Friday, April 30, 2004

Rainy Season in Mexico and other rants

Seems the rainy season has arrived a month early but you won't hear any complaints from me. The temperature is still perfect. The rain is a relief. It cleans the air, which is really bad in Mexico. I love Mexico and am furious at it in the same breath. If you're from Mexico, what's up the all the trash E*V*E*R*Y*W*H*E*R*E? Don't you guys even see it? It blows my mind. Do you think good, old Mother Nature can just wave a wand and it will magically disappear? And the air pollution. I mean, what's up with that? Your country is a paradise and you shit all over it. And Mexico City? Holy god!

But don't get me wrong. I love Mexico. It's an exotic, fragile place and the people I've met are friendly, direct and real. I'm sorry for you the US is so near by, the Big Polluters, the World Stink Pot. Our government is run by a bunch of war craven bullies with the world's largest cache of weapons of mass destruction at their disposal. Some neighbors!

So, the internet cafe is closing now. G'night.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Oaxaca City

We've been in Oaxaca about a week now and Mexico for a month over all. We have a small apartment on the balcony overlooking a community courtyard stuffed with hundreds of potted plants and two huge, old fruit trees that grow far above the building. Mexico is truly an exotic place, a must visit. We drove down through the colonial, mountain route because it was Samana Santa (Easter week), a national holiday which runs a week then turns into spring break for another week. Don't travel during Samana Santa unless you already have reservations and plan to stay in one place. It was a mad house. We would have driven down the pacific coast but didn't want to deal with the crowds. The mountain cities were crowded as well but not as bad as the coast. We just weren't up for sharing the beaches with mariachi bands and little kids selling Chicklets. It gave us a chance to see internal Mexico though and I'm glad we did it this way now. I feel like I've seen a lot of the country for the short time I've been here.

We came into Oaxaca via the mountain route from Veracruz. It's an incredibly lovely, steep road over peaks up to about 9000 feet at their highest. The only problem is the Mexican drivers are insanely dangerous, even on nice, wide highways. On narrow, mountain roads it's anybodies guess what will happen. Busses pass busses on uphill curves and it's all uphill curves to Oaxaca. The worst part was over the sea level farm lands outside of Veracruz. It's a short distance but pure madness. The road is choked with sugar cane trucks which aren't merely trucks, they are trucks pulling sometimes 4 or 5 trailers with ten foot high racks which are stuffed twenty, maybe thirty foot high piles of sugar cane. The road has two lanes and is muddy and narrow but at any point, there were 2 to 6 lanes of traffic made up of cane trucks, busses, taxi cabs, pedestrians, bicycles, burro carts, hand carts, and us.

So far I've taken over 3000 pictures so will be posting a few on my website when I get the chance. We're still settling in here. We found the cool internet cafe a couple of days ago and they're letting us bring our laptop here and plug into their connection for half the cost of using one of their computers... .50 an hour. Great deal. Eventually, I'll try uploading to my website.

Yesterday we visited 4 ruins in the valley, some whose origins date back about 3000 years. This place is full of pyramids. I photographed one site right along the road in a plowed field, part of it had a damn telephone pole sticking out of the middle of it. Currently I have pyramid fever and suspect that every mound is a possible pyramid.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Tuxtepec

We´ve been in Mexico about 3 weeks now and are currently in the city of Tuxtepec which is in the state of Oaxaca.
We´re leaving for Oaxaca City in the morning. I´d write more but I'm on a funky connection and it´s taking too much time. In brief, our big adventure yesterday was getting two traffic tickets. One was fair. We did run the red light leaving Veracruz, even though we were completely in the flow of traffic I figure we got tagged as the rich gringos, which is a real drag. The second ticket was completely bogus. We were simply pulled out of traffic and given a ticket. It was all for the bribe, very friendly, very everyday in Mexico. The cops stood around chatting and laughing during the "negoiation".