Monthly Archives: January 2016

Trip to Guadalajara (Spanish School)

This is my first of many posts about my trip to Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico to learn Spanish. My, dear neighbor, with very good humor drove me to Mexicali where we stayed the night at the Colonial Hotel. This was a recommendation from another good neighbor and he was right on. The hotel was clean and comfortable and the price was very good.

My flight was very early in the morning and for some reason that escapes me now I thought it was going to a little plane and few passengers. Upon arriving at the airport I was surprised to see so many people there, at first I thought there might be other flights but no this was my fight all these people were getting on. After schlepping my bags around and getting a boarding pass that I didn’t think I needed (Yes, you do Julia) I finally get to the ID control were I was confronted by Mexican Immigration. Turns out they were as puzzled as I was as to why I didn’t have my new Resident Visa Card and after the three gentlemen gave me the once over and put up with my broken Spanish I was sent on my way to go through security. The same type of security in the states, but I didn’t have to take my shoes off and it was (thank goodness) quick, I had to use the bathroom. That was a neat trick with a a bag and a purse in cubby to small to change into my superwoman costume if I had too.

Once out of the bathroom I got a cup of coffee and wouldn’t you know it no sooner did I get settled in a chair with my coffee it was time to line up for boarding the plane and it wasn’t a little turbo prop either. I found out the ticket checkers and fight crew didn’t speak english so my immersion started off already 🙂 No problem, serious announcements were recorded in both English and Spanish and they were the usual directions of following the directions and pointing out the exits in case of the plane crashing sort of thing. The plane ride itself was boring and my tummy wanted food. I did buy a muffin and a drink when offered to keep the grumbling beast at bay. I was so bored I read the inflight magazine or at least the parts I could with my broken Spanish.

Upon arrival at Guadalajara Airport we were bused to the terminal and lined up, yes all of us at the wrong baggage claim area and an employee herded us to the correct one which of course was much further from the exit. I claimed my bags and was even checked by an employee to make sure I wasn’t taking the wrong bags. I schlepped three bags and a big purse towards the exit where I asked a man at a Taxi booth about my voucher for a Taxi and he knew nothing about it. So I dragged my bags and I outside found a safe place against the building and like a paper boy of old started waving my voucher in the air while calling out TAXI ! One of the men who I assume controls the Taxis came over and read the voucher and went and asked another man about the voucher who looked very disinterested. At this point I thought I was going to have to pay for a ride out of pocket when a Taxi driver had a chat with this man and directed me to a Taxi. Wouldn’t you know it I get a Taxi driver who hasn’t a clue about vouchers or where the hotel is, had to go get directions from other taxi drivers on how to get there. I’m getting a little concerned at this point until he came back to the Taxi all smiles. I asked him if everything was okay and he said Si. So what are you going to do but sit back and enjoy the ride ? Obviously we got to the hotel in good order so it was much ado about nothing.

The hotel is small and in the historic (Old) part of town near a cathedral, in case I feel the need for spiritual help passing a test I imagine. The desk clerk took me to my room which of course is on the second floor with two flights of stairs a goat would enjoy running up and down. I thought I was puffing a bit until I heard the (Young) clerk huffing and puffing more than I was and I have almost a half century on the the poor boy! He was still puffing when he left my room and I had recovered. That young man needs some exercise, just my opinion not a judgement, but sheesh when a 71 year old can out do you on your own turf something has to be improved. Nice kid we’ll get along just fine. I might even challenge him to a foot race later and see who goes the hospital first!

I got directions to a local restaurant and guess what ? Yup, more stairs, but the food is good and cheap too. Nice view of that Cathederal with a busy plaza in front. After lunch I went back to my room to try out the bed with a serious nap. The bed is comfy and I had a good nap. Being Sunday the city is sort of quiet, I brought earplugs just in case.

Here are some photos of the inside of the hotel;

I like the colors and plants the church bells are charming the streets are narrow and one way so getting there is a problem when driving, but not when walking. Tomorrow is a holiday and I’ll take a tour of the neighborhood.

 

Categories: Adventure, Holidays, learning Spanish, Mexican Restaurant, Spanish School, Uncategorized | Tags: | 1 Comment

Signed up for Spanish Immersion Class

I have, once again, committed myself to learn Spanish. I have signed up for a class in Guadalajara that is full immersion supposedly no english spoken. I just took a test for class placement and promptly failed it, so now I’m dropped down to a lower level. I’m supposed to receive another test in email and we’ll see how that goes. The plan I signed up for is a month long course at I. M. A. C.  a well known Spanish language school. I will be staying at a local inn four blocks from school in Guadalajara. My concerns are that I’ll be in over my head, in a class full of smart energetic college students or smart, sharp business professionals and I’ll be the only less than stellar student. I’ll write weekly posts on my experiences while at the school.

I also plan to spend a few weeks in Lake Chapala to get a feel for the place once again and see if it is a fit for me. I may look for a house to rent for the summer to look over the area at a more leisurely pace before committing to moving there. The weather is a big draw for me as it doesn’t have the cold winters like Baja has and it doesn’t have the hot humid summers that San Felipe has. Also San Felipe is close to the border and if I need anything up north or to visit family it is only a day’s drive. Also I have lots of friends in San Felipe and I would miss them dearly, there is a lot to consider between the two places before making a decision.

Today I spent a little personal time getting a manicure. Before I leave for Guadalajara I will get my hair and feet done so I’ll look and feel good for my new adventure. Here is a photo my me getting my nails done at my favorite shop in San Felipe.

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Categories: Adventure, learning Spanish, Retiring to Mexico, San Felipe Baja MX, Spanish School, Uncategorized, Weather in San Felipe | Tags: | 4 Comments

Good news

Photo on 1-8-16 at 7.24 PM

The weather has moderated just a little for a day or two, after we had rain-yes rain a rare occurrence here in Baja Mexico at least on the Sea of Cortez coast. Still it was a cold rain and my plants have suffered one is struggling to live. Today the sun was out and breakfast club with the other lizards was pleasant. I’m fortunate to have a group to socialize with and learn from as the ways of getting by in Mexico can be confusing if you’re trying to do it by yourself.

I am firming up plans to attend spanish language school, yes again, this time in Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico. This will be four weeks of intensive spanish only classes. I expect that my fellow students will be college students and professionals who are going to be very bright and committed to learning the language. I’ll have my work cut out for me to keep up. I am excited about the adventure ahead and I have high hopes this time my spanish will improve noticeably.

After the four weeks of spanish school I’m going to visit the Lake Chapala area for week or so before returning to San Felipe. I want to see how things have changed in the area and if I would fit in there. The draw for me is the climate it is supposed to be the second best climate in the world. Climate is not the only thing that would entice me to move, but after shivering my buns off this winter in San Felipe the idea has its appeal. I would sorely miss the friends and neighbors I have here so it better have a lot of charming attributes to make up for starting over, once again.

I also have to make a trip back to the old country to get a document notarized for the sale of my house last month. I’ll make a shopping trip out of it and buy some goodies for my comfort as there is a lot of winter left.

 

Categories: Baja California MX, learning Spanish, Spanish School, Uncategorized | Tags: | 8 Comments

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