Teaching English in Queretaro, Mexico
Friday and Saturday
Everything is still going fine for me here. Well, maybe not the "learning spanish" part of it, but other than that . . . Anyway, I saw Luis this weekend for the first time since that first weekend with him. He came into Queretaro on Friday. He forgot to bring my sunglasses, which I had left in his car last month. No problem, I have another pair. Luis, and his partner Enrique, set me up with a new class. I will be helping 2 students, a mother and a daughter, prepare for the TOEFL. I will be giving the sessions at their house. The house is very nice, but its out in the middle of nowhere so it will be a hassle to get there. But only twice per week isn´t bad. One of my sessions is on Friday evening, which is a bit of a drag but I usually don't do anything exciting that night because I have to get up on Saturday to work at PLI.
So Friday evening I went with those guys to meet the family and everything. They´re very nice and they gave me some really good cake. : ) I have my first session with them this coming Friday night.
Saturday I had 5 hours of class (OK, TOEFL tutoring, with one student who is really good and is ready for the test already) and then Cynthia picked me up from PLI. I don't know if I have mentioned Cynthia in here before. She speaks perfect English, but despite that she is a student at PLI. She also sings in a band. I made friends with her and her cousin, Veronica. Vero would like to come to the USA in a few months when she finishes school, and take care of children, an "au pair" sort of thing. She's 17 or 18 years old, really cool, and her English is very good- if anyone reading this knows of an exchange program she could connect with, or a family she could work for, please send me a message so I can tell her about it.
Anyway, Cyndi wanted my help writing down the lyrics to some songs that she will be performing with her band: "time after time" by Cyndi Lauper, a swanky Bossa Nova version of "Something" by George Harrison (That song is part of my personal guitar repertoire, so I already knew the words), and "Smooth Operator". Smooth Operator is impossible to understand, even for me, and we didn't get the lyrics to that one.
After that, I went to Mercado de la Cruz with Cyndi and Velo. We shopped for jeans and ate gorditas. It was a nice afternoon and it was good to get out of the house. That evening I was planning on hanging out with Ernesto but that never came about. Instead that evening I drank tequila and talked with Bertha, my "host mother", and this old friend of hers named Salvador, who is a really nice guy who speaks very smooth English. Lucky for me he does, because I was the one who answered earlier that evening when he called the house on the phone, and I totally choked while trying to respond in Spanish. No problem about Ernesto not showing up Saturday night, I had plans for the next day which I had been looking forward to all week.
Jennifer had made plans to meet up with some other American teachers at the "Multi-Cinema" at 11AM. Problem is, there are several theatres in Queretaro which can be considered "multi-cinemas." We went by Transmetro bus to "Cinepolis," but when we waited and didnt see them, we took a taxi all the way across town to the movie complex at Plaza del Parque. This was the correct location we later found out, but we were too late to meet her friends. Jennifer and I hung around Plaza del Parque for a while, looking at stores. Plaza del Parque is a mall, a shopping mall just like we have back home. Its a fairly small one, a "mall-ito" as my friend Angel calls it, but its very nice. I felt like I was at home.
We left there and decided to waste time downtown. It was Sunday, so lots of stands were set up selling jewelry and clothes and lots of cool stuff. One day, shortly before I go home, I'm going to go there on a sunday and drop a bunch of money. We ended up going to a restaurant. I forget the name, but we ordered the "comida corrida," or meal of the day, a deal which many restaurants have. You get a huge multi course meal very cheaply, in this case 35 pesos. Chips and salsa, crackers and butter, guacamole salad, sopa azteca, bread, tortillas, steak in chipotle salsa, and jello- for under $4 american. I don't know how they sell it so cheap, because at the very same restaurant, ordering the same items a la carte on a different day would run at least 35 pesos for each item. It was a really good lunch and it kept me full the rest of the day.
After that I had to get home, because I had plans with Claudia at 5PM. Even though she speaks fluent English and quite a decent amount of Japanese (she is going to Japan in a few weeks) we spent the whole evening talking in Spanish. She was very patient with all of my mistakes! We went to see the movie "Hearts in Atlantis" and then went downtown for a while. (So I ended up going to Cinepolis twice in one day!) There was a band in the plaza downtown playing spanish rock music from the 80s, but we spent most of our time downtown inside Vips restaurant. It was a great time, and I really hope we find time to do it again soon. I really like Kika- she´s interesting and lots of fun, in addition to being completely cute!
That´s it for my weekend. Next weekend I am going to an island in the state of Michoacan with Paco and some other friends of PLI. I should get some good pictures there. I will post pictures of some of the friends I've been talking about in this chapter, when I get around to taking pictures of them!