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Hey guys, I'm back in Mexico, this time staying with a family in Guanajuato for a little over a month (basically I'm a short term expat right now) before I have to return to the States for another music gig. And so far this trip has been more fun compared to the last few times I've gone to Mexico. So let's recap what happened so far.
I left f*** a** Los Alamos last Wednesday afternoon got into Albuquerque at 8 pm to play music with one of my good friends, then caught the Greyhound bus to El Paso just after 4 in the morning. And I caught up with my long lost friends there, including Hanny as well as those in UTEP's InterVarsity chapter. I met another Tejana at UTEP, also in InterVarsity. But I was only able to meet her through the other Tejana I hit it off with back in November of 2014 because mutual friends is, for the most part, the only way to meet women in America (I'm lucky to even have social cliques in the USA, but most are in Albuquerque and El Paso). However, Tejana 2, who I met through Tejana 1, didn't seem stuck up. And most conversations we had flowed more naturally, unlike with most American women who live a lot further from the border. Also, Tejana 1 gave me small hugs. But I said to her "mas grande por favor", and she gave me a bigger hug. The same thing happened again as we parted ways, and this time she giggled as she gave me a bigger hug. And this time around, she and I had conversations in Spanish. I spent one night in the Gardner Hotel.
On Friday, not long after checking out of my hotel, I walked in downtown El Paso towards the library. And outside of Fallas Paredes, this couple from Ciudad Juarez chatted me up (gringo with Mexicana). But there was a Murphy's law moment because they had to run errands at Sprawl-Mart. And much of the time when I was getting around in El Paso, most people I saw looked like repressed zombies. But after I printed my boarding pass at the library and exchanged all of my US dollars for Mexican pesos, I crossed the border into Ciudad Juarez and obtained my tourist card first thing. Then as I got onto Avenida 16 de Septiembre, this group of young people started chatting me up and invited me to take photos with them. Finally, I checked into a cheap motel (the hostel right now is temporarily closed because Nicia is looking for a permanent location) 15 minutes from the airport.
At the airport on Saturday, a 26 year old mestiza made eye contact and smiled, and we had a lively conversation in Spanish. Then I met her husband, who was also really friendly and outgoing. And guess what...the mestiza's husband said that he will introduce me to her sister whenever I am back in Juarez (she's a university student, single, and never had a boyfriend before). Once I arrived in Guanajuato, I got confused to where the family's house was (the map told me downtown). But I met a local guy and girl, we became friends right off the bat, and they even invited me into their house. Eventually, we walked around the city and finally found the place, which is in Barrio de Presa. Even the family I'm staying with was really friendly and outgoing.
Not much happened Sunday, except that the family and I played Dominós Doble 6 and met a couple new people.
Yesterday, I walked from Barrio de Presa to the historic downtown and made new friends right off the bat at the Universidad de Guanajuato campus. And yes, even the girls here are open to meeting foreigners. I was also surrounded by a lot of beautiful architecture, that I felt even happier in my soul. The students I made friends with were two girls and two guys. And then I had dinner with the guys at a small restaurant. My meal cost just under 3 dollars (in the US of Gay it would've cost like 10 dollars). And on my way back to Barrio de Presa, this Australian woman sitting alone on a bench makes eye contact with me and smiles, and then we chatted each other up. Initially I thought she was Mexican, until she told me she was from Australia and spoke in an Australian accent. She was backpacking here from what I found out (not an expat), and she traveled in both Mexico and the US. I even found Australian girls to be more down to earth and easier to connect with compared to their American counterparts (I proved this when I met another Australian girl at the hostel I was staying at in Guadalajara this past October). Now this is what I call the trip of a lifetime.
So far, the Bajío is now my main favorite part of Mexico. The people are really warm, friendly, and open, and it's easier to make friends in this part of Mexico than it is in Guadalajara. Plus there's a very rich culture here. Ciudad Juarez was also socially inclusive, but you definitely need social circle to date quality women there and weed out the low quality ones, some of whom are green card chasers.
Last but not least, Guanajuato still has the lifestyle that I was robbed of in America. Here, I can just walk to the store if I have to buy groceries or toiletries. In fact, driving isn't even a good option because most of the streets were built for pedestrians. There isn't a single big box store in Guanajuato , which is totally refreshing. And even though the larger cities in Mexico, especially Guadalajara, Monterrey, and DF, have big box stores, there are still plenty of small businesses. And they aren't in any danger of being crushed by big box retailers because Mexico's economy is much less regulated than in the US.
Curious, what tools are you using to develop your Spanish besides everyday conversation? Are you using any softwares, textbooks, or other study methods to improve your skills?
Congrats, Matt. Sounds like you're doing great out there. I still need to get to Mexico myself. The city sounds wonderful. Have you gone through the historical parts of town yet? Having a historical and walkable city where there are women and jobs sounds great to me. Exactly what I'm looking for.
A helpful guide:
Expatriation Apocalypse! The Guide to Expatriation for the Broke and Hopeless (Kindle)
Expatriation Apocalypse! (Paperback)
Yes I've been to the historic downtown a bunch, and I go there every day. And most of the social circle I made here was with university students at the Universidad de Guanajuato campus. Every time I chatted up a group of students there, I became friends with them right off the bat and even took them to dinner.
Here in Mexico, university students are nothing like their American counterparts. They're more down to earth and easygoing, and you don't see students constantly glued to their smartphones like you see in the US. And tonight, one of the girls I met was flirting with me on Facebook shortly after I accepted her friend request.
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