I spent the day Friday driving from Denver to Albuquerque, it’s about a 7 hour drive, which at this point in the trip is like nothing to me. I used to hate riding in the car, and anything longer than half an hour was such a long time to me. Now, I’m very content to set the cruise control, watch the scenery, take photos as I go, and sing at the top of my lungs.
I arrived in Albuquerque just as the sun set and met up with my host, Efrain, who is a senior at New Mexico University where he majors in sign language. He told me that we would be going to meet some of his friends at the bar, I didn’t know until about half an hour before we got there that it was Deaf Night Out, where people from the deaf community, as well as interpreters, and signing students all meet at a bar and socialize. I have never been in such a large room, with so many people, that was so quiet. Fortunately, most of the people sitting around me we not actually deaf, they were mostly students, and Efrain gave me a tutorial before we got there, so I can now sign “Hello, nice to meet you, my name is Dan, and I can’t sign,” which came in very handy. I also learned other key words, such as ‘snowboarding’ and ‘beer’ which, in reality, is all I’ll ever need.
Saturday I slept til almost 11, which is unheard of so far on this trip, but felt really good. When I woke up Efrain’s roommate Mario made us a huge delicious breakfast composed of eggs, home fries, and chilaquiles, which is a spicy tortilla based dish. So filling and so good.
After breakfast I headed out to Old Albuquerque, which is a section of town that looks very old and authentic. Its full of shops, food, art, street vendors, etc. There are also a couple of museums that I really cheap, so I spent a couple of hours wandering around the New Mexico Museum of Natural Science, which had an awesome dinosaur exhibit. It was really nice to be able to wander around outside in a tee-shirt. It was about 65 degrees on Saturday and not a cloud in the sky.
Efrain took me out that night and we ate barbarcoa tacos at a local taqueria, look up barbarcoa if you’re feeling brave. We also went to the most Mexican grocery store I’ve ever seen, they had every type of Mexican food, and all sorts of prepared food, including tamales, of which we got the pineapple flavored ones, they were really good. Tamales are basically cornmeal, sugar, and fruit wrapped in corn husks and steamed. They’re really simple and not too sweet. Last stop was a park that was up on a cliff and overlooked the Rio Grande and all of Albuquerque.
Sunday, I slept late again and we decided it would be a good day to sit around all day. I did some online research, which is never-ending when you’re traveling as much and as quickly as I am, I checked e-mail, looked for jobs, etc. We watched the Lorax, just as we finished that Mario texted saying that he was inviting some people back from church. Thirty minutes later the entire apartment was full of religious Mexicans, including lots of kids. They were all really nice, and cooked an awesome meal. We all sat and watched the Super Bowl together. A couple of the teenage boys knew what they were talking about, but no one else knew anything about football, they told me, “Mexican’s don’t care about the Super Bowl, they just need an excuse to party.”
After everyone left Mario, Efrain, and I stayed up late watching Breaking Bad, which I think I’m now hooked on. Monday morning I woke up, showered, had some oatmeal and said farewell to my hosts and to Albuquerque! On to the next great adventure!