Whackala | Days 10 & 11: settling back in San Cristobal
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Days 10 & 11: settling back in San Cristobal

On the Sunday after we return, the 23rd of December, we back up all our footage, go through it, clean some clothes and in general settle back in for the rest of the work, but we’re also going to take the next two days off, even though it doesn’t feel like it here, weather wise and being quite far from our families, it’s Christmas. Ilhui and Alicia never make a fuss and just stay in or invite some friends over. It sounds nice, I’m not up for another big gathering with confused Basque activists, well, there was only one back at that party the first day but as they say in Dublin, I’m only messin.

On the morning of the 24th Paul gets up with a badly upset stomach, sooner or later it always happens to visitors here: Moctezuma’s vengeance, whether we use mineral water even to rinse our tooth brushes; everything is different, the bacteria in the cooking and washing water, in the food, in the air even, it’s foreign to us. Alicia tells me it now happens to her when she goes to Spain. I’ve escaped it so far in this trip. Paul wakes up looking yellow and gets slightly better with some coffee and toast, although he stays in bed while Alicia and I go to do some shopping for a few days, choosing probably the worse day to it, as everywhere is packed.

Our Christmas afternoon/eve is spent making and sharing a nice meal with a neighbour, who’s been living here for years but is now returning to Spain, or rather Catalunya. I’m still getting confused with times here, maybe because we eat at odd hours for us; I think we sit down to eat around 3:30 and we’re still chatting and having coffee close to 6. I have a chance to have a quick video chat with my Spanish-Mexican family who are altogether in Seville; it’s past mid-night for them and they’re wrapping up. I do miss not being with them this year, particularly and ironically, because my brother lives in Mexico City and we get to see him, his Mexican wife and child, once a year if we’re lucky. We’ll cross paths in the capital at our return for a couple of days which will be a gift.