Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another day in Oaxaca

Not too much to report today, except perhaps that I got mild sunburn on my shoulders today while we were out on our archaeological excursion (that's what I get for trying to even out my tan lines). So instead, it's time for a little reflection:

One of the things I wrote in my essay about why I should be allowed to do this program was I was looking forward to discovering daily life in a foreign place and living there long enough to develop my own routine that is presumably different from my typical routines at home in Chicago. Now, if the transitions from high school to college and dorm life to apartment life are any indication, I adapt well to new lifestyle. I must admit that I expected it to be a little more difficult here, given that I'm in a country where people speak a language other than my own and I look different from pretty much everyone around me.

But--and happily, I suppose--I seem to have settled in pretty well. I've gotten used to getting up before 9 and eating a huge breakfast, then not eating lunch until 3 or 3:30. I can understand people pretty well and usually make myself understood. I walk at least 40 minutes a day, almost always more (about an hour and forty minutes today, for example). And perhaps I'm just not giving myself enough credit, but part of me wonders what I'm doing wrong for it to be this easy.

In the end, I don't think I can "blame" myself for not taking the transition to life in Oaxaca harder than I have. After all, I'm living in a city with basically all the modern conveniences I'm used to (aside from not being able to flush toilet paper, anyway); so there really weren't a whole lot of extreme adjustments. I'd be lying if I said that having regular access to internet allows me a piece of home that I wasn't expecting to have (being able to read my blogs and my comics daily is really nice). The whole looking-different-from-everyone-else-ie-being-white doesn't really come up in a way that affects me much, and the language barrier isn't that much of a language barrier since I'm able to communicate successfully most of the time.

So, I guess I should just be satisfied, and perhaps even proud of myself, rather than being suspicious that I haven't been pushing myself enough.

Granted, I could probably do more to integrate myself... I could get a job tutoring local kids like Tyler, or go hang out with random musicians I met in the square like Christina, or maybe even just go more places by myself instead of always doing things with other people. But hey, I haven't even been here three whole weeks yet (as hard as that is to believe), so I've still got time.

Have other people had similar thoughts about life transitions/life in new places?

Oh, and here's a picture:

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