Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag One Month!
6 september 2015
Today is a special day, because it has now been ONE month that I have been in Méxcio!!!! What an achievement haha, 1 down, 10 to go. Not that I can’t wait until I get home, but every month is a little achievement for all YFU’ers.
Anyway, lots of things happened since I wrote my last blog: I went on a team trip with my university baseball team, I had my first two weeks in school and I started having friends! Which is very important haha.
No, no, the title you read here above isn’t an outrage on my computer, it is the name of the town we went with the team for our trip.
After my first tiring week of school (which I will discuss later), we drove off for the weekend from the university in the team van at 6 a.m. in the morning to Pijijiapan. This town is situated in the south of Chiapas and it was a ride of approximately 3 hours. It was also the hometown of two guys in our team, where we would stay to sleep and eat.
After 3 hours of driving through mountains and hills, we finally arrived at Piji, at the house of our friend. Hungry as we were, we were received with an enormous breakfast: chopped chorizo, eggs, tortillas, salsa, shrimps, chicken, crab marinated in salsa, beans and lots of more. AND WE ATE LIKE PIGS hahahaha. We all were seriously hungry, and Mexicans already eat normally a lot with their hands (which is in some cases much easier), but this was just like a 15th century feast. And it was very good! We ate until we were all satisfied and there was still a lot of food left.
Pijijiapan is also a town that is near the coast, resulting in the fact that fish and sea fruit cost nothing. People eat lots of it. The crabs for example are very cheap too, and they were very tasty marinated in salsa with chile, coriander, cream and tomato. They just put whole, cooked crabs in the salsa and then you eat the crab with your hands, cracking the shell with your teeth and eating the meat. The same applies to shrimps, they cost nothing and they cook them in water with stock, and chile and then they just eat them in whole (with shell and head and everything). Little weird in the beginning but it was actually quite tasty.
After this delicious meal, followed probably the worst 6 hours of my life. I played like shit, and then shittier. It was a disaster, the batting was really bad, and the throwing was worse, I just could not throw well. My host dad, who is the coach, didn’t understand it and I was mad and frustrated at myself, but the guys took it well and stayed really nice to me. It was the worst game of my life, and the crowd started to laugh me out at times haha. But we won both games, and since it is not a professional team or something it does not really matter.
And then something else, the heat. I thought it was bad here in Tuxtla, but in Piji, oh my god. I have never. Ever. Ever. Sweat. This. Much. In. My. Life. It was just pouring of me. My shirt was drenched in sweat, as well as my pants and everything else. 40 degrees, all afternoon, not a cloud in the skies, from 12 till 17 o clock. I have also contracted some painful sunburns. And then after the game, the rain just started to poor down from the skies as if it intended to flood the whole city. It rained reeeeeeeeeaaaaally hard and the temperature dropped in 10 minutes from 40 to 25 degrees, and suddenly everybody was cold haha.
After the game we returned to my friend’s house to have dinner, and after some quality men-time, we went off to sleep.
We woke up at like 8 o clock and we decided to go to the beaches that day. We got into the van and drove to the nearest beach in Pijijiapan. When we arrived there we all settled in chairs and in hammock in the shadow (because yes, in contrary to our compatriots in Holland, the Mexicans don’t like the sun, they stay out of it, because it is also way too hot). There was nobody on the beach just a little bar where you could order drinks and there were very big waves in the sea. I was actually the only one who went swimming, because I also noticed, since I have got here, that it is not self-evident that Mexicans can swim. Anyway after my little swim, I got back to the beach and enjoyed a fresh coconut. They just get them out of the trees, carve it and then you can serve yourself with coconut water out of your coconut.
After an hour or so, we got back to the van and drove to another beach, where the sea was a lot more accessible and calmer. There everybody went swimming and we hired some canoes and had a great time.
We returned to Tuxtla around 4 p.m. and got there at 7 p.m.
Although the game was the worst of my life, I had a great time with all the guys, who are really nice. With the people there too and it was a very nice experience.
I also had my first two weeks of school. The school is very big and it is a compound of all grades from primary school to university in a big campus. Everything is white and green and it looks very nice. It is called the IESCH, institution of education Salazar de Chiapas.
The classes start at 7 am and end at 1:20 pm with a pause of half an hour at 9:30 am. My host father brings me and my host sister every morning, which is going to the same school, because he is working as the coach of the university team.
I also have to wear a uniform at school. It consists of a polo with the school logo, blue cotton pants and black formal shoes.
Starting at 7 am for me is really hard haha, I love my sleep and I am absolutely not accustomed to getting up every morning at 6am, especially after the exam year in Holland. But my first day, I got there and started off with math, which I liked because math is just x’s and y’s and not a lot of words so not a lot of Spanish.
It was really hard in the beginning because the teachers did not know that I was from abroad, and they spoke really fast, and I had to concentrate a lot to understand and to speak with the people. I am in a physics class, which means that the pupils in my class only have subjects as math, physics, chemistry etc etc. We are like 13 in total with just 4 other men, which is pretty odd.
My classmates are really nice. At first they did not really talk to me, or just to know why I was so white and why I was blond and tall and different and everything but as the days passed by they started to become interested and we have conversations and we laugh and it is really nice. I also have made some friends outside of my class, who are in the same year as I, 3 nice guys.
Since the school start so early, a lot of people have breakfast in the recess, because there is a cafeteria and you can buy tacos and gringas (which are quesadillas filled with meat), cookies, and donuts, and fruits and lots of things. I only eat a bowl of cereal in the morning and sometimes I buy something at the cafeteria.
The classes are really boring here though haha, but school is very nice for making friends and I did not come here for academic purposes ;)
So a regular day for me looks a bit likes this:
6am Time to wakeup
7am school starts
1320pm school ends and I go home
14pm lunch at home
1530pm going to baseball practice
19pm back home and finishing homework
Pretty busy schedule he! But it is better like this, the more time I need for baseball and school and everything, the less time I have to miss things back in my home country.
I have practice every day, which is very nice because if I would not practice sports here, I would return with a 40 kg belt of fat around my belly haha.
In Mexico, the people use the bus a lot, as I already said, but in the city of Tuxtla too. They work a bit like a metro system and there are literally a thousand ‘colectivos’. But contrary to our complex system in Europe of buying tickets, and area zones, different prices and time limits, taking the bus here is really simple. You just wait, on the sidewalk of the street, until one of the right buses comes by (sometimes you wait 5 minutes, and sometimes 20 minutes, but it doesn’t matter, because it WILL come), you get in the bus and you pass 6 pesos (approx. 40ct) to the bus driver. No matter where you go, when you go, how long you will stay in the bus, how far your destination is, you always pay 6 pesos!
I like to use the colectivo to get back home after school because it makes me feel a little more independent, and this way my host father doesn’t have to go to the school again.
A very weird thing occurred to me also in school. There was an earthquake! A little, yes, nothing happened except that we were standing outside of the classroom in the building on the third floor, and suddenly I felt the ground shaking, as if I was in a car driving on a bumpy road. Having never experienced an earthquake, I just stayed calm, not realizing that I had to leave the building in case that something would collapse. Some people started crying and everybody rushed outside and I was like “what is everybody doing?”. They looked at me and asked “didn’t you feel that the building was shaking?????” and I was like “Eh yeah, so what………. OOOOOOh it is an earthquake!”. It was really weird haha but the people here are accustomed to them, as they happen quite often, but they always stay small and harmless.
Another thing that happens a lot here is the misunderstanding of my name. My name is Nils Roturier and my middle names are Johan Pierre. On every paper that I sent to Mexico for my exchange year, my complete name is written: Nils Johan Pierre Roturier. As you might know, in Spanish speaking countries, people often have to first names, and they wear both the last name of the mother as the last name of the father, for example, Juan Luis Dominguez Ruiz. But the most used name of this señor would be Juan and his most used last name would be Dominguez, because it is the one of his father. Teachers often call students by their last names, i.e. the third name, which leads to the fact that nowadays I have to react to Nils and to Pierre, instead of Roturier hahaha! This is very confusing and I am totally not accustomed to react to Pierre, and they just don’t understand here why it does not work as their system. Anyway, this leads to certain comic scenes in classes…
And not just in classes, because I realized that my name was also misspelled on the boarding pass of my flight from Mexico city to Tuxtla. My last name was put as Pierre, and Johan was spelled Joham. I did not say anything, and it passed everything but when I saw it I was like “can I really get a flight with a boarding pass which actually does not say my name???” haha.
This last weekend I also went to the movies with some friends and my host sister, and I will soon go to San Cristobal de las casas, which is a very pretty and touristic place, at approximately 45 minutes of Tuxtla. Though it is very near to Tuxtla, the temperatures over there are a lot colder than here. Today it was 33 degrees at its highest in Tuxtla and in San Cristo 22 degrees! The people here love San Cristo because of its prettiness and its climate haha, it differs so much because it lies in the mountains.
What I also like a lot here is that people sell a lot of food on the streets. In every busy street are an enormous amount of little stands, which sell everything. You can buy barbecued corn, fresh fruit, popcorn, ice cream, bolis (which are just frozen liquids in little plastic bags such as coconut cream, lemonades or ice creams),crisps, banana crisps, cakes, tacos, drinks, lemonades and many more, but of course, everything with chile. Because there is not one single thing here in Mexico, that Mexicans don’t eat with chile or salsa! I challenge you to name some eatable thing to prove me wrong! From popcorn, to fruit !!!, drinks and lemonades, beer !!!(although I did not try it), nachos, tacos, candy and eeeeverything. Si no pica, no es mexicano is a very common saying.
A very traditional drink here also is pozol. It tastes a bit like chocolate milk but it is made with pure cacao, sugar and maiz flour or something haha, quite weird but quite tasty.
Anyway, I think I will leave you here, this blog has reached a bigger size than I expected it to be. I hope you like my blogs, and read them with pleasure. If there is anything you would like to know in specific, ask me in the comments and I will respond in my next blog!
Hasta luego compadres!
Foto's bij verslag (10)
6 september 2015 16:16 | Door: Sonja
Hé Pierre...uhh Nils
6 september 2015 16:28 | Door: Sonja
Hé Pierre....uhh Nils,
Wat een mega verslag weer! Leuk om te lezen, het is net of ik je hoor praten hahaha. Had ik je al gezegd dat je erg goed bent in Engels? Wauw....
Zo te lezen vliegen de dagen voorbij voor jou....gelukkig maar. Niet zo klagen over de temperatuur daar hoor, het lijkt hier wel herfst :(
Succes met alles en ik (we) kijk nu al weer uit naar jouw volgende blog.
Liefs van ons allemaal.
6 september 2015 20:39 | Door: Jennifer
Heel leuk om te lezen Nils!
Ben benieuwd naar het precieze recept van de pozol, hunje daar achter kkomen?
En ben het eens met het advies hierboven, geniet maar van de hitte, het is hier kkkoud
13 september 2015 17:55 | Door: Je opa
Hoi Nils, geweldig verslag van al je belevenissen en ben een heel blij dat je dat allemaal kunt meemaken in zo'n andere wereld. Heel veel plezier met honkbal en natuurlijk op "school".
Lukt het een beetje met de Spaanse taal? Succes Nils en tot de volgende keer, Opa
13 september 2015 19:02 | Door: Roos
Hoi Nils, Met heel veel plezier heb ik als trouwe lezeres van jouw uitgebreide blogs het laatste verslag gelezen. Het maakt niet uit dat je in die hitte niet zo best kunt honkballen, geeft niks, je maakt toch maar mooi alles mee! Wie doet jou dat na ? Met heel veel respect voor jouw groot avontuur kijk ik uit naar je volgende verslag. Sterkte met het vroege opstaan en straks wordt je nog een hele vroege vogel haha ! Geniet van alle nieuwe ervaringen! Ik blijf super trots op jou, ook al raak je geen bal hahaha, wat kan jou dat nou toch schelen, je kunt niet overal goed in zijn!! Liefs van oma.