Oaxaca – with a new friend

My day out

Monica, from the gym, and I were due to meet at the cathedral near the Zocálo at 10.30 on Sunday. While waiting, I played with the most gorgeous little 16-18month old with his balloon and mother. He was so cute running around after it and barely able to coordinate legs. Couldn’t get his arms up in time to catch the balloon. Lots of fun and he enjoyed us both playing with him. I think mum enjoyed the variation another person added. 

Some great sculptures are near the Zocálo. Very colourful, like the bull I posted yesterday.

   

 

But best, is the notice that points out how this cathedral is the face of Oaxaca and the area is not to be used as a toilet or converted into a  marketplace. 

  

When Monica arrived we headed off to one of the museums. I loved it. Well, we really only did the sections up to and including the arrival of the conquistadores. I love the MesoAmerican figurines and learning about the integration of European religious and legal concepts into the local cultures, never forgetting the breadth and extent of the local variations. How well, to some extent, Spanish Catholicism with its single deity but multitudinous saints fitted a multi-theist culture. As I learn more I’m sure I may change or largely modify that belief. However, it’s an interesting thought. 
Great views of the Cathedral which houses that museum, and of the surrounds. Including the goings on the garden below.  

    
    
 
Disappointingly the orchestra was at the Cathedral only for publicity shots and played nothing. 

   
 After a few hours I insisted on coffee, just short of museum feet. Reminders of the origins of the museum, as cathedral buildings, were evident.

  
Near the Cathedral lots of mad instagramers were taking shots of some traditionally dressed locals. The differences signify their place of origin. 
   

   

   

 The instagramers mostly ignored the men despite their equally colourful clothing and headdresses.
  
Then coffee. Chocolate for me and coffee for her. She corrected my pronunciation when we spoke in Spanish and I corrected some of her english pronouns. 

  Next, off to the market. Wow! Having Monica was invaluable as I got to taste test things I couldn’t have alone using my Spanglish. Just no es posible. Some examples: 

Quesillo – a ropey, stringy, mozzarella like, salted cheese. Sound unappetising? It’s wonderful – bought in wound up balls or, if bought by weight, in a bag. Most amazing cheese. Never seen, or tasted, anything like it.  Doesn’t look exciting but, it is!

  
Mole – everyone knows about mole, the chocolate sauce, right? Well, today, thanks to Monica, I got to taste some of the different types. I forget the type I bought. Mole Colorado or similar. Very nice and it will be a nice substitute for soy sauce. Yes, having it on broccoli may be unusual but, who cares. You buy it by weight, a lump of stuff you mix with water or chicken soup. Very nice, not too spicy but tasty. 

  
Nuts – peanuts with chilli and cooked garlic. No vampires tonight, or probably for the next week.

  
And then the chocolate shop to buy the makings. You use 5 squares in a cup.  My mistake when I got home and made a hot chocolate was to eat a square of the makings. Hmmm, chocolate, wonderful spices but heaps of sugar. Needless to say, what I made wasn’t as nice as what you can buy.

  
I don’t understand all the types of tacos everywhere. One of my next tasks. ……..

Police

One sight I don’t like here is the police, in groups of 4 or 5, heavily armed and on the back of utes. For me scary and I understand they are intending to intimidate people. Works on me, especially when I realised how young and boyish some of them are! Scary.  

  

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