I arrived in Leon after the long, delayed flight from an obnoxious airport (you guessed it – Houston!). I was lucky enough that the shuttle waited two hours for me – I would have been SO. SCREWED. Why? San Miguel is a good two and a half hours away from the airport, and I was in absolutely no mood to find a non-sketch expensive taxi. I had a great conversation with a great gringo and by the time I got to the Casa I was staying at, I was so pooped that I simply said my gracious hellos, paid for a week’s worth of stay and went straight to bed (in my defense, I woke up at 4 am and arrived at the casa at 11:30). Although there were people loudly partying and bursting crackers the streets for the San Antonio festival, I was so happy to be in a new country that I couldn’t care less. That night, I slept restlessly and shared my covers with some bloodthirsty mosquitoes (too bad for them I’m Indian and they can’t hurt me muahaha).
HOWEVER, the festive weekend made up for the long travel – before I knew it, I was having delicious birthday brunch with host’s husband and was hauled with the host family to the LOCOS festival! Truly living up to it’s name, the locos festival was like a giant halloween parade in the middle of June where cosplaying locos threw all kinds of candy into the crowd. Even grown men shouted ‘DULCES!” instead of a measly “trick or treat”. Like, gimme that.
The parade lasted for a while, with each outfit getting crazier and my skin getting tanner. At around 4pm, we head back and Tony (my guide and now my friend) took me through town and although I was disoriented the whole time, he gave me a super handy dandy map with all the hip spots, and amazing scenic points. Later that night, I got to meet the other two housemates who were also doing the program with me.
We were basically stuck together for the next 6 weeks, so we decided to make the most of it! New friends + new experiences = fantastic life, no? Our schedules consisted of two hour morning Spanish classes and then EMR training with the Red Cross in the afternoon (La Cruz Roja here has most of the ambulance work as opposed to their famous blood banks in the western world). Luckily our instructor was from Boston, and we learned everything that there is to know about EMR in Mexico. The first week was filled with restaurant scouting, event searching, and friend making. Lemme tell you this – gourmet food aka goat cheese and creamed spinach stuffed portebello for $7 is a steal. And that’s on the expensive side.
In a nutshell – We tried drinks made mezcal (a better version of tequila – my *correct* opinion), meet a bunch of artists, talk to the escaping Cali expats, roam the streets, watch young’ns practice breakdancing, eat delish food, and learned how to be a Spanish EMR. Yes, it was exactly as FUN as it sounds!