Sunday, October 25, 2009

Veracruz-Sat. 10/24 '09

NOTE: The one thing I seem to have forgotten to pack is the little cord which allows me to download my photos from camera to computer. Unless I can find one that fits my camera, I guess I'll just have to make my writing that much more descriptive. I hope you get the picture!

After an uneventful trip via Houston in planes with only three rows of seats and too small for me to stand up in, we landed at about midnight through staccato lightning and one of the heavy downpours Mexicans call chubascos. I was met at the plane's exit door with a warm washcloth of sultry, southern-Gulf air, and dodged the continuing rain as I found my way to Customs & Immigration. Luck was with me as I got the green light (literally) from the Mexican "every nth person" baggage inspection lottery.

Linda and Eric Ladner -- owners of the Language Immersion School of Veracruz -- were there to meet me, as promised, with a little 3x5 card saying Jeff. We hailed a cab and got to know each other a little during the half-hour ride to the school, where I, along with the other eight or so students here this weekend, would have my room and two meals a day for the next two weeks.

We pulled up to an inconspicuous, completely unmarked building on a side street about half a block from the malecon along the Gulf of Mexico. My hosts gave me a quick tour of the spacious facility and then showed me to my room overlooking an alley. The room is simple, but big enough, apparently, to accommodate three students if necessary—in one single and one bunk bed. There's a small couch, a bureau, a table and an ample bathroom with shower. And thank God it's air conditioned!

As I've found so many places in Mexico, my bed is about four inches too short for a six-footer. So once more I engineered an extension using one of the drawers from my bureau and the pillows from the bunk beds. I was glad to learn that daylight savings time ends here tonight, so I'd have an unexpected extra hour of sleep. And, after the confused, mournful cries of the drunk staggering in the street outside subsided, I conked out.

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