Walking in Oaxaca
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
So today I decided to take a walk to find the location of the apartment I move to in eleven days. It’s a nice spot over offices for a doctor and a lawyer, only a couple of blocks from the zocalo at the edge of the tourist district. There’s a nice restaurant next store, a laundromat around the corner and a small market about a half a block away. I’ve also found my barbershop for the time I’ll be in town.
I quickly found myself in the store area of town, the streets lined with stores and the occasional restaurant, lots of shoe stores. But on several blocks the street is also fully lined with vendor booths. If you like shopping, Oaxaca is definitely your kind of town. I even found a little plug converter I’d forgotten and had to borrow from my host. At one point I stopped and wanted to buy a bottle of water but the woman just said no, she couldn’t make change. I’m finding this to be an issue, not having sufficiently small enough money. It seems that change is at a premium in Oaxaca. Luckily a bank was kind enough to break my bigger bills into smaller bills. So now my smallest bills are the equivalent of $5 US bills, this works some places but not at booths or small mini-markets. So my new goal is to use bills to break them into smaller change whenever possible. On the way I also found a little cutie selling Mescal.
I kept walking and even found a market I was looking forward to visiting, the market on 20 de Noviembre that is filled with every kind of food you could possibly imagine being served. There’s even a grilled meat passage, that smelled amazingly good as you walk through stall after stall of grilled meats on either side of you.
I came out of the market and turned back toward the zocalo, or so I thought and walked for a while until I realized it was time to check the GPS. Yup, I was completely reversed and had been walking in the opposite direction of the zocalo. During my walk I discovered Halloween is also a thing here because there were a number of Halloween mask booths.
So I reversed and headed back that way and eventually once I got back to the zocalo decided to eat. I stopped at a cafe on the zocalo and got some enchiladas verdes com pollo covered in lovely Oaxacan cheese, really tasty and a bit salty. The meal was great, but it was on the zocalo so you pretty much have to say no thank you to a walking vendor every couple of minutes. The zocalo is really gearing up for Dia de Los Muertos and the big altar is fully up, with another couple of altars under construction.
Another lovely day in Oaxaca, sixty degrees in the morning and eighty by siesta time around two o’clock in the afternoon. One final note today on Oaxaca, prices are amazing. My giant plate of enchiladas, with bread and a coke was $6, a two-liter bottle of water is a dollar. My trip to the market in the neighborhood (avocados are 25 cents) for an avocado, 2 carrots, a cucumber, 3 heirloom tomatoes and 4 bananas cost me $2. My laundry that I dropped off this afternoon, a weeks worth of clothes will be ready tomorrow afternoon, wash, dried and folded will cost me $1.15. Prices are pretty nice.
I’m finally feeling a bit comfortable in Oaxaca and looking forward to a tour I’ve booked tomorrow night to visit three cemeteries that have been decorated for the Day of the Dead. Hope you are having a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane