Ahorita now

I love it when my readers can shed some light on the meaning of some of the things I see and hear in a foreign place.

Sun"s rays streaming through the clouds, Taxco de Alarcon, MexcioMy mystery word has been demystified! It is ahorita.

Now that I see the root word ahora (now) it makes perfect sense. Since “ita” means little, ahorita actually means in a little while.

As my lovely and very gifted daughter, who lived in Peru for a time, explained, it could mean, now, in a moment, etc. or in the case of an impatient patient at the doctor’s office, in a little while, which may stretch to 10 or 20 minutes or more. It is used in a similar manner as our saying right now (which also makes no sense taken literally.)

I have gathered from friends here that it could also be used as a blow off statement, with a meaning similar to “I’ll get around to it,” which is where the “perhaps, sometime” comes in.

English words and expressions can also create confusion in non-native speakers. She told me about a Peruvian friend who was a hostess in a restaurant and couldn’t figure out why people reacted strangely when she greeted incoming patrons with “Good night.” Afterall, night and evening mean the same thing, no?

Sometimes I think it would be nice to go back to the time before the Tower of Babel, when everyone spoke just one language. But then again, I’m not too fond of sackcloth and I would really miss my computer. Better to look forward to the whole world having one language in the future. In the meantime, I will keep studying my Spanish.

Pyramid of Sun - TeotihuacancanDo you think the builders of the ancient temples of the Aztecs and Mayans, like this Temple of the Sun at Teotihuacan, outside Mexico City, are related to those in Mesopotamia who built the Tower of Babel and other ziggurats?

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Mexico City — Of Volcanoes and Pyramids

Esther & Sebastion @ TeotihaucanEsther and Sebastion,  took me to see “the pyramids” at Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City.  Along the way I had a good view of the two snow covered volcanoes nearby.  Popolcatepetl (Smoking Mountain) is active; his appropriately named companion, Iztaccihuatl (The Sleeping Woman), is not. It is an interesting  legend, sort of the Mexican Romeo and Juliet, that you can read about here.Popocatepetl & Istaccihuatl volcanoes

Teotihuacan-qpr

Teotihaucan is a huge archeological site,  that the Mexican government has been excavating for 100 years, and they are nowhere near done yet. Dated to 10 BC or before, the city grew to 85,000 people and some 20+ square km at its zenith. Two giant, slant slope pyramids give evidence that the natives here worshiped the sun and the moon and since the main entrance to the city is called de la Avenida de los Muertos, practiced human sacrifice. Climbing to the top is steep; but what a commanding view of the valley and the mountains  around. After the Teotihaucan people died off, perhaps due to the practice of the warriors wearing the skin of the people they killed in battle and thus being exposed to their diseases (especially the Europeans), the Aztecs and other native peoples respected the city as a Teotihuacan sacred site (and apparently the Spanish never went there), thus it remains for us to see and wonder about today.

Pyramid of Moon - Teotihaucan Pyramid of Sun - Teotihuacancan

It never ceases to amaze me to see not only the building skills and the understanding of the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, that they could build such structures (without power tools, no less)  and align them with perfect precision.

Steps - TeotihuacanI wonder how the natives, who evidently were shorter than us, managed to run up and down the knee-high steps. The museum is filled with artifacts, murals, sculptures from the temples,  and a scale model of the city.Museum artifacts - Teotihuacan

This is a trip well worth making; buses leave regularly from the north terminal. I hear the crowds can be huge so go on a weekday though; not very many people on a winter Tuesday in December.  In fact I think the vendors may have outnumbered the visitors this day.

That’s one thing that detracts from the experience, not only here but anywhere in Mexico. Anyone can sell anything almost anywhere, without a permit or any regulation.  Vendors try to sell you things, wash your windows, or dust off your car at intersections. People sell any matter of things in the park. Kids beg you to buy gum on the Zocolo (plaza at the town center). You get used to it, don’t make eye contact, and wag your finger a lot.

I really hate the commercialization of the archeological sites though;  having someone approach you to try and sell  you something every 5 minutes is annoying and interrupts both your conversation and your experience of the ancient site that you are in.  I, of course, so obviously a gringo, would not only be approached,  but when  I shook my finger and said, “No,” emphatically, and kept walking, they would follow me and say, “Almost free.” Pretty funny, the first time.