Five characters (and their guests) in search of something.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Day of the dead for the critters. Extermination in the walls, floors, kitchen, cracks, etc. We went to live in the hotel Victoria for another day and let the fumes wear off. It's not perfect, but much better. It was pretty bleak there for a bit.

Leland was sick last week. He had a little fever and a sore throat. Of course Tracy and I freaked out. HE'S GOT AN AMOEBA OR SOMETHING! He's been taking his very strange antibiotic and it did the trick very quickly. Scary when little people have shivering fever so far from home. And the Dr. situation is so different here. For a while Tracy was calling Drs and they just wouldn't pick up. Where the hell are they? We are so used to 8am-6pm Drs. But some make house calls still here and the stay open much later. When you feel like you need to go to a doctor, the first thing you do is have your feces analyzed to see just what you have. And then you take that to the appointment. Either that, or the doctors take a shot in the dark and give you what they think you need without the benefit of searching through your caca.

All of us are in school now. Tracy and I have had a week of classes, tag-teaming with Leland's care-taking. It's coming along pretty well for me. I may never speak French again, that's for sure. The two languages are so similar except for the way you pronounce the endings of words--I stumbled through some French in a printer instruction booklet this evening and it was very difficult. I have a nice young teacher and the school is helping to cater to my interests in filmmaking. They are finding books on Mexican scriptwriting, movies, etc. Very nice and I feel like the instruction is moving ahead at my speed (fast).

I bought a mexican electric guitar so that I could continue playing. I have so much fun with it and it is relaxing. Nice since everyone has their fans on at night I can play pretty loud.

Have met a nice family with two young kids and similar interests here. They have lived in Oaxaca for more than a year (2?) and are pretty comfortable. Their kids are bilingual already. They tuned us into a great local guy named Boris Spider who teaches kids (in spanish) to make art. Muriel did a transfer onto a tshirt and painted it this weekend and Leland made a pillow. All in the spirit of the Day of the Dead (a sort of ultra halloween with lots of skulls and skeletons). Mark (the dad) and I have quite a bit in common. We have been hanging out a bit and it feels good to have a friend here--though the people on the streets are so nice already. So different from Ithaca!

I think of my mom every time I go to the markets here. It makes me remember the introduction she gave me to the Indianapolis City Market sometime before I went for a field-trip. She seemed to appreciate it for the fun and variety. Well the markets here are perhaps more like what the market in Indianapolis used to be when it was necessary to peoples' daily lives. You can get so many things right there. Fresh squeezed juices, hot chocolate (the breakfast drink of choice in Mexico!), breakfast and lunch, fruits and vegetables, dried goods, milk, meats, fish, chicken (as noted), cooked grasshoppers, bags, baskets, anything plastic you can imagine, toys, beds, bikes, tools, clothing, and on and on and on. In the US I often thought of us having a consumer society. In Mexico it's like sharks having to move forward to breathe--people swim in this mass of goods for sale. Tracy was a little cold one evening, she popped into the nearby market, found a woman selling rebozos (shawls) and popped back out in about 3 minutes. It's really shocking. Imagine what you would have to do to find a shawl (or something else you might want) after 7pm. You'd drive for more than 3 minutes, that's for sure. And it was nice!

The food can wear a bit thin for you here. I think any tourist vacationing here would have no problem having a great time for 2 weeks, but after the month mark, it is a bit monotonous. We are searching out the nouveau mexican foods. And today we had pizza. Not bad.

I am looking forward to seeing the ruins of this area shortly. Monte Alban, Mitla are two places we plan to go in the next few weeks. Big, big cities of their eras (500BC and afterward). I especially enjoy wandering through their ball courts and trying to feel the competitive spirits still hanging around. I hope to be able to see some people actually playing the game (as they think it was played--no one is certain how you scored!).


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