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Study Abroad

Embracing the suck

Embracing the suck

— For the past four weeks, every Monday at 10 am, I’ve started a new level of Spanish classes here in Mexico City. Monday has typically been, for me, the hardest lesson of the week as my brain struggles to adjust. This Monday was the first week of lessons at the intermediate level, which was an even bigger jump than previous weeks. There were eight students in my class. Instead of starting the day with a grammar lesson, we dug right into a reading comprehension and discussion exercise.
First time for lucha libre in Mexico City

First time for lucha libre in Mexico City

— Seeing a lucha libre event was high on my to-do list for this trip to Mexico City. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it was because I was fascinated by American-style professional wrestling when I was boy, leading to a desire to see how it’s done in Mexico. Maybe it was because I’d enjoyed the movie Nacho Libre more than I care to admit. Whatever the reason, by the end of my second week in Mexico City, I still hadn’t dragged myself over to the arena yet, even though the events are three times a week and less than a half-hour walk from where I’m staying.
Street food in Mexico City

Street food in Mexico City

— The first time I was in Mexico City, back in 2018, I had some pretty amazing food. However, I never got a chance to experience the street food for which Mexico City is so rightly famous. On this trip, I may have overcorrected. Lunchtime torta. I forget which meat I ordered. The chipotle Fritos were a personal touch I added when I got back to the house. Almost everywhere I’ve been in Mexico City, I’ve been intoxicated by the delightful smell of food cooking.
Two weeks of Spanish classes down, two weeks left in Mexico City

Two weeks of Spanish classes down, two weeks left in Mexico City

— I’m halfway through my four-week Spanish course in Mexico City, so I feel I’m in a position to review the first two weeks somewhat objectively. Honestly, I didn’t have a whole lot of information about the school before I signed up to come here. I’d seen the school’s website — which I wouldn’t expect to be entirely objective — and had seen a few positive reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook — neither of which I trust much.
Cheap beer in Roma, Mexico City

Cheap beer in Roma, Mexico City

— Yesterday I decided to go out around 4 pm for my daily beer time. I walked down a nearby street and noticed a number of places had happy hour beer specials on Tuesdays and Wednesday, and some of them were dirt cheap. In particular, I ended up in a supposedly “Irish” pub where they were offering one-liter drafts of Dos Equis for 49 pesos. How can one go wrong? The thing about a ridiculously cheap beer is that it lowers the barrier to ordering another one.
First day of Spanish classes in Mexico City

First day of Spanish classes in Mexico City

— I looked at the exam questions with a blank stare for several minutes before realizing I was never going to write down anything if I kept trying to think of answers in English and then write them down in Spanish. Instead, I thought of anything I could in Spanish, and if it vaguely answered the question, I wrote it down. The director asked me a few questions in Spanish and then decided to place me in a beginner class that started last week.
Holiday lights, fountain in the historic center of Montpellier, France

Holiday lights, fountain in the historic center of Montpellier, France

— I took this photo of the fountain near the entrance of Esplanade Charles de Gaulle in Montpellier, France, on December 17, 2002. It has the distinction of being the oldest photo in my Google Photos collection — for now, at least. The camera I used back then, a Minolta point-and-shoot, had low resolution by today’s standards — about 3 megapixels, I think. However, I’m pleasantly surprised when I look back at some of these old photos and see how much nicer they look than those taken with my phone.