I lied!

photo of people walking on street

Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

So, my last blog I wrote about our plans for Mexico and what not….. was a lie! We have actually arrived back to Ireland at the beginning of June! My last blog was really for my Mum (she is the biggest fan of my blog) and I didn’t want her to suspect anything.  You can check it out here: Looking To The Future

After my parents left Mexico after visiting us, we decided to leave in the next few months. We realised we were in Mexico too long and it just didn’t work out for neither of us. We weren’t able to get a job because we were busy with the weddings (ours and my husbands sister), then we would have had to move to Mexico city because in the city where we were there just weren’t any jobs for me.

I don’t see it as a failure though; I enjoyed my experience there, I came from literally zero Spanish to now being able to have day to day conversations, we got married and had our perfect wedding, and finally my parents came to visit. So some things didn’t work out but a lot of others did. It’s nice to be closer to my family though in Ireland. The weather is crap though, so I do miss the weather in Mexico! But I’ve been enjoying eating lots of white and brown bread.

I’d also like to think we are getting back on course to figuring out where we want to live and all that ‘life’ stuff. Maybe it will be in Ireland or maybe somewhere else in Europe, we will see!

But it’s nice being with my family for a while, with no flight to leave for for a while!

Aisling

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Looking To The Future

sky earth galaxy universe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With our wedding and my husbands sisters wedding over, we have been thinking of what to do. As I’ve mentioned before, we couldn’t really sort out jobs because we knew we had our wedding coming up, and my parents were also going to be here for 3 weeks, so we knew it would be difficult to get jobs with these on the horizon. So we made the decision to wait until all these events were over to look for jobs.

We are quite open to anything though. (country wise!) Because we are now married, it’s easier for my husband to live in Europe with me. It’s not 100% plain sailing, but it’s much easier than if we weren’t together!

We were talking and we are in agreement that if Mexico doesn’t work then both of us are open to any country really. My sister in law was very excited telling us about Paris and how she could help us get jobs. We are interested of course, but we need to think of the pro’s and con’s of moving to France. But the option is there.

Another option is Spain. My husband has an aunt that lives in Madrid and I’m sure she could help if we decided to move there. Also in Barcelona we know someone who lives there. So we have options.

I would prefer to live in Spain because I’m learning the language, but I won’t say France is off the cards though.

I think the fact that we lived in China makes us feel like we can sort of survive in any country now, because really, if you can live in China then you can pretty much live in any country! It doesn’t feel like such a daunting task, especially if you plan to move to somewhere in Europe.

But anyway, Ireland is the most viable option at the moment. For my husband it’s the easiest way to get to Europe as all he needs is a visa that shows we are together, so it’s very easy.

For Mexico, it’s on the cards but probably not in the city where we are right now. Mexico city has more opportunities, so I would just have to learn to love the city if we decided to move!

So, as always, we are still up in the air with everything….

But the good thing is my spanish is improving!

So yay for that!

Aisling

Mexico City; I think it will grow on me

I’ve only been to Mexico city a few times, so I really haven’t seen much of the city at all. From my overall impressions, I’m not too keen on it; it’s just too big to able to comfortably travel to. First it’s a pain to travel into; once you hit Mexico city the traffic is terrible and it take hours to get to where you want to go. Second the road layout isn’t good at all. Whoever built the roads didn’t organise it enough and it’s not a city that is car friendly.

So anyway my husbands uncle invited us another few family members to eat with him in one of his restaurants that he owns so we decided to travel to where the madness is! The restaurant is literally right in the heart of Mexico city, and it’s located in a lovely old looking building. When I was in the centre of Mexico city the first time I visited the area but because there was a festival going on, I couldn’t appreciate the lovely architecture that was there. So this time round I was surprised at how pretty the buildings were.

Before lunch we went to visit some ruins which are free to enter on Sundays for nationals. Thankfully I had my residency card so I was also able to enter free! We spent about an hour and a half there and then headed to eat with the family.

I think my view is slowly changing about the city though. I think I’m just used to the city of Chengdu and how much more advanced it is. It was very easy to live in it, and I miss it so much sometimes. But anyway, there are good things about Mexico city, and I suppose I need to live in it to be able to appreciate it more and see all the good things about it!

Aisling

The Magic Town of Tepotzlán

Tepotzlán is a magic town that is about a 1 hour drive from Cuernavaca and we decided to go and visit! My sister-in-law was actually having a wedding photo shoot there so we didn’t mind going with her. I went a few weeks ago with my parents on a Sunday, but it was a different experience that time! At the weekend the town comes alive with hundreds of stalls lining the roads with all sorts of handicrafts and souvenirs on sale.

This time around we went on a Monday and the place was much more quiet! They were going to do their photo shoot on the Monday and then on Tuesday morning we were going to walk up the big mountain that overlooks the town. At the top their is a small ruin of a small Aztec temple and it’s extremely popular to climb during the weekend! I hear that the walk up the mountain is full of people during the weekend, so when we went on Tuesday it was much better. We probably met about 10 people on our way!

Anyway, on Monday evening we organised with the hostel we were staying with to try out a traditional sweat room. It’s called a ‘Temazcal’ and it was a great experience! It originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica and it’s still practiced today!

We started at 9pm and we had to do a ceremony with a shaman and he says all this stuff in Spanish (that I didn’t understand), then we entered into pitch blackness! We couldn’t see a thing! The man comes in, covers the entrance with a blanket and we are there sitting sweating like crazy as this shaman talks and tells us what to do. At one point we had to rub our bodies with aloe vera, and then honey. (All this in pitch blackness). Then we had to say things that we want to improve while he was banging a drum. We were shaking shakers and shouting and all sorts! There were 3 stages to the ritual and during all of them he would throw water into a big bowl in the middle and it would create even more heat! I have to say it was extremely hot by the end of the ritual.

At the end when we were leaving, we all had to kneel beside him and he poured cold water over us, then we went out and he gave us fruit and water. Little did we know the ritual lasted for 1 hour!

I really didn’t know what to expect but I have to say I really enjoyed it! All of us were absolutely wrecked after it though…. and at 7am we had to get up for our hike up the mountain!

As my body was still in shock from the experience from last night, it was really tough to get up for the hike! It was the last thing I wanted to do to be honest.

While we were walking through the town to the base of the mountain we met two friendly dogs and they walked up the whole mountain with us! We heard that the local dogs always do that; they find someone and go with them all the way to the top, then they’ll go back down, see another person and up they go again!

While we were waiting for them to open the gates to the entrance to the summit we met a couple and they ALSO had a dog with them. The dogs aren’t allowed up to the summit so they left us while we went up. We took some great photos and it was a lovely morning! The night before it was really really windy and up at the summit a lot of big branches fell on the walkway up.

Then when we started to walk back down, we met one of the dogs that came up with us and the other which walked up with the other couple! (However they left us halfway down the mountain….. I think we were too slow for them)

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Cute little coatis at the summit

All of us really enjoyed our time, and my sister in law got some beautiful wedding photos too! If you want to visit here, I would recommend you to come on Sunday and spent the day in the town and looking at all the handicrafts, and then on Monday morning hike up the mountain! That way you get the best of the two!

Aisling

 

Let’s Get Talking (Spanish) Again!

auditorium benches chairs class

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With my wedding, my parents coming to visit, I had to stop going to my Spanish class with my teacher for at least 1 month! Then there were holidays here so that added to classes being delayed.

When my Mum and Dad were here I rarely spoke Spanish. I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable and left out when everybody was speaking Spanish. I know that feeling! So I just spoke English while there were here.

Then when they did left, I felt as if I forgot loads of things! I forgot words, verb conjugations, how to form the correct sentences. I really did feel like I forgot everything! I started studying again and I’ve found a Mexican TV show to watch on Netflix when the in-laws aren’t using it, and I think it’s helping me quite a bit. I remember a few words from it and simple phrases. It’s called ‘La casa de las flores’ if you are interested! It’s not something I’d want myself, but I’m getting more interested in it and it’s good for my listening practice.

So today was my first class with my teacher and It turned out well. I was a little apprehensive in case I was struggling to talk, but thankfully I spoke fine. I noticed though that I had been confusing él with ella. He and She. So I’d be talking about my husband with ella and my teacher would constantly repeat el! I didn’t even realise I was doing it. (and this used to drive me crazy with my Chinese students when I was teaching!)

I really enjoy my class though; I can make as many mistakes as I want and she won’t mind. That’s what I like. I’m not judged. (I feel I’m constantly being judged when I speak Spanish around others) She was also all praise about my Spanish too. I really do feel like it’s terrible, so when she congratulates me I really don’t know how to respond. I’d love to agree and know that my speaking ability is good, but at the moment I just can’t. When I’m not with her my Spanish hides and I can’t get the words out! So that’s my problem!

The class kind of reminded me that it’s still in my head somewhere…. I haven’t forgotten it…. and that I can talk with some degree of fluency…. with confidence I might add!

Aisling

My Parents Have Left

My parents were here, and blink, now they are gone. Back over 12 hours on their plane to Ireland. It’s been a week since they left and the day after they flew I felt quite sad and alone. I’d have no one to drink tea with and, as my dad says “talk shite with”.

What I like about being with my Mam and Dad is that we can comfortably sit together and just not speak. Just being with each other and not having the need to speak is a nice feeling. My husbands family second name should be ‘Talkers’ because they LOVE talking. For me, I’m not a lover of talking; it tires me out to be honest. I prefer listening instead. I suppose I miss that; just sitting outside in the sun together and we are all thinking in our heads about this and that. There’s no forced need to talk, which I feel sometimes happens to my husbands family. They are so used to talking that having any silence just feels awkward.

Both of them have good and bad things about them though.

So yeah, I did miss them a lot when they first went. You know all the times I visited from China, I was never as sad as this time they went. I think it was because In China I had my own independent life, my job, my apartment, my routine to go back to.

I give out about China a lot, especially the behaviour of the people, but I really really did enjoy my life there. There are times I think of going back.

Here I’ve been unhappy for the past few months. I don’t have my own independent life, I don’t have a job, I don’t have a place to live with just me and my husband, I have the most boring routine….

(Plus we still have our obsession with dogs and still haven’t got one because, well my in-laws wouldn’t be pleased)

Yeah, I could get a teaching job earning like €3 an hour. But take out my therapist every week which is €11, then my 2 hours Spanish classes which cost about €21 for 2 hours, then thats like 2 days of work just to pay for those!

Then we have to pay for where to live and all that other stuff. So really it’s just not worth looking for a job here. I know in Mexico city there are a lot more jobs, but to be honest we really don’t want to move there. I don’t particularly like the city; it’s enormous, the traffic is the worst I’ve ever seen (and I’ve lived in China) and the pollution can get really bad too.

traffic-mexico-city

Source: google

The picture above is literally every. single. day in Mexico. I’m not joking. It’s terrible and I really don’t like going to Mexico because every time we’ve went it’s like this.

So for the moment Mexico city is off the cards to live in!

Oh I’ve sort of went off topic quite a bit!! Anyway, back to my parents!

From what I gathered they liked pretty much everything about Mexico; the weather, the people, the small towns. Here are some things they didn’t like (mainly from my Dad)

The food: my dad is a traditional man…. so that means potatoes, meat and vegetables. That’s it. No spices, no condiments. Nothing. Just salt and pepper and a bit of gravy on the food. Anything exotic is a no no. HE DIDN’T EVEN LIKE MANGO!! What the hell? It’s like my favourite fruit! He said…. wait for it………

IT’S TOO SWEET!

(yeah, really)

Another thing he didn’t like were tacos. Yes I know this will be a shock to all Mexican people.

He pretty much didn’t like most Mexican food except pozole, which is a soup with corn and that. This is my favourite Mexican food.

Another thing he didn’t like were all the steps here in Cuernavaca. (it’s a hilly city) I understand this because it can get annoying, especially because they are uneven and the roads are full of holes. You need to pay attention to where you are walking.

He was shocked with the traffic too. From China I’ve gotten used to it so I don’t pay attention anymore, but coming from a small town of 40,000 people, it does take some getting used to.

My Mam on the other hand liked most foods, except tamales, which is a corn thing wrapped in the skin of something ( I really don’t have a clue what it is to be honest) I wasn’t too fussed on it at the beginning either but I grew to like it more. They are filled with different things and can be sweet or savory.

tamale

Tamale. Source: google

I think that was pretty much everything that Mam didn’t like. She told me she misses Mexican food and she’s back to the plain Irish food now. (Irish food is definitely not famous for it’s flavour)

But I’m glad that they visited Mexico. I’m disappointed they didn’t get to see China though. See my life and what we did there. I think it’s one thing that I’m going to be disappointed about forever. China holds a lot of good memories and experiences for me that unfortunately they will never get to see.

But anyway,

Aisling

Oh No! Rain On Our Wedding Day!

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Me and my Daddy

About 3 weeks before the wedding, I was a bit obsessed about the weather. Everyday I kept checking and checking to see if there was any change of the endless blue sky. Then I notice…… clouds…… rain……THUNDER!

Yes, apparently on the weather forecast there was supposed to be all of these things on our big day. So that was when I really started getting worried. I decided that I wouldn’t look at the weather until the wedding. I really didn’t want to worry myself. I had the whole wedding to worry about so I didn’t want to add to the list!

So my Mam and Dad came, and the weather was just as sunny as always! I was on my phone one day and I clicked on the weather app by accident! You know when you just unconsciously click on something without really doing it; well I did that and I realise ‘AHH I’M ON THE WEATHER APP!!!’

But then I notice…….. on my wedding was a lovely sun showing up! SUN!!?? What the hell??? Did the weather change??!! Is there really not going to be clouds and rain??? No thunder!?

Seeing this really really made me happier! I was put at ease then seeing that!

So, the wedding day comes and the morning is sunny as usual. At 2pm it’s time for me to get my hair and makeup done. I sit down and they start beautifying me!

Then….. while my eyes are closed I hear a strange noise…

tap, tap, tap

‘That sounds like rain’ I thought to myself.

I open my eyes. IT IS RAIN!

There’s a huge grey cloud overhead, and drops of rain keep coming, faster and faster.

Now it’s really raining. I try and stay calm. It will be ok, it’s only a burst of rain. The cloud looks like it’s going away from us. It’ll be ok Aisling. 

Then, a big roar of thunder.

Oh god, the weather app was right. I can’t believe it was right 3 weeks ago! 

Then to add to it, the hairdressers daughter came back with a hailstone to show me! Even more drama!

At this stage it was still raining and I started to worry then. I wanted to have our ceremony in the nice garden, how will the photographer be able to take any nice photos in the rain? He’s going to be limited to just the restaurant area…. Typical. It hasn’t rained since December, and on my wedding it HAS to rain!

Honestly, it hasn’t rained since about December here. I was just thinking to myself how typical it was to rain on my wedding day.

So, I just kind of resigned myself to the fact that it was going to be raining. ‘I don’t even have a nice umbrella to bring with me’ I thought!

At about 3:25 the rain finally started to stop. The big grey cloud was heading away from us, and I was happy to see the sun and blue clouds appear again!

I was hoping that that was it, there weren’t any clouds hiding from view! At 5 o’clock myself, my dad and my father in law left the house to go to the venue. The weather was back to it’s sunny ways, and for the ceremony the weather was perfect! As if it didn’t rain at all!

I really just couldn’t believe that there was rain AND THUNDER! 2 weeks after the wedding, there has not been a DROP of rain since that day!

People were telling me that rain before a wedding means good luck, so we must have gotten a tonne load of luck! Maybe it’s a good omen for our marriage too!

So, we were unlucky to get rain, but lucky that it stopped in time, but at the same time….. we were actually lucky to get rain…..??!

Confusing!

Aisling