Student Blogs & Vlogs | College Study Abroad Programs, IFSA-Butler

Más y Más Acostumbrada

Oh man, how extraño switching to English.  Starting September 1st everyone in the IFSA-Butler program decided we would speak and write exclusively in Spanish then forward, having had the time to get to know each other well in English.  Now I can’t help but feel guilty or incómoda writing in this language, even though obviously it’s easier.

I just got back from the cine, where tickets cost $30 pesos ($2.25 dollars), air conditioning prevails, popcorn somehow tastes fresh without un montón de chemicals, and huge cushioned seats powered by remotes recline into the shape of your blissed out cuerpo.  I just saw the worst movie in the world but oh man was it nice.

Earlier today I went to a restaurant called Eladio’s with some friends from UADY after class.  There are several Eladio’s all over Mérida, well known for their botanas which come gratis with a single drink order, so that it’s common for each person to order a $35 peso cerveza and then have a free meal of unlimited delicious Yucatecan dishes.  Super yum.  And friends!  I have friends now!  They’re students from Mérida and other parts of México who I’ve met in classes or through IFSA-Butler peeps.  Mexican friends definitely help the adjustment.

Recently, things have been clicking a lot more for me in terms of feeling comfortable and happy here – not just glad to be here because I want to become fluent in Spanish and “have the experience”, but truly glad to be here just to be here.  I’m pretty sure there were a solid five hours of classes and then hanging out with friends in which I listened and read and spoke in Spanish without even acknowledging that it was another language.  It was an incredibly exhilarating thing to realize.  Además, time moves a lot faster when I don’t have to concentrate on every word spoken and after I’m left with much more energy.  Of course there are still times when my mind just blanks and I can’t understand or produce any language.  My English is rapidly deteriorating.

Between lunch out and the movie, no he hecho casi nada tarea hoy, which I have to work to not stress out about.  It’s been interesting trying to get a feel for school here.  I have to keep in mind that I’m not expected to produce the same caliber of work here that I do at Wesleyan.  Classes here for the most part seem much more laid back, and I think teachers will cut me some slack for being a gringa, at least at first.  It’s hard because I always like to feel on top of things, but it’s not at all worth being miserable during my relatively short time here.

In other news, I found out that wila, which sounds identical to the way my name is pronounced here, is a fairly offensive Mexican grosería meaning cheap and/or dirty prostitute.  So that’s a bummer.

This weekend I’m looking forward to a bit of a descanso to catch up on all of my readings for class (a 20 page text that would normally take me an hour to read thoroughly in English, takes me about six hours here) and hopefully go back to Progreso, the beach about thirty minutes from where I live.  And then Sunday there is an excursion to Uxmal!  Super emocionada to go and then regresar to blog about it!

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