Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Truth and Trouble about Travel

From a courtyard
Whether you’re a fearless, try-everything adventurer or more of a timid, tiptoe-into-the-moment traveler, there is one thing that’s always true … when you’re traveling, you’re not at home in your comfort zone.

Today I arrived in Oaxaca, apparently expecting golden streets. Instead, I was met by loco drivers (and lots of them) honking like they were in New York and sometimes driving on the left side of the street for some unknown reason. As I walked around the cathedral square and the zocalo, I heard no friendly “Buenos días!” and found no charming outdoor cafes. 

Admittedly, I was operating on three and a half hours of sleep so I was tired and hungry, but I just kept thinking, “This is not Ajijic.” Since I had already decided to keep a travel journal, when I finally found food, I wrote my first impressions of Oaxaca:
  • loco, honking drivers
  • no friendly greetings on the street
  • dry and dusty looking
  • more indigenous people in colorful clothing
Woman working in Cathedral plaza

  • Art House, where I’m staying, is in a great location and it’s fun to see my friend again
  • very little wall art, and what I’ve seen so far has an edgy, political tone
  • no outdoor cafes, at least where I walked
  • nice walking surfaces with few cobblestones
  • kids in sparkly roller blades learning to skate in the Zocalo
  • overwhelmed by by the profusion of galleries and tiendas of arts and crafts
  • being hit on by  the colectivo driver was cute at first and then got disturbing
  • happened into a restaurant that served tlayudas, an iconic Oaxaca street food

Tlayuda with chorizo
About the tlayuda … it’s a very thin. grilled corn tortilla about the size of a plate, smeared with beans, cheese, lettuce and whatever else the cook feels like putting on it. Some say it’s like a Mexican pizza but mine was folded in half and served with a relatively hot salsa. It was actually quite good and the people were lovely. 

I was feeling more sanguine after eating and I’m sure everything will look much brighter tomorrow. However, for a moment, I truly just wanted to be home. As much as I love being at the bottom of a learning curve, it’s not a particularly comfortable place. 
 And, thus, the journey begins. 
Morning after: My Fitbit tells me I've slept 8 hours and 25 minutes. The day calls me.

The Cathedral a few blocks away
I love plants on walls ... and angles.


  1. Hoping for a wonderful second day filled with art, color and friendly people saying buenos dias.

  2. Thanks Cynthia! It's happening ... and I love my travel journal!

  3. As I enter my last days here, I have to laugh at this post. I LOVE OAXACA and will definitely come back. Restaurants are everywhere, art is everywhere ... except on the walls ... apparently the result of government attempts to quell political activities ... walls are frequently painted over. Oaxaca is a real, vibrant city.