American Work Ethic:
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is.
Tim the Tool Man Taylor
American Foreign Policy
American National Policy
Mexican Work Ethic:
If it's broke, destroy it 'til it's fixed.
My bathroom door hasn't closed fully since we moved here....so they chopped at the door with a kitchen knife and removed it from the hinges and dropped the door lower to put the screws in new wood
The shower drain wasn't working well, so they tore it out, and filled the shower floor with cement for some reason
And I'm sure you remember the toilet? They tore a hole in the wall and the floor....
Everything works now....it's just ugly and tore-up
19 April 2007
American Work Ethic:
18 April 2007
You have to decide a good day in a half ahead of time to sufficiently prepare for the Eje 1 because the half block walk from Bellas Artes Metro to the Markets is definitely not enough time to prepare yourself for the barrage of people, shouts, Cd's, DVDs, toys, electronics, food, drinks, clothes, belts, anything and everything in the world. It hits you without warning.
On a daily basis there are no less than 200 vendors on the street alone starting at a 7/11 or OXXO, who knows really, you can't pay attention to what's being sold in the buildings until at least the third time around because you'll miss something or someone on the street.
The sound slaps you across the ears without warning "Qué buscabas, amiga? Te damos precio, sol....." (What were you looking for, friend? We'll give you a good price, jus.....) "Qué buscabas amiga, tenemos discos, electrónicas, todo lo que neces....." (what were you looking for, friend? We have disks, electronics, everything you nee.....) but you move on too quickly, avoiding eye contact.
You march by in line, unable to move anything other than your head and legs, your arms are only useful for grabbing at possible purchases. Sometimes (and quite unwittingly) a vendor touches your arm or pats you on the back, begging for your attention. Before you can shrug him off or flash him the eye, you hear "Qué buscabas...."
Just as you start to think you can handle this, you notice that there's way too much to see in just an hour....or even two for that matter. And once you see that there are markets within the street market (that is to say, there are also markets inside a series of buildings) the day and a half you spent preparing for this trip seems to have been in vain.
So you walk into a building at random that happens to be the Technology market. Suddenly you almost can't breath. The air is heavy, moist, the heat a few degrees higher than the already sweaty weather outside. The jammed corridors make moving slow and unsteady, playing into the vendor's game plan. They grab at you and are now able to finish their sentences: "Qué buscabas, amiga. Te damos precio, solo hay que preguntar". And suddenly you realize the second level. How is it, you ask yourself, that these people can even make money? They all sell relatively the same products at the same general price and there seem to be millions of the same person over and over repeating the same thing into your ear. Sure some compliment you, some wink or smile widely but they are still the same person with the same product in the same place as the others.
Your nerves overwhelm you as you start to see clones, people, DVDs, computers, everything is a clone. Before you suffocate you escape the building only to run straight into a cloned computer program vendor. Begging pardon, you move from the sidewalk closer to the street and suddenly the fresh smell of car pollution hits you.....heck, at this point, anything other than clones flashing at you and begging you to buy is a god send!!!
Written By Ashley Smith at 11:33 AM
13 April 2007
Well, as I'm sure you've heard already, we had an Earthquake around 12:45 this morning. It registered a 6.3 on the Richter and it almost rocked me to sleep. It was actually more of a swayer than a rocker, nice and slow for around 40 seconds (but as we all know, Earthquakes always seem to last a whole lot longer than the newspaper's report). The report stated that this earthquake was centered actually in our delegation (in Mexico City the neighborhoods are called Delegations and in the States they are called Colonias) and that two buildings reported structural damage. Nothing happened to us or our house.....breathe a sigh of relief.
On a lighter note, I went to Cuernavaca on Wednesday and Thursday and came back red as a lobster (well, on my left arm and in a triangle shape on my chest) but no worries because I protected my face....I ain't gettin' no prosthetic nose, no way, no how!
These are my VIP girls (they invited me to their pajama party....a VIP party)
(Sofia, Fernanda, Jimena, Ana)
As soon as we got into Cuernavaca, we went to El Rollo, a water park in the state of Morelos, that was attached to our hotel. Before walking into the park, though, the mothers bought alcohol....
as glass bottles are not allowed inside, the store attendants concealed the liquid into a plastic bottle
Children swam and got on huge slides and rides while the mothers and I sat around, gossiping (about people I don't know) and talking politics.
I felt a little like the middle child, unwilling to get on water rides, but unable to talk about "mommy" things, so I people watched. I noticed a startling trend....Mexicans are getting fat.
Now, in the US, this is nothing new. There are several nonprofits who teach nutrition to the fast fattening Mexican population and statistics are showing that Mexicans are the leading the rest of the American population in Diabetes cases. However, I remember the first time I came here I felt extremely over weight. I couldn't believe the majorly obvious weight difference between Americans and Mexicans. I felt disgusting. While Mexicans are notorious for eating insane amounts or fruits and vegetables, (heck, there's a fruit stand on just about every corner), they are fast turning to fat and grease as a staple canasta basica product.
But I digress...Thursday we stayed at the hotel all day. The girls swam some more
and I read my book, trying so hard to be involved in one group or the other but failing at last. It was a nice time to get away from The City, which can be overwhelming and stressing and just sit around doing nothing but next time, I'd rather go with a group of people my age!
For More Pictures, visit my photobucket page
Written By Ashley Smith at 5:49 PM
07 April 2007
Yesterday was a big day, compared to the days we've been having as of late. We went to the Wax Museum and Ripley's, which gave us some great photo ops...
Later that night was Vagina Monologues, which I had previously seen twice. The monologues in Spanish were essentially the same, but with major with idiosyncratic differences that I didn't completely understand. There were many, many references to certain places, ideologies and cultures of different places within the Republic that I have never experienced....also, when one specific actress got excited with her monologue, she spoke so fast and with plenty of slang that I felt as though I was learning Spanish all over again....that's to say, I only understood bits and pieces. The orgasms were different, all more relative to Mexican culture. However, all in all it was just as good and totally worth the free show (Toño's cousins paid for our tickets).
We saw a small procession after Jesus had been crucified, but we were unable to go to the huge processsion in Iztapalapa. I'm inserting our own culture in this Easter celebration....tomorrow we are dying eggs.
it's way different here and I'm somewhat missing hanging out with my family and eating Bunny-Shaped cake!
I hope everyone has a happy Easter....
Written By Ashley Smith at 11:25 PM
03 April 2007
Today I finally got my Pulque fix. I've been craving the slimy yumminess for a couple of weeks now. We went to this really amazing pulquería in the center. It's ceiling is covered in Aztec-style art and the small room is piled high with weed-smoking, shower-lacking hippies. The air is heavy with the smell of both but the environment is so welcoming.
My first was a tomato pulque that was laced with salsa....very yum. And the second, Guava.
Later, while walking home, it started to Thunder, and then pour rain....It's beautiful here when it rains because it's hot and it's comfortable to walk around in a shirt and jeans. People huddle under anything they can find and massive groups of people keep you too warm, sweaty almost.
Summer weather is already beginnging....sadly however, it's bringing with it more pollution...
(there is a blurry mountain peak over the building, toward the middle of the picture that is no more than a couple hours car ride...a distance that should make the mountain still clearly visible (in Oxnard, you can see the mountains easy)...but the pollution makes it almost disappear....sad face.
p.s. here, a parking meter gives you 1 hour and 5 minutes for 5 pesos (50 cents)
Written By Ashley Smith at 5:13 PM
01 April 2007
I expected for this to come earlier. When I moved to Santa Cruz, I felt good for about a month and then, suddenly as if lightening struck me, I felt terrible. I didn't leave my bed in weeks. I didn't talk to many people. I called my parents in histerics wanting to come home.
It hasn't hit me as hard this time. I'm sure that leaving home is the toughest move and every other there after hurts, but only fractionally in comparison...either way, I'm starting to feel very, very lonely. Because of my lonliness, I'm even more afraid to go out alone and I most certainly don't want to go out with Toño's friend's where I'll just be ridiculed behind my back and judged once I leave.
The only friends I have are Toño's brother and sister,
I wish I knew of some groups that I could join or something that I could do...I guess I'll just start wandering aound the city, feigning confidence in hope that someone invites me to something cool they are interested in.
Written By Ashley Smith at 12:18 PM