11 May 2008

Oaxaca, Some Things I Will Miss

The words palabra, caguamon, sombrilla, guanabana.

The names Cuajimoloyas, Jalatlaco, Xochimilco.

The street names Xicotencatl, 5 de Mayo, 20 de Noviembre, Calle de la Noche Triste.

Fresh avocados at 22 pesos a kilo.

The traditional courtyard, an idyllic refuge even in the busy heart of the city.

Street food, street food, street food. And mole. And tacos al pastor. And nieves.

Street musicians. Bus musicians.

Street art. Guerrilla art.

The morning view from our third floor windows out over flat city roofs. The valley and hills to the east as the sun comes up from behind, then the same light striking the hillsides south and west beyond Colonia Aleman, houses on houses layered upwards as on Mediterranean hillsides. Also the rising light on cathedral cupolas and bell towers, all across the city, during the cool, still mornings; these could easily be taken for mosques and minarets beneath the gathering desert sun.

The generous and restorative appeal of evening light, after a withering day, on the green and yellow face of Santo Domingo, stone streets gradually cooling in the aftermath of the setting sun.

The dazzlingly gifted, fat guitar player, and his quiet, skinny companero, who play most weeknights at El Importador on the zocalo.

Tomorrow, we leave all this, and more.