Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oaxaca Appreciation Day

Well, we passed our first year in beautiful Oaxaca and I realized that I was spending all day on writing and editing assignments and weekends doing chores, errands, homework, and less and less time appreciating the place I chose to live.

So, I want to reflect on recent Oaxaca adventures, to remind myself not to take it all for granted. We took some friends into Octolan to visit the market and it was sublime. An old lady had her honey in old coffee jars, and we bought a jar that had a couple bees floating in it. The most delicious honey ever, which could be maybe not the best discovery, actually.

We took the guests over to Calle Mina and hit the chocolate factories. I know everyone loves Mayordomo, as do I, and that the Chowhound foodies go on about booth...83? the Juarez Market, but I'm all about La Soledad. Sentimental, maybe, as it was the first spot I hit in Oaxaca when I arrived 11 years ago (well, the first spot after the second class bus station which, really, is not worth getting sentimental about). But I like that it's named for Oaxaca's patron saint, the Virgen of Soledad, or Solitude, which was an art piece I did years ago that Jenny's put on her CD release of her one-woman show. I also enjoy their free samples and it seems to me that, whenever I go, the men in the party appreciate that there is a little mezcal-tasting area.

We went to the Mercado de Artesanias recently, which always involves the requisite 20 minutes of getting lost and the asking of directions to at least three people. On the way, I found bootleg Hello Kitty pjs, sorta ugly cute, for two bucks. Genevieve was delighted, immediately pulling the shirt on over her legs.

I was out in the campo today, chaperoning a field trip, and the hills were startlingly green, even the rocky outcroppings by Yagul that always look like faces carved into a lunar landscape. But there I was, on a field trip, with naughty Yeni to reign in, junk food to buy for Max, and the inevitable dishes, sweeping, and all when I got home. Somewhere in the daily life drudgery hides those freaky rocky cliffs or, at least, the taste of chocolate, the kind with chilis or cinammon ground in, no milk--it's an edgy kind of sweet, which suits me.

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