back to life, back to reality

I have some thoughts I'd like to get down about our time in Mexico, which I hope to flesh out in the next week or so once I get a few more pressing items squared away. But here are a few highlights:

 --Mexico City exceeded my expectations, by quite a lot. I found it (or rather, the central part of the megalopolis in which we spent nearly all of our time, which is still rather large in and of itself) to be clean, safe, relatively easy to navigate, and all around really pleasant and fun. Caveats: I really like big cities, and I speak just enough Spanish to get by most of the time. (More on the latter point later.)

--If you like contemporary and/or modern art, you could easily spend a week in Mexico City doing little else. 

--Fancy restaurants in Mexico City are for suckers. The most expensive meal we had there wasn't even the 5th best. (I will have a great deal more to say about food.)

--Speaking of food, Oaxaca should be on every food lover's list. Less of a taco and torta town than Mexico City, it's mostly about mole, Oaxacan cheese, and tamales. I had a plate of enchilladas with mole rojo that is among the best things I've ever tasted, anywhere. Seriously.

--There are a lot of tourists in Oaxaca, but most of them are Mexican.

--Turns out I really like mezcal. A lot.

--There are a LOT of police in Oaxaca city. More per capita (at least visibly) than I've seen anywhere else I've been. I suspect that this has more to do with the recent history of civil unrest than with the drug war, but I haven't really had a chance to look into that. In any case, it felt very secure, though it was kind of surreal to see a minor scuffle on the Zocalo elicit a response of approximately 100 officers.

--The people with whom we interacted (with exactly one exception) could not have been more friendly, hospitable, generous, and patient with our limited language skills.


Gino said...
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RW said...

viva zapatista!

Brian said...

Oaxaca is basically the culinary capital of Mexico, which puts it in the running for culinary capital of the Western Hemisphere.

Resorts and cruises have no appeal to me. I get why they do for a lot of people--especially the ones where entertainment for the kids in included--but I'm too much of an introvert to be in a closed environment with people not of my choosing for more than a few hours. Plus I like to wander off.

We actively avoided Americans (and other Anglophones) on this trip. Not to be snobs, but because neither of us wanted to have the "where do you live/what do you do" conversation with anyone.

Besides, I can drive an hour to hang out on a beach with pasty Americans (well, in the summer anyway.)