In Search of Dinner Early on a Sunday Night in Oaxaca

(Post 26 of 189. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

By five today, I was hungry for the first time since breakfast! What a horrible hour to be hungry in Oaxaca, especially on a Sunday! But I found a pizza place that was supposed to be really good and right around the corner from La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca and which opened at 5:00. Well, I got there around 5:45 and they were closed. Of course. Maybe because tomorrow is a holiday.

So I wandered… The green is home and the red is where I eventually ended up. Where it says Tlaxaparta is La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca.

I ended up at the Zócalo, but realised I wasn’t in the mood for just bites. I started to head back in the general vicinity of the apartment — a Chinese place was open, but I was at a dodgy time to be eating buffet food. A few bakeries didn’t have anything with which to put together a picnic at home. A few cafés had bites, but I was really hoping for a proper meal.

I was at the second to last turn to home, where I was going to return empty handed with the plan being to try again at the proper dinner hour, when something told me to turn left instead of right. My food food radar must have pinged!

From almost a block away, I could hear laughter and cutlery. I found a casual seafood restaurant that was hopping. Perfect!

The sign on the wall made me laugh for how à propos it was — search for your will in all you do and it will show you the way to go. My will wanted a proper dinner and beer tonight and found them!

I was brought a big tray of tostadas and Saladita crackers, but, sadly, only a tiny bit of delicious teeny shrimp ceviche. I was immediately reminded that I was back on the Pacific coast. Could the seafood here be as good as in Mazatlán?!

I ordered the deviled mango shrimp, but the server said they might not be able to make it. I already had a second choice lined up and told him that if not, I wanted the coconut shrimp.

It was a long wait for dinner. Long enough that I had to order another beer! Hey, I had no work in my queue and I’d found a place that reminded me of my first Mexican home, so I was in a good mood and relaxed!

This was worth the wait. OMG, this is coconut shrimp like I’d get in Maz. I have yet to find anything like this in Yucatán. The portion was insane, but I got through it. 🙂 The sauce is tamarind, yup, just like you get with coconut shrimp in Maz.

I had settled the bill and was about to leave when the server came back and asked if I wanted coffee! I don’t normally have coffee that late, but booze tends to cancel out the caffeine and this offer was too generous to decline.

The coffee was strong and rich and laced with cinnamon. Not a coffee to add milk to (which wasn’t offered anyway), but which begged for a small spoonful of sugar to turn it into dessert. What a gift!

If you are in the mood for delicious, affordable, and unpretentious seafood with amazing service in Oaxaca, check out Playita Marisquería.

I can’t believe how many posts I got out of a day where I was mostly just chilling at the apartment! It’s been a great Sunday in Oaxaca and I have no regrets with my decision not to go to the Tlacolula market as I feel nearly refreshed.

On to more adventures tomorrow — heading east out of town!

Museo Textil de Oaxaca

(Post 25 of 189. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

My next, and final, stop this morning was the Oaxaca Textile Museum.

There, I learned about the link between the word textile and the word, well, text, both of which are very similar in many languages. A lot of culture is conveyed through textiles and things like samplers (embroidered pieces with the alphabet) are a popular way to blend art with language.

I loved this map of most of North America:

The amount of detail on this Mountie was amazing — every important detail of his outfit is there!

A sampler. I love the Spanish and French words for such an art form, abecedario/abécédaire, using the first four letters of the alphabet to convey what the item is.

This was made by a 10-year-old English girl in 1829!

This was an interesting social project. “What was the last time you said something that put a knot in your throat? We invite you to share your feelings through thread, the needle, or paint.” There were lots of embroidered pieces from visitors attached to the sign.

The clothing of light and mirrors exhibit was interesting.

This piece was stunning!

I enjoyed a display showing all the different textiles and clothing styles of “the land of clouds” — Oaxaca.

The museum shop was full of treasures that were too expensive for me. Much later in the day, after going home to work and finish some blog posts, I set out again for La Casa de las Artesanías to get another item on my shopping list (I really did have a list!). I’d spotted it when I arrived but had decided to wait in case I saw something more perfect. But this was the best I found:

It’s a table cloth. I love the pink and yellow, but was disappointed that most of it is actually cream. But I haven’t been able to find another one in this super heavy cotton in colours I even remotely like, so this is it. 550 pesos felt like a bargain for such quality, and I bought it from the lady who made it.

Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (Oaxacan Painters Museum)

(Post 24 of 189. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

After breakfast, I decided to check out the small Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (Oaxacan Painters Museum). There is no entry fee, but donations are welcome.

The museum is an homage to two Mexican artists, Francisco Toledo and Carlos Monsiváis.

Straight in the door, I was reminded of how sensible Mexicans are — there’s a bench in a corner meant for breast-feeding mothers. Yes, right there in the open, like it’s the most natural thing in the world (which my culture has forgotten it is).

The museum is in a beautiful old house.

I wandered for a few minutes, looking at what caught my eye. I wasn’t in learning mode, so I didn’t read many of the placards.

Muxe:

I saw a quote by Picasso that made me think of my revived painting hobby. “There are painters who transform the sun into a simple yellow spot, but there are others who transform a simple yellow spot into sun.”

I enjoyed a colourful exhibit of chapulines and other insects.

This small museum is right by the Zócalo and great place to get out of the sun for a few minutes to an hour.