Thursday, March 12, 2015

Post Mexico Post

Hello loyal reader(s),

I just reread my long-ago prior post "Shakytown" and was struck by the nakedness of my words. Reading it was like watching myself undress.  I found myself trying to consciously suppress my conditioned embarrassment. Real but uncomfortably revealing.  On one hand I felt proud, or at least accepting, of who and what I am and have become and what I was trying to express in words. On the other I could feel the cold, critical, self-belittling voice, which I fear/know will always be in the background watching and judging.  This push and pull's been going on for most of my life.

The "episodes" I wrote about have, thankfully, pretty much stopped. There have been maybe two or three over the past four months. The last one was the last week in January at the beginning of our five week Mexico trip.  I was standing in a line at the Teatro Macedonia in Oaxaca and felt the same nauseous/dizzy/near passing out/fearful stuff.  I stepped out of the line and noticed, I don't know if I mentioned this in earlier posts, a "zooming out" sensation.  Like turning the lens of my eyesight, moving from a close up to a more distant, wider, blurrier, darker view.  Unsettling but interesting in retrospect.

Mexico was wonderful.  We spent a week in Puerto Vallarta and Yelapa and four weeks in Oaxaca.  One of the highlights in Puerto Vallarta was a whale watching excursion into Banderas Bay where we saw Humpback whales flapping their flippers over and over.  Not sure what it meant but it sure was interesting to see.

 It felt good being around the ocean again but PV was way too crowded with tourists.  Much preferred smaller beach areas like Playa Chacala and Yelapa.  Here's a photo from our dinner table in PV

It was our third trip to Oaxaca.  We've stayed in the same hotel each time.(Las Mariposas) It's starting to feel like a home away from home.  The staff and the other guests are pretty much the same each year.  It's friendly, comfortable, convenient, safe and cheap ($35/night). I bought an inexpensive Mexican nylon stringed guitar and played regularly with a guy from Connecticut who plays harmonica.  Great fun.  We even played a couple of times in the hotel's main courtyard for a group sing-a-long. Here's a picture of the courtyard looking through the front gate.

Dorothy and I have seen most of the tourist sites in and out of town.  On this trip we spent much of our time walking the ever fascinating streets of the city.   People were consistently friendly, helpful and would always smile back if you greeted them with a smile.  Streets were busy with cars and at times demonstrations and blockades.  Political groups and unions are very active and militant in Oaxaca.  The teacher's union, Seccion 22, had regular marches in the street and were occupying the downtown zocalo throughout our time in town.  They were protesting an new educational reform law.  I am generally supportive of workers rights but the occupation of the zocalo ruined the atmosphere of what in the past was a wonderful respite from the busyness of the rest of the city. 

Oaxaca zocalo scene February 2015

Here's how the zocalo looked in prior trips.

Here is a video The video's main focus is the street art one finds all over the city.
The music in this video is Gracias A La Vida written by Violeta Parra and sung by Mercedes Sosa.  

There's a lot more to show and say about our trip to Mexico and I hope to do so in future entries.

As always, thank you for visiting.