I Moved To Oaxaca

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Oh, it was festive last night! I didn't have very many students in my classes, either. My guess is that most of them were preparing to party with their friends and families in the evening, along with the rest of Mexico. I did ask my students about traditional foods for Independence Day; turns out it's pozole, though nobody could explain why. Nor could anybody tell me why the hotcake stands at the ferias are allways named Exquisite Hotcakes.

G and I had been invited to an Independence Day party by our Spanish school, Oaxaca International. I say "Independence Day" loosely because all the parties are in the evening, so really it's Independence Night. Leticia told us the party would start around 9pm Mexican time, her emphasis, so we made plans to show up around 10. Neither of us wanted to show up at the party hungry, or wait until late, late, late to eat dinner, so we browsed in the Llano -- cecina enchilada tacos! garnachas! exquisite hotcakes! -- watched some BBC, then drove out to Col. Sta Lucia for the festivities, whatever they'd be. We weren't really sure what would go on.

Leticia had given us a map -- useless, but we remembered how to get there from our bus trip to the area to make tortillas as part of a school activity. The party place was close to a pretty blue church with a mini-feria of its own, lots of music, crowds, and of course fireworks. We do have some similarities between U.S. and Mexican Independence days. We walked through the building to the patio in the center to see a big table of folks from the school, all chowing down on tamales. Well, so much for the rule about never showing up for a party hungry! So it was crazy Spanish conversation among Oaxacans, Americans, and Japanese lubricated with beer and mezcal. Everybody's kids -- little kids, too -- were there, and when they started to poop out beyond the point where another cup of soda would help, the adults whipped out little bolsas de dormir: sleeping bags, or in Spanglish, just "sleepings". It was very, very fun and we were out very, very late.

Today we're off to Tehuacan, up in Puebla, to check out their fine museum and see what we see along the way.

Happy 16th, everybody!


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