Week 2 in Mérida




Today a class trip to Uxmal, a Mayan site about 50 miles from Mérida.  Lots of restored ruins, lots of tourists,  a beautiful day.

At right Rhonda and James, two of our more energetic classmates, eager to sacrifice themselves to the Mayan stair gods,

Speaking of which, the class encountered yet two more touristas from Victoria, B.C., making a total of 5 sitting at the same dinner table.  As they say, one coincidence is an accident, two coincidences is a conspiracy, and three is enemy action.  The young lady in the newly encountered couple had leg problems resulting from a motorcycle accident., as does David.  What is four coincidences?

At night, a "light and sound" show, a sort of Mayan telenovela.


Today and tomorrow are holidays for everybody except David and fellow students.  In particular, it's a holiday for the lavandería where David needs to bring some clothes to be washed.  Unh.

David's teacher Mercy says that her abuela (grandmother) understands a little Spanish, but speaks only Mayan.  Mercy understands and can speak a little Mayan, and her conversations with her abuela sound a little like the students' conversations: an awkward ad-hoc mixture of two different languages.

Mercy says that in ten or twenty years Mayan may be extinct, to be spoken only by a few scholars.


20 noviembre

In today's language lesson, David learned that in the sentence "If I had been born with any brains, new languages would have come easier", "born" is in the pluperfect subjunctive, and "come" in the perfect conditional.  Or something like that.

David's new guide Emanuel took D on a nice walk through a large park complex and then past an ice cream stand where  David had a cup of ice cream made from corn, which was interesting.  It adds a spin to the admonition "Eat your vegetables or you won't get dessert."



After class, Emanuel took David to the zoo.  A large collection of lions and tigers and bears, o my.  Many animals from central and south america, asia and africa.  Emanuel says that when a herbivore dies, they just throw the carcass over the fence to the carnivores.

David was the only gringo in the Zoo.  Small children looked at him with fear and alarm, perhaps wondering how he had gotten out of his cage.



Thanksgiving.  Spanish has no "th" sound, and while they have a lot of fiestas, Tanksgiving isn't one of them.

After the classes, David and the two other estadounidenses went off to the local Fridays for a traditional Thanksgiving meal: hamburgers and french fries.  Various football games were on the TVs and, except for the lack of cranberry sauce, it almost felt like home.  ¡Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!



After class there were a few summer showers.  Rhonda, David and their two guides scurried off to a local family restaurant.  The deal is this: you buy some beers, and then the waiters start piling small dishes of Yúcatan food in front of you (¡auténtica!).  For free.  No limit.

In the evening David twisted an ankle in the dark outside the local 7-11.  Hurts, not much swelling, but it may prevent David's trip to Chichén Itzá this Sunday.  The interesting thing was that when David looked up "ankle" in his little electronic dictionary, the handy phrase "to twist an ankle" was right there.  And the same for "swollen".



David rested his ankle during the day, no action there.  At night, until after 3 AM there was a party downstairs with shrieking laughter, loud amplified music and no sleep.  David later discovered that a bunch of Francisco's buddies had shown up for an impromptu birthday celebration.  Ah youth!  Ah sleep!

2 weeks down, 2 to go.