(NB: I usually try to have some rhyme, reason, rhythm, or rationale to these posts, but this is just a hardcore cathartic rant. Read at own risk.)
It is now Tuesday, the 15th of November, 2011. I started working on Monday, July 4th, 2011. The fact that the job began on a day I would usually NOT be working, not to mention my late grandmother’s birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary, should have been a hint straight from the get-go, as they say. I’ve attempted to chronicle, over the last five months, the ups and downs of the life that I have at this period in time. At the beginning, things are new and, though, potentially challenging or irksome at times, end in ultimately rewarding life anecdotes.
People, the jig is up. Taking the train six times a day is no longer an entertaining bout of sociological observation; it’s the inner circle of hell. Watching your boyfriend walk out the door every single Sunday is akin to having a weekly break-up. It’s fucking depressing, semi-long distance relationships suck, there is NOTHING good about them. Literally nothing. Don’t do it. Watching the way in which the social classes interact, or don’t, here, is no longer like watching a demented movie that can’t possibly be real; it’s tangible, it’s wretched, it’s awful. For a country with so many churches I find very few people with souls.The luxury of going to fancy buildings has worn off and the reality of waiting 30 minutes for your student, who couldn’t care less, to get off a conference call, is tedious.
But let’s concentrate on the job, easily the least rewarding and most awful of my unrewarding and awful life. By the end of this month, I’ll have worked 419 hours in 5 months and earned 58, 660 pesos (about 4,443 USD). I spend an average of 12 hours out of the house per day, which means 960 hours in 5 months. It’s not even a money issue, but rather a wasted time issue. I like working. At any previous job I’ve always pulled doubles, triples, quadruples, stayed overnight in stockrooms, came in early, etc. I love working. I like sweating, the feeling of accomplishment, and getting paid for the time put in.
The way my employment functions leads to my having spent 541 hours, or 75,740 pesos worth of time, wandering around unpaid. You could use the time between classes wisely, you are surely thinking. Let me tell you something: If you wake up at 6:15 you’re in a zombie state, which could ostensibly be remedied by going to sleep earlier, but the earliest potential home arrival time is 9:45 pm, at which point you have to organize yourself for the next day, eat something that’s not packaged or poisonous, shower, check email, straighten up…Getting to sleep before midnight is a rarity. Mental fuction is at an all time low, ironic considering I’m supposed to be imparting knowledge to people.
Which brings me to another point: I don’t like teaching. If I’m the one doing it, there’s a problem. I don’t think I’m any less qualified than anyone else; rather, I’m not so sure so many of the people who hop around from train to bus to Metrobus to trolleybus to foot traffic are all that qualified to be teaching English, at least correctly. And spare me the bullshit about the British inventing the language and American English is antiquated and closer to Victorian English which is ironic considering the United States were founded as a way to break free of British rule blah blah blah blah blah. I don’t think having a posher accent brings someone closer to linguistic supremacy. Nor do I think a one-month course makes you qualified to do much of anything. (Maybe cook eggs. I think you could learn to cook eggs in one month.) It’s a means to an end for the majority.
But I digress. The problem is the extreme Catch-22 that permeates every aspect of life. You want to have fun so you say, fuck the money problem, and you go out. Then, either you have no more money so you get depressed or you see people begging for money everywhere and living terribly while you behave in a frivolous manner and so you get depressed. You go to work and your students are these upper-class privileged people with whom you’d NEVER consort in your home country so you feel awkward and angry, but then when you try to talk to poor people they see your skin color, think you’re an upper class asshole, and call you by “usted.” There’s either an hour of backed up traffic and you’re dreadfully late, or the usually 60 minute ride takes 20 and you have to stand in Santa Fe for almost an hour doing nothing. You can’t pay for fancy cocktails but you’ll get raped in a cantina. The list goes on and on.
I won’t even get into the tragedy that is a long-distance relationship. Like I said, the weekly “break-up” is emotionally draining enough. Never mind the fact that sex is relegated to the weekends, which is not only an insufficient quantity of sex to be having but I really hate being dictated when my sex can be had, seeing as everything else in this relationship is dictated for me (and NOT by my boyfriend).
In a stunning and self-loathing display of fidelity, and contrary to popular belief, I have not found a sex partner in Mexico City, nor will I. At this point, it would be rude. But then I think, have I changed? Have I been out of my element for too long? In previous relationships it wasn’t a question but an assumption that I would be with other people. And I never thought of it as cheating but rather a more holistic view of energy and dispersion of energy. If you have the physical and emotional capacity to love multiple people, I don’t see why you shouldn’t. But here that’s wrong, though everyone does it. They pop a “te amo” before they even pop the cherry. They’re talking about marriage before ever spending a night together. The mentality, based on years of tradition and religion and antiquated beliefs of familial domination and lack of independence, governs everything.
I could go on. But I should just go home. Though future plans have not been decided, I find that every day my desires to endure yet another six months of this all-encompassing Mexican torture are dwindling. The relationship will not change within the foreseeable future. The metro isn’t going to get cushioned seats. I’m not going to get rich. I’m hoping that a good dose of NY reality will help me decide, Hopefully I can make it 32 more days…