The musings and misadventures of a girl unprepared

Monday, 29 September 2014

Mexican Independence, English Teaching and the Caribbean

It's midday and I just caught myself sat on my bed, only half dressed - despite being up for several hours - and eating nutella straight out of the jar with my fingers, so I decided it's probably about time I do something productive with my day. My productive activity of choice just happens to be writing this, because although this is kiiiind of a form of procrastination from my actual work, I like to view it as constructive procrastination... in that one day Lonely Planet will see my blog and give me my dream job and I will no longer have care about translating satirical newspaper articles about political correctness into Spanish. A girl can dream, eh?

Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been rather crazy here. Two weeks ago we had Mexican Independence day, with more parties to attend and more alcohol to consume than humanly possible. Despite the official date of Independence Day being 16th September, it would appear that just one day of merriment is nowhere near enough for Mexicans, with festivities spanning pretty much the entire week. Too hungover to attend any of the official celebrations (oopsy), I just attended parties of various friends throughout the extended weekend, salsa-ing my heart out as per usual and taking full advantage of the free booze.

Party number two of three for Independence Day. Edgar (in the big hat) has never looked so Mexican.

However, my favourite part about the whole weekend was seeing just how proud Mexicans are, simply of being Mexican. National pride is a relatively alien concept to me, as us Brits tend to be disliked on a pretty international scale for so many things. So the idea of having a day to celebrate how awesome it is just to be British would be completely ridiculous. It'd be like that year that we entered that awful patriotic song in the Eurovision Song Contest with the Union Jack plastered all over the stage and then were given 'nil point' by literally every single country. Also I'm very aware we never had to gain independence and we were the ones running around conquering everyone like we owned the bloody planet... so not cool.

As it was such a mad weekend, I decided to take some time off from any liver-destroying and bank-draining antics and focus on school work and the like...

Don't laugh, I'm being serious.

As well as attempting to start working hard, Franzi and I had the genius idea of advertising ourselves as language teachers for German and English, as we really want to get some travelling done after this term ends and as it stands we might not be able to have the cash to do that.

So we postered like crazy all over campus (no rules against that here, it's awesome), only realising after we'd finished that Franzi had actually provided her name, facebook and phone number to four entire faculties. I swear to God if you put our brains together, maybe we'd just about make one logical person. Or all the stupid stuff would form together and we'd never actually get anywhere in life. Who knows?

But despite this minor setback, it worked! For the first time in my life I'm self-employed (how fancy does that sound?) and so far it's turning out to be really successful. As much as I love hanging out with my friends and meeting people at parties, it actually feels really good to now be doing something productive with my free time. As fun and carefree as student life can be, it's sometimes really positive to have some structure to your days, especially when you only have a three day timetable like I do. It can become dangerously tempting to waste all of your time off on tumblr or catching up on the latest gossip (guilty!) rather than using your time to benefit yourself or the lives of other people around you, and personally, I've found that the more productive you try to be, the easier it becomes. I think I've wrote this before, but life really is about getting the balance between structure and free time just right.

I've also just realised that all this must sound rather amusing after the way this post started off. I promise, I have already left the house and taught two classes today after a rather difficult weekend, so I was just having a bit of me time with my one and only true love i.e. food, before getting back to actually making something of my day. Like I said, balance is important, and for me that balance includes a bit of self-care in the form of an entire jar of Nutella. That OK with you?

The last two weeks also saw the departure of my gorgeous friend Shelly back to Taiwan after her two month trip out here. I met Shelly along with the rest of the London exchange crew back in my first year of university when I was living in those really international student halls. I feel like she fell in love with Mexico just as much as I am doing, and I'm just so glad I got to see her again after such a long time.

At a Cuban salsa club in La Roma, showing the boys how it's done.

Aside from a lot of hanging out at uni a lot, accidentally attending the wrong class for SEVEN weeks (because I'm a super genius) and an accidental party that trashed my bedroom, I haven't got much else to report. I really do want to start doing some more cultural things in the city soon, because I am really settled in now and there is so much to do here. We were actually planning a trip to Puebla last week, a nearby city that is supposed to be stunning, but unfortunately those plans fell through for various reasons. Fingers crossed we'll be able to get organising it for another time though.

After our weekly Wednesday afternoon lunch in Arquitectura. I'm happy because I'm full of chilaquiles (and I suppose the company was alright too)

However, despite our failed Mexican travel plans, in three days time I'll be jetting of to Martinique, to visit my lovely friend Imogen who I study German with at King's. The lucky so and so is studying abroad in the French Caribbean for the first part of her year away, so I'm off to soak up some rays and climb a volcano, and you know, make sure she's doing alright out there. And the trip actually couldn't have come at a better time, as I've recently really been missing home and familiar faces, so it'll be nice to be able to word vomit at someone in the worst English accent ever, without worrying about being misunderstood. Not that I'm not having the time of my life out here, but sometimes things happen when you are away from home and you just need to be back in a familiar setting for a little while. I'm just lucky enough for that familiarish setting to be incredibly near a beach. I also have a day's layover in Puerto Rico on the way, a place I haven't visited since I was about 10 years old, so it'll be interesting to see if I actually remember any of it.

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