June 16, 2012

free weekend: 1 of 2

This is our last weekend in Oaxaca, and also a free weekend. There was talk of going to the beach (6 hours away) or paragliding or rockclimbing, but with the hurricane/tropical storm coming through, all plans were scrapped. Just as well, because I'm happy to take it easy.

First thing in the morning was pochote market, a pop-up market only on Fridays and Saturdays. I had it on my shortlist of things to do in Oaxaca, but as with the other things on my list, I don't write down why I want to go there so I had no idea what to expect.

Cris and I spent a hour walking in circles and asking different people for directions (with all of them saying different things in differing levels of certainty). In the end we found a taxi driver that actually knew where it was, and thank goodness too because we were about to abandon all hope. Turns out it was close to our hotel and we should have just followed Chef Mark's instructions.

So the distinguishing thing about this market is that it sells organic (local/sustainable/etc) stuff. When I saw this bike-powered blender (and coffee bean grinder), it reminded me of Brooklyn and made me realize that the market was targeted toward gringos.

bike-powered blender

But nevermind, we walked through and sampled things, ecstatic to find delicious goat cheese and honey and chocolate nut bread. The Italian man running this stand gave us a bunch of samples, including Korean-style sushi!

bread stand

On the way back from the market we saw this graffiti, which has become my favorite. In the women's hair is written "liberty", "equality", "respect".

twin graffiti

Afterward we went and got lunch at my favorite, El Quinque. Cris got the breakfast burrito, which was delectable (bacon, egg, mushroom, cheese, rice). The burrito was grilled after assembly which made it crispy outside and gooey inside. Mmm...

breakfast burrito

Then we went to the museum located inside Sainto Domingo church, in what used to be the convent. It was a beautiful space with gothic arches, columns, and breezy walkways. What marred the experience though, was that the ticket lady shorted us change, and even after I confronted her and she gave me a couple more coins, I was left to discover that she shroted us again. This left me really indignant because she must be shorting visitors right and left to fill her own coffers...


Anyway, in one corner of the museum was a library filled with centuries-old books and ancient manuscripts. Some of the covers had completely worn away. Reminded me of how awe-inspiring the rare book collection at the Morgan Library is.

ancient book library

The rest of the museum featured exhibits of Oaxacan/Mexican history, from the pre-Columbian era to the present. There were also artifacts salvaged from the tombs at Monte Alban. Lots of amazing figurines.


For dinner we went to Burger King. I know, I know. But in our defense Cris had gotten sick from eating at a food stand and didn't trust local food anymore. Burger King wasn't that great. We might try McDonald's?

the burger king

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