Let’s Get Talking (Spanish) Again!

auditorium benches chairs class

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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

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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

Our Perfect Wedding Day

It’s been a week since our wedding day….. and it went absolutely perfectly! I can’t believe how great it turned out, and from what I heard, all our guests really enjoyed themselves.

I have to say it was one of the best days of my life. You always worry that at least 1 thing will go wrong on the big day, but thankfully for us it was perfect. Although we did have a scare with the weather, so I will post a separate blog about that another time.

And to my surprise, I wasn’t too nervous. I think the most nervous part was when we pulled up to the entrance in the car and I saw the videographer there with his big camera, and I started getting nervous then. I started crying a little (I think it was just the emotions and the nerves getting to me a bit), but then when me and my dad walked down the aisle I felt much better then.

I also said a few words in SPANISH! You know that was the thing I was dreading about the whole wedding, saying something in Spanish. So when I started, I just kind of blurted everything out. I don’t even remember what I said to be honest. I know it was very basic spanish and I just said thanks to everyone who came and stuff like that… nothing special, but I’m just happy I actually did it. Once that was out of the way I was much more relaxed.

Then we did a toast, took tonnes of photos (I never realised the amount of photos the bride and groom have to take) and then we headed into the eating area. There we had a group of Irish dancers who danced for everyone, then the food came. While we were eating we had a mariachi band come in to sing some songs which was nice. Finally we had our dance and then it was party time!

During the party the waiters came in and handed us balloons, masks and party sticks. I wasn’t expecting these and it was a great surprise. Then we played some typical Mexican games. It was such a fun night.

So yeah, the wedding is finally over, and it really wasn’t what I expected… it was 100 times better. My Mam and Dad also loved it. In Ireland all the weddings are inside, so it was lovely for them to be at an outdoor wedding. My Dad also said it was the best wedding he’s ever been to. (Of course he’s biased but it’s still nice to hear it).

The food was also good too, they were good sizes and they were hot. Plus the cupcakes we made were also a success!

I just loved the day and I’ll remember it forever.

Aisling

They Are On The Way!

man holding woman s hand

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So after months of waiting, my parents are on their way to Mexico! Last night I didn’t really get a good night sleep. I knew they were going to the airport and my mind was half on them, half on sleep, so I didn’t really get a good rest. When I woke up I got a message to say they were in Amsterdam airport…Phew! They made it to there, and now they are on their long flight to me!

My parents haven’t travelled on a long haul flight since I was 11, so I was quite apprehensive about it all. But thankfully everything seems to be going great and they should arrive here at around 7:30pm. We will drive to Mexico airport to pick them up and we should arrive home at around 10. Then they can hopefully have a good sleep!

Also the weather seems good today. The past few days it has been cloudy and I was worried for the wedding. I don’t mind that it’s cloudy; a wedding in Ireland without rain (even if it’s really cloudy)  is good weather, so all I want is that it doesn’t rain.

I think it’s going to take some time getting used to Mum and Dad being here. For 5 year’s it has always been me who goes home to visit, so I don’t think my head is going to comprehend that they are actually here in Mexico! I’m really looking forward to seeing them and I hope they enjoy themselves.

Maybe they’ll even want to visit again!

Aisling

It’s Nearly Our Wedding Time

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor

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It’s March….. and that means our wedding is nearly upon us! We still don’t have everything sorted, so these next few weeks we really have to organise the last details. Thankfully we’re not too worried though.

It’s just scary how the time just flew by. “Oh sure we have 3 months to organise…..8 weeks, grand….. what the hell??? 3 weeks left???!!!”

Both of us will be really happy to get this wedding over though; we have been in limbo since we came because of it, and now when it will be over we can start looking for jobs and where to live. Of course there is the honeymoon but we haven’t even thought about that; my parents are visiting so we have to organise our trip with them. So after they have gone maybe we can scrape a honeymoon with whatever money we have left.

And thankfully, our wedding will start at 5pm until 12am, which is fantastic! We chose this mainly because the venue we are having it in limits events to 7 hours, and you have to pay extra for more time. But I’m really happy with the time; it’s only half a day, it saves us money, and nobody will be too tired from it. Plus I can’t imagine being the centre of attention for a whole day!

I got a tester for my make up and hair too so that’s sorted too.The most makeup I wear is mascara, so having a face plastered with everything really took me time to get used to. I really don’t enjoy having too much make up on me, and I feel I’m going to forget during the day and rub my face! So the make-up really will be a challenge for me for the day.

I know I will feel a weight lifted off my shoulders when the day is over!

Aisling

My Parents Are Coming To Mexico!

aeroplane aircraft airplane aviation

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I can’t believe it myself. It had to take a wedding to get them to come. I should have thought of something like this while in China (as they never visited me there). So wherever I live next, I’ll know that I’ll have to think of something very creative for them to make them think it’s worthwhile to visit me.

Agh but anyway, rant over. . . they are coming and that’s the main thing. I would have loved for them to have stayed for 1 month, but 3 weeks is all they can visit for. They will be here a few days before the wedding, and then after that’s over with, we can think of what to do with them and where to bring them. 

They haven’t been on a long distance plane for…. oh since 2001, when we went to America. So this will be a relatively new experience for them! I’m going to have to write out every detail that will happen at the airport, just so they are prepared for it all. I know they will be stressed so at least if I give them a detailed plan of what will happen and what they need to do, then at least they will know all this in advance . Plus when you get through security it’s easy from then on. 

They have a layover in Amsterdam so we made sure to choose one that wasn’t too short. I had an experience of running to the gate because our layover was ridiculously short. So I don’t want them to have to worry and stress about that. 

I hope that after their trip they will be encouraged to travel more. They have become too settled in their ordinary day to day lives. Even to just visit France or Spain, maybe Portugal. Maybe if I stay in Mexico longer then they will visit again, and we can take them to more places in Mexico. There’s just so many beautiful places here. 

Unfortunately my sister, her fiancé and my two nephews can’t afford to come. I understand completely but I was pretty upset and sad about it. I only plan on having a wedding once and it’s upsetting to know that they won’t be here for it. Or that they won’t be able to see Mexico and where my fiancé is from. So I’m pretty sad about that. But I know that if they did they would have a big loan to pay off and I don’t want them to have to worry about that….. and all this due to my wedding. I’d feel pretty guilty.

But hopefully one day they will be able to visit. I know they would love it here!

Aisling.

Job Hunting

With my fiancé soon to finish working with his current employer, and like myself , he will also be unemployed. As much as I love not working; I can study MUCH more….I really don’t like the feeling of knowing absolutely nothing is going into my bank account. We’ve really cut down on spending, but we can’t survive here without working.  There are a few people we know here who don’t work, and I have no idea how they are doing it! Please let me in on your secret on not working in China!

But anyway, unfortunately we aren’t the lucky ones who can afford to not work. Thankfully I’m not a big spender in general, but even getting my 7yuan Coco drink (€0.94cent) makes me cringe!

So we’ve heard recently that a girl from our Chinese class is leaving in a few weeks, and she has classes that her school she works for wants to move to other teachers. We decided to meet up with the lady in charge and she told us more about the schedule and what not.

What we love about the job is that it’s only 10 minutes by cycling to reach the school. Very handy! Plus it’s a small school, so the emphasis is on giving the students a good education,  They are not obsessed with money like my previous employer was. But there are a few things which have made us doubt wanting to work there.

The schedule is all over the place, so I would have no idea how they would arrange it for 2 teachers to teach the classes. The schedule is really only suited for person. Plus our friend works 6 days a week…. I definitely do not want that!

The pay isn’t standard with many other places; sure if I didn’t have much experience, I’d accept their hourly rate, but as I’ve 3.5 years experience, I’d like to earn a little higher than what they are offering.

Another issue is with their teaching times. Ideally they want someone who will work until next February. However our visa expires in the middle of January. So we were looking at options on how to tackle this. One option is to stay another semester at the Uni, then we could commit to teaching with them for two full semesters. I know I know, with our history of constantly changing our plans here in China, I wouldn’t be surprised if we are still here in another 10 years!! Every year it’s ‘Oh we’ll just stay one more year…….and another year….and another…’ 

But, that just goes to show how comfortable you can get here. As every foreigner in China knows all too well!

Finally, every month they take money out of teachers wages, and then at the end of the contract they give it back. I understand this, but it’s quite a lot of money they take out! So if you have to leave unexpectedly… boom…. that money you have earned is now gone. So I don’t really like that aspect of the job.

So anyway… at the moment we don’t really know what to do. It feels like we are are adapting for the school, whereas the school should be adapting for us.

We’ll think about it more and discuss with the owner… if we are willing to adapt to her needs, then surely she should be able to adapt to ours….well, that’s what I’m hoping!

再见

爱玲