Sunday, February 9, 2014

El Centro!

Yesterday we took a walk down to the El Centro, La Plaza, Downtown, the place where 3 million of the 4 million people are all walking around...that last one may be a slight exaggeration. It's only about a 45 minute walk from our quiet little neighborhood. Andy had walked the walk (see what I did there?) every day that he was here for his language school, so he knew the way.

As we walked, he pointed out all the restaurants where we could eat, all the pre-schools he was planning on dropping off cd's to, and just being his charismatic self. I should note that this is one of the, let's say thousands of reasons why I love him, but I was becoming more uncomfortable with it the closer we got to El Centro. As we made our way through the quiet streets of our neighborhood and then the next neighborhood, I could see the shift from "suburbs" (not really, but quiet and cleaner) to "city" where there were more people, it was louder, the sidewalks became more treacherous. I started noticing that more people were looking at us (this may or may not have been imagined, or magnified by my brain) and I began to feel a bit anxious. Large crowds/big cities tend to make me anxious anywhere...I'm looking at you NYC and I should have anticipated it. Anyway, I was feeling like everyone was staring at us, pegging us for tourists and loud Americans.

When we finally got to La Plaza, I mentioned something about it to Andy. He said he understood and that the first few times he was down there, he felt the same way, but then he realized the magic of it all. (Grab your floaties people, this is deep) Nobody gives a S*@%. Boom! Mind. Blown.

He was totally right. There were like a million, my numbers are going down as my anxiety levels do, walking around, living their own lives, not giving a care in the world as to what I was doing. Talk about an ego gut-check...but just the one I needed. After that little (we'll call it loving) dose of reality, I was able to relax and enjoy our time there. I was suddenly able to hear all the street musicians, see all of the happy families walking around, and notice the other tourists rockin' their touristy ways.

I think part of it is that I don't want to be seen as a tourist. I live here now. This will be my home for a year. But, does having a semi-permanent address here make me a local? Does the fact that I already love the birds chirping when I wake up make me a local? Does the fact that our neighbors, Pepe and Meche, call Andy their son, and now me their daughter, make me a local? Nope, probably not. But I'll be damned if I'm seen as a loud, obnoxious, touristy American. ;)

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. I say a few because I'm still not comfortable walking around taking pictures of everything I see. (See last sentence of previous paragraph). I'm sure I'll get over it soon.

Puebla Cathedral

After my reality check

Andy's lunch, Mega Cema...and two for one beers, which helped with the easing of the nerves

Now we're off to try and see a futbol match. It's Puebla FC versus their rival, so we might be able to get in...but we're gonna try! 

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