Oaxaca – one week later

A joy of not speaking the language is the mistakes you can make. I did some washing today using the new liquid soap. Well, it didn’t seem to lather, surprisingly for soap. I re read the label. I had missed the significance of 2 critical words on the label and bought water softener and not washing liquid. Hmmm…

Back to square 1 tomorrow. To the supermarket I found after one that sold various cleaning things, for everything from hair to clothes. And this time I’ll be more careful. 

Later …. I was and wasn’t successful. What I bought is for washing dark clothes! Why would you have dark washing liquid? Luckily most of my clothes are black or gray. The rest obviously will be in a few weeks!  

TV

Wow! One day to go and I can watch a TV program on autopsies of Hollywood favourites. Promo shows bodies prior to being taken for autopsy. Hmmm. Maybe not. 

The one show I hoped for was one I saw in Spain. Couples, neither known to the other, are left, naked, in an isolated place for a while. They have to survive, the naked survivors. Why do they do it? Good question but I can’t find on TV here, yet. 

The big shows I tend to watch are on the animal channel or national geographic. The big one on the latter at present is an extended series on the Second World War. It is showing some most amazing footage, much better than I’ve ever seen. Yes, it’s study as its in Spanish. It’s lucky I know the outcome and am not 100% dependent on what I hear! 

School after 1 week

After 1 week I’d happily recommend the Interactivo School. I like its approach and have benefited by having all 20 hours of classes one on one. They said my accent has improved and I know I can understand more. Plus I am starting to improve again. Coming to Mexico was a fortuitous choice as I was getting to the stage of giving up all thoughts of extending my proficiency. By the time I leave here I should be considerably more fluent in colloquial Spanish.

Another outcome: I will have at least two different words for many things. ‘Toilet’, for example is a servicio or aseos in Spain. Here it’s a WC or bano (polite forms). And colloquialisms differ too. A major Spanish pronoun ‘vosotros’ (you, plural) is not even used here. Not even conjugated. Suits me. How many times in english do you need to say ‘yous’! Yes. Exactly.

Yes, I used Spanish with both travel companies I saw to arrange a trip to Monte Alban on Saturday. Both required some variations and I’m so pleased I persisted. I get flustered too easily. One of those times when the effects of a little alcohol may make it easier with fewer inhibitions. Perhaps.

My teachers: the infinitely patient Alfonso and Marco. Both guys are in their 20s, have degrees in languages and speak english. They are very different people with different passions in teaching and in life. I never know which I’ll get but know a little by now of their different styles. One corrects me much more, and so nicely. He is very interested in Tasmania. The other permits a more fluid set of discussions and doesn’t the require multiple corrections necessary. Anyhow, at present I’m very happy with the school and so have paid for 2 weeks more. I see how they are before I sort out a fourth week. One option is I go away for a couple of weeks and then return for 2 more weeks of school. All options are still open after the next two weeks.

Weekend

I booked to go to Monte Alban on Saturday, the well know ruins just out of Oxaca. More after the visit as I’ll be there for 2 or 3 hours. Possibly with a guide I’m not sure. The main thing is to go there and so I avoided more complex tours with less time there and more things on their list to see. Sunday Monica is free and is happy to take an aged tourist interesting places agin. 

Tipping

You may be wondering how the obligatory tax on service, called ‘tipping’ by some, went on Friday. I duly left the nominated amount in the very clearly marked envelope provided. And it was in the same, very obvious, place when I arrived home!

A quick consult with a lovely American couple also staying here suggested she may not have seen it. I confessed to them that I don’t understand tipping and they were very understanding!

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