Sunday, January 22, 2012

A class of one.

The search for a tutor is over. Edith was in the little tienda on the Andador Guadalupe yesterday. She was expecting me since Arnolf had paved the way. She gives Spanish lessons to people who already speak enough to comprehend, but doesn't take on beginners as her English isn't very good. The schedule for group lessons are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12:30 till 2:30. The price is $50p per person, but since I will be a class of one, she asked me to pay $100 for the two hours. Not a problem!! The school would have charged me $300p for a two hour group class, and that would include sharing the professor. It was a good thing Arnolf and I met that evening at the theater. Serendipity is everywhere!

Ratones (Big Rats) a delicious confection,
rich thick brownie with almond eyes,
covered in cinnamon chocolate.
I spent some of yesterday morning with Laurie, Linda's friend. She and her boyfriend Tom are from Portland, Oregon and are here for almost four months. Laurie has been coming to San Cristobal for three or four weeks at a time for several years. She likes the town, and the fact that she has friends here. Tom speaks no Spanish at all, so they are looking for a school for him. Laurie agreed with my assessment that most of the schools are overpriced and not very good. I told her about Edith (whom I had not yet met) and she wondered if Edith might teach Tom. I'll have to call her and tell her no. But I will put her onto the SpanishDICT.com website, which has a very good program for beginning Spanish. It's interactive and I used it myself last April to become reacquainted with phrases and conjugations. Plus I learned quite a few words I hadn't known before.

The Andador Guadalupe.
Laurie and I went to the Tiangis Organica to purchase fruit and vegies. My bag ended up full of jars of honey and salsa, spices, a chunk of marble cake, a kilo of blackberries, lettuce, and avocados. Vendors there served freshly made blue corn tortillas, vegetarian tamales, and fresh meat that was arrayed on the table out in the sunshine. They had a full skinned rabbit, plucked chickens, and a goose, plus cut up beef chunks, tripe, and pork. I'm sure if I took some home and either refrigerated it or cooked it right away it would be fine, but some very Americanized version of myself has a tough time buying meat that's been out in the sun for a while.  Besides, I rarely cook meat here. The abundant rotisserie chickens are marvelous as are many dishes in good restaurants, even the al carbon street tacos, where the meat is shaved off a roasted column, are yummy. When I've gotten sick, it's been from restaurant produce, not cooked meats.

Malena's little restaurant serves really good food. Samplings have included Pollo con Mole Verde (chicken in green mole sauce) and Mole de Olla, a spicy beef soup with fresh vegetables and hunks of corn on the cob. She never lets me pay, so I take Yesi shopping and am trying to get her to read an English story in one of the books that John gave her, so we can discuss it. She picked a story called The Jockey, primarily because it's only 4 pages long. Ha! I read through it quickly. It's going to be a tough read. There are many words I'm sure she doesn't know, including slang and some gambling concepts she's not familiar with.

Life in Mexico is falling, by itself, into an interesting routine of chatting with people, tutoring and being tutored, taking photos, and exploring the countryside.

Sign for a Zapatista store.



The Neon Madonna.

Two Brits.
In the afternoon, headed up the Andador to the Guadalupe church that is perched high on a hill, I ran across a couple of English women who'd broken off a tour and were a bit lost. They were climbing the steps to the church thinking there was an indiginous market up there, but it was the wrong church. I ended up spending the entire afternoon with them, gave them tea and some of that good marble cake around 5:00, and then we wandered down the street to see all the stuff for sale in the real indiginous market.

A very good Saturday indeed.