Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday in Oaxaca

On July 1, Mexico elects a new president -- bet you didn't know that. Americans just don't know the details of other countries' political systems, a bit of arrogance there. But others know of ours; when we were here a few days ago, while Marc was off looking for something I stood listening to the symphony in the zocalo, and a young man walked up to talk to me. His name was Magdaleno and he was very kind and spoke English much more clearly than I spoke Spanish. He told me about their upcoming elections and said he was hoping we would re-elect Obama, who is kinder to other countries. He said with a question mark in his voice "Republicans? Tea parties? They are mean." And I agreed, yes they are very mean. We talked a while longer, and then he drifted away to listen to the music.

So, since the election is coming very soon, Oaxaquenos are participating in political stuff today in the zocalo. There seem to be a number of parties (see how ignorant I am.....) and they take turns on the stage, and each has a big loud band. But let me back up a little bit.

We obviously got out of Mazunte to Puerto Escondido, and then the uneventful plane ride delivered us to Oaxaca by 9am yesterday. But neither of us had slept at all the night before, so we dropped off our bags at the hotel, walked to the zocalo and ate breakfast, then came back to the room and crashed for a few hours. I'm not a napper, so sleeping hard for a few hours in the day left me feeling dazed and strange. It was very rainy yesterday, so we walked around a bit, piddled around in cafes, and went to dinner at La Olla. We were drenched by the time we got there, and ate dinner with wet feet and pants, then came back to the hotel and crashed.

This morning we walked back to La Olla for a lovely breakfast, and our day's goal was to do some shopping. I always buy a pair of earrings everywhere we go, but Oaxaca isn't known for earrings or silver; the specialties here are weaving, black pottery, and tin work. The clouds are black and heavy so we hoped to get everything done pretty quickly. Finally, we found a women's cooperative where all the work is high quality and handmade, and scored a little top for my granddaughter (!), a bit of tin work for Katie & Trey's home, a bit of tin work for Marnie & Tom's home, and a Frida Kahlo bag for Marnie....and finally finally, a pair of earrings for me. Marc went to the market to poke around and I sat on the zocalo and had an iced coffee and watched the crowds:

a bit of Benito Juarez graffiti
a casual mariachi band -- the guy with the giant guitar is hanging behind
a bit of political graffiti pasted on a wall
the giant stage, with musicians -- stretching out in front are the crowds
the crowds in front -- different groups with different colored flags
shopping day
this guy must have come down from the mountains -- i saw a lot of people like him
saturday crowds -- the yellow COS banners were for the socialist party
who DOESN'T bring a tuba to a party??
always balloons. always.
shopping day
tubas and drums are always fun
this teeny tiny little old woman wanted to sell me pepitos. she was so sweet.
I am a giant here; the people are generally quite small, all roughly the same height. And then there's me, giant white me. But they don't stare, even though we have seen very few American-looking people (or Europeans, for that matter).

We leave very early in the morning, back to NYC. This was a wonderful vacation, even with the rain. We had plenty of time in the sun, we saw beautifully dressed dancers and musicians, ate some great food, and enjoyed ourselves. What more can you ask of a vacation....


Gracey is not my name.... said...

I have a very cool pair of earrings from Mexico...a friend goes back every summer (fathe rof children lives there) and she buys me very cool jewerly..they are bottle caps with Frida Kahlo pictures inside...She has also gotten me fish scale earrings and a necklace...very cool!

Lori said...

Ah yeah, Frida Kahlo is EVERYWHERE in Oaxaca. Such a great place, I want to go every summer! In fact, I think we're planning to go back next spring, but we'll spend more time on the coast. What a wonderful part of Mexico. Oaxaca is so political, and so filled with people dancing everywhere, and making music, and always balloons and clowns. I really loved it. Maybe some summer you can go visit your friend there!