My anxiety kept getting more intense the closer I got to my departure date to return to Oaxaca. Lots of mixed feelings and loneliness or more like a boat floating along without an anchor. I hadn’t slept well the last week before departure. I wasn’t going to feel comfortable until I flew out of Guadalajara Mexico to Oaxaca…then the rest was a piece of cake.
Why the anxiety…I can only think it is getting older and time is running out. I was “comfortable” in front of my 55 ” TV with Roku, VCR, Blu-Ray DVD , and 5 CD Player…oh yeah…Simple TV too….add on 5 computers…three laptops , Two Tablets, and a Smart Phone…and two Kindles…why leave the comforts of home?
I boarded my Volaris flight out of Phoenix after a three hour wait and check-in then realized why I choose to leave the “comforts”. The woman sitting in the seat in front of me was a singer I filmed on video singing in a choir with the “Mexican Tuna” group accompanying the choir. She caught my attention with her old age, wrinkles, and her passion for singing. I went to her in Oaxaca and tried to thank her for her performance but she didn’t speak any English and thought me an interloper. I gracefully exited.Singer with hat on to left of Choir Director
Now she is unmistakingly the woman I filmed and sitting in front of me at Sky Harbor Airport with the same sweater and hat she wore the night I filmed her. She was traveling alone so I approached her and in broken Spanish told her I recognized her as the singer accompanying the Tuna Minstrels of Oaxaca that night over a year ago in front of the Main Cathedral in the Zocalo. She acknowledged she was but couldn’t speak English well enough to tell me why she was in Phoenix and I couldn’t speak Spanish enough to ask her why this was so. It must have been an omen.
I left the plane when it landed in Guadalajara and stood in line with 200 gringos and only 2 Customs agents to process us. The Gringo lady in front of me brought her Chihuahua dog on the plane with her. I think she lived in Chapala or nearby. I left the check point and picked up my bag. When I realized there was no Holiday Inn shuttle, I took a Taxi to the Hotel After checking in, I booked my return shuttle for noon.
I headed to Chili’s next door for dinner and a bottle of wine. Holiday Inn Express only served Express Breakfast in the morning. When I got to Chili’s it was packed but mostly all Gringos to watch to Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland play football. They all had there computers and sat in the bar area eating and drinking. I told my waiter that I see more Hispanics in Chili’s in Phoenix than I do here.
I woke at 8 am and headed for breakfast then returned to the room around 10 am…still had two hours before the shuttle takes me to the airport.
I decided to wait in the lobby where I printed my boarding pass and got the shuttle early. Now I was waited again but at the airport. We left on time and I arrived at 3:30 in Oaxaca on an almost empty plane.
It was in the 80’s, though I knew the nights would be down to the 40’s, I was happy.
I arrived, checked in to my new condo, got the keys and the tour then started unpacking all the boxes I left in storage. It started to get dark so I hurriedly got freshened up and left to get some food and something to bring back.
I walked to the Zocalo, which no longer looked like a campground of protesting teachers but what it was meant to be…a beautiful park with a Gazebo for the people. Tres Bistro welcomed me but I only recognized the waitress and she me. I finished my Steak, Roasted fresh Vegetables and Guacamole with a nice homemade Chocolate Treat…the best in Oaxaca.
No Camera to show you the Talent Show set up on the stage for young teens to dance, sing, do acrobatics in front of a large crowd. I shopped a little and took a taxi home where I put on my long johns was in bed after finishing unpacking around Midnight. It was so cold I awoke to put on another blanket.
Wednesday I went just off the kitchen to light the Hot Water Heater so I could shower. One of the drawbacks of this complex…none of the Hot Water Heater’s have Thermostats so after turning it on you waited 10-15 minutes then took a shower. If you didn’t remember to turn it off, it would boil over? I couldn’t light mine and the pilot was out. The Gas tank was empty…no hot coffee or stove. I took a cold “shampoo” then quickly dressed, paid the rent to the landlady’s husband, reported the empty tank and headed for the library. I met Mary the landlady on the way out. She told me I didn’t have to pay because I paid last year to hold the place for this year….I forgot.
I didn’t get far before the pain in my legs started with cramps. I took the bus, visited with friends at the library, met a couple from Poland then left.
I heard about a Kebab place close by that I hadn’t been to but got good reviews. I had a “Lamb Salad” on Nan with an Ice Tea. Again…no camera. I picked up enough money at the ATM to pay for the whole year tomorrow.
Visited a group of want a be young Chefs then returned by bus home to take a hot shower.
I returned to the Zocalo that evening. There was a long parade with two bands and dancers all dressed up with headdresses on. I had a Mexican Shrimp Cocktail with some wine while visiting with a couple next to me from San Francisco. They have been here 8 times but only for short one week visits. The Wednesday night Danza with a live Salsa like band had started. Couples dressed in Red danced then presented Roses to their partners. Lots of people as usual. I bought a hamburguesa on the way home.
Rounding the corner to my entrance, I encountered the owner’s daughter of 12 maybe, dancing to a video on her cell phone she had propped up on the stairway going to the second level. She was imitating the dance and stopped when I surprised her. It was nice to see children having fun alone in their imaginary world. We lost that.