I managed to leave Mexico City after a lot of postponing – life as a couch surfer is far too convenient, and a city as bloody huge as Mexico doesn’t really bore you, if you can handle the distances and density. This time I picked the second class bus, and there was certain noticeable differences which kinda explained the cheaper price. For starters, free toilet visits were only for the drivers – passengers had to wait for a stop along the road. More – there was an intense amount of salespeople jumping on and off the bus, offering mostly food, but also magazines and DVDs. All these stops was slowly driving me crazy, since I wanted to make it to Oaxaca before sunset. But, these circumstances was quickly overcome, and I tried to settle in and just enjoy the scenery. Would have succeeded if it weren’t for the fact that the little TV screens was showing Die Hard, dubbed in Spanish, in a much louder speaker system than necessary. Well, there’s worse movies than Die Hard, you’d say, and sure. But is it necessary to show three of them – IN A ROW! With SOMEONE ELSE’S voice doing Bruce Willis! I had a slight headache after six hours of helicopters burning, exploding, crashing and doing everything but not flying – I’ll never set my foot in a helicopter if these movies are even slight reminiscent of reality. (I know, they aren’t)
However – arriving to Oaxaca, a “must go”-place in Mexico – I checked in to a typical backpacker hostel, strolled through the offensively pretty streets and went back to school for a week – I am now a student of Spanish, sitting in the first row enthusiastically answering all questions posed. This evening our teacher invited us to have Mole and Mezcal – the two mystical M’s of Oaxaca. Unfortunately neither of these would have been a success in Sweden – the tastes are too indecisively weird for us salty sailors up north.
I have come to know why it is called intensive language course – it really is intensive! The first few days I really had a grasp on what we went through, I kept it all neatly arranged in a document, trying to learn everything by heart, succeeding to do so even! After I got the opportunity to have a private teacher with no extra fee, the studying, that’s right, intensified! I’ve been pumped with so many words, expressions and sentences my head hurts! I keep on referring to my poor French, doing most communication in English and has probably lost all my pretentious Swedish vocabulary! Can only keep so much in my little head. Anyhow. I’ve spent the week in Oaxaca not visiting a single tourist sight or museum, guess I overdosed in Mexico City. I cooked all my own food, with very few exceptions, but managed to squeeze in a little socializing too. I feel proud I really dug into Spanish and spent even my free time studying, I’m so gonna learn this shit! The walks I took through Oaxaca was diversified. The centre is real neat, it’s a world heritage site and all, colourful, picturesque, touristic. Funny thing is, there is a “real” city just across the main road to the west which was far more interesting to me. Dirty, hectic, intense, with the biggest market place I ever saw in my whole petty life! Trying to get a grasp on what to buy or not, I ran into the most diverted opportunities. Straining not to buy a pheasant I chose a small bag for a dollar and quickly ran away before I would do something stupid! The good thing is that I don’t trust my language skills enough to even dare start a conversation with a salesperson. Hence, I don’t shop half as much as I would have done otherwise! At this point I am also really cheap, finding everything too expensive, trying to conserve the money til later on in the journey. I guess I’ll go berserk in Panama instead! Oaxaca was nice and all, but I wouldn’t stayed as long if it weren’t for my studies, I think I prefer the extremities, either total solitude like up in the forest, or being a part of a metropolitan like Mexico City. Well, we’ll see. This should be interesting three more months!