Saturday, April 30, 2005

Wedding in Oaxaca

Our friends had a wedding in Oaxaca which was fun and amazingly well appointed. It was a relatively small affair I'm told as many Mexican weddings have a reputation for being huge and even lasting into the next day. It was one of the most swank weddings I've ever been to that's for sure. First of all this is the "Church" the ceremony took place in- not bad. And in case you have your doubts-

check out the inside... Are there enough gilded, encrustations for you?

Also, outside after the ceremony they had some traditional Oaxacan musicians and dancers who celebrate the marriage with these giant puppets (bckgrnd).

The bride and groom enjoy their first dance at the reception on a terrace in one of Oaxaca's more high gloss hotels. The globes of light were a nice touch me thought. Ahhh... weddings: the food, the people, the hosted booze. Everyone goes home happy.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

No Rabbits No Eggs

I'm back from the long weekend and my mother's visit to Mexico. We all had a great time rockin out in Michoacan. Which is about 3 hours drive from DF west and a beautiful place. Michoacan is a very green state for Mexico and has lakes, forest, mountains and a coastline. A friend of Ale lent us their summer home for the weekend so we rallied some friends and drove to a beautiful little town called Patsquaro for Easter religious processions, market shopping, and general lazing around. As with most areas of Mexico, many indigenous people with a rich culture live and work around here. There are many small picturesque towns in this area with some nice markets for buying trinkets, eathenware, clothing and art. It was interesting to go somewhere where there were many tourists, but mostly Mexican tourists. My only criticism is maybe that people were burning their garbage too close to where they live. Burning plastic smells gross, but what else are you gonna do when the plastic just keeps piling and your city has no dinero for fancy dumps recycling, incinerators etc...? Now I know.

My friend was having a b-day and his girlfriend gave him a pinata. The other place is Morelia, the capital of Michoacan. Colonial buildings and churches galore. We drank Tequila and danced the night away.

This is the isle of Janitzio. Apparently during the "Day of the Dead" celebration Mexicans come from far and wide to see this place lit up with candles and processions of boats carrying altars on the lake. This place is really neat. The entire island is covered in a carless little town with mazes of streets leading up to the large statue on the top who is Morelos holding up a revolutionary fist salute to the sky.

These guys fish for the tiny fish that are eaten deep fried here with salsa, kind of like french fries.

This is the small town of Zirahuen, which is on a beautiful lake in the mountains. Lots of shacks and burros and tourists, but the vibe here is pretty small town which was relaxing after the craziness of DF. Here we are outside a small store and I'm not sure if that is a burro or a mule, but you get the idea.

A procession of effigies and candles went through the town to the church for their Easter vigil. It was solemn and quiet but it was pretty interesting for a guy like me to see people getting so serious about their religion. I felt kind of touristy and uninvolved, but it would've been much worse if I'd tried to involve myself I think. Much much worse. Many people were lugging crosses and effigies and holding small red candles which looked beautiful in the full moonlight. God was the flavor of the day and being served up in big portions as people had come from far and wide to participate in Easter masses, processions and vigils- no rabbits no eggs, just the real Easter deal. Down here when most people say Feliz Navidad or Semana Santa, they're talking about JC no funny stuff- no "happy Holidays" no "X-mas" Ukrainian egg multicultural blah blah. Fortunately, Mexicans still seem to like to party on all holidays, so it's not like everyone's crying and praying the whole time. Just don't think that because she's drunk on tequila and screaming at the top of her lungs that she doesn't have a cross over her bed.