Monday, November 12, 2007

Dilemmas involving my mouth

This was my second consecutive week of teaching non-native English speakers. The students in my class in Strasbourg spoke English very well. This was not the case in Mexico City. Only a couple of people spoke much English, and several spoke virtually none.

So all of the communication between students was done in Spanish. They are a nice and friendly group, and they laugh a lot. I will explain something, the students will talk about it and then start laughing. I couldn't help but feel that they are laughing at me. It was a very uncomfortable feeling.


An entrance to Plaza Cuicuilco.

After work on Monday I went for a walk to Plaza Cuicuilco, which was formerly the site of a printing press and is now a shopping center. Cuicuilco was a 10 minute walk from the hotel. I had a hard time pronouncing the name. I don't know what my problem was, but it is pronounced "koo-kweel-ko".


A sculpture from the 1968 Olympics that looks like its first paint job was its last.

The walk to Plaza Cuicuilo was an interesting walk, but not an entirely pleasant one. Tlalpan is one of the nicer parts of Mexico City, but everything looks dirty and needs to be painted.


The sidewalk ends at certain places along Insurgentes Sur.

Lots of people walk, but it's not very easy to walk around because sidewalks end abruptly or don't exist at all. You end up walking in the streets at time. When you consider the amount of traffic on the streets of Mexico City this is not something I would prefer to do. There is so much traffic.


Street vendors were packed along the boulevard.

But the walk wasn't entirely unpleasant either. The Radisson is located on Boulevard Adolfo Ruiz Cortines. This street seems to be a sort of transfer point for people who take these very crowded, dilapidated green buses. The street is lined with food vendors. The food smelled so good, I mean mouth-wateringly good.

After considering the reputation Mexico has for getting tourists sick, I decided to do some asking around before I would eat street food in Mexico City. I have a feeling that the rate of tourists getting sick from eating and drinking in Mexico is vastly inflated, but I wasn't ready to risk my health on it yet. It was only Monday, after all.

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