Thursday, December 23, 2010

vivé méxico!

i haven't posted here in awhile, which makes sense for a travel blog if you're not travelling. but i´m glad to see that now that i'm on the road in mexico, that i haven't forgotten how to write meaningful bits of cultural observance. also, i still have a traveller rock star belly that up to this point has been immune to montezuma's revenge. speaking of which, food has been one of the highlights of this trip. i have this theory that the warmer and more colorful the country, the spicier and better the food. mexico hasn't dissapointed and is ranked somewhere in the top five after india and thailand and a couple others.
how about deep fried chile grasshoppers for a snack
a funeral procession of chickens
in mexico city, there´s one street stall that i would go to for a folded tortilla filled with refried beans, onions, nopales, and spicy salsa. the street stall lady cooked it with just the right amount of her dirty fingers squashing the frijoles, that one couldn't help but fall in love.
food stalls in oaxaca
one of the more interesting things about mexico city is how much it is sinking. you can see it in all the buildings of the historic center including the cathedral. the cathedral in mexico city
when cortés and the spanish destroyed the aztec capital of tenochtitlán, they filled the lake it was sitting on and built the entire city on this crappy soil without compacting it. henceforth, sloppy soil in earthquake zone equals sinking city. the ruins of the original azteca city of teotihuacán with the catedral in the background
i'm not sure what's stranger, an ice rink and snow park set in the middle of the zócalo in mexico city, or...
the creepy charmin bear mascot who hangs out at the porto-potties in the same plaza
a pretty little church in coyoacán mexico city
but enough about the wonderful merits of imposing colonization on indigenous people. highlights for me of mexico city was getting to see the house frida kahlo grew up, and also the house that frida and diego rivera lived in.
the lovely garden where frida kahlo grew up
dia de los muertos doll of frida at her casa azul
i could explain their tumultous relationship, or just watch the salma hayek movie frida to get a good background on her. she´s one of my favorite artists because of the amount of pain and suffering of her soul and body that is poured onto the canvas.
the house that frida kahlo and diego rivera lived in consisting of separate houses for each connected by a bridge. they lived here until frida caught diego sleeping with her sister cristina
diego's studio
diego's studio
have also been a tourist and visited some archaeological world heritage ruins. teotihuacán, the third tallest pyramid behind those in egypt.
pyramide de la luna in teotihuacán
pyramide del sol in teotihuacán
pyramide del sol in teotihuacán
also visited monté albán just outside oaxaca which is perched high up on a mountain plateau.
zapoteca ruins in monté albán
zapoteca ruins in monté albán
zapoteca ruins in monté albán
even though the touts selling their wares aren´t as aggressive as i´ve seen in other countries, my technique of randomly hugging them still steers them away from making a sale, and more towards sharing love and kindness amongst grown men.
normally i'm used to hugging sweaty smelly guys selling crap i don't need. this time i was caught on camera hugging a mezcal mujer telling her after seeing you 3 days in a row, i'm still not buying mezcal from you but i'll give you a hug instead
in oaxaca right now. been here for about 4 days now. it's a great colorful colonial city (that wonderful word again)filled with artists, galleries, brass marching bands, libraries and tourists. the plaza here is wonderful in the evening with street players, touts selling chicklets, for people watching and general wasting of time.
chiesa santo domingo in the background of a oaxaca street
dancers in the oaxaca zócalo
lots of oaxacan dummies everywhere
we're here for the noche de los rabanos (the night of the radishes). it doesn't take much to describe what this festival is all about
a radish church
they also had tamale wrap figurines and diaoramas set up. neat
the one high or lowlight here depending on how you look at it is the mezcal. it's native to the area formulated from the agave plant. every bar or restaurant has it's own house version, not the kitschy worm in the bottle stuff you get in the states. the stuff is a slow, trippy burn type of a buzz. we became friends with a couple of bartenders at a local watering hole in town. in exchange for our undying friendship, they kept pouring us free shot after shot after shot of mezcal. i don't really need to explain further what happens next.
the source
the villian. homemade artesenal mezcal
tomorrow, we leave oaxaca for the sleepy beach town of zipolite for your typical wintry, white sand christmas in the warm mexican playa sun. felíz navidad
payaso, deja en paz

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At 8:44 AM, Blogger Barbara Shackelford said...

These are great pictures. Bet you had a fun time. Hopefully we will get some pictures online soon from our trip to South America. Feliz Navidad!!!!

At 7:47 AM, Blogger grammy Ristaino said...

Looks like an enjoyable visit in Mexico. So many wonderful things to see and experience. What a lovely country. The people seem very passionate and joyful too. Looks like you had great fun.

Jeanne Ristaino

At 10:44 AM, Blogger andrew said...

Those pyramids look awesome. Just ran across your trip photos. Are you back in california? -Andrew


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