I went with my friends to an Arabic class today. They are learning enough Arabic (and a little Russian too) to round out their language skills (which include very good English and some sign language.) It was interesting seeing and hearing, the very foreign to us, flowing letters and sounds. (reminded me of when Rachel was learning Persian – very pretty script.)
For now I think I will stick to Spanish; one language at a time. My hosts say I know many words. I am not conversational by a long shot but I can make myself understood and even amazed myself asking for things at dinner in espanol. I just might, as they say, know more that I think I do.
The temperatures are cool at night but by 10 am it is sleeveless shirt warm (especially for a gringo escaping a Midwest winter). With good public, transportation and much in the way of culture, I would enjoy living in some areas if it were not for the air pollution. As I feel about most large cities, “it is a nice place to visit but I would not want to live here.”
After the class, we were invited to a fiesta — a party to welcome my friends to a new congregation. There was pozole – a traditional Mexican soup made with maize (think corn nuts) boiled in broth which in this case some pork and a whole lot of pig skin and chunks of fat (not my favorite concoction.) You add oregano, chili, and onion to taste, and top with chunks of avocado. It is a dish for special occasions since it takes a long while to cook — a good thing too since it is so full of fat that a few bites has me full to the brim even with plenty of limes to cut the grease. Afterward we “danced it off;” a little merengue is a good thing and fun too especially with people who grew up dancing this way.
It is the end of the day and I am being serenaded by my host’s son, singing an aria in the shower. The sound, amplified by the shower stall, flows out into the courtyard and drifts to my ears below. A lovely way to end the day.