This blog entry is FAAAR overdue… BUT I figured I’d still write it. I AM BACK IN THE U.S OF A! And first thing I get asked since my arrival, “Did you like Mexico, how was it?”
Every time I get asked this, I pause….. I smile and say, “Loved it”. Truth is, I can’t seem to find the words to describe my experience. Making a comparison between Mexico and the United States is silly, they are completely different countries, different worlds!
The day I got off that plane and arrived at my new home I had no idea what I had in store. I had family members and thank the lord; I was going to live with two dear cousins. Still, I was alone…. A gringa alone in the big city of Guadalajara. Carless, I had to learn to use other means of transportation, Macrobus, “el tren”, “el camion”, TAXI, used them all….and my favorite was, “TAXI!!!” My favorite thing to do? Drink coffee and sit at coffee shops, work, read, and write… that is currently what I am doing. It is also something I did in Mexico and just sitting here makes me miss the smell, taste, and life Mexico has to offer. Mexico is a third world country and there are horrible things currently going on but it is still one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!
The first days I began working at SJRTV, I was overwhelmed…overwhelmed by the huge “borracho edificio”, by the five floors that make up the building and by the hundreds of people walking in and out. People stared at me and wondered, “Who is this girl?” Soon enough they figured I was the “reportera de los Estados Unidos”. First meetings, first stories, I was shy…. and then I got comfortable enough that I began meeting people! In Mexico, you don’t smile, wave, throw a peace sign or say hello to someone…whether they are acquaintances or your best friends, you MUST go up to a person, shake their hand, give a hug and a kiss on the cheek!
Because I’ve already shared on my experience working there, I’ll share more so on the life outside of SJRTV. It is extremely common that people that work together, go to school together, do whatever together go afterwards and grab a drink! Or wings! “Wings” restaurants are the most popular thing to do among the 17-30. Guadalajara has not one, two or three bars, restaurants, lounges, nightclubs…there must be around 200 or 300!?! And they all have a unique style, architecture, and theme to them. My favorites, “El salmon” “Zapotlan” “Lola Lolita”, to name a few. Nightlife begins at 12am and ends at 6, 7 or 8am. There is food open at all hours and there is even a street nicknamed, “la calle del hambre”, Hungry Street. You can find the BEST TACOS on this street, trust me! And there is also random streets dedicated to selling medicines, fixing your cars, selling you car parts…all at very cheap prices!
Also, there is always a carnival, festival or celebration going on. El centro de GDL or the downtown hosts concerts, shows, and exhibitions every weekend! Now, I will make a comparison, San Francisco and Guadalajara are similar in relation to culture, it’s never-ending.
Soccer games! Now, these were MEMORABLE. I love soccer games, always have gone to them…I wear a soccer jersey, love to yell and cheer on teams. But the love for soccer in Mexico is something else! (I’m sure you can imagine). Stadiums are packed, there is a huge party prior to the soccer games outside of the stadiums and everyone and anyone is an “aficionado”. People don’t sit and quietly watch the game….oh no! There are songs dedicated to players, to teams, moves, refs…. Everyone is on their feet, screaming their lungs out and having a huge celebration whether their team is winning or not! Another great experience, “La lucha libre”, a wrestling match. 90% of the people attend, NOT to watch but to have a good time! The stadium is divided into two, there is a bottom section and an upper. It is all a joke, according to the ticket prices, the people on the lower part of the stadium are the “rich” and the ones belonging to the upper are the “poor”. There is live music playing in the background and the entire time the people sing, and yell at each other. I must have looked like the “lost child” here…..I didn’t understand what was going on until it was explained to me.
I thank every single person that I met during my stay in México; I made friends that I consider more like best friends at this point or even family. Although Mexico living is very different to my current living in the United States, I would go back and experience it all over again! This experience has been breathtaking and there wasn’t ONE day that I went without doing something, learning something, experiencing something new! If I’ve learned something from this was that every single country has something great to offer, and Mexico offers love for life, music and culture. Goals for the future? I want to experience living in Spain or Latin America.
So if you have or haven’t asked me how my experience was, did I love it, would I go back? The answer lies in this blog, what do you think?!?!