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"Guard" and "ward" are literally the same word. This is probably obvious to other people, but I never made the connection before. It's the G-W thing that occurred in Norman French, that gave us "war" instead of "guerre" and "William" instead of "Guillaume." So the word must of come into English as "ward" through Norman French, and then come in again as "guard" at a later point and acquired a subtly different meaning.

The reason this suddenly occurred to me:

In Mexico, I had a lot of slightly confusing conversations with guards at museums about having to check my backpack (mochila--important word to know). Where do you check it? The guardarropa, which was always confusingly translated as "wardrobe" on the sign. But of course, it is "wardrobe." It literally means "wardrobe"--the words map straight across. Only a wardrobe to us is actually a type of closet, and this was a coat check.

Even google translate thinks guardarropa means "wardrobe." But in context...it doesn't. Go figure.
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This morning, just wanted to give you one image from Mexico (okay, two):

Los Voladores de Chapultepec )
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I have returned from Mexico City! And we didn't accidentally leave anyone anywhere, and no one got robbed, and--okay, well, one person fainted. But we all made it, despite the panicking beforehand.

Things I am looking forward to now that I am back:
- Vegetables. OMG vegetables. Not that you can't get vegetables in Mexico, but we were told not to eat anything uncooked, or anything sold on the street, and that leaves you with lots of things with meat wrapped in carbs and covered with cheese, some more meat, and extra cheese. I NEED GREEN.
- A long shower. Mexico City is in the middle of a drought.
- A bed that does not crinkle when you roll on it. I paid very little for my trip, as it was sponsored, but that meant that the hotel was...interesting. There were the beds, and the fact that the key cards lost their charge about every three days, which you discovered usually when your feet hurt and you needed to pee.
- Being by myself. I enjoy being social, but being constantly with other people for nine days is a bit intense. And we have, um, some Personalities in the group.

And a quick few things, with much more to come:
- It's not the drug war that we needed to worry about. Or the street crime (though, thereby hangs a tale). No. It was the election. Mexico's presidential election is on July 1. Their last election was so strongly protested that millions of people descended on the Zocalo (Mexico City's central square), extending into the streets for two miles. The loser set up a shadow government that lasted for six months. That loser is running again. There were demonstrations liek woah. Our hotel was facing El Monumento de la Revolucion, so we could hear them going into the night. At one point, a group of us saw a march coming down the street and realized we had to cross the street RIGHT NOW or we wouldn't be able to.

- Also Justin Bieber. There was a Justin Bieber concert on Monday that stopped all traffic near the Zocalo and pretty much prevented doing anything touristy in that vicinity. CAN I NOT ESCAPE YOU EVEN IN MEXICO? BEIBER!!!!!

- The altitude is not a joke. Mexico City's at about 8,000 feet. You know how normally when you are in a plane and have a bottle of water, when you land, the bottle's squished? No change for landing in Mexico City. Though I didn't get altitude sickness, I could really feel it for days. Especially when singing. The first night, I even felt like I wasn't getting enough air while lying in bed. And I, and a few other people, got nosebleeds.

I went on this trip thinking oh, I don't want to see that much in Mexico City. I'll probably just stay at the hotel and read. HAHAHA NO. You might have guessed if you've ever met me, but I didn't read anything but the guidebook. And I ran myself into the ground seeing stuff. I wouldn't say it was fun, as that is too bland a word. It was intense and constantly surprising. Mexico City wasn't at all what I expected.


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August 2017

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