I Moved To Oaxaca

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Independence Day is rolling around -- it's ... Wednesday? Thursday? I'm not sure. The shout, or El Grito, that began the independence move will be reenacted in squares, plazas, and zocalos across Mexico this Wednesday at midnight. So you could say it's Wednesday. But we get Thursday off. And while I enjoyed watching el grito in the drizzle last September, with hundreds of people shouting "Viva Hidalgo! Viva Guerrero! Viva Mexico!" and so on, what I really remember with fondness was the fair in the zocalo. (Until I add the link: kiddie rides whizzing dangerously close to gringo head height; exotic foods and drinks like tejate, the squash drink, and the chunks of roasted maguey heart; not so exotic foods like tacos and macro paletas, kettle chips, and cup o' noodles; and more pirate cd/dvd booths than at Ashby flea market the Saturday after checks come out.) So for the past week I've been buzzing the zocalo checking on its return, only nada.

But this morning on my way to school, I saw that booths popped up overnight in the Llano, right by Moderate Shangri-la. I walked through it on the way home; they're still setting up, but the garnacha ladies said they'll be open for business tonight. Yes! Garnachas. I can't wait to eat myself silly.

So I'm happy about the fair. I'm happy I just had a huge Donut Lady lunch: macaroni and beans and six huge tortillas and cecina enchilada and a bag of lemonade, for $20. And sitting on the curb eating it reminded me of eating at the taco truck by Fruitvale BART, which in turn reminded me of Tom and Janina.

I'm happy because my Saturday classes are over for the week, and I can be unperky for a couple of hours before reverting to type.

I'm not happy my Banamex card still isn't functioning; in fact, I'm not happy even thinking about Banamex, which is every shitty thing a big bank can be. I'm not happy that for some unholy reason, Cinepolis (and Multimax -- two chains that show the exact same movies every week. Why?!) is still playing Catwoman, A Day Without Mexicans, Dodgeball, Around The World In 80 Days, Anaconda 2, House of a Thousand Corpses, AND Yu-gi-oh. I thought it was funny that Yu-gi-oh only has a 2 percent "fresh" rating on rotten tomatoes, then I saw Superbabies has a zero! So why isn't that playing this week?

But mostly I'm unhappy because I really, really miss my friends. I thought I might be making progress with the rugby guys, but now that school is back in session that's a goner. If Oaxaca weren't so completely charming it'd be a no-brainer. But it is, and it's just damn frustrating, is all.


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