Wednesday, February 12, 2014

¡La Bamba!

I need to start this blog with a correction, mostly for our own safety. Popo, our friendly neighborhood volcano, is, in fact, a man. A very masculine warrior man. My friend Mary sent me a website detailing the legend behind Popo. It tells the story way more eloquently than I check it out! The manliest volcano around I should note, that I really do try to be culturally sensitive, so I totally own up to the fact that I was a bad gringa...bad gringa! Now that that topic is out of the way and I have singlehandedly saved the city of Puebla from being destroyed by an insulted volcano...oh wait, I'm doing it again...bad gringa!

Yesterday was a good day. Not that other days here have been bad, Monday was a bit rough, but yesterday just felt good. Probably, in part, because we got a few minor things around the apartment fixed and our cleaning lady came. Yeah, that's right, I said cleaning lady...the service is part of our rent...seriously...every week. (If that's not incentive to pack your life into a Prius and move to a foreign country without knowing the language, than I don't know what is!) We'll call that number 1 in my list of why yesterday was a good day. (I'm a list person, you will soon find this out).

2.) Andy had his first gig at a preschool about three seconds away from the house. It was a freebie, as most of his first concerts are, but they loved him so much they want to have him back every week! He's pretty much a bad-ass. (I already knew this, but thought I'd drop this knowledge on a few of you who don't already know). He dropped off cards and cd's at other schools in the area and I'm sure they will be  knocking down the door soon.

3.) We (I mean, Andy) found a little market that sets up down the street from us every Tuesday. Just some people with stalls set up on the street. You can buy whole, dead, chickens, fresh fish, fresh shrimp, fruits and veggies, aprons, and knock-off purses. We only needed the fruits and veggies this time around...but good to know the other items are available.

All of this goodness was only about $3.50! 

This papaya is NOT from the market down the street...but was too pretty to be left out

4.) I was able to ask Ellia, the woman who cleans the apartments, with the help of, how to prepare the Chile Poblano (the big green chile). I mostly understood her. Basically, I roast it. I am no culinary genius, but that I can do! (Thank you New Mexico!)

5.) I got to meet Andy's guide, from the Language Institute, Juan Manuel. Talk about a great kid! Okay, okay, I use kid in a general term, I think he's in his early twenties. He met us in El Centro, basically the mid-point between our houses, to discuss continuing Spanish lessons with us. I am pleased (ask me about this after he has fried my brain with Spanish knowledge and given me homework) to say that he will be coming to the house twice a week to work with both of us. We decided it would be best to split the time with him, an hour for me and my basics, and an hour with Andy for the more advanced stuff. But back to the point of #5...this kid is awesome! He is going to school, works like three jobs, plays drums in a rock/punk band, and is teaching himself Icelandic in his "spare time." That's right, he's teaching himself mother tongue...also one of the hardest languages in the world. If that doesn't knock your socks off, you haven't heard Icelandic. Google it...or stalk my mom and family, and have them speak it to you. 

6.) We have been saying, "A Huevo!", while pulling a fist down from the air (picture someone who is excited and saying "yes!"). Andy learned the phrase from Dr. Arizpe...not ever really knowing what it meant. Juan Manuel explained that it is a very cultural thing, and it means something to the effect of "Hell Yeah!" So we were essentially using it in the right context, without even knowing it. 

7.) And then this happened...

Andy playing La Bamba with musicians in the plaza

There are generally several musicians wandering around in the Plaza. We were finishing up our drinks with Juan Manuel when we saw this band. I was gathering up our camelback and chatting with Juan Manuel when I heard Andy singing La Bamba. I turned around, and there he was, singing with these guys. Once they finished, they came over, Andy grabbed his guitar and they went to town! When they ended, Andy said, "A Huevo!" and then the band asked if he was Mexican. Best compliment to date. 

It was totally random, totally spontaneous, and totally wonderful! ...just like Puebla. 

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