Sunday, June 17, 2007

Take a Oaxaca on the Wild Side

Just as I was about to give up on this brilliant mess of a country, Mexico pulls a classic Luchador comeback and completely redeems itself. For those wondering if my fever has finally overtaken me, I'm fine. I am simply infected with the ridiculously delicious culture of Oaxaca, Mexico D.F. and the highlands. Infected!!! Get it?... Like a fever.... you know, with a temperature and bacteria... Ehh?

All Peter Griffinisms aside, I think I finally realized what we were missing. Actual legitimate cities. We're not talking about fabricated tourism concepts but real, huge, smelly, vital, intellectual, commercial and artistic crossroads. In the last 10 days we've gone from the highly artistic, passionate and political Oaxaca, to Mexico DF, the grandaddy of Mexican cities. DF is a proud cultural epicenter that feels like a slightly friendlier but even more unapologetic version of New York. It goes without saying we loved them both and the blogging batteries are recharged.

Since the cities are so different I won't try to compare the two but instead throw out some general truths that you learn, hopefully quickly, in major Mexican cities:

Transportation - Don't bother driving. Lanes are merely a suggestion, as are stoplights. Although I find it fun in a Nintendo sort of way, it's only a matter of time until your vehicle looks as crappy as the one next to you. Buses and metros, on the other hand, are a steal at 20 cents and go just about everywhere you wouldn't want to take your car.

Food - Every city has their regional speciality that should not be missed. So long as you know your limits. Oaxaca has seven different delicious mole sauces but they will also look you dead in the eye and tell you not to miss their grasshopper rellenos. When all else fails there are always jugos (juices). They blend anything you wish and do it in style. To our fascination we found out that there is also a weekly magazine called "Jugos". I think I should take a job there just so I can see the most creative editor on earth come with 50 pages of content about juice every week.

Architecture - Buildings in DF are more beautiful when guarded by Federales in riot gear. In Oaxaca all structures must have be adorned with at least 5 different layers of paint, exposed brick, and graffiti that all bleeds into aesthetic perfection. Also of note, Rachel has found that unsuspecting Mayan folk in front of buildings make for the best architectural photos.

History - When it comes to pyramids, bigger is better. It doesn't matter if you use it for anything, so long as it's at least a gigantic lounge chair for a ruler. Oh yeah, and when that ruler dies, it's best to cover his skull with precious stones to make sure whoever sees him in the afterlife knows he was super important.

Art - Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera rule the school in Mexico and prove that it's better to not care about patrons and commissions. As Diego could attest, JD Rockerfeller didn't like the same stuff he did. This particular masterpiece of a mural was recreated in the Presidential Palace of DF after "The Rock" destroyed the original in NYC for which he commissioned Rivera site unseen. Why is it that capitalists and communist have so much trouble finding common ground?

and finally....

Entertainment - When in Rome, hop on a train to the other side of the tracks, scalp tickets outside of a stomping coliseum, and enjoy the complete splendor that is Lucha Libre. After the madness subsides, what else can you do but put on a Mystico mask, buy a few more for the road, and marvel at the grotesque way in which oily, sweaty latin men legitimately bring families together.

I hope this was informative and helpful. Just in case you didn't learn anything we would like to leave you with a parting shot of the Mexican Hairless that fearlessly guarded our RV park. BTW, did you know that older Mexicans enjoy this particular breed because their black, sun-trapping, hairless bodies retain heat late into the night, making them an excellent hot water bottle capable of easing the ills of arthritis? And they cry real tears.



Anonymous Weenus said...

It sounds like your trip is ending on a high note... glad to hear you've pulled yourselves out of that miry pit o' despair...Next time you are feeling blue, think of you, me and the rest of the Fam drinking mojitos and watching the Maui sunset in less than a month. Miss you two!

6/18/07, 5:01 PM  
Anonymous joey's maui mama said...

Now that's a travelogue!! What a trip! What agony and ecstasy!! What drama!! What a journey!
How fitting that you should end it as Nacho Libre!

Were those the Lord's fried grasshoppers I saw? hmmm....

Travel safe....
Love, MOM

6/19/07, 2:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK: The hallway ceilings look just like the MCRD (Marine Bootcamp)in San Diego..nice. The grasshoppers remind me of Africa - but they do not rival our termites with wings! Did you try them? The mask - well - you can go for the World Federation of Wrestling - do you have a name for yourself yet? And finally - Rachel - the flip flop - over the wall - well, I'll let your mom exhort you on that one!!!!!!!!

Love you guys - glad to hear you feel better, batteries are recharged and you are on your way home.

Love - A. V.

6/19/07, 9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my parents loved oaxaca as well. glad you enjoyed it too. when are you going to be back in l.a.? we miss you so much!!


6/20/07, 10:03 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

those of some of the goofiest pics ever.

6/24/07, 12:32 PM  

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