(Post 14 of 189. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)
After lunch on Thursday, I returned to my apartment for a nap and to do some work. By around 5PM, I was feeling a tad cooped up, so I decided to move my office to El Llano park and meandered up there.
What a scene! This is the neighbourhood of Jalatlaco, where the streets are not that modern touristy cobblestone, but that ancient cobblestone like I tripped over in Old Plovdiv.
El Llano was so refreshing. Oaxaca has been hot and sunny, but it’s not as humid as Mérida. I was surprised that I cooked myself as badly as I did (no sunburn, though!) on Thursday’s brief excursions because it doesn’t feel that hot to me.
I’ve seen lots of people running with spring-like shoes that look like they’re straight out of cartoon!
I cannot escape Yucatán, LOL. But I bet if I ever move here, such a cart would be welcome!
I read for a bit and then realised that I was seriously behind on jobs due by 11AM the next day and I had to go in for the night and work. But first, dinner!
On the way out of the park, I found a vendor selling ate de guayaba, yum!!!
It was still a little too early to find a cart where I could get tacos or other meal to go, so I decided to try out a dumpling place I’d passed a few times and which was open at 6:30.
I got this plate with my beer. The crunchy things are proper eggroll wrappers! The salad was wonderful, with a sweet and vinegary dressing.
There was a full menu, but I went with the dumplings, of course. I rather want to believe they were made right then and then and there because a) I couldn’t decide if I wanted veggie, pork, shrimp, or chicken and they said that they could make me some with a little of each all mixed together and b) the meal took some time to come out.
Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert on dumplings, having only ever had them frozen or at restaurants that likely serve them frozen (and my one unsuccessful attempt to make them!), but DANG. These were flavour bombs! I mixed super hot chili oil with vinegar and soy sauce to make a dipping sauce for them.
I felt the universe was speaking to me directly through my fortune cookie.
I had been unimpressed that morning by the tiny cups that came with the apartment, so I popped into an artisan shop to see if they had big mugs. Yup! And all hand-made, with not one like another. I tried the weight of several and found my favourite.
Before bed, I got a tad peckish and had my croissant from Boulenc. Good thing, too, because despite my precautions, the ants found the other pastry overnight and I was not able to enjoy it.
The rest of Thursday night is a blur. I was exhausted. It was 10:00 before I could call off and I was looking forward to watching the latest episode of Star Trek: Picard on my iPad (thanks, Amazon Prime!). I almost fell asleep twice watching it! So I’d say my second day in Oaxaca was seized!
I’m really glad that I waited to visit Oaxaca in that that Mexico is really home now. I remember my trip to Durango, my first time travelling away from a home base, and finding it hard to get my footing, not knowing if I could trust restaurants or how to find the things I needed. My Spanish language skills are so, so, so much stronger now, and I’m comfortable going into little shops because I can ask for what I’m looking for. It does mean that Oaxaca doesn’t have quite the shine a non-jaded traveller would give it, but that just means I’m making more of an effort to find the city’s soul beyond the shiny wrapper. I’m much more aware, of example, of what is a true souvenir (like my mug!) and what is made in China crap that I could literally buy in any city in the Republic. Two days in and Oaxaca was continuing to prove herself to be just what I’d hoped she would be, a place where I would instantly feel at home and comfortable.