BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN…I ARRIVED IN OAXACA LAST NIGHT

       My kind and generous neighbor drove me to the airport at 6 am to catch my Frequent Flyer flight to Oaxaca.  Free?  American Air charged me almost $100 in taxes and service charges?  They also would not do the flight to Oaxaca, which is a connecting flight in Mexico City with InterJet Air, one of their partners.  Now please note that I have booked many round trip flights to Oaxaca from and paid to American Airlines…from $700 average price.  I guess they don’t share all that much.  So I had to book and pay for the round trip connection to Oaxaca from Mexico City…same flight I take when I book and pay for it through AA.  Then I got a broker that phished me when I booked it and charged me a fee while booking and issuing the wrong time on the ticket.  That ticket costs me like $140.  When I went to InterJet’s site to ask to change it, I had to pay an additional $80…with taxes…brought my “FREE” Frequent Flyer Flight to about $360…so I saved about $240-$340 dollars or got scammed for $360…depends.  Years ago…all Frequent Flyer Programs were fair and pretty good incentive to fly more.  Now taking a bus sounds better.
        I paid another $25 to check one bag…never had to do that until just last year.  I was assigned a window seat with limited leg room…very limited.  We left at 8:30…right on time…BUT never took off until 9.  I was sitting in that cramped seat almost and hour from boarding until we were in the air!
The flight went well and arrived around 1:30…my connection was not until 7:30 that evening.  I read in Starbucks, had a lousy overpriced meal at the food court and at 6 pm they posted the departure Gate where I went after going through security.
       I noticed an interesting attractive, couple waiting to also board InterJet to Oaxaca.  Both were around six feet tall, around mid forties or in fifties. He looked like a big biker…stout, not fat, and strong with a muscle shirt on that said VEGAS on the back.  She had long hair down to her waist, slim , and wore three or four ankle bracelets. Both had tattoos where there was skin exposed. They looked tired and had only one carry on.  We boarded on time with a fantastic crew and lots of leg room.  It was not a full flight so the couple moved and each took an empty row aisle seat and fell asleep.
     One hour later I was in Oaxaca waiting with them for our baggage, so we introduced ourselves.  Jim and Barb had been up since 4 am to catch a flight from Dallas to Mexico City where they waited over 9 hours and were booked into a beach hotel for a week’s vacation.  They wanted to know how far it was to Puerto Escondido as they were going to take a cab from here to their hotel and get some sleep.  They were astounded to discover it was 6 hours and they had to take a collectivo. A taxi would cost a fortune.  I helped them get a room for the night then offered to meet them in the Zocalo and I’d buy them a drink and they could join me for dinner.

ONE MORE FOR MY COLLECTION

      I was dropped at my condo and it was hot when I walked in. I turned on the fan and opened the windows and doors.  After an hour unpacking, the place was cooling down.  I was hungry so went to the Zocalo and had some Wine and Serrano Ham with Melon.

 They didn’t show…and I don’t know what happened to them. Quiet night…light rain.

I met some of my waiter friends listened to a Live Band at Allemeda Park and returned home for a long sleep.

     This morning I was up at 9.   I took the bus to my barber who cut my hair last April.  I was due.  He recognized me and we had a good laugh.  $2.50 well spent. I stopped at a park bench on the way to the Bakery to take in the view.

 It was quiet and peaceful with couples, old people, dogs, children…all just talking, playing or on there way somewhere.
       The bakery was a welcome sight.  I had a Tres Quesos Sandwich on Sourdough with a side salad and a Natural Kefir to drink.

 I bought a small sourdough roll and a muffin on the way out.  I still had the peanut butter I bought before that was still unopened.
      I walked home with 6 eggs in a bag that I picked up along the way. Then bought 16 oz of fresh squeezed orange juice for a mixer.   Just as I arrived home from this long and hot afternoon, the bag slipped to the floor and all 6 eggs were scrambled.

 I’ll get some at my local market along with some fruit tomorrow.
      It was warm so I opened all the doors and windows as the clouds rolled in and the wind increased.
I was comfortable after getting off my clothes.  Then after some Thunder and Lightening the wind stopped and the temperature cooled so I shut all the doors and windows.  It is nice to be back.

   
     Today was the same…I stopped for breakfast around Noon then did some food shopping before returning home as it was getting hot.  Just after I arrived…clouds, wind and light rain cooled Oaxaca down.  I put on a jacket and left around 6 pm for dinner at Tres Bistro. A great band was playing in the Zocalo in the rain.

     So nice to see Saul, Jesus and the other welcoming personal at a reasonably priced high quality establishment. I had my usual Salmon and Roasted Vegetables with a 1/2 Carafe of House Red.

 I had to take leftovers home, so departed after I ate the best complimentary chocolate in Oaxaca…with a smile.  Luis, born in Oaxaca, drove me home with a smile in his Taxi for $2.50.

     I’m off to the Friday Market in Llano Parque to finish my shopping and start cooking.
I saw corn fungus and is known in Mexico as the delicacy huitlacoche. 

The consumption of corn smut originates directly from Aztec cuisine .  It contains much more protein than regular corn does. The amino acid lysine, of which corn contains very little, abounds in huitlacoche.   I finished buying some basics and returned home to clean and store the food.
      Later that afternoon I ventured out again to Biznaga, one of my favorite restaurants.  On the way I took a few photos.

  I arrived around 4 pm.
       The waiter looked at me a bit strange then while he fetched my wine…I realized my lens was out of my glasses on the left side.  No wonder I couldn’t read the menu. I pulled out my Thin Optics folding reading glasses in my wallet. Glasses worked and I had a wonderful Serrano, Melon and Pear Salad with a glass of wine

while listening to a Guitar and Trombone duo singing and playing some great tunes.

I said hello to the owners before leaving with half my salad.  I had my sunglasses on so when I pulled my regular glassed out of my pocket…the lens and the screw were their.  Dance band was playing in the Park on my way.

 I returned to my neighborhood optician who repaired it in 5 minutes …no charge…I tipped him , he refused, I said I wanted to treat him to a beer after work…he accepted.  Another great day in Oaxaca.

     Today I rose at 8 am to make the morning Organic Market.  I dropped of a pair of pants to repair a belt loop then took the bus and walked to the market.  Simon greeted me at the entrance where he sells smoked meats and fish that he and his sister do at their home in the country. Last year I bought Turkey Sausage from his sister and really enjoyed it.  I bought the same along with smoked salmon.

The Saturday morning market was lively.  An accordion player with a violin player provided some really nice entertainment while I sipped my Mexican Coffee (flavored with Chocolate, Cinnamon, sugar and Chili pepper).

ROSE AND WHITE CETTE MUSHROOMS IN SEASON

     I got a dozen fresh eggs, orange, fresh picked blueberries

, awesome fresh Cetta Mushrooms, homemade cheese, fresh beets, and a Chicken Mole Tamale in Banana leaf.

     Simon and his sister came to Oaxaca with their family over 30 years ago.  There were no cars, Americans or Canadians, crime, and few tourists.  He and his sister take turns selling their quality products every Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm.
    I had one more stop to make at the Bakery to return some empty glass containers (they refund you if you return their jars) and pick up some more unsweetened fresh Peanut Butter and a Half Loaf of fresh Rye Bread with Squash Blossoms. Made a “Pit Stop” before leaving.

Now I broke down and took a taxi home.

     The usual wind and clouds moved in around 4 pm and by 5 pm it finally RAINED, THUNDERED, LIGHTING…a real Rain Storm and I’m loving it!

      Sunday morning I rose early again to be at the library for the semi-annual Boutique Sale that we all donate to the Library to help fund it. I noticed the flowers on my tree outside my window and in the garden are blooming with the rain.

I am hoping to maybe find a bargain. Mostly clothes.  I skipped breakfast so had a Hot dog and Sauerkraut just before they brought out the really good Chicken Burros …oh well I finished off with a fresh Blackberry Cheese Cake then waddled back home after saying hello to everyone…Charles, Bruce, Jill, Siobohn, Rebecca, Steve, Allen..etc.
    It was a really cool afternoon but stayed home and watched Terra…great Documentary I highly recommend.

    Cool this morning..low in the 50’s..refreshing. Bus to the library to get tickets to visit an accomplished Ceramic Designer next week…only 15 allowed.  Then to UPS and Walmart. No water so left with no shower in a hurry then forgot the package for UPS but was already at the library. They were sold out even though I was there early…some privileged people seem to be calling in their reservations then paying later!  I returned to a nice hot shower.  Had a nice Omelet for lunch at AM/PM.

    Today I woke with no gas…no hot water to shower. Took the bus as it was raining.

I did find UPS  to discover they wanted over $50 to send back my rejected $70 purchase.  I enjoyed a nice 3 course lunch at a favorite  Mexican restaurant for $5.

FRESH SPINACH AND CHICKEN SOUP

CHICKEN VERACRUZ

 I bought some crickets to add protein to my smoothies. When I arrived, Adelina the maid, had switched the Gas Tanks, cleaned the whole house and changed the sheets on both beds and left two towels for my guest arriving next Monday.  I made some cucumber sweet and sour pickles. I will send back my UPS return from the states in September. I ended up putting on my long underwear before bedtime…it was in the 60’s and we had a good steady, slow, rain.

 

       Hector and I were to have lunch at the Bakery at Noon but though he asked directions he never said he would meet me so I’ll go anyway.  He was in the park waiting for Noon when I walked by so we had a good reunion.  He just finished teaching for a summer break.

 When they graduate from college in Oaxaca each Major has there own Parade through the streets of Oaxaca.  I missed that.  We will keep in touch.

   
   It’s Thursday and it rained all day.  I stayed in most of the day then met Tom, my past neighbor, for dinner at the Catedral.  Had another nice reunion and meal.

   Meeting Zoe to buy her a Birthday drink and will pick up the laundry.  We also had a nice reunion and planned on going to a birthday party in the country on Sunday.

 Rained for an hour, cleared, and I returned home.

SOCCER GOAL 

    Friday is Market day so I went though I didn’t need much. Had a nice Healthy Verde Smoothie made with Cactus, Fruit, and  Avocado…but tiny ones

TINY AVOCADO

DELICIOUS NUT MUFFINS
MUFFIN TINS…USED RUSTED TUNA CANS

   Made some lentil soup today. It was warm and sunny today.  I took a long walk to the Merced Mercado looking for a Private Butcher shop that has superb meats.  My legs were bothering me so I stopped for coffee.

DIAMOND EARRINGS 

I just relaxed and read my Glory and the Desire by William Manchester, I noted 3 gringos having lunch and thinking that would be nice to socialize and join them.  I went to pay the bill and a lady that was with them came over and said ” I know you from the Library last year…I’m Elaine.”  I could have said ..here is my card, email me if you would like to have coffee or lunch someday.  So I did.  I didn’t find the Shop I was looking for so returned home just as it cooled down.
      The market had lots of Butchers but not the one I wanted.

      Sunday morning I met Zoe for a ride to the birthday party.  Supposed to bring your drinks and something but Zoe had a dish in the freezer and rice which was enough from us.  She drove but last minute directions said there were road blocks up so we had to go to the village of Yarterini and over to the place where the party was…turned out to be a PARTY HOUSE for Weddings and Events.  Dan the man who arranged the use of it lives on the property in the back. It was nice. Three bands, lots of food, booze and a some tokes from an occasional joint. It rained for an hour.

Joe Cocker at his best…my doctor Z on the drums.  Great finale.

TOOK A BOAT HOME

Mescal helps ..nice not to have to drive. You only have to remember to get on the right bus home or bum a lift.

I’ve been here almost two weeks and will try to do a Post on my Blog every two weeks…until then…some photos while walking….



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