oaxaca, so many colors, so much food ::::
So. Much. Mezcal.
This summer, our family went to Oaxaca, Mexico for a week. It was our first international trip since the pandemic slowed the world down. In fact, the last big vacation we had just before COVID hit more and more of the world was when we went to Peru (see the series of four posts here to learn more). Oaxaca is a city rich with cultures (ancient and colonial), festivals, large markets, friendly people, and wonderful food. They also have a respect for wearing masks, when it seems much of my country is in pandemic fatigue, tired of donning masks in social situations. It made me happy to see the respect of the citizens and other more science-believing tourists, wearing them inside restaurants until absolutely necessary and outside, even in wide open spaces. As soon as we got back on the flights back to the U.S., it was clear who the Americans were by their yoga pants and lack of any face coverings.
That frustration and resignation that people are not always looking out for others bled into my psyche for the week-long trip. My hope for writing inspiration never flickered much. Even my attempt at learning some Spanish before the trip fell short. I wasn’t confident enough to try more. And so, it was easier to stumble through hand signals, one word questions, and feel relieved when some people knew much more English than I know of Spanish.
This post instead will show you what I saw instead of written inspiration, and maybe inspire something in you. Maybe I’ll look back and be inspired, too.
An outdoor ceiling of umbrellas at the Centro Cultural San Pablo:
Oaxaca’s public library. Yay, books!
A small section of “Los Danzantes” bas-reliefs at Monte Albán:
Lots of colorful artwork in Oaxaca — printmaking classes advertised in many places, too:
Ladies, shining bright:
El fantasma de la APPO siempre recorrera Oaxaca. –> “The ghost of APPO will always haunt Oaxaca.”–I have to break my expectation of not writing much to add more info to the photo below–
This graffiti references a seven-month conflict where 17 (or 27, other sources say) people died in Oaxaca. Police responded to a strike involving the local teachers’ union in May 2006. The police opened fire on a non-violent protest, which lead to formation of Oaxaca’s de facto governing body The Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO). APPO demanding the resignation of the state’s governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, unwilling to put up with his corruption anymore and hoped to form a more democratic government. APPO was made up of 350 different organizations, mostly the teachers’ union members.
Pottery in an old family kitchen:
Ruffly paper decorations at a shaved ice bar:
So much food:
A charcoal-colored meringue at the restaurant Criollo, where we met two roosters named Pinto and Julio, and a pet rabbit named Kardashian:
More wall art:
These signs were everywhere. “Cubrebocas” = literally means “it covers mouth”
Tomatoes in a kitchen lit by a wide skylight, like works of art in a museum:
Carnitas. Always with lime. Never forget the lime. This was one of our stops on walking food tour “Oaxacaking” with Omar Alonso:
Back at Criollo. The candle and drink cup are the same glassware, a crucifix stamped on each base. They hold flickering candles in Catholic churches, and used to serve alcohol. I saw these cups (vaso veladoras) everywhere, mostly when we were served mezcal. Vaso veladoras connect the secular and religious, and probably resulted in thriftiness. (It’s easy for one company to make the same glassware for dual purposes.)
Have an inspiring day — write in color while eating fantastic food.
One year ago: No posts in July 2021. I give you random post instead – spaghetti fritters!
Two years ago: No posts in July 2020 but take a look at a cute mermaid-narwal strawberry cake from June 2020: mermaid and narwal strawberry cake
Three years ago: roasted sweet potatoes with miso-tahini sauce
Four years ago: orzo salad
Five years ago: Mount Fuji and beyond: our continued trip to Japan in 2017
Six years ago: plum-cardamom jam
Seven years ago: sugar cookie dreg cookies
Eight years ago: scallops with mexican corn salad (elote)
Nine years ago: angel food cupcakes with mascarpone frosting
Ten years ago: pepper-glazed goat cheese gratin and napa weekend restaurant review
Eleven years ago: cornish pasties and lemon-lime gummy candy