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January 13, 2010 - Oaxaca Oaxaca Mexico

Written by GingerBlossom Published in
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My hotel in town is a Lonely Planet pick, and I couldn't be happier with it. It's a slight bump up from my usuals, and the price reflects that, but it's great value for the money. I picked it for location, being close to Beto's, but no doubt that it's a clean, pretty, and comfortable hotel, built in an old house, with beautiful interior gardens, cool tile floors, and rustic colonial furniture - all that you could hope for. Plus it's given me an idea, they have the amate or handmade paper paintings from Puebla, but they've taken them up a notch by framing them., I think I can get frames made to order cheaply in Jalisco, so may take some paintings with me.

I sort of feel like a traitor for not staying at the Hotel Francia. It's really old and original, (I think that DH Lawrence stayed there at one time), and it's built around a central courtyard where the wagons and mules would be lodged at night, but the configuration makes for a really noisy room, and the final straw last time was a group of kids on spring break down from Mexico City, yelling and slamming doors until 4 a.m.

Beto is now packing my chichicastle figures for me, I offered to help, but he said not. I am concerned about him, he looked thin and tired, but he said that he was fine now that his diabetes was under control. I probably looked pretty bad to him too. I've got something in my eyes, it makes them really puffy. I've gotten this twice before in Mexico. Once it went away on it's own, the next time my eyes were almost swollen shut, they didn't hurt, just looked bad, so I got some kind of meds that seemed to do the trick. I'll wait and see what happens.

Last night I went to the Zocolo to hear the free dance band, and ran into the two gringas from Oregon that I'd met in Teotitlan the day before. When one of them commented that my eyes looked glassy I realized how tired I was and went back to the hotel by 8 p.m. The Zocolo is still in all of it's Christmas splendor, all of the gardens are planted in red pointsettas.

I've never eaten at any of the Rick Bayless restaurants, but I totally share his enthusiasm for Oaxaca food. I'd read once that a person in China imagined all of the people in the U.S. going around with big smiles on their faces, all the time, because of all that we have, like televisions, refrigerators and bicycles. I also imagine the people of Oaxaca going around with big smiles on their faces, all of the time, because of the quality of their food. That is, is they have enough to eat.

It looks like it might rain and I've for an appointment with a street vendor, so should head out before she gets rained out. She's got the silver filagree necklaces that I haven't been able to find in about 8 years.