Well it's been months since I last posted here, which makes me a pretty lazy blogger, but i've been a little bit preoccupied with friends visiting from lands afar once again and Christmas / wedding stuff. Two friends from Vancouver came and visited Mexico City and Oaxaca city which they seemed to like most everything except the dry weather which I have to admit was also a shock for me moving here from the moist Canadian coast . I did manage to go on quite a few holidays over Christmas. I went for an overnighter to Taxco which is not far from Mexico City and just inside the state of Guerrero. It's a nice, small town that clings to a mountainside with super tiny mazelike euro-streets all over the place. The market is so confusing and full of stalls and tarps that it's easy to get lost. It's actually one of my favorite places just outside of Mexico City, plus it was hotter which made me happy as it's been cold and dry here. Unfortunately, I took photos on a camera that I don't have the cable for so I can't give you any photos right now. Read and Imagine.
Then... On to Veracruz where Ale and I went to have New Years with some family friends and their whole extended family in a small ranching town off the tourist map called Juanita.
There is a local Veracusanian custom that involves putting a large amount of hand made fireworks into a stuffed effigy of a "viejo" or old man. You then set him on fire and literally, totally blow him up publicly to usher in the New Year. I'm not completely sure what the symbolism of blowing up the old guy means, but I'm pretty sure it's about renewal and such. It was good fun though.
The gulf coast is beautiful and Veracruz has many interesting things to see. We went to an area called
Catemaco where they have big mangroves and lagoons meeting the sea, and lot's of
bugs and jungly plant life. There are a fair amount of wildlife preserves around here and I'm told the place is known for it's natural beauty and from what my eyes told me, it's true.
It's very different from Mexico City here. The people are maybe more "caribbean?". Anyway, it's hot and the sea food is good. There seems to be a lot of dancing, music and celebrating during festive times. Sea food in Mexico City isn't rare but it's not all over the place like it is on the coasts. In DF it's usually more expensive if you want the high quality fare and not as fresh probably, but I'm no expert.
Coming from Vancouver though I've always been a big fan of fish and clams and all that so it was nice to get a taste. I just realized that if you say, "I'm a big fan of fish and clams.." you sound kind of straight. It's like something a lame neighbor says in order to be funny in a movie or something. Anyway, who cares, next topic-
I've been reading all the news about the Canadian Federal Election. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get it together to vote out of country. I guess you can all blame me and others like me for not "rocking the vote" or whatever. Anyway, it looks like Steven Harper is going to steer the boat in more or less the same direction as per usual. However for those of my friends whose checks have "Government of Canada" written on the upper left hand side - sorry double-time. Mexico is having a vote this year too and it's a pretty heated race. Apparently they were trying to get out of country voters to participate this year as there are an estimated 20 mil or so Mexicans living in the States who generally don't vote. After spending millions registering them etc... there were 5000 or so new voters. Boondoggle city. I guess when you're busting ass picking apples in Bellingham, who gets to sit in the red chair in the Zocalo is a pretty logistical and ideological far away idea and I can concur.
Uh, well after getting back to DF from Veracruz I journeyed with Ale's family to Acapulco for a weekend wedding! Woah. I'd never been and Acapulco's pretty dazzling to say the least. Basically, geographically its a deep bay surrounded by mountains. The temperature, beach and coastline are amazing, if you can overlook the solid wall of 1000 room hotels standing at attention on the beach and gazing, expensively out to sea. There is an "Old Acapulco" which is near the bay, but sort of climbs up the mountainside. This is where most acapulcans live. It's similar to many Mexican cities, but the contrast between the crumbling colonialness and Mexicaness of the old town and the glitz of the hotel strip is pretty intense and it's meaning will not escape the more querying tourist. The wedding actually wasn't in Acapulco proper but a 20 min drive away in a little beach zone called "Pie de la Cuesta".
Here the vibe was much more laid back and the hotels less extravagant. The ocean is not protected by a bay here and the waves were a bit too violent for normal surf fun, but we did some swimming and the wedding was really nice right on the beach and pretty low key, but fun in the end. A lot of people in Mexico don't like Acupulco because it's totally over touristed and over developed and a holidayland in no small way, but the area and the ocean are truly beautiful but as I said before you have to overlook the "Tony Roma's, Planet Hollywoods, malls, and other assorted conglomerates that have descended full-force. One could view Vancouver in the same way IE: new casino conference centre slash cruise ship port of call going up ocean front but it's not like you're going to tell your visiting friends to go down there for Tony Roma's unless you're doing it ironically or something weird like that but there's nothing really that ironic about Tony Romas is there?