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My first week of class

Yesterday I finished my first week of class and I am happy with the experience.  We spent two hours a day on grammar and 2 hours in conversation with a different teacher.  We covered a lot this week--reflexive verbs, irregular present tense and we just started the past tense.  It went fast and at times it felt like my head was going to explode.  Oh well.  They say that learning a new language is way better than crossword puzzles for an aging brain.

Some of my new friends and I decided to celebrate last evening at Casa Oaxaca, where a French trained chef does amazing things with traditional Oaxacan ingrediants.  I ordered a sampler menu and I was a top ten lifetime food experience.  Oaxacan cuisine is justly famous and this meal allowed us to sample all the different moles of the region.  A cooking class is definitely in my future and I can see a Oaxacan meal offered at next year's Dining 4$.  Two of the dishes had the grasshoppers.  I ate them and pretended I didn't know what was there.  No grasshoppers will be offered at the Dining 4$ meal. 

This morning I went on a walking tour of churches offered by an American artist living here.  Linda was full of wonderful information about the town past and present and the history of Oaxaca and Mexico.  She pointed out the many pagan influences in the architecture and the way Mexican catholicism is practiced.

  There were about a hundred women from an indigenous group in their bright red dresses.  Quite a sight.  It turns out that there is a bug in Oaxaca that yields a bright red dye.  In the 16th and 17th century, these bugs were literally worth their weight in gold.  Therefore, the Indians were put to work raising the bugs and were not worked to death in mines or on plantations like in the rest of Mexico. 

9 comments (Add your own)

1. Tania Marquez wrote:
Can I put in my bid now for dining 4 dollars? :)

Arvid, I enjoy, as many others, reading your blog about your experience in Oaxaca. Will you be still be there on November 2nd? If so, I hope you go visit a local cemetery and then share with us how el Dia de los muertos is celebrated in Oaxaca.

Sat, September 25, 2010 @ 9:04 PM

2. Kathleen Garcia-Horlor wrote:
It is said, by teachers you know when you cross the exploding mind bridge when you dream in your new language. Sweet dreams.

Sun, September 26, 2010 @ 8:44 AM

3. Arvid wrote:
Yes, Tania, celebrating the Days Of The Dead here is one reason I chose Oaxaca as a place to study. Kathleen, maybe I'll be dreaming in
Spanish by then.

Sun, September 26, 2010 @ 9:57 AM

4. Katie Jaques wrote:
Speaking of Catholicism in Mexico ... I was in Mexico with Barbara and her family, and Cora and Debbie, between Christmas and New Year's about 2004. We spent several days on the beach at Zihuatanejo and then flew to Mexico City, where we stayed at the Holiday Inn right on the Zocalo. We attended the New Year's Eve service at the cathedral. I came away convinced that the Goddess is alive and well in Mexico. She wears the garb of the Virgin of Guadalupe!

Mon, September 27, 2010 @ 10:59 AM

5. Katie Jaques wrote:
PS re reflexives: I'm always amused by the signs on vehicles for sale in my neighborhood in Chula Vista: se vende (it sells itself.) I'm sure the owner wishes it would!

Mon, September 27, 2010 @ 1:24 PM

6. Alyse Ford wrote:
Arvid, I'm really enjoying your blog, and the description of the town square with all the families, apt. hunting etc. What an adventure!

Sun, October 3, 2010 @ 10:04 AM

7. Bob Jones wrote:
Jill Hansen and I were at the same Spanish Language school for four weeks in Nov. 2005. She and I took the church tour with Linda Martin on one saturday with another student in my class(just the four of us) and it was very informative. We ended up at her home and my classmate dated her. We all went to dinner one evening at Las Tres Danzanas on the pedestrian street. One month of fine memories. Bob Jones

Fri, October 15, 2010 @ 11:21 AM

8. Bob Jones wrote:
Jill Hansen and I were at the same Spanish Language school for four weeks in Nov. 2005. She and I took the church tour with Linda Martin on one saturday with another student in my class(just the four of us) and it was very informative. We ended up at her home and my classmate dated her. We all went to dinner one evening at Las Tres Danzanas on the pedestrian street. One month of fine memories. Bob Jones

Fri, October 15, 2010 @ 11:22 AM

9. Norriele wrote:
You and I share some experiences. I once was in the food bunesiss, and now cook in a small kitchen in a small house on the west coast of Mexico. Things have been simplified and we are content. We enjoy living in Mexico and eating well.I found you through WordPress tags. I like your blog very much and will be a regular visitor.Kathleen

Mon, June 18, 2012 @ 2:33 AM

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