A normal day in Oaxaca
So in many ways a really boring post tonight but one that I really felt like I wanted to write. Having moved to my new apartment, today life really feels like it’s settled into some sense of a new normal. So here’s what a typical day in Oaxaca has turned into, with prices because I’m still amazed how affordable this place is.
Went to the grocery store and bought two big giant bags of groceries for $13.50. Came home had a snack, pimento stuffed green olives and a Coke. I’m being really bad on the Coke front here. Then I headed up to the open air market near my old place to buy vegetables including ingredients to make my own salsa. I just had to stop writing to go have some, it’s the hottest, tastiest salsa I’ve ever made. The funny thing in is that I expected being in Mexico would mean constantly eating really hot, spicy food. To my surprise, a lot of the cuisine here has a sweet edge to it. Not that there isn’t spicy, this white salsa at dinner last night was so hot that you could literally only use drops at a time, but super tasty, the food here is really amazing. While walking to the market, I did encounter some dragons.
Returning from the market I went through my vegetable ritual. You see it’s kind of a bad idea for a foreigner to either drink the water here or just go ahead and eat vegetables from the market. You see they have been likely in the city water or worse. So you soak your vegetables in a sink full of water with iodine in it, honestly given all of the salmonella in the US in the last few years, I think I might continue this when I return stateside.
After cleaning vegetables I made salsa then set out for my next chore of the day to have my amigo Jesus afeitado mi cabeza. My new barber Jesus is a really cool old guy. He’s one of those meticulous quaffed older gentlemen. He took some joy in me describing my beard as palludo (really hairy), he chuckled at some of my bad Spanish and at some of my jokes he actually understood. He was impressed that I’m staying in Oaxaca for a full month to study Spanish. He not only shaved my head with the clippers but did all of the little service things that old school barbers do. He clipped my ear hair, used the straight razor to do all of the trimming, popped on the aftershave, brushed and blew dry my head. All for a massive $3.50 so I gave him $5.00 and he was generally grateful and smiling as I left. It was on of the little experiences in life that made me smile and is making me smile as I write this. I also found a little surprise walking back from the barber.
I then headed over to pick up my laundry which cost me a whopping $1.85. After I got it back I realized they had not returned my laundry bag. Ok, I know that sounds silly, it’s just a cotton bag with a drawstring and when it started to take a really long time for her to return I had decided to tell her no big deal. But happily she returned with it and the reason I was so happy is that this stupid little cotton bag was given to me during my first week of college in 1982, that’s right I have a 36-year-old laundry bag.
Returning home, I made a little dinner, sat down to write this piece and am about to take a shower and watch a movie. Just another happy day in Oaxaca, hope you had a happy one to my friends. ~ Rev Kane