The Bogarins rise very early in the mornings; I felt lazy waking up at 7:30 on a Saturday. But it was still early enough to be relatively cool so after I ate breakfast I took a walk around the neighborhood trying to figure out the landmarks everyone uses. I love that every single house is completely different, it’s easy to tell where I’ve been before. And it’s a beautiful area, I took quite a few pictures on my phone. I’m not sure I should take my camera out. Carlos and Mary both say it’s a safe neighborhood but also “It’s better not to go out after dark”, “Wear your backpack in front”, and “Don’t have your phone out”. Mary made sure I had my phone in my pocket and pulled my shirt down over it before I went out this morning. I suppose she really is my new mother 😀 But it’s really like any other big city; just take precautions. So anyway, I was careful not to take my phone out when there were people or cars around since I’m paranoid, but I did get some shots of the neighborhood:
There are flowers everywhere; I don’t know what most of them are. And the houses all have gates or walls at the sidewalk with either garages or front yards behind them. And since the gates are locked the doors are left open most of the time. It seems a good system; kids and dogs were out playing without being able to run into the street. Behind the houses the backyards are all surrounded by tall concrete walls too so it really feels very secure. The doors opening into the yard are always open so there’s a good breeze. There’s no AC/heat in my apartment but it stays very comfortable throughout the day. The afternoons are cloudier and cooler but if I close the windows it’s perfect.
I went to the farmers’ market with Thais this morning and as soon as we got out of the car it started pouring rain. We got soaked, even with umbrellas, just walking from the car to the market. But all the stalls were so close together that the tents covered us and there are tarps strung every which way so it wasn’t too bad after that. It’s a small space; they just rope off one street by the elementary school every Saturday. But there are so many stalls packed into the space and so many people. Thais has certain things she buys from the same people, her “piña (pineapple) guy”, “orange guy” and the rest we just looked for the best prices, so I learned what is too much to pay for four mangos and more.
I did some more homework when I got home but it got really quiet so I went downstairs to visit. I met Thais’ boyfriend, who works in web design as well, which was interesting, and watched an Investigation Discovery show with Mary, all in Spanish, and since the narrator was being slow and dramatic and I had pictures to follow I actually understood what was going on, although it was graphic enough that I wished I didn’t. I feel like my Spanish improved a lot today. Mary and I went to visit her neighbor, Cecilia, again, and her husband, and they don’t speak any English. But they spoke slow enough that I could understand most of what was going on. I might actually be able to carry on a normal conversation at some point! And I got to visit with their dog, which is the sweetest little poodle. I miss my own dogs so much-we’ve always had dogs so I think that’s part of why my apartment seems so quiet.