Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saturday in Cuernavaca

Right now I'm sitting in our living room, Sunday morning, sipping coffee while listening to the church bells ringing and the birds chirping. Suddenly a car passes by slowly and I hear the song "Strangers in the night..." blasting from the open windows...

We spent yesterday - Saturday - from 10-1 at the language school going through their orientation program. It was very well organized and consisted of a placement test, video about the school and area, Q&A session, and tour of the campus. We also got our photos taken for our IDs and we all were invited to drain our bank accounts to pay the tuition. All I remember from my Spanish is the simple present tense, so they said they'll start me with the past tense. I'd almost rather start at the very beginning, but they said that if we think we need to switch levels, to just let them know. There are about 30 new students starting on Monday and about 40 current students. But the school shares the campus with the "university" so there are a lot of Mexican students going to classes in the same buildings. It seems like it's a very lively campus. There's a restaurant and snack bar, too, so we might just eat our main meal there right after classes get out. The main meal here is anywhere between 1-4 pm and consists of a hot, heavy meal. Then for "dinner" they eat a light meal, like the Europeans do. 

Here are some photos I took along the walk to the school. It's about a 15-20 minute walk, mostly downhill. Then it will be uphill on our way home. We might try to catch a bus just to get up the hill. It costs 40 cents. One thing I noticed architecturally around here (as well as throughout Latin American countries) is the "walled" homes. Most streets are lined with walls, behind which lie the courtyards, gardens, and houses of the owners. Each property has its unique style of wall, mostly consisting of a door large enough to drive a car through. Some of them might also have a smaller door for people to pass through. Just like the entryways to stores and restaurants in Japan, I love the entryways to the homes and businesses here. Here are a few shots of the more picturesque ones I pass on the way to school.







This is one of the main gates to Universidad Internacional...


This is the entry to the private residence of the owners of the villa compound we're staying at; it's right next door to our entry gate...



1 comment:

Hisako said...

Your language school sounds wonderful. Your description of the "walled" homes and the photos of the gates reminded me of Steinbeck's description of the "city of stone and plaster" (from The Pearl) where the doctor lived although he lived in La Paz.