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

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Well, it's been a wacky couple of weeks.

We are living in a sort of camping situation. The house is open to the elements with the rooms protected from direct rain by a 6 inch step up and a huge stone ceiling that covers about half of the courtyard. That is, only half of the courtyard is open to the sky directly. There is a huge cactus now in the main planter in the courtyard. It is overflowing onto the tile. It had five lovely blooms until we moved it into the middle of the courtyard. But it still seems strong and happy. Since the house was a restaurant (pizza and music) for 25 plus years, the floors and most everything else were pretty terrible. We took a two day hiatus to the Hotel Victoria that overlooks the city and swam in the most incredible pool you or I have ever seen. Blue tile, nearly olympic size, and surrounded by local plants and trees that made shade and kept the side cool. Muriel and Leland were in the pool for most of the time--except for the incredible breakfasts they put on there. Sunscreen seems to work pretty well.

The floors are pretty clean now, and we have made friends with Cipriano, the "fixer" (and floor cleaning contractor) as he is known. Still have quite a cucaracha problema. We bought tons of Boric Acid this weekend and have little snow piles around the high traffic areas. Maybe it made a dent, maybe.

The food is really good here (right! I hear echoing from the midwest). It isn't very spicy, and I am wondering if this is due to the preponderance of foreign tourists who come here. There is an amazing amount of food sold on the street corners--grapefruit and mango and tortillas with black beans and chicken and juice drinks and ice creams (3 or 4 different ways of making it here) things wrapped in banana leaves and on and on. They also have very many fecal testing businesses. The coffee is okay. There are several roasters here, but the beans they start with are local and not so good. I have a stovetop espresso maker (here called a "moka") that is cranking out decent Oaxacan and Chiapas coffee each day.

The altitude really does have an effect on you. The best thing to do is to do the Mexican thing. Eat a great big breakfast, and a bigger lunch and they tone it way down for dinner. hard to get used to at first, wanting a big dinner, but if the lunch is big enough it doesn't matter. It takes much longer for people to digest their food here at 5000+ feet. Going to bed feeling bloated is no good. And breakfast tastes great the next morning.

The kids are in school now. Today they went for whole day (second day in a row). The first two were half days to get them warmed up.

Muchos mosquitoes here. Gotta sign off. Lightning could bust through our phone line!!!!

Just like camping.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Greetings from Oaxaca, OAXACA.

It has taken us a while, but the time has come for the Oaxaca Experiment Blog to come into existence. We arrived on 13 Sept 2004 about 1am local time. We have just logged our first two weeks. This blog will include bits and pieces from all of us: Alta Tingle, Tracy Tingle, Muriel and Leland Richardson, and me, TR.

Right now we have a sort of bailing wire network set up at the casa, but soon we should have a well-oiled blog ready for your consumption every day, or nearly. We'll try, anyway. Alta has been keeping a brief journal that, shortly, we can use to catch everyone up.

Also, we should be able to include some pictures for those with connections faster than ours.