November 31, 9:50pm
One of Rafys' friends from her masters' program in Costa Rica lives right near the town of Tlatlauquitepec, in the state of Puebla. We took a bus from the TAPO bus terminal - a large, domed terminal building proudly proclaiming 30 years of service - for 5 hours, winding through hills and the base of mountains, until we reached the fog-enshrouded town of Tlatlauquitepec at near dusk.
Taking a taxi from the primary bus drop-off for a short, dark, winding trip to her friend's house. We were met there by her friend, who quickly ushered us inside and out of the drizzly, damp night air. There, Rafys and her friend ("L") spent a long time catching up, talking about former classmates, and reminiscing about their time together in Costa Rica. And man can L speak fast! It took me about the first hour to get my brain comprehending at the same speed at which she spoke, and the following hours were spent trying to maintain that pace. My Spanish sounded even more slow and laggard than normal - even to my ears.