Thursday, January 12, 2012

Emails to my family while I was in Mexico

These were the start of a kind of journal I was keeping.  I have more hand-written items, but I am not up to transcribing.  Working in short bursts with plenty of hydration and rest between.

Jan. 5 Mexico City
>>Helloooo beautiful family!  First, let me tell you how much I miss you.  I am thinking about you all the time, especially as I shop.  Girls, there are so many cute things here that I wish I could get you, but they will not fit in my suitcase.  David, since you are a pain and do not want anything, I am going to get you at least one t-shirt.  So there.

There will probably be mistakes in this email because the keyboard in
Mexico is different from ours.  Who knew??  I never even thought of
that.  Neither Jorge nor I could figure out how to get the @ off the
keyboard, so we had to literally copy the symbol from somewhere else
and paste it in.  Very bizarre.  I need to take a pic of the keyboard
so you know what I am talking about.

Mexico City is awesome.  You guys would hate it after about an hour,
however.  It is not quite as busy as New York, but we are staying in
the center where there is a skating rink and constant festival-like
activity.  The guys who run this stuff bellow into microphones all
day--no exaggeration.  Also, like I told you,Daddy, there is a
blinkling wreath right outside our window and the beds are harder than
the ones in our camping cabins.  Last night, to drown out the noise,
David turned on a white noise recording of a campfire.  It was
hilarious because through the curtains, the light looked like a fire
and the beds felt like we were sleeping on the ground.  At least there
are no cockroaches. It is actually a gorgeous place, antique, like
many of the buildings here.

One good thing is that security in the city is beefed up.  There are
cops everywhere, and everythig is very peaceful.  The freaky thing is
that all the cops carry machine guns.  The other thing that is kind of
unsettling is you see a lot of people wearing surgical masks.  Joege
said they do that in big cities in China and other places to stop the
spread of sickness.  Also, there are a lot of allergens here, and
there is smog, so for people with asthma, the air is difficult to
breath.  I can not believe it--the altitude has not bothered me at
all!  The weather is like our fall--cool at night in early morning,
around 70 during the day.

Girls, David and I have been playing punch buggy here.  There are
millions of them, including taxi-punch-buggies!  We call them

I am going to try to upload pics on Facebook once we get reliable
internet.  The service here is not reliable.  And of course, I am
going to call you soon, anyway, but I might forget to tell you all

Girls, I hope you are being good and are not stressing Daddy out!
Daddy, I hope you are being patient with the girls.  Cosmo, I hope you
are eating.  Sallie, I hope you are not humping anyones leg.  Shiba, I
hope you are not giving the Inu Bark too much.  And fish, I hope you
are not slimy.

Okay, will call you in a little while.  Love you to pieces!

Jan. 5 Mexico City

Okay, so I tell you guys to check your emil and you don't.  Fine.  I
will just sit here in this little booth in the hotel and type to
myself.  Hmph!

Actually, I would call you back but I have to get my calling card
working.  Apparently, you need to get an 800 number within Mexdico and
direct calls through there.  Not sure how to do that but Jorge is
going to help me later.

We just got back from walking around the downtown area.  There is a
huge carnival and fair going on in celebration of the Epiphany, which
is when the Three Wisemen finally found Jesus (January 8, I think).
Anyway, this feast is called Little Christmas.  Not only are there
celebrations but kids put out their shoes and parents leave candy and
treats, kind of like Christmas but I guess there's no Santa.  The
carnival is WAY LOUD.  There is music everywhere, lights, all kinds of
different foods (pork rinds as big as pizza--no lie), rides, games,
etc.  It actually put all of us on overload so we got out of there and
went and had ice cream instead.  : )

There were some other things I wanted to tell you about the city, but
I forgot last time.  The first thing is, you see PDAs
everywhere--public displays of affection.  People, especially older
teens through younger adults, kissing.  It reminds me of movies of
France or Italy--very romantic.  On the other hand, they don't have
"adult stores" here.  They have "sex shops."  No lie--it's written on
the signs like that.  Girls, you probably know this, but a sex shop
sells sexual videos and lingerie and other things you will never see
until you are 35 years old, if I can help it.

The markets here are pretty incredible.  You know how we have farmers
markets?  Well that's how it is here all the time.  A loit of people
don't go to grocery stores.  They go to these markets that have all
fresh produce, meat and dairy.  They pharmacies are separate, and they
are not like CVS.  You have to ask for what you want and the staff get
the things for you.  The last pharmacy we were at, all the merchandise
was in glass cases, like the jewelry section of Wal-mart.

I am probably boring you,. but....TOO BAD!  LOL!  That is my job as
your mother and your wife (you know which is which, I hope).

Anytway, I am going to try one more time to get into my comcast email
which is probably a nightmare.  I don´'t know what's wrong with it.  I
just know this keyboard is driving me NUTS.  The apostrophe, quotes
and a bunch of other things are all in different places and some of
them I don't even know how to use. I hope we can get a quick tutorial
from Jorge's aunt tomorrow.

Okay, that is all for now.  I love you and miss you.
On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM, Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt
Valle de Bravo, Mexico

Hello dear family! I am in an internet cafe where I hope I can open my students´ papers!  The people here told ushow to do the @ which is helpful, but the keyboard is still a pain.  Also, I have not figured out how to make the text larger and of course, I do not have my glasses so everything is a bit blurry.  It is interesting in here, though, because there are headphones which I actually do not need because everything is in Spanish and, because I do not understand most of it, I can ignore it.  I wish I could do that at home, eh?  Or maybe YOU wish I could do that at home.
This little town is kind of amazing.  I don´t know quite how to describe it--third world with modernity cree´ping in.  Some of the shops offer traditional clothing, some contemporary.  The restaurants are outside with only a few inside.  The shops are tiny, not fancy and feel exotic.  Everything is made of stucco or celement with terra cotta roofs.  Streets are cobblestone.  There are many young people walking around and working in the shops.  I am definiately a minority here.  I have no idea where spell check is here, so there will be many misspellings in this email.  Spell check is picking up all my words as errors because it is looking for Spanish!
Jorge´s aunt Patty is riot.  She is part witch, part hippie, part new age, part conspiracy theorist.  She is a very education lady and used to be a therapist and a book distributor to colleges.  She makes us lauygh our butts off with her abrupt ways and isn´t afraid to cuss or tell it like it is (or at least how she perceives it is).
Girls, you would love her house!  It is Spanish colnial looking but totally updated.  The turkeys gobble all the time and answer you if you gobble back.  Chickens and roosters surround the place and there is a cat with Cosmo´s disposition who curled up on my lap last night.  There is also a fat beagle named Bruno who eats avocados from the trees in the front yard.  He is adorable but a begger!
Anyway, I really have to try to get to my class.  Honey, thank you for sending me emails.  Imagine if I let them collect the whole time???  Gitls, be good and be nice to Daddy.  I miss you all very much and am thinking of this as school to help me cope with being homesick.  It is sometimes difficult not speaking the language well--it makes you feel very alone and stupid, but if you do not make yourself try, you will never learn.
I will try to get the phone card working, but if I cannot, I will use David´s phone and try to call between 7 and 8 p.m.  We are an hour behind, so I guess that is 8 or 9 your time.
Love you all so much, and kiss the pets for me, especially Inu because I know she loves it so much!


Jan. 9 Valle de Bravo

Omg I am sick hon.  I think it is the band.  Keep having dry heaves.  I might have to go to a doc if it does not stop hurting.  Right now I cannot even get water down.  Jorge's aunt is keeping a good eye out for me though and if I need to see a doctor she knows someone.  I will try to call you later.  Davidd and Jorge went on a hike and David has the phone.  I love you.

Note:  I did go to a doc that day and went home the next day, January 10.
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