Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oaxaca Old and New

Today is the Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of all Mexico.  7 million people are visiting the big basilica in Mexico city today to honor her.  Yesterday was the day on which children honor the virgin by dressing in traditional clothing and visiting the church to bring offerings.  The whole thing is sort of like a bazaar or fair with vendors selling items\to give as offerings, images of the virgin, flowers and fruit.

Stands are set up all around the church where people bring there children to have their pictures taken.

Several had live burros where the children would be seated on their backs.  Many of the children were crying, scared, miserable.

The city is filled with traditional Mexican churches, shops and stalls selling crafts, weavings, clothes.  Street vendors are constantly passing and trying to sell wares as I sit in a restaurant having a drink, dinner or posting to my blog.  There is constant noise from bands, bars, cars, and fireworks.  Rarely is it quiet, only late at night and even then the fireworks are incessant.

At the same time the modern world is also very present here.  Graffiti covers ancient buildings and walls.  Modern art galleries sit beside stores selling traditional crafts.  I was particularly enamored by a series of murals on a wall across the street from a rooftop terrace bar where I stopped for a drink yesterday.

Last night I got drawn into a wild adventure when a friend and I who were drinking too much tequila in a bar were invited to join another couple to go to another club.  We followed down the street some blocks and arrived at a place that felt like Club 54.  Doormen held a chain across the front and I'm not sure what the passwod was but my friend said I was her mother and we had friends inside waiing for us and they let us pass!  Inside was a crazy scene with flashing lights and loud music, the floor was transparent with lights below.  Women hired by the club danced on top of the bar, sometimes as many as 5 gyrating away to the heavy beat of the popular music, everyone in the club was singing along. 

We were the only Hueras or whites in there, it was puro Mexicano. I guess thats how we rated a seat on the only couch in the place near the bar with some well dressed and obviously well off men who were drinking Johnny Walker by the bottle. That's the way in Mexico, groups order entire bottles of liquor for their table. I had to have a photo of these unique barstools barely visable through the heavy smoke.  Note the shoes of the bartop dancers scattered around the base of the stools.

The night ended for me at 3 AM with a taxi ride back to my house, I left mi amiga still dancing and drinking with a handsome new novio she had found at the bar...  as I fell into a drunken sleep I could still feel the beat of the music in my bones.  It's fiesta time and I'm off to discover my next adventure.

1 comment:

C. Kay said...

You go Maria! 3 in the morning, impressive! Loving all the pictures of tradition vs now. Be safe! xoxckay