was around 11:30 so all the shops were close and there were few cars around. But I am not exagerating, calle Presidente Masaryk is extremely similar to our own Rodeo Drive. THen I keep looking and to the other side was a huge 3 story shopping mall, followed by another one two block after. In the near distance, I noticed the elegant Marriott Tower, and within a matter of seconds we were back on one of the main streets of the city: Paseo de la Reforma. (Notice how I said "seconds"... at this time there were few cars and we were in the fiancial district of town and thus traffic, or lack there of, was beautiful!)

We were coming back from an extravagant show-extravagant in all its worth. It was honestly one of the most exhubirant art experiences of my life. Writing about it will do no justice to its force, hence its name: Fuerza Bruta. I will just say this: a certain use of water, the human body, sound, lighting, wind and space could create quite the experience. I saw before my eyes just about every emotion a human being possesses as I've never experienced before and without the use of words. Amazing acting. a 65 minute performance totally worth it. Although this promo looks kinda freaky, it really was amazing and totally worth it.

After the performance Azu, her friends and I had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe which had the most amazing Spinach and Cheese dip... WOW. Probobly because it had mexican cheese in it... and anything that has any kind of mexican cheese is good, at least in my opinion. Here though I took on more of the spectator role because first of all, I didn't know their friends very well obviously, and I am still in the rough (emphasis on rough) process of unlearning the Spanish I know and slowly transforming it into the Spanish accepted here by a certain class - this has been very difficult on a number of different levels.

Regardless, I had a really good time identifying the intense globalization around here... it is inevitable! The world is so connected... ps, my cousins ordered sushi the night before, and it was dilivered. ha.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Que padrisima la ciudad de Mexico, eh?


i have arrived to Mexico City. It is AMAZING... I've only been here for a couple of days and I'm loving it thus far. I already met with my internship supervisor at a Federal Office Skyrise Building right in the heart of downtown on the 18th floor. Everything has been processed for me to go to Veracruz... about 3 hours from here. I will be working out of their office in Xalapa, Veracruz because they have more ´fieldwork´over there... not a big deal. Because Mexico City has so many sights to see, I will for sure be coming here quite often on some weekends. Working on the homestay situation in Veracruz right now, but not worried. It's all in the process. I would be doing my reserach there too and my supervisors all know that so they're totally willing to help me out :)

So throuhgout the capital you could definatley see remains and influence of the spanish conquest hundreds of years ago... all over the city. From Cathedrals to statues to monuments to the powerful light skin elites. From what I have been able to observe and experience, it seems as though social slass is largely based on dress, amount of pigment on your skin, language, and body type. I feel like I am living straight out of what some sociology books have mentioned.

For a quick example, last night we went to have dinner... and it was 10pm... totally normal around here. We went to have some tacos of course, so i was expecting a little taco truck in the corner or something.

Well, i went with my cousin Azucena to a nice side of town where it was a straight out sit down restaurant with a good 20 minute wait to be seated. Techno music playing, and most of their clients were young proffessionals still in their suits with VALET parking... yup. Valet parking at a taco restaurant. actually, thus far every place uses valet here!! Valet is common... at least with the people ive been with during the past week.bomb tacos of course with 4 different salsas (of course all on my tacos).

Anyways, Azucena and her husband saw a friend of theirs there who was also wearing his suit. Everybody was wearing colard shirts and i felt so outa place considering i was wearing jeans and a tee shirt... c'mon... it was 10;30 pm and we were headed to eat some tacos... cut me some slack.Little Mexico in East LA is its own culture I tell you. Not what im used to at all... and im in the capital of it all. Anyways, thus far friends my cousins have around here are all tall, fairer skin, well groomed, wear name brand clothing, and are working profesionals... and the people working at the restarants we go to tend to have the darker complexion, shorter, and usually tend to be a little bigger. It is so interesting to see who has the power still... it never ends. This sight has been common all week. I went into Azucena's job today and everybody wroking there also tall, fairer skinned and very well groomed (that was obvious because it is a research firm). But this lady walked in who was shorter, had a darker complexion, and was heavier asking me if i wanted a cup of tea or something. Sure enough, she was the one who was cleaning the building.

Anyways, asside from that fact,
last after dinner, at about 11:45pm ish, my cousins decided to go have some coffee at a local coffee shop and walk around. We ended up just strolling around THE Hacienda Hernan Cortez, the Spanish conquistador, first built when he settled in Mexico to please his new mistress, La Malinche. It was beautiful architecture, and had a beautiful garden!! Even though by then it was well after midnight, there were several people walking around having a cup of coffee, oh and yes, a group of bikers were there too, some of which my cousin's husband knew well.... and yes, it felt safe.

I tripped out that just down the street my history book came to life with me drinking a Late with Hernan Cortez' Hacienda! no joke. This part of the town was further away from downtown so it wasn't as busy with cars... but had cobblestone streets and little plazas all around it. My Late coffee was bomb fyi. We returned to Azucena's apartment, which has a beaitufl view of the Mexico World Bank tower, and after hacing a good chat with her aout books and society and the such, I had a good night sleep.

As far as language goes... get this... I feel like a 3rd grader trying to speak spanish... i do have an advantage alright. But the fact that I am a Chicana has never been so in my face before... if not every minute of the day. im telling you, my official language is SPANGLISH. So, i am learning legit Mexican spanish... i kinda get tired honestly... who would have thought?

Unfortunately though I leave Distrito federal (this state) this wednesday. Im excited to see and compare the capital of Veracruz if possible... Azucena says it is also beautiful. A lot smaller, but beautiful none the less. So i get to do turisty things for this week here in this amzing city then will begin my internship soon enough with the Secretery of Social Development in Veracruz.

Thus far I will be most likely visiting el Zocalo this weekend, heading to the Aztec pyramids on Sunday morning, and watching a really legit play called Fierza Bruta where the performances are above the audience on Sunday night - i am really excited about this play. My cousins bought my ticket on ticketmaster already so... im there.

I'll put some pictures up evenrtually...

PS I dont think i have ever had such good salsa in so many consecutive days. And, the fact that i get at least three options with every meal makes my heart almost skip a beat. no, really!

okie dokey.
for now, adios!