21 August 2007

Latest From Your Bus Seat #13 Road Warrior

On his way back from hurricane-swept Yucatan your dearest Mattia today was stopping over in Oaxaca (City). Originally a little annoyed by his not having found the guts to gulp down an extra 12 hr bus trip which would have taken him to the Southern Mexican Pacific Coast and fabled Mazunte, he was positively and pleasantly surprised by the charm of the city, its fancily colourful arts galleries and its slow ways. As soon as he jumped off the night bus from San Cristobal and his de riguer seat #13 (which appears to be the *only* free window seat on *any* Mexican bus, leading to the conclusion that not only people here, including tourists, are superstitious indeed, but also that, as he's often suspected, 13 is the more likely Answer to the Ultimate Question, rather than the 42 honoured by tradition), as he was regaining his legendary composure after the crazy bus driving so costumary here, he couldn't help noticing "little differences". For Oaxaca is the first place he meets along his path where one is not invariably approached by children with wide eyes moaning "un peeesooo..." or by the more hardened merchandise street sellers, bur rather first looked at suspiciously as someone not belonging and then quickly smiled at when one cracks a smile himself. Tourists do not belong *that* much in Oaxaca, and after a quick adjustment that feels good. Oaxaca is one of those places where, as u r feverishly reading the last pages of your favourite summer 2007 book on the church steps, you can meet sweetest wide-eyed Beth who wants to talk some english (or possibly chat me up, as the case might be, but those who've been following me closely surely know better!;-) and reminds you of that little something u've lost about two years ago these days and which doesn't seem to be coming back anytime soon. Oaxaca is a place where the neighbourhood echoes with folk-hip-hop music a' la 99 Posse (or rather Molotov really) rather than the ever-present techno-like crap of Yucatecan tourist traps. It's a good place, much like more touristy San Cristobal but with more character, feels like a good place to conclude this small trip of mine. And as for you, little one, I guess "I'll meet you further on up the road", sigh...
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