Querido diario

We have only been in Mexico for one and a half month, but it seems so much longer. This is a good thing, because it means that every day is a new adventure, some big, but mostly small. There is no routine (yet), nothing is normal (yet) and we miss a lot of what is going on around us because we don’t speak the language good enough (yet).

OK, an update is in order: after the Spanish school we had to wait two weeks before we could move into our new house, so we lived in a furnished apartment hotel. It was clean and the cleaning lady was happy and full of smiles. I was very fortunate to have learned the word for cleaning, as that was all I could understand from her. She babbled away while cleaning and I smiled back a lot. I think we got on real well.

This is also the time that I went grocery shopping for the first time. The supermarkets here are huge and sell almost everything: groceries, TV’s, washing machines, furniture and clothes. So, while I had bread and chicken in my cart, I could leisurely compare washing machines and fridges. A total culture shock to me. Although very handy: I was looking for avocados the other day and stumbled into a pool table for not too much.  We should probably get one.

Carnaval en Veracruz

Then there was Carnaval. Awesome! Saturday night we went to the Zoculo (square in the old part of town) where three bands played and where they sold cups with 1.18 liters of beer! Everyone was salsa dancing, except us of course. I did learn how to dance salsa about 7 years ago (or was it 10) and have forgotten everything. The way the Latinos move their feet and their hips, it is like watching a ballet. Some were really good and had moves I’d never even seen before. Others just did it for the fun, while holding a liter of beer in one hand and a pretty girl in the other. That is living the life.

A week later our things arrived from Holland. The truck arrived three hours late, because customs had decided to go through our stuff after all. When we opened the container it was one big mess of paper and cardboard and we heard the sound of broken glass coming from several boxes. The worst thing was that box 88 was missing: a painting that was very dear to me. For days I was upset that the painting got stolen by some asshole customs guy, who else could have done it? Neither our mover from Holland nor the agent in Mexico responded to any of our emails, so we were not impressed.

Four days after the delivery we could (finally) move into our new house and start the unpacking. Mostly hard work and since the boxes kept reminding me of the stolen picture I was not in high spirits. But then I opened box 124, and (wooah) it contained my ‘stolen’ painting! That night I deleted the blog I wrote on the Mexican customs guy!

Anyway, the boxes are unpacked, the damages have been claimed and we are waiting for a response (yawn). I have vowed to never move again. Not sure how that is going to work out, but for now I am going to stick to it.

So, having the house looked after, I got back on the computer again. Only to find out that it died. All of a sudden I had no connection with the rest of the world! Not having a phone is fine, not having wireless is bearable, but not having cable either? No way! I had to buy a new computer. In Holland you get to choose whether you want the English software or the Dutch version. In Mexico you don’t. So I am typing this blog on a computer with a Spanish keyboard and with a Spanish version of Word, Outlook, browser, etc. It is amazing how you take things for granted: what I can do in English and Dutch on automatic pilot is totally new now. I am frantically searching how to set the language to English, but the Help is also in Spanish. The English help on Internet is somewhat helpful although I suspect that the menus here are in a different order.

Anway, if anything, it is interesting and I am sure I will be rocking this Spanish real soon now. Yo voy a guardar este documento y publicar mi blog en Intranet. See?


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