Last Spanish Class
I was up early in the morning as I had a lot to pack and I wanted to get a head start. We had breakfast then we walked to the taxi station near Walmart. There was quite a bit of traffic and the taxi driver was adamant about dropping us off in front of the school so I was not sure what he was doing – all I know it cost more than twice as much as we had been paying. If I had been there another week, I would have learned how to navigate the subway system. It was much more convenient but I think there was a lot more walking involved. Anyway, my friend Kathy used it several times and discovered there was a special women’s section where you waited as well as special women’s cars where you sat.
We arrived on time and went to our classroom. The teacher asked us what we had done the day before. I had actually thought about what I was going to say in advance so was some what prepared. Everyone told their story and then we did a few work sheets. Time passed quickly and soon it was time for break. I went to my usual coffee stop and had a cup of coffee. As I was sitting there on the street having my coffee, Loren (student from Germany) came to join me. He is staying in Mexico City for 9 months and then going on to other Spanish speaking countries. He is doing a photographic research on volcanos. One thing I really enjoyed was meeting so many people from a variety of places around the world. Our break went by very quickly and we had to get back to class. The afternoon session was very interesting as it was all about vocabulary and how to use it correctly in sentences. I think vocabulary is one of my strong points. I have had a lot of Spanish instruction over the years and even taught a preschool class in Spanish but if you don’t keep using a language, you soon forget how to speak it. Hopefully, this time I will keep plugging along until I reach a satisfactory fluency. I still have many relatives in South America; it would be nice to visit and be able to converse in grammatically correct Spanish.
It was 2 pm and time to say good by to the teacher and the other students. I asked to take some photos for my blog.
Dinner at Nudo Negro – Celebrating Our Week of Spanish
Kathy and I met Ginita in the hall and we said good by to several other people we had met and then decided to hail a taxi to get to the restaurant. Most of the Mexico City restaurants I had researched on the internet were open from 1 pm on into the evening hours. We could eat anytime in the afternoon. We thought our best plan would be to eat earlier and then try to find some shops and look around the area of Norte Roma. Norte Roma is noted for its cafes and bars as well as a vibrant art scene. We found the restaurant and took a look at the menu. The restaurant is Asian-Mexican fusion. It looked good for all of us. We were seated right away. It was about 3pm and so there were not that many people in the restaurant.
According to their tradition, guests are taken upstairs to the kitchen to meet the chefs and check out what is going on.
I guess this is turning into a gastronomic post but I heartily recommend the “Nudo Negro” for a special night out in Mexico City. We also had dessert – we chose Panna Cotta with a berry sorbet and we split it three ways. On top of that, they presented us with a delectable board of marshmallows and chocolate with wasabi. All in all an excellent culinary experience!
After we finished eating, we tried to find the Roma area where there were shops and markets. We walked quite a while but unfortunately, time was getting a way from us and Ginita and I had to get back to our house. We both had things to do to get ready to leave by 5 am. We said good by to Kathy. She was also leaving on Saturday but at a later time. The evening before our hostess was kind enough to call the taxi driver’s number and we were happy to hear that all was ok and he would be picking us up at 5am.
I think I went to bed around 12 midnight and was up around 3:30 to finish up packing and get ready to leave. The driver was on time. I dragged my heavy suitcase down the stairs, and we said good by to our hostess. With little traffic, we quickly arrived at the bustling airport. All went well on both flights from Mexico City and Houston and finally we were back in San Diego. Happy to be home!!!
Some final thoughts:
My critical analysis: I think the next time, I would find my own accommodations and make sure they were near the school. I have done that in the past was happy with the end results. For me, the biggest drawback was being so far from the school (actually only 6 klm.)but the heavy traffic we encountered during the rush hours made it seem so much further. We seemed to spend a lot of time in taxis. Our meals were breakfast and dinner so consequently, we were unable to stay out late as we were committed to eating at the home stay by 7:30pm. That meant we had to get a taxi around 6:00 or 6:30 which was less time we could spend sightseeing. As for the Spanish lessons, the school did not provide any materials so I think it was difficult for both the teacher and student to have day to day continuity. In the time we had, I felt that we saw quite a bit of Mexico City but I would have liked classes from 8:30-12:30 and then the rest of the day to sight see. I think that some things I read on the internet about Mexico City were not necessarily true and made me hesitate about getting around the city. If I had stayed longer, I definitely would have used the metro system.
I did enjoy my Spanish classes and I thought the teacher was very knowledgeable. I also enjoyed meeting such a diverse variety of students. The Mexican capital is very cosmopolitain with world class museums, vibrant street art, bustling markets and trendy restaurants. Like any large city you have to be cognizant of the inherent dangers and know how to be safe. The New York Times ranks Mexico City #1 travel destination for 2016 so don’t hesitate, brush up on your Spanish or plan to take Spanish lessons in the vibrant Mexican capital!