Mittwoch, 18. September 2013

Viva México!!!

Miércoles 18/09/2013
Zapopan, Guadalajara

¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron la patria y libertad!
¡Viva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Viva Galena y los Bravos!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

That is what I heard in the night from Sunday to Monday in the middle of hundreds and thousands of mexicans on the Plaza Mayor in San Miguel de Allende. Although I have my own opinion about national pride and such a strong sense of nationality, but this celebration of the Mexican Independence Day and the moment, when all the people were shouting VIVA, VIVA and an amazing firework was enlightening the dark sky, I was more than impressed.

But the Weekend and our trip to Querétaro, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato started earlier. Saturday morning, we had to get up at 5 in the morning, which was kind of hard for me as I am used to sleep till 9 here in Mexico (I know, I know, but hey - university starts at 11 so what should I do?).
A "short" bus trip (in Mexico this means around 4 and 5 hours) took us to Bernal, "un Pueblo magico", which means a nice small village, that gets subsidies by the government to promote tourism. Next to Bernal there is the 3rd biggest Monolith in Mexico, but as the weather was really rainy and foggy, we could not see much of it. Nevertheless, the town was worth it, as it was a typical mexican village like I have always imagined mexican villages to be. And the first of a lot of new food-experiences....Gorditas (Google it!) at the market (the best place to eat!).
After a stop at a cheese factory we visited Tequisquiapan, also a "Pueblo magico". By the way, I have to mention that we had three mexican friends with us on the trip - David, Fanny and Andrea - which was the best thing about it. They showed us the best places to eat, explained us everything and again we have been able to improve our spanish. Afterwards we were going to Santiago de Querétaro, where we were staying over night and went out to some Club.


After a short night we went to a vineyard on Sunday morning. Actually the mexican vineyard are not like the ones in Wachau, but nevertheless it was quiet interesting and we had a degustation. As the wine tasted really sweet, we thought it was the "dulce" one but actually it was a dry one. In the end I have to say that Mexican wines could only be sold under the Label "Eiswein" in Austria;-) - but nevertheless I liked them and we got a bottle. In the afternoon we had dinner and prepared ourselves for the Independence Day. Eva bought a mexican Dress, Alicia some kind of mask and I bought myself - Patriot through and through - "una bandera mexicana". For the Fiesta de la Independencia we went to San Miguel de Allende, a really touristic city famous for the amazing celebrations on Independence Day. People from all over Mexico are coming to this small town on this day and it is just crowded. On the bus we prepared ourselves with some Banda and Mariachi Music and Tequila. Most of the people of our group tried to drink a lot on the bus, because we heard that it is going to be "ley seca", which means alcohol-prohibition. It sounds really strange, but in Mexico the government sometimes prohibits alcohol for one day, so that no shops are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. It is really hard to explain how the celebration was, because one cannot imagine this without really experiencing it. I have never seen so many people in one place. Crowded means in Mexico that you cannot move - no - impossible. Although it was raining cats and Dogs - people stayed at the Plaza Mayor. I was wet through and through - but I did not care, because when the fireworks started I was starring like a 6-year-old Boy. I have never seen anything like this - not even similar. Fireworks in Austria on the 31st of December are in comparison - I as a austrian say it - "wie a Kindergeburtstag". The Mexicans really set the sky on fire with their towers out of fireworks and the crazy people climbing on it and inflaming them.
At 3, when we went back to Querétaro, everyone was really tired because of the long time standing in the rain - but it was worth it every second.

The last day was reserved for one of the most beautiful cities all over Mexico - Guanajuato. I do not want to write that much about it, because I think the pictures can tell the story;-)
In the end I can just say my thanks to David, Fanny and Andrea, because I had probably my best mexican weekend together with them.



Freitag, 13. September 2013

Austrian Soccer and Human Sacrifices

Viernes 13/09/2013
Casa de los 12, Guadalajara

Hello world! Hello my dear Readers!

I am back again and I feel really sorry for the delay. Two weeks passed - amazingly fast - and a really important - probably the most important weekend for Mexicans - is waiting for us. Fiesta de la Independencia - the Mexican Independence Day on the 16th of September - is the day for Mexicans to celebrate their Country - with a lot of friends, music, fireworks and Tequila. But I will tell you about this later.

So what was happening the last two weeks? I realized that I should take care about my cash balance a bit more, or I would be forced to go back home already in November. Therefore I wanted to save some money and stayed in Guadalajara. In addition to this, the studying part of my exchange Semester revealed to be more effort than I thought in the beginning. 5 essays, 2 exams and 1 presentation in a week reminded me of good old times back in Krems. But after 6 weeks I already inherited some Kind of mexican work attitude. To describe this attitude you only need one word: "mañana, mañana". Everything has time till tomorrow.
I also realized that myself, normally quiet organised and ambitious, I am currently not bothering really much about the work and exams. This does not mean that I dont make homeworks and do not study at all, but just take it more easy. It is just the Mexican way of life and as I want to learn this culture, I am adopting of course. When I get my exams back I can tell you how successful my new attitude is;-)

There was also one really nice trip in These two weeks. In "History of Mexico" we went to Guachimontones with our beloved Professor José. It is one of the oldest excavations here in Mexico of the early Indio - pre-aztec times (no one really knows which culture it belongs to - they just named it after the Location "Teuchitlan Tradition").
The pyramides actually used to be places for human sacrifices. These cultures thought that they have to sacrifice human blood for the loss of blood of their gods. If you want to have some impressions about this - my movie Suggestion of the week: Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" (it is about Mayas, but actually the human sacrifices are the same) 

The rest was "Business as usual" - University - studying - meeting friends. It is really amazing how easy you get to know people here and how my "connections" are growing from week to week. I really like it that the UP is also a quiet small University (around 2000 students I think). It is like in Krems - I already feel at home;-)

One important Event was the Soccer match between Austria and Germany. In the end it was a crushing defeat...and especially for me as I was the only Austrian under a group of Germans. (for everyone who is not into soccer - Austria lost 0 : 3) But it was nice to watch such a game at 1 in the afternoon;-)

going home from University;-)
In the end some daily impressions of Guadalajara;-)