It’s been a rather long time since my last blog, mostly because I just been hanging around Toluca and so haven’t had an awful lot to report! However enough interesting things have now happened to merit a post, so here goes…
After four lovely months living with Helen and our Mexican host family I decided to move out into a shared house the other languages assistants are living in. It has made a nice change and means more lie-ins as it’s about 5 mins from work. I somehow still manage to arrive late everyday, although for this I’m blaming Mexico…
Not much has happened in good old Toluca. Obama decided to pay a visit. Unfortunately he didn’t stop to say hi, although he did get us an extra few days off of uni. Here’s an example of something Mexican that just doesn’t make sense. The schools were closed to make sure there would be no protesting or disruptions, thus giving everyone the day off to do whatever they want…
I’m feel like I’ve properly got back into the swing of working at the uni and everything seems to be going more smoothly this semester, or so I like to think! Although in true Mexican fashion we were only told today about new workshops we’d be starting next week. This weekend is going to be dedicated to YARP, panic planning and fear.
Anyway, on a less stressful note I’ve finally got around to visiting some of the towns and villages close to Toluca, in the State of Mexico (and by close I still mean about an hour away…) A few weekends ago I was invited on a weekend trip with the other assistants at the uni by our tutor. We first went to his town, Tenancingo, which is south of Toluca. Upon arriving we were treated to an absolutely delicious and very much meat themed meal in the cutest restaurant ever – it was enough for me that it had a TV that had been made into a fish tank! Mental. We wandered around the town (not sure it really classifies as a town having a population of 80 000…) and visited its equivalent of Rio de Janeiro’s ‘Christ the Redeemer’ which stands at the top of a hill, giving amazing views of the town and countryside.
We went for a wander around the town, visiting markets and getting some super yummy icecreams (could definitely get used to how cheap icecream is here…) We then got a taxi to the nearby town of Malinalco, where we stayed the night. We went to a really cool bar in the evening where we had several very competitive and quite vicious games of table football, the fun of drinking out of a boob shaped mug and flaming shots of some unidentified aniseed flavoured alcohol. Literally ON FIRE.
The following day after an amaaazing breakfast of tamales canarios (ever reinforcing my love of tamales) we walked around lots of cute little markets stands and visited the church in the centre of Malinalco, as well as an old monastery by the side. The inside walls of the latter were covered with an incredible black and white design.
Tamales canarios – not sure what was in them but they tasted like cake!
Later on we climbed the million and one steps up to the ruins at Malinalco. It was a pretty hot day, so kind of concerning that you could only just see them from the town, half way up a mountain… Anyway the climb was definitely worth it as from the ruins you got an amazing view of Malinalco and so here is a picture of me being your typical tourist posing on a pyramid:
We visited a museum after and went for a lovely meal, this was made especially memorable by my mistaking a slice of habanero chilli for a slice of yellow pepper. It being the hottest chilli, I strongly recommend you don’t eat it on it’s own… Lesson learnt! Although other than this incident it was an awesome weekend!
Last weekend I was invited by the other assistants to go to Acapulco with them and their British Council friends for the extra long weekend (Mexican equivalent of a bank holiday). We set off from DF on the Friday in a little rented minibus (proper road trip style) with a 6 hour journey ahead of us. Needless to say it wasn’t the most comfortable journey in the world, however it was made a lot more entertaining by the antics of some of the more vocal British Council assistants! We arrived at some point in the afternoon to what felt like the hottest place in the world (especially in comparison to Toluca!) and found the house that we’d be staying in. It was literally AMAZING with a pool and beautiful views of the sea from the balcony outside. Definitely one of those moments when you think to yourself, ‘ummm WHAT am I doing HERE!!?’ or alternatively ‘I’M IN MEXICOOOO’ although I find those happen more often on buses. Anyway, it was such a lovely random group of people that there was never really a dull moment. Most of the trip was spent happily lounging around outside in the sun drinking home made tinto de verano and various other alcoholic concoctions, including the strongest mezcal (and probably the strongest alcohol) I’ve ever tried. Note to self, unflavoured mezcal is NOT nice.
View from the house
We went to one of the nearby beaches for an afternoon, which was nice as we weren’t in Acapulco itself but on the outskirts, so it was less touristy. The waves were so strong that we were constantly being dragged back into the sea.
So all in all a brilliant weekend, even if I’ve still not quite recovered!
I’ve also rather excitingly changed my return flight back to England (and hopefully for the last time!) It turns out that due to the lack of flights I could change to I’m actually going to be staying in this crazy country until the end of July, which in itself is both super exciting and a scarily long time away!
Hasta la proxima 🙂