Life in El Centro

This will be a duplicate post for my facebook people but for those on the social media fringes I’ll put this up because … lazy. But I added some pictures at the end that didn’t appear on facebook so it won’t be a total rehash.

Laid in bed this morning, enjoying the bliss of sleeping in after a week of waking up at 7:00am. New festivals are afoot, literally. Awoke to the sound of singing in the streets. Much better than the building alarms that were going off most of the last week across the block. They would start around midnight, blare for 20 minutes and pause for 20 minutes before cycling again. Not sure what the function of those were as nobody seems to come to investigate. I’m getting pretty good at blocking them out though, but at any given hour or two during the day, an alarm or two or three will be going off from a car or building. Still better than roosters.

Living “en el centro” does have its charms that compensates for the noise. Walking back from dinner last night in the evening, the medieval architecture of the buildings were lit up in beautiful arrays of glittering elegance. The streets were teeming with life and people don’t “bustle” here, they move like little islands. I’ve reduced my normal walking speed, (not that fast to begin with), by about half to join the ambulant archipelagos and I’ve noticed this down shift immediately puts me more in touch with my body and surroundings.

Twenty hours of Spanish this week, not counting another, say 10 of homework. Still amazed at the difference that learning one on one (or two) is, and from a native guide; things that would not be covered in textbooks, classrooms or audio lessons. I’ve got 238 “flash” cards in my Anki deck and have yet to enter another 75 or so from Friday.

This infusion of new vocabulary prompted some late night reading on the subject of mnemonics, which led to some fascinating research on the history of memory palaces and the way human memory is actually designed to work —that’s been lost to us since writing— and is well recapitulated in the book: Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (highly recommended!) Which also led to re-installing a book on kindle that took this topic in an intriguing direction: The Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert (also recommended!) and that’s where the story ends for now. Have a great weekend my friends and family in Norteamérica! I’ll be down at Parque Calderón, just hanging out.

Outside our window…

Heading downtown…

Flower market…

Our “rain” shower… fixed now!