Yes, I am still keeping a blog!

So here I am, sitting in my apartment, hopped up on wine and spaghetti, eating mushy and tasteless grapes, and I think to myself: Self, it’s been an awful long time since you updated your blog. Self, you need to update NOW before it’s been an entire month of blogless activities.

Brace yourselves, it’s been a whole month, and even longer if you want pictures.

I’ve finally added a bunch of photos that I feel are a fairly decent representation of my time here in Queretaro. They are not in chronological order, but if you don’t think about it too much, it can appear to be in some sort of logical, topical order. Don’t mind the bad layout/formatting – blogspot doesn’t make picture formatting very easy!
Limes…. on/with EVERYTHING!!! Aaaaand, salt on the lime/rim
of the glass when you order a beer. I’m tempted to ask for no salt,
but figure I’ll give it some time to try to do it the Mexican way.
Dia de los Muertos – Day of the Dead! This was last Wednesday. It is a holiday where families visit cemeteries and make altars for dead people. It is really a celebration of that person’s life, from what I’ve gathered. They include things that the person liked, and also something to represent each of the elements (eg. candles represent fire). I went to a nearby town, San Miguel, to do some shopping on our day off. There were a bunch of altars around town, which is where I took this picture.
The BEST hamburger I have ever had! Street meat!!! This baby has sauteed tomatos and onions, jamon, queso oaxaca y queso Americano, both fried! Then there is a super juicy, perfectly cooked patty of beef, topped with half an avocado, ketchup and mayo. It was super delicious and quite affordable. Side note: I’ve also had street meat at a place near my apartment. Twice I’ve had the Gringa (I think that means white tortilla) con chorizo (super delicious Mexican sausage). From these experiences, I have to conclude that street meat in Mexico is AMAZING!!!
My birthday…. they brough a drink (yeah, that’s right, complimentary alcohol) and made me stand on my chair (well, I didn’t really argue), and drink while bent over. I didn’t know they were going to lower the drink so I had trouble keeping up.
At the top of Bernal, with two of my
lovely teacher friends!
At the bottom on Bernal. You can see the mountainous
rock in the background, which we so eagerly hiked.

Blue Gorditas! We had these in Bernal after hiking
up (and down) the “mountain”. Again, delicious!
La Gruta Spa… this place was so peaceful and relaxing.
One of the pools at La Gruta. At the back left, there was a small entrance to a cave, where there was a big pool of hot water and a waterfall that we stood under for a few seconds. The most refreshing feeling was coming back into the regular pool.
The winery in Tequisquiapan had a water fountain…
the winery was nice, the wine was nicer, and I enjoyed
the tour (though I didn’t understand most of it)!
A bunch of handmade dishes etc. I thought some of the
designs were nice. Maybe if I stay an extra year, I’ll
get some more my kitchen.

I’m sure I mentioned this in an earlier post, but here’s the proof – I ate sushi!!! Aaaaaand I liked it!!! As a matter of fact, I think I might have some more tonight before the movie (great thing about movies is that most are in English – score!). Back to the seafood… the place I was at for my birthday is a seafood restaurant, so they bring a shrimp soup thing before the meal. I drank it, and sort of enjoyed it. I also tried a shrimp taco-type thing (can’t remember what it’s called). Aren’t you proud of my maturing tastebuds?
I can’t remember what these drinks are called, but it’s like a milkshake,
but it’s light and airy/fluffy. Really tough to describe – you’d have to try it!
It seemed like it wouldn’t be filling, but it was incredibly filling – I couldn’t
finish it. And they serve it in bags – if I were to get a cup, that would have
been a dead giveaway that I’m not Mexican (if the blonde hair, pale skin
and minimal Spanish language didn’t do it.

My last-minute Halloween costume. I’m pretty proud of it.

What about those things that don’t have pictures?

I have been watching Ted Talks recently. The first presentation I saw from this website was one shown to me at Queen’s and it is absolutely amazing: Changing Education Paradigms, by Ken Robinson.
Tonight I went through a series of talks, starting with another Ken Robinson talk on creativity, and ending with Barry Schwartz On the Paradox of Choice. He ends with “Everybody needs a fishbowl. The absence of (a fishbowl) is a recipe for misery and I suspect disaster.” I suppose you’ll have to watch to fully understand the metaphor.  🙂
On another note, I’m now listening to the song Who Says You Can’t Go Home by Bon Jovi with Sugarland. I feel drawn to this song for some reason. After years of travelling through life’s many avenues, doing some “soul searching” and self discovery, I decided to “go home” for a summer. I embraced the time with friends who were living there, or closeby. I absolutely loved seeing my family every day, and I quite enjoyed the smell of manure as I drove down the country roads to work. While this may not be the physical home for me anytime in the near future or ever, I agree with Bon Jovi: “Take it in, take it with you when you go”.  My home is with me wherever I am in this marvelous world.
That being said, I really don’t see myself as having a “home” or any sort of permanent place to go (other than the obvious parent’s house for a visit) and I like it this way. I am mobile – I have no attachments, nothing of value to go back to. I sometimes struggle with the desire to buy nice things, and lots of them, but the desire to live minimally usually wins. While a real estate investment might be financially respectable and a grand piano would be musically and emotionally desirable, these are things that would take away from the incredible, irreplaceable freedom I have right now.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” – Aristotle

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