Sarah, Hopefully

Monday, September 20, 2004

Mazetlan, Mazetlan!

Hola, mis queridos amigos!

Here is the long anticipated entry... the summary of my Mazetlan adventures. (William was right- Mazetlan DOES sound a lot like Mazeltov!) I´ll try to be thorough without rambling on about every single minute detail.

Wednesday I went to my first couple of classes, then skipped out on the last half of Spanish so I could go home and get my big duffle bag. Luckily, the Señora of my house was there and offered to drive me back to the school in her car. I was very glad not to have to haul my duffle onto the bus and walk from the bus stop in to the school! Anyway... I got back to school and eventually met up with the two people I was traveling with, James and Alyssa (pronounced a-lisa, not like Becca´s sister.) We got a taxi to the bus station and were on our way!

Let me say that riding in a bus for 8 or 9 hours is not very much fun. We camped out on seats in the back so we had more space, but still. All we had to eat was junk food, and it got kind of boring. Alyssa and I almost got stuck in Tepic because we got off the bus at a rest stop to use the bathroom and get some food and then we forgot our bus number and it almost left without us... James saved the day, though, and told the bus driver to go back. Hooray! The bus driver played great movies such as Baby´s Day Out, Daredevil, and an illegal version of Shrek 2. They were all dubbed in Spanish, but since I had seen them before it was okay.

I guess I´ll tell you a little about James and Alyssa... James is about 22 and is from Arkansas. He goes to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He´s black, a very strong Christian, kind of quiet at first but with a good sense of humor. He was our hero and bodyguard all weekend long. He went everywhere with us to make sure that the "young ladies" in his company didn´t get harassed by any crazy Mexican guys. I would definitely describe him as a gentleman. I really appreciated him because he also doesn´t believe in drinking or going out clubbing, so I had someone to hang out with. Alyssa is I think 23 and from New York. She already graduated college and is living down here with her sister while her sister attends medical school. They have an apartment near campus which they share with Alyssa´s ENORMOUS dog. Yeah, she brought her dog to Mexico. Alyssa is very laid back and fun. We were in the same hotel room along with another girl... yeah. So now you know a little more about these people I will keep talking about.

Okay... so we got to Mazetlan at about 11 o´clock. We went to the hotel and found that the other group of people (who had gotten to Mazetlan that morning) were out, and there was some confusion with the hotel rooms... we had a key to one room, but it was full of stuff from other people in our group. We decided not to worry about it then and went to go eat. Our hotel was right along the main strip, which is right along the ocean. Our rooms were on the 10th (top) floor, and we had little balconies with this amaaaaaaazing view of the ocean. Very, very cool. Anyway... we wandered down the strip and finally asked this group of teenagers where a good place to eat was. This guy walked us down to a restaurant. I think he was pretty drunk, but he was nice and the food was good, so it turned out okay. After that we just chilled on the "boardwalk" I guess you would say (the big sidewalk above the beach) for a while. We still had problems with the rooms and didn´t wind up getting into our proper rooms and into bed until nearly 4 am, which sucked... but it worked out okay.

Thursday I got up around 9:45. The bigger group of people were going on this boat tour thing, but I didn´t have a ticket and didn´t really feel like going. Alyssa, James, and I ate breakfast in the hotel restaurant (AMAZING french toast!) and then decided to go horseback riding with this guy named Tim who is from St. Louis. Tim went to Mazetlan a few weeks ago, so he already knew where things were and stuff, which was nice. Anyway... it was kind of a rainy morning, but we took a taxi and a boat over to the Isla de las Piedras (Island of Stones) and went horseback riding. My horse was OLD (grey, beard, ready to keel over, OLD) and NOT a comfortable ride at all. I have bruises on my butt, literally, from when he was trotting, as well as bruises on my legs from the saddle, which the people made no effort to adjust to my body or height. Yeuch. Anyway... it was a pretty ride. We rode down the beach and then rode back through some trees and this little town, where our guide pointed out different kinds of fruit trees. After that we decided to go swimming, but silly me, I thought we were going horseback riding so I didn´t bring my swimsuit. I wound up buying one off of this vendor guy who was wandering up and down the beach. It´s the ugliest swimsuit EVER, I swear, and I probably paid too much for it, but oh well... the swimming was nice. The waves were HUGE. I think it was partly from the hurricanes in the pacific, but also I think that the water is just generally like that in Mazetlan.

Anyway... the four of us got back to our hotel about 4 o´clock and then went next door to this little place to eat. I had THE COLDEST COCA-COLA I HAVE HAD SINCE COMING TO MEXICO. It was AMAZING. Sooooooo good. It was like... this glass bottle that must have been sitting in ice water for hours on end, and then a glass tumbler filled to the top with ice, and it gave off cold steam and everything... oooooooh amazing. Yeah. :) I didn´t actually wind up doing that much more that evening... James wandered off on a walk by himself for a few hours, and Alyssa and Tim started playing some pool downstairs in the hotel bar, but I was so exhausted that I was asleep by 11 o´clock. People kept wandering in and out of our room, though, which was annoying... I think they were all drunk.

Friday! Got up about 9:30, went downstairs with Alyssa to eat breakfast... just as we were finishing these annoying other girls from our group came and sat with us (uninvited) and acted like they were STILL drunk (because they drank so much the night before that there was no way they could have that much energy if they were hung over- they had to still be drunk) so we left... I went up and knocked on James´door. He had just gotten out of the shower and everything, so I went back downstairs with him while he ate his breakfast, and wound up eating a second breakfast myself. I was hungry! Then we went and sat out at a table by the awesome hotel pool... it had waterfalls and stuff, it was really cool. Alyssa came to tell us that she was going with some people to go snorkeling (they didn´t wind up snorkeling, but they did leave for a few hours). James and I realized that we were falling asleep, so we went up to our rooms to take a nap... but when we got up there I realized that both of my roommates had left and I didn´t have a room key. We went into james´ room and each lay down on one of the double beds and watched some TV until we both fell asleep. We slept for like... 3 hours until Tim came back and was banging the door open and stuff.

After waking up from my nap, I went down to the hotel restaurant and ate a sandwich. Then James and I walked down the beach to meet up with Tim and Alyssa and some other people who had gone out wading. The waves were even crazier than at the Isla de las Piedras, so I only walked in a bit. We stayed there for maybe 30 minutes, then went back to the hotel to shower and stuff. At about 8 o´clock James, Alyssa, me, and this girl named Jessie went to see The Village. It was a good movie... we got kinda mad that they put an intermission RIGHT in the middle of the scene where these two people are hooking up. It was annoying. The movie wasn´t THAT long! After the movie we went to dinner, and then James and I walked with Alyssa to this salsa club where she was meeting up with the bigger group of people. We had some trouble finding it, but we finally did... Alyssa and I were definitely glad that James was there to protect us, though. Back to the hotel, sleep.

Saturday I woke up about 9 o´clock, VERY tired... packed up my things, then went to eat breakfast. Checkout time at the hotel was noon, but the bus tickets for Alyssa, James, and I were open, so we could leave whenever we wanted. We checked out and left our bags at the front desk and then went to the marketplace of Mazetlan near the cathedral. Very busy and smelly and stuff... didn´t buy anything. Alyssa and James bought weird pizza with hot dogs on it, ew. We picked up our bags and left on a bus at 2:30-3ish. They played the movie Thirteen Ghosts, which I REALLY did not like... I couldn´t get away from it, though, because there were tv screens everywhere and speakers right over my head and all. Bleh. Anyway... we stopped at this little bus stop and all these people started getting on the bus. Tons of people! It wound up with James sitting near the front of the bus and Alyssa and I in the same row in the back, but on opposite sides by the windows. There were more people on the bus than there were seats. I thought it was hilarious. I mean, what could be more sterotypically Mexican than being on a bus with too many people? Anyway... They played us Pirates of the Carribbean (dubbed), which was cool... I was sooooo tired, but I couldn´t fall asleep. This baby in the back of the bus kept crying, too, so NOBODY could sleep, really.

I got into a conversation with the guy sitting next to me. He was part of a men´s volleyball team... his entire team was on the bus! They had been at a week-long tournament and were returning to their home (I don´t remember where that was, though.) The guy was nice, even if I couldn´t understand him half of the time... heh. I gave him some Oreos because all of the money for their trip was on their coach´s credit card, which hadn´t been working, so they had to spend their own personal money to get any food all week. Anyway... it was good to have the practice of conversing in Spanish. We pulled into Guadalajara at 1am, and I was home and in bed by 2:10. Whew! Looooooong trip.

It was so good, though. I got to RELAX and sleep and I made FRIENDS! That was the best part... making friends that I could hang out with and have private jokes with and everything. It definitely made the trip worthwhile for me. Mazetlan was so gorgeous... I felt like I was in a movie where the protagonist takes a tropical vacation, you know? I didn´t buy any souveniers, unless you count the ugly swimsuit, but that´s okay. There will be other opportunities for souveniers. I made James a thank you card for being the big brother/chaperone all weekend. It was definitely appreciated, by me AND my mom! ;)

Today hasn´t been the greatest day... I was supposed to do this take home test for my Institutions in Mexican Society class over the weekend, but even when I sat down with my notes and my book and tried re-reading the stuff and putting it together, I had no clue what it was talking about. How sad is that? I have attended every single class session, 3 days a week, for five weeks now, and I haven´t learned ANYTHING. I skipped class this morning... tomorrow I think I am going to go talk to the woman in the Intercambio office who is in charge of the IPSL program here. Seriously... it´s just bad. I´d like to just drop that class if I can... it´s not serving for anything. Really, all of the aspects of my being here that are the IPSL aspects have been disappointing thus far. Our journaling class is useless, this other class is useless, and I am useless in my service. I am really nothing more than a student of Spanish here. Argh. Anyway... yeah. I´m going to try to get that sorted out... It´s just hard because I´m so tired and frustrated and all.

Yup yup... that´s the basic rundown of my weekend. Katie thought I was crazy for not getting the volleyball player´s e-mail address or something, but unlike her, I don´t want a Mexican boyfriend. That´s right- Katie got the hookup in Mazetlan with a guy named Alfonso. I didn´t hear about it until Friday night, and I was like, WHAAAAAAAT? Yeah... I guess they were making out all Wednesday night. Geeze. Who knew? :P Oh well.

Okay, time for me to skeedaddle. Write me fun e-mails at shgarlow@yahoo.com to keep me cheerful through the week! :)

Love you all!

1 Comments:

  • Mmm, the cold sodas are the best. I'm sad you don't love manzana...sigh. I feel like my appetite these days is like it was the last couple of weeks in Mexico, nil. I just eat enough to stay alive. I have discovered that grasshopper cookies are INCREDIBLE if you freeze them, you'll have to try them when you get home, which is only...a little over 2 months away! Hooray! I'm jealous you got to go to the beach, and reading about your adventures makes me miss Mexico, which I NEVER thought I would. Heh. Definitely go talk to the IPSL lady, lay the smack down (slapah her fro!) I hope the rest of your week is good, we will do alllll your favorite things over Christmas break, lots of Chipotle, Arbys, Coca-cola, and movie runs! I don't know when the Hilary Duff movie comes out, but maybe we can see it then. Holy crap this comment turned into half an email, enjoy!

    By Blogger Julia, at 3:23 PM  

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