A Cold Night on the Town

It has been grey and cold and miserable here for about a week. I don’t complain about the heat, so I’m allowed to complain about the cold. 😀 It’s worse in the house since it retains the cold — I’ve woken up many nights having to find socks or an extra blanket. I really have a hard time getting going in this sort of weather so with my huge typing marathon last weekend and just general busyness this week meant that I haven’t gone out just to have some fun in quite a bit. Even though I was exhausted by the end of the afternoon, I was determined to head out and have some fun!

There were two things going on in Centro that seemed interesting, so I quit around five and headed out on foot. I had to turn around quickly, though, and swap my light cotton cardi for my fleece hoodie! I would regret not packing socks as well!

My first stop was the Remate de Paseo de Montejo, and then Plaza Grande in the heart of Centro, about a 5.5KM journey. I decided to walk there and bus back.

The Monumento a la Patria is really pretty when it’s lit up at night.

At the Remate Pasejo de Montejo was the “Festival del Sabor” — festival of flavours, with a bunch of food trucks and live music. I haven’t yet mastered photos in the dark with bright lights, so I don’t have much to show you about this fun event.

I looked at all the food options and knew I wanted tacos (yes, I do eat as many tacos as you might think I do…). BUT I’ve pretty much only been having al pastor tacos since I got here since they are the most ubiquitous and I’m sorta kinda tired of them. So I wanted to try something different. The lady in charge of this truck had time to chat about their offerings.

I ended up ordering three tacos with poc chuc (pork marinated in sour orange) and crumbled longaniza, which was described to me as a smoked sausage and which is very similar to chorizo. I declined cheese since I still can’t wrap my brain around a taco having cheese. They came topped with a really hot red sauce and some cabbage. I added guacamole, lime, some spicy green peppers, and garlic sauce. They were really good and a welcome change of pace!

My tastebuds needed to drown in something refreshing after that, so of course, my next stop was the beer tent! I knew from my previous experience drinking Patito craft beer that it would be expensive, but totally worth it. I had the stout, which was very delicious and extinguished my tastebud bonfire.

As I sat at a table enjoying my beer, a lady came and asked if she could join me and reserve the rest of the chairs for her friends. Of course! She pulled a beer out of her purse, clinked my glass, and teased me about my expensive tastes, which was hilarious since she was drinking Modelo, which is one of the higher end/more expensive commercial beers. She was pleased that I got the joke. Very nice lady, but we didn’t chat long since the music started. Unfortunately, I can’t stay long at these events with music since they are incredibly loud and bassy, which makes me ill. So I decided to continue on to Plaza Grande.

Stage at the food fest.

I grabbed some gelato on my walk, going full out for two scoops and a cone. Do I know how to live it up or what? 🙂

The cathedral was lit up with pretty coloured lights:

At Plaza Grande, there was a Chinese circus-type thing going on. Lots of acrobatics and music.

I watched that for a bit and then walked around Plaza Grande waiting for the next show, which was supposed to start at 8:00.

I actually got a seat for that. By the time the show started, it was well past 8:30 and the audience was frozen. There were a lot of complaints from the people around me. And then, we’d been promised a demonstration of a Mayan sport and instead the event started with a light show against the cathedral that told the story of Mérida, which is celebrating its 456th birthday this year. This would have been a good time if it hadn’t been so cold and the audio had been much, much better (even the native Spanish speakers shouldn’t understand most of what was said).

By 9:00, I gave up on seeing the Mayan show because I was absolutely done for the day and falling asleep in my seat! The crowd had considerably thinned out by this point as others fled the chilly night.

I went around the corner and jumped on a bus that was about as cold inside as is an igloo (yes, I’ve been in an igloo).

This bus was in terrible shape, but, thankfully, the driver didn’t drive like a maniac! There was tons of traffic coming out of Centro and I could have walked that bit faster, but we finally picked up speed and I was glad that I’d taken the bus as I really was tuckered out. I think the bus rate raise to a whopping $13 (almost double) is going to happen and that will dampen my enthusiasm about taking the bus (imagine what it will do for those here who earn minimum wage!), but as long as it translates into newer (read safer) buses, it really should go through. At any rate, I was glad that after all the walking I did, I was able to get home so easily and cheaply.

I remain amazed and impressed by all the free things there are to do daily in Mérida! Unfortunately, so many of those things are in the evenings and I’m just done in by that time. 🙁 But I am subscribed to a ton of newsletters and Facebook pages, so I know what’s going on and have no trouble finding something to do when the mood strikes me to go out!