First Day of School
Today was our first day of school. We got up and had breakfast and were out the door in good time. We walked to the taxi stand near Walmart about three blocks from the house. The morning was overcast and I guess during the rainy season that is normal. We found the taxi stand and a taxi and we were on our way. The traffic wasn’t too bad and we made it to the school in about 20 minutes. As soon as we got into the building – there is no sign just an address but we had been there the day before visiting Kathy so we knew where to go. As we stepped into the office, we met the person in charge and she immediately gave us a three page exam and an answer sheet. It was all grammar which is not the best part of my Spanish ability. Anyways, I was put in Basic B class and then discovered that my friend, Kathy was in the same class. In the end there were 4 Americans in the class. Patrick was from Pennsylvania, Haley from Oklahoma and myself and Kathy from San Diego. My friend, Ginitia was in another class.
Our teacher is named Rodrigo who had taught at the university previously. He doesn’t seem that prepared but maybe that is his style. He did have a lot of variety which kept it from being boring. We did grammar, conversation and reading. The hours were a bit of a disappointment as the classes go to 2pm which doesn’t give us that much time to do a lot of sightseeing in the afternoon. I might have to take a day off from class to see the pyramids. Class starts at 10am and goes until 12:00 and then there is a 30 minute break and then from 12:30 until 2pm.
Eating at La Bodega
School was out at 2pm so Kathy, Ginita and Haley (She is a nurse and plans to live in Mexico City) and I met to go to lunch at a restaurant we saw the day before called La Bodega. La Bodega is noted for its authentic Mexican cuisine. They have a theater where they present stand-up comedy on the weekends as well as several different bands playing Cuban music in the dining areas. We found the restaurant and were seated out on the patio. It was a beautiful afternoon and very nice to relax and have lunch. I ordered fish tacos. Kathy and Ginita ordered a chicken mole dish. Haley ordered a taco . Kathy had the most artistic looking dish.
I thought the food was tasty. Of course, I ate too many home made chips with salsa and avocado dip. The restaurant was decorated in typical Mexican style with a touch of bohemia. We took a tour of the theater and other dining rooms after we ate.
From there we wanted to see the Blue House – the Frida Kahlo Museum. The school is named after this famous Mexican artist. Again we looked for a taxi stand but on the way stopped to ask where one was and found out that most of the museums were closed on Monday including the Blue House. I looked in my notebook I made before I came to see where we could go. We decided to go to Chapultepec Forest – the main park in Mexico City which covers 1,600 acres. It was once the temporary home of the Aztec empire. Today, it is the city’s most popular park. Unfortunately, all the museums were closed but we did see several attractions.
It was getting late and Ginita and I had to be back by 7:30 for dinner. We had to start walking back to where we were dropped off by the taxi. When we got there, there were two taxis. Just a bit of information…Before we came to Mexico, I read on the internet that there are security taxis and then regular taxis. The security taxis cost quite a bit but supposedly are very safe. We took one from the airport and he charged 300 pesos. Lately we had been taking the regular city taxis because they were cheaper. So we saw a regular taxi and got in. Then I asked him how much it would cost to get to where we lived. He said 340 pesos. I was shocked! I mean, it is only $15 but we had been paying around 70 pesos for the last two days. He didn’t want to use the meter. I tried to argue with him so he showed me the fare chart. I guess he charged more because we were picked up at the park. It wasn’t just the money, it was the attitude and the idea that he took advantage of us.
It took more than an hour because of the traffic and as soon as we got in the house, it started raining like crazy! It was also thundering and lightening. The hostess wasn’t there. It was 7pm. We really weren’t that hungry because we ate late and it was a big lunch. She didn’t arrive until about 7:50 and then had to rush around to organize dinner. I think she cooks during the day and has it sitting on the stove for dinner. We had a squash soup, tortilla with refried beans and potatoes on it. She also had tomatoes to put on the top. There were cooked carrots and cauliflower. I appreciated the vegetarian food but it is very plain fare. She served some kind of dessert – a little brown square that tasted like prunes. I took a teeny piece and left the rest. Well, that was the end of my day. I worked until about 11pm and fell into bed!