Monday morning! I remember when I used to dread Monday mornings. But that was another lifetime ago when I worked at jobs I did not enjoy. Here in Mexico it’s a whole different story.
I usually wake up a few minutes before my alarm goes off at 5:30 am. It’s still dark outside but my mood is light. Now, if only the temperature would warm up in Guadalajara. The mornings are quite cool in the winter and the mercury frequently dips to 5 Celsius or less.
By 6:30 I am on the street corner waiting for a 275 or a 275B. These are interesting buses as there are no schedules here. Usually they show up two at a time and then begin to race each other as they head towards Centro. Drivers are not paid a salary. They receive a percentage of the take. So the more passengers they can cram on the better.
Twenty minutes later finds me in Centro. It’s a short walk to Plaza de Universidad, where I await a Tur bus. This second bus costs twice as much as the first one, but it’s very comfortable and not as crowded and gets me to within three blocks of the school in Zapopan.
Time permitting, I walk through La Estancia Park. I enjoy watching people walking their dogs or themselves. People are friendly and I am always greeted with “Buenos dias”. Such a wonderful way to begin my day!
Time to head for school. I teach an Advanced ESL class with two adult students who are both accountants. They are delightful and are eager to learn English. They often surprise me with culinary treats. This morning they ordered in a delicious breakfast from a restaurant. On other days they have arrived with tamales or cookies or pastry. But what I like the best are the bright smiles and laughter that always pervade the classroom.
The two hours pass quickly and I am soon on my way back to San Pedro. The bus ride usually takes longer than it did earlier in the morning. The traffic in Guadalajara is unbelievably congested. To make matters worse, if an accident occurs, cars are not moved out of the way until the police arrive. This morning our bus took a completely different route to Centro, as traffic was backed up and our driver had no patience for traffic jams. Bus drivers here like to lean on their horns in an effort to keep traffic flowing. Not that it really helps. It just encourages cars to honk as well.
In San Pedro there is a street market on Mondays close to my house. It stretches for blocks and the variety of merchandise is astounding. Everything from pirated movies to tacos to fresh fish to clothing to tools can be found here. And the vendors love to haggle!
I return home and begin the tedious task of washing vegetables in Microdyn. I store them in empty yogurt containers, which we laughingly call Mexican Tupperware.
While the vegetables are soaking in the Microdyn, I take out my laptop and check emails and Facebook. And I begin writing a blog post.
I then take a walk to the park where I do some reading and journaling. I enjoy watching the children play in the playground and have fond memories of my own children at that age.
Then it’s off to Jahanve, my favorite coffee shop, to meet my language partner. I definitely need to practice my Spanish, and he is eager to improve his English.
I leave for home at dusk, contemplating what I will have for dinner. By now many of the street food vendors are out, and the tacos, tamales and birria are quite tempting. But today I have decided to cook some of those fresh vegetables along with some chicken.
After dinner I visit with my housemates and often phone friends back in Canada. And then it’s time to read and head for dreamland.
Mondays are great days!