I don’t answer the landline when I’m housesitting, but when the phone rang last night, this morning, and about 30 minutes before Spanish class today, I made the correct deduction that I should pick up. It was the Spanish teacher uninviting me to attend her conversation class because my skills are too advanced. Instead, she suggested I come by around 3:30 and meet a Mexican friend of hers who lives here in Hebden. She could speak to me in English, me to her in Spanish, and we could talk about my impending move to Mexico. How awesome is that?!
The gal, who is from Chiapas, near Yucatán, cautiously felt me out, asking me quite pointed questions about why I’m moving to Mexico and what my views are on certain topics. It was incredible to see her warm up to me as I answered what I guess was correctly for her. Before I knew it, we were both laughing and crying as we talked about what we missed about Mexico, like the food (al pastor tacos and Abuelita hot chocolate!) and the brights colours. We bonded over how bland we find Europe, the US, and Canada compared to the explosion of sights, sounds, tastes, and smells that is Mexico. She was so excited for me to be moving at this time of major social transition in Mexico and she found my observations very astute for the limited amount of time I’ve been there and that I’ve really only been to one small part of the country.
We finally had to leave as our host had another class. I asked if they knew if Co-Op would still be open and my new friend’s expression brightened at that. She lives near the store, so she was happy that we could walk together and keep chatting as we headed there. Her English is very basic and after a bit more of her haltingly trying to make her points and me confirming that I could understand her we switched to just Spanish. We got some strange looks as we made our way through this sleepy English village giggling away in Spanish. It was the best time I’ve had with someone in a very long time, even more special than my last night in Spain.
I’ve only got two more weeks here (already!), but we promised to see each other again. I think that this is one person I might end up keeping in touch with. We shall see…
I got what I needed at Co-Op and then decided that since a) I didn’t spend the £5 I was going to spend on a lesson, b) I am incredibly well under my food budget for January (thank you, Tesco!), and c) I had to get back to work when I got home, I was going to get fish and chips to keep my hands warm on my long walk home! Oh, didn’t I mention that it was about -1C/30F out? BRRRRRRR.
The chippy was doing a brisk business, but the line moved quickly. I was able to get a half portion of chips for 50p less than a full portion and that was absolutely perfect for me. It was sooooo good and I conveniently finished as I approached the public garbage can by my house so I didn’t have to worry about stinky trash at home.
What an incredible day it’s been. I’m going to be working late, of course, but it was worth it. Who would have thought that I’d make a Mexican friend here of all places?