"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship with Mexico (Part 2)

Well, actually all I have time to do is list off a few more things I love, then we are off to the cheap dentist. But the hate is coming, I promise!

Stuff I love:

- houses painted bright orange, shocking pink, royal blue, emerald green, daffodil yellow.... sometimes all of the above

- warm rain.

- the street carts. Here, street arts are not just for street food (though oh my gosh the street food deserves it's own post - forthcoming) but also for things like drinking water and garbage collection. Each type of merchant has his own special kind of call - either a voice call or more often a bell, a steam whistle (in the case of the cart that sells steamed yams), or a horn. Everyone recognizes all the different calls, so for example, when the garbage bell rings, you jump up - even from the dinner table - and grab the garbage and run as fast as you can to catch up. This is garbage collection in Oaxaca (See: things I hate about Mexico, forthcoming). The carts are actually giant tricycles, and it is quite a sight to see an old man peddling a giant tricycle loaded down with full water containers. It must weigh a ton.

- old people. Old people in Mexico are so strong and so healthy, generally speaking, even though they look about a thousand years old. Homero's grandmother is so old she doesn't even know how old she is, but her younger sister is 81 and Grandma remembers when she was born. She goes out to the market and carries her own groceries home, up and down these incredibly steep hills. Old ladies in the market selling chapulines (grasshoppers) from a straw basket on top of their heads, toothless and wizened and smiling. Old men in straw hats and homespun cotton trousers pulling handcarts loaded to the brim with flowers or pottery. Our guide yesterday at the mineral springs was an old man, and he was running up and down the steep path like a goat. The rest of us were puffing like freight trains.

- kids playing soccer in the streets. On every side street is a group of mixed age kids, playing soccer using bricks or chunks of rock as goalposts. Whenever you have to pass, you lean out the window and shout "move the rock!" and the kids haul off the big rocks and you drive through and then they put them back and keep playing.

okay more later


AnyEdge said...

I think the colorful houses is a tropical thing: you see it all over the carribean, equatorial Africa and South America, and in the orient as well.

Aimee said...

actually, I think drab houses are an English thing, including us and Canada as former english colonies. I don't know what color houses are in Australia... anybody?

Olive said...

Here in South Australia most of the houses are made of brick or stone, the cplour of the brick is the colour of the house, no painting required.The older stone houses are mostly made with stones gathered from the field. The latest trend is brick rendered with coloured cement, mostly grey or beige (YUK)
In Victoria many homes are painted timber but not in bright colours.
When we lived in the outback, on the edge of the Tanami desert (Aboriginal Community) their houses were painted in every colour imaginable. purple, green, yellow etc. They seem to like the brightness and cheerfulness of pretty colours.
Its good to hear you are enjoying your holiday.

Aimee said...

thanks for the information, Olive, especially since it bolsters my position! I haven't sen much action on your blog lately - how's it going?

Aimee said...

thanks for the information, Olive, especially since it bolsters my position! I haven't sen much action on your blog lately - how's it going?

Olive said...

Reading blogs is about all I'm up to at the mo. My health hasn't been very good lately (or is it just that I'm getting too old?) Been sitting here at this computer downloading heaps of photos from a box full of old dog-eared shots before they become totally unrecognisable.