A mi casa, Oaxaca
“Math is hard!” said Barbie, and I would amend this to say that anything new is hard. Human nature is to seek the rut, the familiar, and the comfortable.
It’s Sunday in Oaxaca, and the state band is playing in the zocalo. They’re pretty good, even if as Tio Carlos says, “They sometimes play over their heads.” I had no complaints after yesterday’s performance by a hugely fat man banging two soda bottles together and bellowing without melody.
I’m sitting out the heat of the tarde in my apartamiento, reading. I’m in the middle of “Memoirs of a Geisha”, which is very compelling given my interest in asian culture. There has been some mild controversy about the authenticity of este libro, but it’s a page-turner, nonetheless. “He focused too much on sex!” said the geisha in question, speaking of the author. One might wonder if she said this to sell more books.
But I digress, and I will continue to do so. I’m a great digresser. I worry that if I think of something and don’t digress to discuss it, it will go forgotten. Perhaps this is why great authors need great editors… to give order to digressions.
I’ve been sitting here reading “Memoirs of a Geisha” (and writing this dispatch, for that matter) because I want to avoid working on a Spanish text I brought with me. It’s a very good book (“Practical Spanish Grammar, Second Edition” by Marcial Prado.) I’m avoiding it because learning new things is uncomfortable. For the same reason I have a vague dread of the first day of class tomorrow.
I’ve signed up for a month of difficult questions, searching for the right word, and feeling muy stupido. I did so because I know that the end result will be worth it. There are those (like my boyfriend Dan) who enjoy challenges. These people love learning new things. I do too, but I don’t like the process. If I could get an injection of RNA and know Spanish instantly, I’d do so.
I’ve told Jeanne that the primero reason I’m doing this trip is to photograph. The segundo reason is to learn Spanish. I hope that after 8 months of immersion I’ll be speaking fairly well. For this reason, all of the folks going should try to speak Spanish whenever possible. I’ve met folks who have lived in a foreign country on a U.S. Army base for cinco años without ever learning the native language. Surrounded by English speakers, they had no need to do so. To me, this seems like a huge opportunity lost.
Digression. Never say ‘anos’ when you mean ‘años’. The latter means ‘years’. The former is a rather private part of your body. Native Spanish speakers love to listen to norte americanos make this mistake.
“Tengo treinta anos.”
Off to walk around, find a gimnasio, and enjoy el sol.
So I went out walking this evening in Oaxaca to find a place for dinner. The night is cool, and there is heat lightning in the sky. It’s a really nice night. I’m walking towards the church when I hear huge booming sounds, sort of like music but with more bass.
Then, about a block from where I’m staying, I come across a Oaxacan VW show. It’s dark out, so I was only able to take a few pictures, but there were about a dozen bugs and Golfs, all very tricked out. Several of them had the stereos turned way up to show off the dinner-plate sized woofers mounted in the trunk. The Golfs had mirrored hoods, which looked really cool, though I wonder how they keep the mirrors from breaking.
The language of VWs is universal. La lingua de los VWs es universidad.