I Moved To Oaxaca

Saturday, November 22, 2003

We've got our schedule! Greg and I will be in San Francisco from Dec 21 to Jan 3, then Greg flies back to Mexico while I stay in Texas until Jan 6. Hot rats!

Hey, about yesterday. Our plan was to drive north and see some more ruins: San Jose Mogote and Suchilquitongo. We needed gas and to put some air in the front right tire. And we noticed Jums wasn't starting up right away. After two such balks we said, hell, let's just go pay our parking ticket and go home. We had a mini-adventure doing even that: the ticket didn't have an address for the place where you pay (and get back your license plate, which the cops remove when they write a ticket), only a set of verbal directions from Manuel at school. Then Greg started having one of his periodic cop freak-outs. But we paid the fine (12 bucks), got the plate and a juice, he calmed down and we decided to go for it after all.

San Jose Mogote is right outside town, so we blew it off and drove farther down the road to Suchilquitongo. The site and a village share the same name, and for a Mexican village it impressed us with its quiet prosperity. Yes, the roads and sidewalks and storefronts all looked like they do everywhere else, but a couple of nice houses were peeking out from behind walls, and the main drag boasts a sneaker store, a miscellanea advertising cold beer to go, and an Internet cafe. Pretty remarkable. The museum was closed, so we just drove up the 2-mile dirt and gravel road to the top of the cerro where the site is. Like Zaachila and Yagul, it's only partially restored; unlike any other site we've been to, there are no Stay Off The ____ signs anywhere. Just 4 padlocks on the tomb. Okay with us -- we happily clambered around and over mounds of dirt hiding old temples and old stone staircases and the like. Pictures soon. Greg says it's his favorite site so far, because of the lack of No Tocar (no to touch) signs and the lack of people. Other than a couple of kids on bikes and what I take to be an on-site custodian, all from the village, we were the only people there. And on the way down the road we saw our first caracara! And even though we had never seen one before, we both instantly recognized it from the shape of its head. Thumbing through the bird books pays off once again.

(I forgot this until I read Greg's blog: dog bombs! Despite or maybe because of the semi-successful deadbread pudding experiment, we still had two loaves of dead bread left. And half a bag of catfood. And two sticks of margarine from Timothy's visit. So Greg, his heart warmed by the gentle fires of St. Jim, made dog bombs. Or dog tortas if you will: stale dead bread stuffed with chunks of margarine and dry cat food jimmies. We stuffed them in a plastic bag before we set off to get gas. And when we'd see a scrawny-ass Mexican dog, we'd pull over, put out a dog bomb and say, This is for you, with compliments of Jim Hooker, and drive off. The dogs would always wait until we pulled away before running over to see what it was we'd left.)

On our way out of Suchilquitongo we realized we hadn't eaten any lunch, so by the time we got home about 4:30 or so, we were starved. So we splurged and went to Pepino's Italian restaurant and got pasta and salads and a decent bottle of red Baja California wine. (We toyed with the idea of the Chinese restaurant, but I just couldn't.)


Post a Comment

<< Home