Querido México….

Yet again, it’s been an absurdly long time since my last post. Although this time not through a lack of exciting things to report, but because of certain (evil) year abroad research project…. On the bright side I’VE FINISHED MY DISSERTATION and remembering that beautiful fact that never fails to cheer me up! Anyway, here is a little summary of some of the more interesting things I’ve been up to lately!

Before finishing work for the Easter holidays, Ellie and I decided to host our own British Easter day at the uni. So we spent a fair few hours making ‘typical Easter foods’ i.e. chocolate cereal nests and the worst hot cross buns I’ve ever seen (although the credit for that disaster belongs with yours truly). After months of stubbornly blaming the altitude, we’ve learnt the hard way that the oven can’t handle anything more taxing than fruit cakes… Anyway, we thought we’d teach the students some typical Easter games! We began with a good old egg and spoon race, moving on to pin the tail on the Easter bunny, then to a game I hadn’t actually heard of before; egg roulette. Basically Russian roulette, but with eggs, because we’re not crazy. It was so much fun, and everyone was keen to get involved, all the more so when shouting at them through a megaphone… We finished it all off with a typical Easter Egg Hunt, which involved the students running around the school like headless chickens (ha ha) hunting for some ingeniously hidden chocolate eggs. All in all it was a really fun day – I love that we can do random ‘cultural’ days whenever we want! Anyway, here are a few picture to capture the fun of the day!

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As we had a week off for Easter, Charissa and I decided to make the most of it by going to Sinaloa with her Mexican brother and his friend. Sinaloa is well known for being the home of banda (a type of Mexican music). I already kind of knew I didn’t like it much, however after a THIRTEEN HOUR car journey, in which we listened to nothing but banda, I can now say that I positively hate it. For anyone who still has any lingering curiosity to hear banda, here is a song, to which, through no fault of my own, I know all the words…

Thankfully the excessive banda was the only downside to the trip! We started off by staying a few days in Escuinapa, a quaint little town about half an hour from the sea. We had a very chilled time wandering around and drinking beer on the beach. It was amazing as  because there were so few tourists we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. It was so calm and beautiful. I’m sure that during the whole trip we lived off of a dish called ‘ceviche,’ which is basically cucumber, onions, tomatoes, shrimp and other seafood in a lemon juice sauce (the picture gives a better description) – very yummy!

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Here are a few pictures of the beaches, where many an hour was spent searching for pretty shells.

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After staying in Escuinapa for a few days we drove to Mazatlán, a touristy city by the sea. Much to my surprise I discovered that we were staying in the fanciest hotel ever, right on the beach – it even came with it’s own POSTCARD. As it was the Easter holidays the beach was absolutely packed, and you could hardly walk for tourists, people selling all sorts of things, and of course, banda. There were groups of musicians carrying all kinds of huge brass instruments just playing right on the beach!

As we’d spent rather a lot of time hanging around the beach/hotel we decided to have a day exploring Mazatlán. This began with a trip to the lighthouse. Climbing a huge hill in the baking midday sunshine was no mean feat, but the views were definitely worth it, even if there was no icecream stand waiting for us at the top. Continuing with the climbing theme, we decided to get a boat over to a nearby island and climb the hill there too. Here are the views from the top!

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Anyway, as my camera decided it didn’t want to work for the following few days I unfortunately have scant photographic evidence of what we got up to. On our last day however, we got a boat to a little island just across from the beach in front of our hotel, which you can just about see in the photo.

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All in all it was an awesome trip and topped off by one of the randomest conversations I’ve had yet in Mexico. The buses here not only have a bus driver, bus usually a guy sitting next to him who collects your money/shouts the bus route loudly out the door. Anyway the one on the bus home was particularly talkative, asking all the usual questions (What are you doing in Mexico? What do you think of Mexico? etc.) To my surprise he even bought me an ice lolly from one of the random people that sell things on the buses. However things got even odder when, after asking me how old I was, he then asked if I were married…

Now that we’re reaching the end of term (I’ve only got FOUR WEEKS left at work) things are getting less hectic at uni. One of the French girls has finished, leaving just the three of us in our little cubículo. However, I had a rather hilarious moment the other day doing a presentation about comedy in the UK. I’d never have imagined myself being forced to write ‘sheep shagger’ on the board of a university classroom in order to explain a joke…

I don’t know what has provoked it, but recently it has dawned on me that I’ve got hardly any time left in Mexico at all, and as I mentioned, less than a month teaching at the uni. It’s going to sound very cliché, but it genuinely doesn’t feel like I’ve spent the last 7 months of my life here. Yes, I miss England, of course. Everytime I see a picture on Facebook of all my friends together, or skype someone I haven’t spoken to in weeks, it really comes back to me how strange it is that I don’t see them all the time. But, on the other hand I’m dreading the day I leave this crazy country and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Time to make the most of the remaining 72 days…

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