Je bekijkt de reis...
20 september 2015
Here I am again with my new online blog of my gap year in Mexico.
Life here is really starting to settle. Although a lot of things still are new and very exciting, I am starting to become a Mexican, and less and less people are asking me questions about me and my home country, which is normal as I have been in school now for almost a month.
I also started to go out a little more with friends. My first Fiesta Mexicana was the Friday before the 15th of September. The 15th of September here is probably the most Mexican day of the year, as Mexicans celebrate their independence, which initiated the 15th of September 1810. So the party was the Friday before the 15th, so that there would be more people attending, as most of them go to see their families on the actual day.
Anyway, the party was very entertaining. It had everything a normal party has: drinks, music, food and nice people. A friend of mine organised it in a huge salon, and he invited most of the people who are in my year at school. It was really nice, as I had the opportunity to get to know people in another way.
Food is also a very important factor at Mexican parties, as it was present in abundance!
The music is also different than in Holland. They mostly start the same, with house and electronic, but as soon as the night starts, they switch to mariachi (the typical Mexican music we know) and then when the sun is really long gone, the Banda begins. Banda is THE most listened music genre in Mexico, and it is very special (look for Gerardo Ortiz o Julion Alvarez if you want to know what it sounds like). At the beginning I really didn’t like it, and everyone told me “Cool music he!” haha and I was like “Yeaaaaah…”.But already there are some songs that I am starting to like haha so I guess after a year I won’t want to listen to anything else.
But I had a really good time, and I put some photos too in the gallery, so have a look.
I also have made some really good friends outside of school. Daniel and Guillermo are both guys who went on an exchange year with YFU to Holland last year, and they both returned this summer. I got in contact with them via my area representative here and I am super happy that I met them. Because no one can understand better what we exchange students are going through as they can, who already experienced it. All exchange years roughly go the same, and they know all about ups and downs, culture shocks and differences, adapting to a new environment and not being able to speak a language well. It is also very funny because with them I can speak Dutch haha, and we can talk about typical Dutch customs or food as stroopwafels, boerenkool, dutch pop songs and the rudeness of the Dutchies. Because that was what struck them most, the directness in Holland, as Mexico is a country where everything is about context and not about content (which sometimes is very confusing). For example it is simply a NO GO to say that the food is not good, or that you don’t like this or that. You pretty much always say yes, and they prefer you to bend the truth than to say no. At the orientation they told us that for Mexicans: yes means no and no means maybe haha! Very different from our direct culture in Holland.
And then came El dia de la Independencia. It is not a real party with festivals and everything, as it is more a family event. Because two things mark the Mexicanos: their proud for their country, and the importance of their family.
At 6am I went to Guillermo’s rancho, just outside of Tuxtla, which is an amazing place with a very nice view on Chiapa de Corzo, a little town next to Tuxlta.
There, I helped to set up everything and the guests started to come around 9:30pm, as it officially started at 8 o’clock (inpuctuality marks Mexicans as well haha). It was a really nice night, there were lots of teens and I got to know a lot of new people. The food was again present in abundance and we ate lots of typical Mexican dishes, as is the tradition on the 15th. And then at 12 o’clock, everybody screams “VIVA MEXICO!!!!” to celebrate the independence, which was very funny! I stayed at his house to sleep and I had a really great time there.
The next days I did not have school until Thursday, which gave me the opportunity to rest a little.
Another thing here that I appreciate a lot is the extreme generosity of Mexicans. And I say extreme because I have never experienced such thing in Europe. Kids and everybody are educated to share EVERYTHING with others. First of all, it is extremely rude to not share your food, i.e. snacks etc, no matter how many there are. For example if you sit at a table of 10 people, and you buy a pack of 11 cookies, you have to give everyone a cookie, as a matter of politeness, which will leave you with one expensive cookie haha. But everybody does it and it is a custom here.
Secondly, people here invite you a lot: to restaurants, or to have a little snack at a pub or just to go to the cafeteria in the school. And when you invite someone, you pay the entire bill, i.e. no splitting, calculating or struggles with the bill, or you pay him his sandwich or taco. At first I experienced this as very strange, as it is totally uncommon in Holland and most parts of Europe, but I have started to get the hang of it, and started doing it too.
Another thing is this very known phrase, which I thought was just a hyped Spanish saying: mi casa es su casa (my house is your house). But all the families I have been so far, have said it to me. And it is not just a matter of saying it to be polite, the people are really genuine and their hospitality is amazing! I really felt at home, for example, when I slept at Guillermo’s house.
I also went out various times with my baseball team in Tuxtla, as we went eating chicken wings, to bars and restaurants.
Change of subjects. Currently, in the south of Mexico, it is the raining season. It rains a lot, and how!! It is very funny because it is almost like it is an automatic daily system. Every day starts fresh and bright, with a temperature maximum at around 2pm of 33-35, and then from 4pm the clouds start to cover this blue sky and between 4:30 and 4:45 it just starts pouring, but really pouring, really really hard. And the fact is, that Tuxtla is built in the mountains, as some parts of the city are higher placed than others (my house is at a high position). But in the city there are parts, which end up completely flooded. Streets just turn into rivers with 30cm of water flowing with great strength and it takes everything with it. And then around 7pm it stops, and the following morning it will seem like nothing ever happened, to all start again.
Also my Spanish is really improving, as I am sometimes even thinking in Spanish! I really like it and it starts to get on really well, although I still have a long way to go. But the progress I have made in one month and a half is just unbelievable. The only thing that bothers me is that it is taking me more and more effort to think and write in English, French or Dutch… But luckily this is normal and it will start to get better when my Spanish will be at its top.
Well, I think I will leave you here, with slightly less reading material than last time haha… I hope you are all doing fine, and see you guys next time!
Foto's bij verslag (11)
20 september 2015 10:47 | Door: Roos Bruggenweerth
Nils, wederom een super mooi blog ! Ik raak steeds meer in de ban van het Mexicaans leven, muziek, gewoontes, maar vooral de hartelijkheid van de mensen daar. Delen met elkaar staat boven aan in het vaandel, begrijp ik, een heel goede eigenschap. Ik ben super blij dat jij je happy voelt en de taal die ga je steeds meer absorberen, daar is tijd voor nodig, dat kan niet in 1 maand tijd . Geweldig dat jij dit allemaal mag ervaren en leuk dat je al vrienden hebt gemaakt die ook jouw cultuur begrijpen. Geniet van het heerlijke eten daar en alles er om heen! Liefs oma
20 september 2015 10:58 | Door: Opa Hans
Hoi Nils, weer een mooie lange blog en ik ben verbaasd van je uitstekende kennis van de Engelse taal. Heel fijn dat je je goed voelt met een aantal vrienden waar je ook nog eens gezellig en lekker kunt eten. Hopenlijk kun je straks als je terug bent weer wennen aan zeden en gebruiken in je nieuwe hometowwn Delft en ook aan de "studentenhaver".Gelukkig pik je de moeilijke Spaanse taal beetje bij beetje goed op.Nils veel succes op "school" en op de baseball club en hou je taai!!!! opa
20 september 2015 11:49 | Door: Roos bruggenweerth
Mooie foto's Nils! Vooral die ene met moustache, staat je geweldig, hahaha! Maar hoop toch dat ik je over een poosje zonder snor mag ontmoeten! Liefs oma
2 oktober 2015 11:03 | Door: Sonja
Leuk verslag weer Nils