Oaxaca Ciudad, Mexico

Oaxaca City = really pretty. Something I noticed since I arrived in Mexico are the bright colours everywhere. Here the colonial houses are painted in beautiful bold colours which contrast dramatically with the bright blue skies.

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They have amazing mercados (markets), and I wandered into one for some lunch one day – its was a huge indoor space made of comidas (eateries) next to one another and full of Mexicans, not many tourists about. To get to the main eating area you walk past all kinds of foodstuffs, including grasshoppers (eaten a lot here) and stalls of meat including intestines hanging from bars above the stalls.

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They like to eat their grasshoppers with chilli and salt. I did not partake…though would later try chilli & salted dried crushed worms on an orange garnish for a mezcal cocktail in Mexico City. Sounds very gross but it worked!

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And the festivities continue (these guys know how to party) with celebrations in the Zocalo (the main square). But I’m not having fun. My new friend has left, its cold here, I’m in a dorm room so far removed from the beautiful place I left in Zipolite, the internet doesn’t work so I cant blog, I’m still covered in spots, someone invited me out for dinner then forgot about me, I was supposed to go on a tour but there wasn’t enough space and I got kicked off the bus, I still cant work out the food and generally don’t like it – though am managing to get fatter anyway as the only thing I can eat is Oaxaca cheese (which is horrid). I’m in the wrong Spanish class –  I have no idea what the teacher is talking about, its humiliating – I don’t even know how to say ‘I want to leave’ in Spanish and I’m being asked to conjugate the verb ‘to erase’…

breathes in…

…I walk all the way to  the other side of town to the bus station to try and book a ticket for Christmas day to leave but the woman at the counter wont let me – she speaks at me in Spanish and I vaguely understand that I can’t buy a ticket, I just need to turn up on one of their busiest days of the year and hope for the best. I cant get money out, my card has been stopped and I have to make a very stressful reverse charge call to get my card working again (why do they ALWAYS do this even when you’ve told them you’ll be away?!). Basically – fucking stressful. And its been a heavy week for my family who suddenly feel even further away. Its just not the best time to be away.

The problem is, when things aren’t going so well it extrapolates to everything else. Somehow the discomfort of my cold toes in the unforgiving cold water of the (supposed to be hot) shower extrapolates out to an existential crisis and the doomed state of my life in general. If this trip is supposed to be my escape from a life I don’t really know the direction of anymore. If this is what I have – my freedom- and this is how it feels – what exactly is it I am going home to? That’s worse, right? This is supposed to be the good bit!

Yep, I’ve had some pretty low times out here. Being away, travelling if you like, alone especially, you feel vulnerable – things seems to affect me tenfold from what they would if I was within my comfort zone. Emotions and experiences are felt dramatically and extremely. I’ve thought it feels like taking some drugs can; extreme highs followed by extreme lows and vice versa, everything intensified and felt immediately, as if through the sharp prick of a needle because you’re insecure – out of your comfort zone.

However – good news ahoy. The very next day I met some new friends. They were nice. And I changed classes and had loads of fun with my new class. And I got to go on that tour, and it was brilliant – the start of things beginning to get better. Amongst other places, we visited the village of Teotitlan – known for its carpet weaving. We got to meet 2 women who run their own weaving businesses and they showed us how it was done.

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PLUS I heard amazingly that there was space back at the hostel back in Zipolite – only due to a cancellation, everything is usually booked up round this time at the coast. My luck was improving…

The next day I had another great trip, this time to Monte Alban, a pre-Colombian archaeological site near Oaxaca City. The views from there were pretty nice.

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And the site itself was rather impressive…

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Then, the day after I managed to;

a) book a bus ticket back to Zipolite
b) take money out!!

And this allowed me a BRILLIANT if intense trip with my new friends to an enormous locals market on the south west corner of Oaxaca City. They had such an incredible array of things,  but some of my favourites included candles you could use to put curses on people you don’t like (e.g. let them be ‘dragged and humiliated’), get your jiggy on or whatever itch needed scratching. There was also one hilariously called ‘I dominate my child’…;

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…and pinatas of various shapes and sizes. Here’s the SpongeBob SquarePants one I bought for me and my new friends to whack with a stick on Christmas Eve, enjoying a ‘jugo’ before meeting his grizzly doom. Poor SpongeBob.

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Oh and they LOVE sugar in this country. Here’s a whole shop packed to the rafters with it (literally – there was a second floor);

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I could go on – about the bizarre, joyful music & fiesta filled ‘La noche de los rábanos’ (Festival of the radishes), the very beautiful and elaborately decorated ‘Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán’, the enormous cactuses at the botanical gardens, the (as named by me) ‘Breakfast of Queens’; churros and cinnamony Oaxacan hot chocolate… but this post would never end! Though here’s pictures of some of those things for good measure.

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Hasta la proxima!

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Oaxaca Ciudad, Mexico

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