There have been a lot of bloqueos lately, in the street, in my brain, in the zocalo, in my stomach, and so on. The first bloqueo I got to experience completely blocked off access to the center of down, traffic was backed up pretty much all the way to my house. Imagine some place it takes you 10-15 minutes to drive to, now imagine traffice from there all the way to your house. That was fun. It turned out to be the day I had to go into the center of town to meet someone and had no way to contact him (no cell phone yet). We ended up meeting just fine and hanging out for a few hours, the biggest problem was getting home. No taxis or buses could leave the immediate area surrounding the zocalo, they were just driving around in circles. We ended up walking clear out passed the blockade and I caught a taxi there back home. There was another one a few days later. I was glad that my house is across the street from the language school so I just avoided downtown.
On Monday there was word that there was supposed to be a teacher protest, but the vendadores blocked access to the zocalo with their carts so the teachers couldn’t get in. Apparently now there are teachers camped out in the zocalo and they may be there for several days. I’ve been advised to head down there to do my touristy things and shopping before it starts to smell (from the lack of sanitation services). Everyone here seems to be taking it all in stride and I’m doing fine too. I hesitated to post about it before because I was afraid it would worry people, but things are under control and non-violent. I head up to the mountains in a few days and will be there for a month. My only concern will be if the bus station is blockaded the day I have to leave.
The protests are about everything, voting, teacher salary and vacation, the upcoming election, etc. There are two major candidates for governor right now and their signs are everywhere–it’s kind of crazy. My flickr account is uploading as I type this so I will try to add some photos to illustrate.
The bloqueo in my brain has to do with switching back and forth between English and Spanish. My brain is having a harder and harder time. My Spanish is getting better, I can tell because my English is getting worse. Sometimes I forget words or I am talking to my intercambio partner and I reply in Spanish when we’re talking in English.
Then the other day I had a bloqueo in my stomach. I went to eat breakfast…it was a fried tortilla with Oaxacan cheese smothered in salsa verde. Oh it was good. Yeah, well I took one bite, then another and my stomach was like, um no, no more. I didn’t get sick, feel sick or anything. It was like my brain told my stomach that it would not allow any more rich food in my stomach. The food has been great, but I am not used to eating cheese, cream and eggs for breakfast and lunch (I don’t eat dinner because I’m still fool from lunch)!
Tomorrow is Wednesday and I’m going to try to go into the zocalo after class to buy some shoes and check out the food in one of the markets that’s supposed to be amazing. I can’t believe I only have 4 days left in the city!