Monday, February 27, 2006

Thanks to an invitation from my friend Alex, I was able to escape the urban version of Carnaval for a more traditional one in a small pueblo called Yobaim, about 2 hours outside of Merida. What a difference - I have no love for the mostly corporate nature of the big city celebrations no matter the name, and as much as I love homo sapiens, in the aggregate I find them a bit difficult to take. So on the bus and off to Yobaim Alex and I went. First stop was the Loncheria Tio Abraham, where we were escorted to the back part of the place, under sheet iron and where a few ladies were cooking on wood fires. fresh tortillas and other things I can't remember the name of. My spanish isn't very good, and my hearing is worse, so once one of those 6 part conversations get going I'm kind of lost, but my hosts were extremely kind and I ended up with some delicious food without having to know how to ask for it. All I had to do was smile and nod. A tour of the pueblo's plaza with Rene and Alex, and then into the central bulding for the dance competition (pix below). We stayed in a traditional mayan house, a kind of oval shaped house made of rocks with a thatch roof. Too much Sol (local beer) and dancing for me. My friend said that I should stick to painting and leave singing and dancing to those who have a talent for it.

Next day were compasas, which takeplace in more traditional villages during Carnaval. It's where men dress as women and go touring around the city and in eahc house or business, do a routine of dance and raunchy songs. Each stop lasted for about 30 minutes. Traditional dances, all orchestrated by someone who looked like his name was Herman and like he fixed dishwashers. My goodness. From teenagers to an elderly fellow with gold-rimmed teeth who looked like he enjoyed the bikini top and wig no end. I certainly did! Now this goes on ALL DAY LONG. ALL NIGHT LONG. We had more beer and more botanas, then I took a long nap, and then we're waiting for the bus, the whole crew goes by again. Energizer bunny has met his match. Just as bouncy as ever. This culture exudes sanity and good humor; it was exhilarating and I felt blessed to be there. It would have been impossible without being taken by the hand by a friend who knew all the locals... so much more but the battery in my laptop is getting low. We are going to return to Yobaim tomorrow for the wrap up of Carnaval, and I'll try to get some pix but I feel like such a nerd when I get the camera out. Like I'm lucky enough to be there, I don't want to spoil the moment by being rude....

where I stayed:

from a trip to the ocean

something that I used to do, and have been urged to return to:
title: Hey, Are you in a Green Vase, too?

and here is one of the nice neighborhoods in Merida where I might buy a house:

all for now. Heard it was cold in Pittsfield.......

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

ah. Finally figured out how to upload pix from here in Merida. Wasn´t hard. Here we go:

Las Arecas front (and dining) room.

On the street:

A row of old towhouses - looks like they´re being renovated.

Some great colors on the street:

And then down at Uxmal: