Sarah, Hopefully

Monday, October 18, 2004

Piddle Party (updated)

Haha... Katie was talking about "pijamadas" (that´s Spanish for pajama party) and it got me thinking about Piddle parties. Any of my girls remember that? Of course you do. How could we forget? Good times, good times.

I am a cookie monster. Seriously. I have cookies on the brain... far more than any normal person should. Save me! I have been eating a bunch of Cuernitos lately... they´re croissants, basically. Prepackaged, two per bag, very moist and yummy. I´ve been eating them with a V-8 Splash (Zarzabroso!), and this morning I had them with this really cute 20.3 oz bottle of Dr. Pepper from the 7-11. Yum! It was real DP, too. No fakey sugar. Hehe.

I´ve decided that I must be cursed or have some sort of weird aura or... something. Whatever it is, I seem to give off some sort of vibe that makes older men attracted to me. Yesterday I was chillin´ at the Plaza Galerias (I am there WAY too often). I had just finished my McDonalds and bought an apple pie from the dessert window when I saw these guys that looked familiar. One of them did, anyway... Katie and I met and talked to him last week while we were walking to the bus stop. The thing about these guys is... they´re both about 7 feet tall. Yeah. They play for the professional Tecos basketball team here at UAG. Anyway, they spoke like... 2 words of Spanish, so I had to help them out (read: show them where the bathroom was). We were talking and stuff and they invited me to hang out with them. We went to the movies. They bought my ticket and they bought me a drink and then they paid for the taxi home. Nice guys. One of them asked for my phone number, haha. Do you think it´s a bad thing that I don´t remember either of their names? Hehe. One of them is from HOTlanta, Courtney! Anyway... that was fun.

Oh yeah... on Saturday I went to the movies also... that time by myself, though. I saw The Motorcycle Diaries. I guess because I had seen it advertised in the US I assumed it would be in English. I think the US version must use subtitles, because it was all in Spanish. That´s okay- I understood it anyway. It was actually really good. I´d kind of like to read the books it is based upon. It´s this story about two guys who travel the entire length of south america- from the southernmost tip of Argentina to the northernmost part of Venezuela- on a motorcycle. They work at a leper colony for a while and stuff... very cool. Go see it, but check and make sure it has subtitles, first. ;)

Okay... I gotta go catch up with Katie. Check back here later, because I am not done outlining my adventures for you. ;) I´ll just edit this post later this afternoon.

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Okay. I´m ready to finish this now. Today wasn´t the greatest day (what Monday ever is?). I hardly got any sleep last night... partly because my mind wouldn´t shut off, and partly because Katie had Alfonso´s cell phone for some reason and about every 40 minutes it would beep really loudly and send us a message that told us that he had no new messages. Um? It was annoying. So, tiredness. Then on the way in to school I got something in my left eye that was irritating it for about 3 hours. NO fun. Then I tried to email my homework to my teacher like I was supposed to do this weekend (oops) but the mouse would only move a fraction of an inch... absolutely impossible to click the "send" button. Tabbing skipped right over it, grr. So I didn´t get all of my homework done, I was really tired, and I could only see out of one eye. Geeze. Great way to start the week.

Anyway... I just went down to my service. I realized... much as I feel totally superfluous there, the people are great. From Claudia, who still wears the strawberry scented body spray I gave her for her birthday; to Rogelio, who likes to flirt with all the girls; to Miguel, who likes to sneak up behind you and tickle you; to Mario, the boy with the mental disability and chronic ear infections who loves to play the guitar; to Julio, who acts like he´s really tough and mean until one day you get lucky and find him singing at the top of his lungs along with the radio while he mops the kitchen floor or playing with Mario´s hair. It just amazes me... these kids who have nothing- no money, no family, no real place in society- are incredibly beautiful.

I have a confession. I bought another tin of the Danish butter cookies. I know, I know! I didn´t MEAN to do it... it just sort of... happened. Ooh! But guess what else I found while i was at Wal-Mart? STARBURSTS! A whole bag of them! I`m chowing down on those while I write this. :)

I don`t know what it is... I´ve been struggling with homesickness and feeling kind of useless here... but then I look around and see all the things I love about being here. The weather is gorgeous today. I can walk around in a T-shirt and jeans all the time, while I know people back home are beginning to pull out the jackets and sweaters. I can talk to people now. I can go around by myself, and do it rather often. The food is different, yeah, but it´s still good. I should enjoy it while I can. There is an entirely different culture here. It´s subtle, but it´s there... the way Mexicans are crazy about text messaging. All the cell phone commercials are about the amazing text messaging technology, not about making actual phone calls. It´s completely normal for middle class famililes to have a woman come in to help with the cooking or the cleaning. The car alarms here are rediculous. Everyone has them, they are all loud and annoying, and the are all extremely touchy. They are sensitive to loud noises as well as touch- so if there´s a thunderstorm, you can hear car alarms wailing between cracks of thunder. There is no such thing as garages here. Everyone has gated driveways- some with roofs, some with other kinds of covers. It`s really hard to walk down the sidewalks here because everyone parks half on the street and half on the sidewalk. People also do that on busy streets, meaning that buses and cars have to weave into the next lane to pass. The use of emergency lights on cars is much more common here, as well as the use of the car horn. All the trees are pruned into shapes- cubes, circles, whatever. Dogs are way more common than cats. You walk past the gated drives and jump a mile high because some doberman is barking at your side. There is a specific way that you hail the bus. All of the kids in school wear uniforms. Everyone goes home to eat lunch in the afternoons. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day. Instead of stopping at intersections, people just honk as they drive to let people know that they are passing through. If there is a game of fútbol being played, the television WILL be on. When men and women greet each other, they grasp hands and kiss one another on the cheek. The same goes for being introduced and sometimes when girls greet other girls. When you walk out the door, you say "Nos vemos" or "Que te vaya bien" or "adios".

I love that I am waking up to the subtleties of this culture. That was why I came here: so I would know all those silly, mundane details. The little things that make everything fit together. It makes me feel... like maybe I belong. Like I´m starting to fit into this cultural tapestry, one thread at a time.

I still miss home. I still dream about Yellow Sub and Chipotle and Jimmy John´s. I still imagine what it will be like to eat my next Arby`s cherry turnover. I still want to see familiar faces, get hugs, tell old jokes, hang out in all the familiar places. I still want to sleep in my own bed and see my parents. I still miss Lawrence and driving and being able to eavesdrop on the conversations around me at the store. But there will be time enough for that. For now I need to absorb what is around me.

This Friday I go to Mexico City. Woo woo! D.F., here I come! (In case you don`t know, it`s called México D.F., meaning Districto Federal. Kind of like Washington D.C.?) I promise to take lots of pictures to make up for my complete and utter lack of picture taking thus far. Hehe.

If you get 5 extra minutes, please shoot one my way. shgarlow@yahoo.com . I miss hearing from you guys. Eat some doritos for me. Nacho cheese, straight up. No jalapeño allowed.

2 Comments:

  • Sarah! I Love that you're really starting to notice the little things! It makes me so happy! I love you.

    By Blogger Genevieve, at 1:47 PM  

  • Haha, I used piddle party all the time like last week, and people laughed at me. =)

    By Blogger Courtney, at 2:04 PM  

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