Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our New Home


Since I last wrote, we've had many good meals. The best was at La Olla. I had chicken breast stuffed with plantain bananas smothered in a mole. Mole (pronounced mol-ay) is a type of sauce that is special to Mexico. Eight moles are served here. The most complex one has 20 ingredients, which was the one on my chicken. Delicious! I brought my own wine, thank goodness. As I write this I am sitting on the porch of a small hacienda listening to the thunder in the massive mountains surrounding Oaxaca. I am sipping a glass of Runquist Syrah (very rich/strong flavor).

Our homestay here is with Viki. She inherited this hacienda from her father. It is in a gated community north of downtown Oaxaca. Our school letter said it was a 20 minute walk . . . I swear Mexicans don't understand the clock. It is 30 minutes to school downhill, 40 back home. We have discovered the city bus for 50 cents one way. We are near a student hospital, kind of like UCD Med Center. Sirens all day, all night. Scrubs and white lab coats are the norm.

Our school is great. Our instructor is a cute young Latino named Adrian. Our classmate is a guy from Switzerland. It is a fun class. There is another couple (not in our class) who have been on vacation for 2 years. 2 years! I can't imagine. My boss, Debra, would kill me.

We went to church Sunday at this amazing cathedral. We couldn't understand much because it echoed, but we still enjoyed the atmosphere. They have festivals all the time in front of the Catholic churchs.

Oddities that stand out in my mind:
*A woman in a fur skirt. It looked like a llama pelt and it was full length. Her shirt was heavily embroidered in earth tones and she had a huge basket on her head. It is very warm here. She looked hot to me.
*A man selling his book of poetry stopped at our table and recited from memory a beautiful poem about Oaxaca.
*We were sitting on a rooftop terrace sharing a glass beer when we noticed that the house across the street had a big cage of monkeys. They had little hammocks in the cage and different toys. They played the whole hour we were there.

Things that make us laugh:
*The first night here we heard explosions like cannons. I would jump every time I heard it. Now it is familiar . . . they have a fetish for fireworks here. It doesn't need to be night time either . . . its all day long.
*A lady walking across the zocolo with a basket on her head texting on her cell phone.
*A wedding procession with a 15 foot tall bride and a groom following the real bride and groom to their reception. We asked about it later and apparently it's normal for all weddings here.
*The crosswalk signs at traffic lights are so comical. They have a slowly walking man under the seconds remaining to get across. As the seconds tick away the man speeds up until in the last few seconds he is running. I'll have to film it someday.
*Okay now this one is just bizarre to us. Picture traffic going along in the correct direction. Whatever is normal for your country. In Mexico its the same as the USA. However, here it depends on the street. If a one way street merges with another one way street it could be the opposite of normal. Wait . . . that's not weird enough . . . at some point they will create an X and change sides. This is on a major thoroughfare (like Watt Ave).

Well Joe just woke up from his siesta, so we are headed off to eat . . . in the rain :)

Lots of love, Joe and Heidi

1 comment:

  1. Hi My Kids!!! Sounds great!!! Hope you have a wonderful time and get over your colds. Love andhugs....Kathy Mom