Friday, July 25, 2014


Day 31

The day after my birthday.

Today I went to class. After class, as I was waiting for my ride, one of the cleaning ladies at my school thought I looked 19 or 20 years old. I could not believe it. I don't want to look so young. I want to look my age. This has happened to me often in Mexico, when numerous people have thought that I look very young. 

After class, I came home to prepare for my trip to Vallarta for the weekend, and to study for my Spanish exam. 

In the evening, I went out for tacos with the cousins. I said goodbye to them. It will be the last time that we see each other.

This was a productive day! :)

Have a lovely weekend,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014.07.23 - My Birthday!

Day 30 - My Birthday!

This morning I woke up and got ready.
We went to the tianguis together to buy some fruits, vegetables, cheese and meat. It was another lovely experience. We also had breakfast the the tianguis, very large quesadillas. I had my filled with cheese and mushrooms, and some other types of steamed vegetables. I put cream and salsa on top. It was really good and super filling. A typical Mexican breakfast. 
Quesadilla preparation
Quesadilla with red and green salsa
Class was good, like always.

After class, my Spanish teacher came to our house to have lunch with me and the whole family. It was really nice. My host mother made carne en su jugo, which is one of my favourite dishes here. They bought a cake for me of tres leches. I had a truly Mexican experience because my head went into the cake, pushed by my lovely host sister. It took me completely by surprised but I was later told that this is a very Mexican experience. Not a very nice one. :P They gave me a lovely bag for my birthday that it embroidered with flowers. It is lovely. 
With cake in my face
What do you think?

In the evening, I went out with my Spanish language teacher. His name is Vidal. We tried some local beer from Guadalajara and took a lovely walk in the city at night. It was a very nice evening. I had the darker beer. It tasted a bit like chocolate. 
Vidal with the Ferenc Liszt Monument in Guadalajara. Who knew?

It is not everyday that one has the chance to turn 26 in Mexico! :) It was a lovely experience.



Day 29

This morning I woke up super early to get to the hair dressers on time. The appointment took a bit longer than expected and I was in a rush to get back home to make it to my class on time. Everything worked out in the end.

After class I had a final meeting with the exchange program coordinator about any final thoughts, problems, suggestions. I told her a couple of things to improve. She is a very nice person. Since she works at the same office as my friend Karla, I waited for Karla to get off of work and we hung out. Her husband came to pick us up and then we went to get the baby, Jorgito. We took a little walk together, and we went to the Riu Hotel. We went up to the 33ird floor to have a see a lovely view of the city. I am constantly amazed at the size of Guadalajara. It stretches as far as the eye can see. In the background it is surrounded by large hills. It is just beautiful. The Riu Hotel is the tallest building in the city, and the only skyscraper. After they took me out to a taqeria (where they sell tacos). We got a plate of tacos al pastor meat and we eat made out own tacos. It was delicious. They sang the Mexican birthday song to me and gave me some chocolate. It was a very lovely evening. I said bye to Karla and her husband, and I hope to see them in Germany in October. :)

Have a lovely day,

Monday, July 21, 2014

2014.07.21 - Apu szulinapja

Day 28 - Week 5


This morning my host sister left for Mexico City. I will not see her again before I leave.

This morning I made my own quesedillas for breakfast. I am learning the Mexican way. :)

Before my language course, I was able to make an appointment for myself and to tell the lady on the phone what I wanted done. I am happy about this accomplishment. 

After my language course, I met up with the family's cousin, Alejandra. She is very nice. Together we went to see the Palacio de Gobierno again. She explained a bit more about the murals there. We took a little walk in the down town of Guadalajara. She stopped at one moment and asked what I thought of a particular view. She asked me if I thought that it looked European, because she thought so. :) What do you think? It is the two last pictures. We went for a Michelada after our visit and had a nice chat. I want to find a really good Michelada recipe. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Courtyard of the Palacio de Gobierno
Cathedral towers
Teatro Degollado
Down town Guadalajara
Does it look European?
In the evening, I had guacamole. This is the most wonderful thing here. It is so delicious. Nothing compares. It is my favourite Mexican food. I also went to pick the flowers of the orange tree. I love the smell and I want to dry them and to make a tea. I went to pick them on the street from a tree in front of a house, but the people were just inside near the window so I stopped picking it because I thought that it was their property. Upon my return home, my host mother informed me that since it is on the street it is not their property and can also be picked. So maybe tomorrow I will go back and get some more.

Have a lovely day,


Day 27

This morning the whole family woke up and we all went to 'the club' together. 
What do you think of 'the club'? Nice, eh?
Olga and I wanted to do some yoga so we picked a sunny spot outside. Olga put her mat behind mine so she could see what I was doing since she has not done yoga that often in her life. I started with the sun salutations. After the first cycle another older lady came and asked if she could join us. We allowed her and this is how it came about that I 'taught' my first yoga class. It was a nice experience. The lady thanked me and complimented me on my posture. Can you believe it..... my posture! I think my father would be so happy because he always tells me to sit up straight. :) After we went to the steam room and exfoliated our faces and feet. We had the regular buffet breakfast. It tried a flauta. It is a grilled tortilla rolled up like a Hungarian palacsinta with chicken inside, and cream, cheese, and lettuce on top. It was very good. I also tried a bit of menudo. Last time that we were there, I was hesitant to try this but this time, I had to. Who knows when I will have this opportunity again. I tried it. It looked really gross. In reality, menudo is a tripe soup. It was edible but I would never want to eat this again. My host sister also told me to try another type of meat. I ate it without asking what it was. The taste was horrible. It was cow tongue. I am never eating this again either. Today was an experience for eating. My stomach is probably going a bit crazy. I also tried from new types of pan dulce. 

After breakfast, we went to mass. Then my host family decided to take part in the Mexican past time of going to the mall, so that it where we went. It was one that we had already been to, and I was a very bored. The family decided to have lunch at the mall at an Argentinian restaurant. We had a type of Argentinian cheese that you grill with pesto as an appetizer, which was something new for me. For dessert with had palacsinta with cajeta. I think that this is my new favourite type of palacinta. It was delicious! 

During lunch, I was able to ask my host father about his career, and his interests. He seems like a very intelligent man. He works two jobs, he teaches a couple of times per week, and he works in a union fighting for better rights for healthcare workers. He is very busy. He fights for universal healthcare in Mexico. He was telling me that in the Americans, Canada is the only country with universal healthcare. I was not aware of this, but I am even more happy to call Canada my home. My host father was fighting to implement a Canadian-type of system in Mexico as well. Before, he was involved in politics and lived in Mexico city. While there, he initiated a nation-wide strike for which he received death threats and had to retreat for the time being from politics. Instead, he works at two different hospitals working with labour rights for hospital workers, and helping those that have had workplace accidents in other industries. I find this to be very interesting. 

After lunch, we went to find me some cajeta so I can bring it home with me. We also bough the Mexican type of flour so I can bring it home and make tortillas for my family. I have just a couple more things to get and then I will be all ready for my trip home. 

In the evening, I met up with a new friend to plan our weekend trip to Puerto Vallarta. I am very much looking forward to it. We met up and micheladas, which I love so much. Guadalajara has the perfect weather for this drink. I hope to be able to make it at home as well.

When listening to the radio in Mexico, often there will be a short silence followed by someone in a deep voice saying, "en red nacional". Today I discovered that what follows after this is a national message for the entire country. I think I like this system. What do you think?

Have a lovely week ahead,

PS. Sorry for the wordy post.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Day 26

This morning I decided to sleep in since we woke up so early last night.
For breakfast I learnt how to make 'real' quesadillas. I had them with avocados. Yum! I have decided that this is definitely a type of breakfast that I could make for myself at home during the weekend. I had them with tortillas de harina, which I think are a bit lighter than tortillas de mais.

I decided to take a little adventure around the city myself. I went to the Hospicio Cabanas/Instituto Cultural Cabanas. Previously, it used to be an orphanage. It was made by an architect from Spain called Manuel Tolsa, and founded by Bishop don Juan Cruz Ruiz de Cabanas. 

The whole thing was constructed in just 5 years from 1805-1810. From 1937 to 1939, Jose Clemente Orozco painted 57 murals/frescos in this building. The frescos are of Jalisco before and during the conquest of the Spaniards. They are very dark, bloody, and violent with contrasting images of iron and metal with flesh, and fire. They are very powerful.

For me it was evident that Orozco was very observant concerning points of view, perspective, and aware of the space and surface because no matter from what angle one is looking at the murals they always show something new, a new perspective, a new interpretation of the whole thing. I can just imagine the amount of planning, organization, and work that went into painting something like this. He was truly a great artist.

What do you think? 

After, I went to the Palacio de Gobierno. This building was completed in 1774. It also houses two murals by Orozco.

The main character of both of these murals is Miguel Hidalgo. He was a priest who launched the fight for independence from Spain. The opportunity came when Napoleon occupied Spain back in Europe, and powers were shifting. The rebellion broke out on September 16th, 1810 and was led by Hidalgo. 

In many of the murals there are images and symbols of fascism, communism, and Catholicism. At the time, I guess Orozco was very aware of the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s and was protesting against it in his own way. With fascism, like the Italian Futurist movement, I personally always associate it to different metals touching and functioning together, which are very represented in these murals. At the same time, the metal is a very powerful symbol of communism and the working class with the hammer and the sickle, also being present. Do you agree?

Here is better picture of the main cathedral in Guadalajara:

When I came home, we went to lunch with the family. We drove to Zapopan to eat at a very traditional Mexican restaurant. At the restaurant they had lots of clay dishes, which I love. Also, the decoration inside was lovely.
The Gate of Zapopan
I had tacos dorados which were very good. I had 3, one with frijoles, one with potatoes, and another with cheese. It was really nice not to eat meat. I also tried sopas.

At the restaurant they had pico de gallo with queso which I loved. I think that this is better than the original even. For dessert I had a quemadita. This is a heavily toasted tostada with cajeta and cheese. It was very, very good.
The chef making the tortillas:

Later on in the evening, we went to Chapultepec. This is artistic part of the city. On Saturday evenings they have a very nice market/tianguis. Vendors sold organic products, hand-made crafts, native art, clothing from local brands, and various activities for children. It was very nice.

Have a lovely Sunday,

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Day 25

This morning I woke up super early to be able to go to school with my host sister. She gave me a tour of her campus in the morning before her class. She goes to the University of Guadalajara, to the campus in Zapopan called CUCEA. This is for business, administration, and economics. I love the campus. It is super green with lots of open grass areas, lots of nice palm trees, and various other plants. The trees are all trimmed in a circular fashion. It seems like a very nice environment to study. Apparently, this is one of the nicest campuses that the University has, and it is even nicer considering that the University of Guadalajara is a public university. 

From my experiences here, I have learnt that there is a bit of a rivalry between private and public universities. In the public universities, because it costs 40$ a semester, only 30% of the people that start university actually end up finishing it. On the other hand, the tuition at the private universities is comparable to Canadian tuition with it being around 8 000$ a semester. Getting accepted into a private or public university here in nonetheless very competitive and apparently very difficult due to the entrance exams as well. On a small percentage of students who apply will actually end up being accepted. 

I had a typical Mexican breakfast this morning. With my host mother we went to have a new type of taco. Who knew that there were so many! These were called tacos barbacoas. We had them with a type of meat broth with onions, cilantro, and chilli, of course. I tried a new drink with apple, also made by Coca Cola but I have never seen it anywhere else. It was super tasty. One of the best drinks that I have tried in Mexico. We had jericalla for dessert. It was very good as well. After my host mother drove me to my Spanish class. It was a good class. The trip that was planned was cancelled because there were not enough people that wanted to go. :(

After school we went to a traditional restaurant to FINALLY have pozole. I had mine with 'regular' parts of the animal, while my host family had it with pork ears, pork cheeks, pork tongue, and pork mouth. As an appetizer, there was a plate of pork feet. I did not try those. I could not. The meat was in a soup that was a bit spicy and had lots of corn in it, served with lettuce on top. I liked this soup. It is very filling. I would compared it to the Hungarian gulyas leves, kind of like a one dish meal with both meat and vegetables.

We wanted to rent a real old style Mexican movie to watch in the evening but, there were none at the Blockbuster (because those still exist here). Later on Olga and I went to a house party. On our way home, I learnt that Mexican radio stations play the national anthem at midnight.

Have a lovely weekend,

Friday, July 18, 2014


Day 24

This morning, I woke up a bit earlier than usual. Again, the weather is a bit rainy like yesterday and probably the coldest day since I have been here.

My Spanish class went well. The language school is organizing a trip for the weekend. I am thinking of participating. My language instructor will be one of the supervising teachers, which is really nice.

This day I did not really do anything.

In the evening I watched The Door - Az Ajto:
Has anyone seen this movie?
This movie is based on a book by Magda Szabo, a female Hungarian author. The movie is directed by Istvan Szabo. I have not yet read the book, but after watching the movie, I will start it. Last year, I gave Lenka (you can follow her at: Lenka's Blog - Etiene et Eugene) this book for her birthday. I am not sure if she has read it yet but I would be curious to know.

The sky yesterday. Isn't it beautiful? 

Have a lovely day,

Thursday, July 17, 2014

2014.07 - Street Art

Street Art in Guadalajara

I think that the street art in Guadalajara is beautiful. 
It is everywhere and really well done. 
Somewhere I even saw a quotation that said that a city is not a city without street art. I love it.
Here is some examples. Most of them were taken from the car so they might not be of the best quality.

There is lots more but I am also not able to capture all of it.

What do you think? Do you like?