We can’t believe another month has passed already! The holidays are upon us… can you believe it? Even though it is just barely cold in the late evenings and early mornings, the holidays are in full swing here in Puebla. It doesn’t feel like Christmas, but it certainly does look like it – complete with a radio tower dressed in lights to resemble a huge Christmas tree. Seeing this outside our window reminds me of the tree of lights affixed to the top of the Space Needle. When I am feeling homesick for a White Christmas, I try to remember that I have the sun everyday and how can I complain when I have that? Plus, there is an ice skating rink being set up in a public park and Poinsettia’s grow up to be trees here. People even buy real pine trees here for their homes. According to the Jander family Christmas game, I have spotted three so far atop cars on the way to their new homes! Alright, well onto our lessons learned for the month of November…
- Always watch where you’re walking. And when I saw always, I mean always. I accidentally fell into a hole a few weekends ago and banged up my shin pretty bad. Still have the goose egg to prove it. Neal has also run into wires and polls. I guess it’s bound to happen when your main mode of transportation is your feet.
- Puebla is not as cold as we were warned. Everyone in Querétaro warned us that Puebla would be freezing and on our bus to Puebla we wore our warmest clothes and immediately took off our layers upon arrival to Puebla. I haven’t been able to wear my boots once since.
- If you want to use your phone in another country, unlock it before you leave. Neal is going to post a blog about our adventures getting a phone here México and I won’t steal any of his thunder. I will say however that it’s free and easy to unlock your phone in the States.
- A $500 MXN bill resembles Monopoly money – looks like play money and nobody wants it. Even though 500 pesos sounds like a lot of money, it’s only about $38 USD. Since we are on the envelope system, we always have cash on us (which is a great feeling by the way!), and depending on what the ATM has for us, we most likely get multiple 500 bills and spend the following week trying to break it because it’s rare to find a tienda that will accept it as payment. ¡ni modo!
- Small talk with the locals can lead to random gifts of kindness. Por ejemplo, there is a wonderful European bakery on our route to work. We often stop in to say hi to the employees and to drool over the delicious breads. I kept pestering them about their gluten-free goodies because they advertise it, but they don’t sell it. One day they just handed me a big bag of gluten-free flour so I could make my own baked goods. I was astounded and giddy with excitement.
- Puebla has quite a variety of German beer, and actually quite a bit of German people too. This is all thanks to the Volkswagen factory here in Puebla – we have seen so many different kinds of VWs that we don’t even have in the States! Neal is happy for his German beer and I am still waiting to find a GF one.
- There are two faces to a tortilla and a wrong way to make quesadillas. When you bite into a fresh tortilla you will see the inner workings of the beauty that is a corn tortilla. One side is thick, while the other side is extremely thin. To make the perfect quesadilla, you warm the thin side for about 30 seconds, flip and add cheese. Wait, and then fold in half and then flip again. Lost on the instructions? I offer free quesadilla lessons to anyone who visits us!
- Life without Craigslist is a difficult one. I mean, the Seattle economy is dependent on Craigslist and you can buy just about anything using the community forum. They even have a Craigslist for Puebla… but no one uses it. In order to find an apartment we have had to search the internet (on random sites), use the classifieds in the newspaper, and just walk around aimlessly in neighborhoods where we’re interested in living. ¡Oye-Que lastima!
Current bug bites: 10 (from our hike on Saturday!)
Days until we need to find an apartment: 10
Days until Navidad: 21
Love from Puebla,
PS – We have an new address, so let me know if you need it!! Ya know, for Christmas cards and such…