Aaron's blog

Lots of tacos

By aaron.axvig, Sun, 09/03/2006 - 03:00

My new taco record is 8 tacos.  Three of them were the new pork type (those really fill a person up, by the way) and five steak tacos.  Now I'm off to get some juice, and then study.

Even more tacos

By aaron.axvig, Sat, 09/02/2006 - 03:00

Today I ate tacos again, but I was adventurous and tried a new type of meat.  They have what could be called a "spit" outside of the taco shop, but it's a unique spit because it is mounted so the axis that the meat rotates around is vertical rather than horizontal, and the fire is next to the meat with a reflector directing the heat.  The meat is in a conical shape, with the fat part towards the top.  To serve it they hold a tortilla against the meat and shave some of it off with a knife, catching it with the tortilla.  I guess it's some kind of pork, and it ended up being really good.  It looked a lot like bacon, but was more moist and had excellent flavor.  As my dad would say, it tastes just like candy.

Then I went to a class that was rescheduled from Wednesday night two weeks from now to tonight 6-9pm.  I got there and someone from the class was sitting outside saying she'd just gotten an e-mail from him informing us that he was out of town.  He's got a horrible e-mail technique: he sends an e-mail to two of the girls in class, who then have to forward it on to whomever else in the class they have an e-mail for, who hopefully then give it to everyone else.  Next class period I'm going to give him my address too.

For supper I went to a different taco shop and had quesadillas with sausage that tasted a lot like the sausage we use in our cheese dip at home.  They were "make-you-own" quesadillas--I was given a small frying pan with melted cheese and meat in it and three tortillas.  It was very filling.  We saw Vicente Fox give a speech on TV at the restaurant, but I couldn't hear enough to try to understand it.

--

2019-10-20 - Its called tacos al pastor, and I still love it!

Trip to Guadalajara

By aaron.axvig, Wed, 08/30/2006 - 23:00

I just confirmed that I'm going on a trip with some friends to Guadalajara for Mexican Independence Day.  I'll be leaving on the 15th and getting back on the 17th.  The actual Independence Day is the 16th.  It's the day that Miguel Hidalgo kicked off the overthrow against the Spaniards who were governing Mexico.

In the category of stupid things that happen, today I bought what I thought was a thing of yogurt at the grocery store.  It didn't really say yogurt on the front, but it did say "Light" and "Crema Acidificada Reducida" on the front.  It was in a yogurt-type of container though, so I thought I'd take a gamble.  Plus, yogurt is made in some kind of culturing process that involves acid, right (and so is cheese, except they both actually use bacteria I think)?  Now before you go assuming I ate cheese like it was going to be yogurt, I can proudly say I didn't.  This is because after I took the cover off, I saw on the tinfoil seal the word "queso."  Why they couldn't be bothered to put this on the outside of the container, I have no idea.  So now I have ~8 ounces of cheese in a plastic tub that I have no idea what to do with.  Maybe I'll find some crackers.

Sick again

By aaron.axvig, Tue, 08/29/2006 - 23:00

Yep, I'm sick again.  I don't know why, but I suspect some relatives of mine may accuse me of not eating enough fruit (I do have some bananas every once in a while, but other than that, it's just some lime juice here and there).  At the advice of my sister I just went and got some orange juice, which besides probably having some good stuff in it feels good for my throat too.  I also picked up some of the pastries (alright, I'll be honest, they're cookies, but one looks like a croissant) they have at the little grocery store.

For my class tonight I'm supposed to track down financial data about the Mexican economy from 1990 to 2005, but that is proving difficult to find.  Also, we have to find out the meanings of all 13 "Incoterms," which are pretty interesting.  It's funny all the new stuff that I'm learning in these business classes.

Bancomext

By aaron.axvig, Mon, 08/28/2006 - 23:00

This morning at 11:30 my roommate and I met some classmates from our Wednesday night class to go an take a tour of Bancomext (the national bank of Mexico).  Our professor had told us that we should do this to try and learn about what influences they have on importing and exporting operations in Mexico.  So we all took a couple taxis there, and wound up outside a gigantic mall.  It wasn't very busy though, and there didn't seem to be a lot of stores in it.  I wonder if I just keep going to malls at the wrong time of day, or what, but I've been to 3 multi-level malls that were nearly empty.

We found the bank inside, and all signed in at the front desk.  Then we got to the back area, and there were already a bunch of people from out class standing around.  I'm not sure what all went on then, but some of the native Spanish speakers talked to the guy behind the desk there, and got some pamphlets for all of us.  However, there was evidently no tour (or maybe there is if you call ahead of time, no one really seemed to find out for sure).  We left, and a couple of us walked across to eat at Popeye's.  I had some fish that was a lot like at Long John Silver's.

This evening I had Chinese food for supper which wasn't real good, and watched some TV with the other residents here.

Milk

By aaron.axvig, Sat, 08/26/2006 - 23:00

A couple of days ago I poured myself the last of the box of Trix (the kind with yogurt), which I really like.  Then I poured in the milk, and took a big bite.  For some reason my Trix tasted kind of sour.  I tried another bite, and figured maybe the milk was sour.  I took a couple more bites to confirm my fears, and then was pretty mad because the milk was less than a week old.  Then I saw that the expiration date had been the day before, and didn't think anything abnormal of it getting bad.  I wondered for a moment whether it would hurt me to eat the sour milk, and then started eating some more, but after a few bites stopped because it didn't taste very good (and it's kind of gross to think about).  I was pretty mad about wasting the last of my Trix though.

Of course, the next day I wanted some cereal for breakfast to go with my banana, so I went to the store a block away and got another 1/2 gallon.  That was all well and good until last night when I went to have some more cereal (about 3 days after I had bought the milk).  It was bad again, but at least this time I had been smart enough to examine it before I started eating it.  My snack ended up being cereal without milk.

Today I got some more milk, and the idea popped into my head that maybe the fridge in the kitchen wasn't actually cooling.  I looked, and sure enough, the top 1/4 of the fridge was a big block of ice.  Needless to say, it's probably not staying cold enough in there.  And I bet it's going to make quite the puddle of water on the floor if I let it thaw out.

The last few days

By aaron.axvig, Fri, 08/25/2006 - 23:00

I'm gonna fly through what I've been up to the last few days here...

On Thursday after math class I went to eat at Lucia's house (she's in my class).  Her maid cooked some vegetable noodle soup which was alright, and some little tacos with Kentucky Fried Chicken inside.  She has a pretty nice apartment with two of her older brothers.

Friday I slept in until the afternoon, and then went to a party that was put on by the Latin club with a bunch of other people from my floor.

Today I went to a bubble party, which was a lot of fun.  They had a 30ft wide area between two buildings that was blocked off, and filled the whole thing with bubbles about 6 feet high.  Good thing I wore my swimming suit, because I was pretty soaked afterwards.  They were grilling hamburgers too (I had two).

Movie

By aaron.axvig, Wed, 08/23/2006 - 23:00

I watched a movie last night (Miradas Ajenas) with some friends from class.  It was quite a strain on my brain though, as they spoke French and had Spanish subtitles.

Student visa process

By aaron.axvig, Tue, 08/22/2006 - 23:00

Today I had to get up early to go to the Immigration Office.  Early for me is 8:00am.  The reason I needed to go there is to convert my tourist visa, which I got on the airplane, to a student visa.  This is actually a pretty long process.  I needed to get together about 10 different documents and copies of this and that.  Here's what I can remember off the top of my head:

  • Copies of every page of my passport, even those that didn't have anything written
  • on them.
  • Copies of my credit card and back statement.
  • Copies of my tourist visa.
  • An official letter of residence from the Residence Hall Office.
  • An official letter of enrollment from the International Office.
  • Two forms, which had to be printed both sides on legal-sized paper.¬† Luckily, the local Internet cafes are pretty good about helping students do that.

So, that is what I've spent some of my free time for the last 3 weeks doing. I guess it really isn't all that bad, but just seemed like a lot of unnecessary paperwork.  Now I have to call the office in a couple weeks to check on my application's status.  Then I need to get my fingerprints taken, and then finally pick up the visa.

Most people had the option of getting their student visa before they left the USA (or their respective country), and a few did with the thought that they would have to do less once they arrived here.  It turns out that they needed to do pretty much the exact same thing though.  They weren't too happy about that.

What I think is kind of funny about the whole thing is that by the time I'm done with it all, I'll be half-way done with my stay here.

Confusion on campus in Mexico

By aaron.axvig, Mon, 08/21/2006 - 23:00

I think I have a case of the stupids today.  First, I got up an hour early for class and didn't even notice.  Then, I tried going to class, but the room was full of kids and the wrong teacher was already halfways done with his class period.  I still hadn't figured out that classes don't start at 9:00 but rather 10:00, and wandered down the hallway (which isn't actually a hallway, just a very long open "porch" on each floor), until I found a girl sitting on the floor.  She confirmed that the time was indeed 9:00am, as my watch was showing (and that it was Tuesday).  Finally, I inquired if today was a holiday or something, causing my schedule to be different.  Finally, she saw me for what I was--a stupid American--and pointed out on my schedule that my class actually started at 10:00.  So I said, "Gracias" and walked away in shame.

And then there's this afternoon, in which I'm trying to visit the International Programs Office to check if I've gotten my mail today.  As expected, when I arrived at 2:15pm the security guard inside the door told me office was closed until 2:30pm, and didn't seem to want to let me even go up to the their floor and wait.  No problem, I figured, I'll just go use that computer lab right there, and write a blog post about something (I didn't know what, but figured I'd think of something).  I asked the guard if there were computers available for me to use, and he agreed, pointing towards the computers through an internal glass wall.  Then he made some wild gestures about going around this and that to get there (I ignored these, as the door handle was plainly right there).  I walked over to this door, turned the handle, and tugged, but it was locked.  Then I saw something that looked like a very small card scanner on the door frame, not unlike what NDSU has for some of its computer labs.  It didn't look quite right though, so I walked to both ends of the glass wall that the door was set in, but found no other door.  I returned to the door, whipped out my shiny new plastic ID card, and searched for a magnetic strip.  I didn't see one, but reasoned that there was no real reason to make the magnetic strip visible to the naked eye; it could be white like the rest of the card.  I swiped the card one way, another way, reversed it, and tried two more times, to no avail.  (Keep in mind that this is a glass wall, and there are people who are using the computers watching me the whole time.)  By now, the guard was laughing so hard he had fallen off his chair (not really, in all honesty I don't think he was even laughing), and again gestured to me that I had to go outside the building to get into the computer lab.  I confirmed this by glancing through the glass wall and saw the doors on the other side.  Around I went (it's really
hot here today), and here I am.