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Archive for August, 2008

Basura

There is no trash pick-up on our street. To dispose of our trash, we take a four minute walk over to the mercado where we can throw our bags into a dump-truck that’s usually parked outside after 9:00PM. Last night, Fernando’s cuñada (sister-in-law) accompanied us on our walk. There were a few folks already at the truck: a market vendor, a neighbor, and a butcher. Cuñada Maluye grabbed one of the bloody big bones carefully balanced on the butcher’s shoulder and head to toss over to one of the patient and deserving dogs waiting for such a prize. Unfortunately, the grab was not well thought-out and the remaining bloody bones and bits cascaded upon the butcher’s face. He didn’t seem to mind all that much and the dog was delighted, so, no harm done.

I’ve always been extra careful when I buy. I take packaging into account and always question, “Do I really need this?” Having to walk my trash to the dump truck at night will most likely tightening my criteria even more which is a good thing.

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Centro historico

Merida, SFGate.com’s selection for Mexico’s most beautiful colonial city. I would have to agree. One of the many thing that makes Merida so lovely is the fusion of cultures. As well as being the center of the Mayan world, it welcomed waves of Italian, Lebanese and Syrian immigrants in the 19th century. The Spanish colonial architecture mixes with the Arab influence of mosaics and Italian design. To walk through the streets of Merida is to experience living-breathing art history. It’s glorious.

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Bananas

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Hotel Trinidad

One of the art pieces in the reception room at Hotel Trinidad in Merida. The entire, funky hotel is inspired by art.

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Tú y yo

You can see these 19th century chairs in the parks of Merida. The museum labeled these charmers as “Confidential Chairs” - Tú y yo.

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Last night and this morning, I had a wonderful wrap-up with Lavonna. I look forward to maintaining a working relationship with her as well as a friendship. Like Madre Lourdes, she has a humble ambition about her, as if she didn’t request to be put out on the front lines, but that’s where she found herself, armed with two cell phones, a big heart, and a Geminian capacity to handle forty things at once.

After goodbye hugs at the airport, F and I headed to Mexico City. From there, we boarded a bus to Querétaro where we are now, somehow enjoying free wireless at the bus station. We’ll be in San Miguel de Allende tonight.

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Options

One of the many sculptures temporarily installed on the grand Paseo de Montejo Avenue as part of the “Merida, Yucatan, City of Sculpture” program.

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Fernando and I left Merida at midnight last night and arrived back in Playa early this morning. At this point, we’re torn between Merida and San Miguel de Allende. I was offered a job in a spa in Merida and an educator wants to interview me this upcoming weekend to work with children and adolescents using an interactive teaching technique and small groups. I would be teaching them English and it would be part-time (afternoons only).

For the last two days, we walked up and down the streets of Merida looking for someplace to live. We had many leads, but all of them were just out of our grasp: the apt won’t be ready for another week (we heard this four times); another place was fantastic–and cheap–but had no furniture; the upstairs at Doña Mercedes had just been rented; another required a 6 month lease; etc. We drank a liter of water an hour and sweated it all out. Fernando had salt lines on his shorts. We were rained upon on the way to my interview. Birds shat on me twice which I took as a good sign. We’re tanner, thinner, nomads, and are looking for signs to decide Where to next?.

We could go to Merida and do it again. It’s hard to find a place in two days. There’s one house in particular that we’re interested in. It’s centrally located and full of character. But when the owner came to show it to us, she couldn’t find the keys. It’s old, very old, probably comes with its own ghost, but we would like to see the inside! Mel, the host at Julamis, kindly offered to take pictures for us once the keys are located.

Another consideration is living rent-free in San Miguel de Allende until we both find jobs. SMA is also much closer to Guadalajara where Fernando needs to go to do his presentations in order to complete his law degree he’s been working on for the past four years. It just that once a city has captured your heart like Merida has captured ours, it’s hard to pull away. At any rate, by this time tomorrow, we’ll be on a bus headed for somewhere that we can hang our hats.

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Calle 60 x 67

Fernando and I were walking North on Calle 60 tonight when I heard such a beautiful voice that I had to turn back around to stop and listen for awhile. We crossed the street at 67 and saw this lovely man with his guitar. He was blind and I believe that somehow, his loss of vision strengthened his compassion for life because when he sang, I heard it with my heart.

I noticed one guy standing very close to him on the sidewalk, enjoying the songs. He stood there for a little bit and while he did, our singer leaned into his way, knowing that a listener was there and acknowledging him by facing him and singing to him. He had this easy way about him… or maybe it was more of a gentleness.

When the man left, I walked over and stood in his place. The singer recognized the change, smiled, and then starting singing to me. After a couple of songs, I asked him if he could sing something really sad. He smiled, and when he did, I noticed that all his wrinkles were from smiling. He told me he had to think a little bit because he didn’t know many sad songs (and I thought almost all of them were!). But then he smiled again, perhaps remembering a good one from long ago, and began. He sang in my direction a song so sad with a voice so sweet that I stood next to him on the sidewalk with busses wheezing by, people stepping off the curb to get around us, and just let the tears roll down my face and drip off my chin.

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