Three weeks in the land of lucha libre, drug wars and tacos and I don’t think it’s too early to say that exchange is going to be rad as hell! I was lucky enough to be sent here to Guadalajara, Mexico with three other kids from UTS and even luckier to get a chance to write about what’s going down here so I’m going to start off with a bit of background about this place. Not many people outside of Mexico know where Guadalajara is – it’s in a state called Jalisco which is one of the more traditional provinces and also one of the richer, less dangerous parts of Mexico. We’re around 4 hours away from the beach and 5 hours from Mexico City, which I’ve been told is around the 2nd largest city in North America, after NYC – I haven’t been yet myself but rumours are it’s a little crazy there.
I’m studying at the Guadalajara campus from the Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM), a private university and we have 2 Starbucks, an Apple store, at least 4 banks, a pretty sweet gym (which is free), a 50m pool (also free) and a few tennis courts and things… all on campus. I guess that sort of gives you an idea about the sort of folk who can afford to go here.
Guadalajara is a really cool city actually. The central part of town is situated around a big street called Chapultepec and there are bars pumping and clubs raging and decent restaurants lining the street, open everyday except maybe Sunday, I’m not sure, but I live close to university and it’s about an hour’s bus ride into the centre, so the equivalent of living in the suburban Sydney all over again.
Around Guadalajara there are plenty of things to do: we went to Sayulita last weekend, a really chill little town with a great beach just 4 hours away by bus. There they have a good party right up to the water every Friday and you can rent a surfboard for the day for less than 20 bucks, which is a pretty sweet deal. Margaritas for $2.50, Coronas for less… you get the drift. A few weeks before that we hit up Ajijic, another little arty town full of galleries and cafes that’s less than an hour from Guadalajara (or Guad, as all the American expats there say) and there are little boat trips you can do at the lake down there.
Last night, we went to the Lucha Libre and I’ve still got to upload the photos I sneakily took but they’ll be in the next post for sure. That was quite the experience, with a real buzzing atmosphere and everyone yelling at each other, sipping on beers and eating pork crackle. It’s all theatrics in the ring, especially with the fun masks and ridiculous tights, and in the rest of the arena it’s chaos and it’s crazy the number of kids under 5 sitting behind you shouting at the wrestlers “eso no se vale!” (that doesn’t count!). Makes for a wild night out.
To top it off we went for tacos at a bit before midnight and I’m going to put up pictures later so you can see what a real taco is. None of that hard or soft business, they’re all soft here and I just happened to have had the most incredible fish tacos at the beach last weekend! Forget Mad Mex, come to Mexico! Here at uni, they serve chilaquiles which are like nachos that you have for breakfast. I could rave on about the food here but what’s best is I’m living with a German guy who just so happens to love making guacamole. There’ll be photos up here later to make you drool.
The spanish is coming along, little by little. They have a lot of slang here and que pedo (pronounced pair-doe) is a way of saying que pasa, or “what’s up” and wey is used like “dude” or “man”. But I have a feeling that when a gringo says these things it’s a little too gangster, but just a heads up if you’re thinking about coming here!
Nicole Ng out.