Friday, December 07, 2007

Still getting adjusted...

So even after 2 months, there are things that still take getting used to...

1)Wearing short sleeves and sunglasses in December

2)Green GRASS in December! Pic taken during my leisurely walk home from work the other day...

3) Monterrey's fascination with soda (Exhibit A: best-selling cola, Big Cola, which tastes like Coke and sells for cheaper. And also comes in a 3.3 Liter bottle.)
4) The amount of meat and unhealthy agents they manage to pack into a single dish here. Take the innocent baked potato. Here we present a Monterrey variation that includes three cheeses, cream, steak, and I don't even remember what else. (Don't worry, this was the first and only time Carlos tried it) I'd say the tray weighs about 5 pounds.

5) The way that people from here are really FROM here. This city is a labrynth of unfamiliar streets, incomprehensible traffic, and hard-to-find services. Those from here find no trouble navigating all this. But even Carlos, born in this city, never experienced it as a grown-up, and finds it just as perplexing.

For me (Amy), it's been a little difficult being the outsider, especially at work, as they can't get over the fact that the lifestyle here just doesn't come naturally to me. My closest acquaintances at work are the other "outsiders" who understand this: Alexandra the French teacher, who really is from eastern France, and my teammate Marina the 4th grade Spanish teacher, who is freshly arrived from the nearby state of Sonora. In the case of Marina, I find it incredible how even SHE feels so out of place - she's from another northern Mexican state! It would be like moving to Chicago from South Dakota or something like that. Anyway, at least the kids understand. A large number of them have visited the US, love to ask me questions about Chicago, and they say they're lucky to have 3 teachers from such different places (and they're right!) :).

Today at work they literally laughed out loud at me and Marina when we mentioned we had not yet seen the Puente Atirantado (one of Monterrey's most famous landmarks). It's in a posh part of the city people like us only go through if we have high-end shopping or business to do. We've just been busy getting settled in our section of the city and haven't had time to get there yet.

Anyway, tomorrow we will see it on the way to the school Christmas concert which is in San Pedro, the section of the city that boasts the famous bridge. Maybe I'll feel less like an outsider then... :D


Amanda said...

I cant tell you how much of a relief it is for me to read about how you felt like an outsider and about how you adjusted. Iv been in Mexico for 4 months now and still people stare at me when I walk the streets. Finally my neighbors don't stare they just tell me good morning and go on. And until I can speak better in Spanish I will continue to be so very far from fitting in.

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