Friday, October 30, 2009

Oaxaca Day 1

Hallelujah, I made it! It was quite an adventure getting here, but here I sit with my grande cerveza Victoria on the top balcony of the hotel Palomar San Miguel overlooking one of the Oaxacan mountain ranges and writing this post. I haven't taken a lot of pictures yet, but have a few to whet your appetite.

First, I want to vent about my trip from Los Angeles to Oaxaca. Okay, I like to have things planned out. I got a call from Mexicana Airlines a couple days before leaving that the Los Angeles to Mexico City leg of my journey was going to start an hour later than scheduled. That's alright, I had given myself a 3 1/2 hour cushion to get through immigration, screening, security, finding my gate, and whatever other barriers they would put in front of me. Now that time was cut to 2 1/2 hours. No problemo.

Jump to the day of the flight. I made my way to the gate in Los Angeles and everything was going smoothly. All of the sudden, there was a Spanish announcement that the flight was being delayed 2 hours. No explanation, no English announcement. I talked to a few agents who would always say, "don't worry, there will be a Mexicana Airlines representative when you arrive in Mexico City to assist you." Of course there was no representative there when we arrived and I had 30 minutes to get off my current plane and onto the next one. So I followed the cattle herd and luckily found a hidden information booth that no one else noticed. I got directions downstairs to the immigrations area, cruised through the H1N1 screening, went back upstairs to the gates, and navigated to the already boarding flight to Oaxaca. Finally, I could relax and think about what was awaiting me.

Upon arriving in Oaxaca City, I boarded a taxi with others going to the central district. We sped through town and eventually got dropped off at the hotel I am staying at. My friend Shane arrived at the hotel a little while later and we set off to explore the area and get some nourishment.

We made our way to the zocolo and found a nice outdoor restaurant. I was a little disappointed in the tinga de puerco torta I had. Maybe my expectations were unrealistically high. There were some good points though. When we sat down, we were given an amazing plate of peanuts. They were probably baked with lime juice and seasoning. We also got to hear some good music while we sat there. A girl I'm guessing to be 8 with an accordian was playing and singing songs. She was awesome, but didn't know "Guadalajara" so we sent her away. A little later, a full mariachi band came by and did know my request and "El Rey". Of course we had to hear them play.

After that, we cruised through the rest of the zocolo and a few other blocks. On one, we found these huge sand displays that were built depicting Day of the Dead characters. Apparantly, they are only here for a couple of days, then, like the rest of the holiday stuff, is gone until the next year.

Of course, there are alters built everywhere for deceased family members. Marigolds are in season and is the flower sold everywhere and used most in alters. Other decorations vary, pictures, plates of food, drink, musical instruments, cigarettes, candles, fruits, vegetables, you name it.

An interesting thing around here is the number of massive, old, beautiful churches. I haven't figured out which one is which yet, but I am planning on going to church in one on Sunday.

That is about it so far. People are a little fearful of having their pictures taken down here. Something about the camera taking their souls. They seem to be okay if you buy something from them though. Talk about selling your soul.

I have one more picture por me esposa. Looks like these guys make a pretty good living.

Tomorrow is the black mole class with Reyna Mendoza. Hope to post again afterward. Hasta luego.

1 comment:

  1. those sand displays are amazing. and i love the description of the decorations on the alters.
    got to see anthony at lulu's birthday party today.
    send my love you your cute friend if you get a chance, por favor.