Today was the actual orientation, rather than the fake one that I convinced myself existed yesterday. It was more or less interesting - no, I take that back. It was complete bull shit. The whole chat in the auditorium was the same stuff you hear whenever you travel - safety tips, location propaganda, and warnings about feeling depressed. For two hours. Finally it ended, and we continued to sit and fill out paperwork for our student visas. That'll be fun, since I have until next Friday to pay $100 (dollars, not pesos) to get a visa that says I'm allowed to study in Mexico. Even if I had prepared for this beforehand in Seattle, it still would cost me $60. I guess it's typical, having to pay large sums of money to the government while traveling, but I'm still chafing over it.
Okay, so finally, after four hours of eating up our time, they show us to the lunch. Bowls full of chili, hand-made corn tortillas, pico de gallo, more bowls of meat and potatoes. It was like Heaven, and all of us were getting cranky from low blood sugar and dehydrated. And you know what they made us do instead of eating?
Play a game.
Getting to know you games when the food is getting cold right in front of our eyes.
It was interesting enough. The idea is to work together, lifting and pushing and pulling each other one by one through squares of rope without touching the sides. Once two people went through every square, the rest had to go over the top! With 60+ people, it was chaos. For a few moments we all just stood there and cursed in our respective languages, threatening to just walk away and go buy food somewhere else.
But we did it in the end. And then we ate, and the tortillas and meat were delicious. Then I won a free ITESO tshirt, got my school ID, and started on the longest adventure home yet.
It took Amber and I three hours to get home, from going to the wrong bus stops to taking wrong turns, asking for directions from nearly every person we passed. We finally got back to the casa at seven. TEN HOURS after we left for orientation. Gloria had had dinner sitting and waiting for probably two hours by then, but she reheated it and commiserated and pretty recognized that it was a necessary evil for us to finally figure out our way around. And just in case we haven't learned yet, her son Diego is printing us off a few maps of the city right now.
Meanwhile, I'm not getting off this couch until the battery in my laptop dies.