Street Life and Food

Trip Start Jul 06, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Sunday, July 9, 2006

Last night I went out for a drink of mezcal with the owner of my hostel. His name is Elan and he is a reticent Israeli who is tired of Mexico. He and his French girlfriend own it.

Elan tells me he thinks the striking teachers are crooks. He said they've ruined businesses in the town center, causing many people to lose their jobs. The traffic is worse and there are fewer tourists so everyone is suffering.

I went back to the square today and, because I was more sure of myself and my surroundings, I explored the blocks south of the zocalo. Sure enough, the streets were barracaded and hundreds of people sat under tarps they'd strung up along the street. Businesses were dead and I only saw a handful of tourists in that area.

Back in the square I saw several TVs where people gathered to watch. On each screen was a video of the happenings of June 14. It was pretty frightening.

On the brighter side, I saw some kind of festival of people with those giant big heads and others with baskets on their heads all dancing and throwing apples out to/at (I was almost clocked by a particularly sharp aim) the spectators. It was colorful. I asked an old man what the big deal was and he told me all about it. I think that's what he was talking about anyway.

Earlier this evening I met a young Mexican man named Temo who wanted to practice his english. We sat on the steps of a church at chatted while a highschool graduation went on inside. He lives in a nearby village where he works as an artisan making those colorful wooden animals tourists buy. Most of the younger men are now making these animals because there's no money to be made farming. The conversation turned south, however, when he stopped talking about work and tackled topics like what I like to do in my free time, if I have any pets, how many brothers and sisters I have, what my favorite sport is and other useful phrases we all use when we're learning another language.

He took me to eat a small meal of quesadilla made by a street vendor. We had another dish but I can't remember the name of it. It had orange flowers, cheese and salsa verde in a tortilla. Delicioso!
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