6. I found it is best to not get into a taxi without the name and address of where you want to go. It is also best to have first hand knowledge whether your hotel is REALLY near El Centro or just written that way to sound good. Thankfully I had a taxi driver willing to help me out and not just kick me out at the first wrong location!
7. I wanted something simple and familiar the other night and plain yogurt was my target. I got directions to a store that sells yogurt, took a little “oops I’m lost” detour and found it about 30 minutes later, and a great park! I was excited to see the familiar brand I’d purchase in Isla Mujeres I decided to buy 2 and have one for breakfast too. I returned to my room, got out the oatmeal, currants and was ready for my ceremonial treat! I opened the yogurt, stirred it well and took a big spoonful before adding my goodies. Wow, it sure tastes tart and kind of buttery, I took another bite to confirm the flavor, definitely too tart for my liking. I stared at the container…crema de vaca or better known as sour cream!
8. I decided to try using the ATM machine before I am totally out of cash, just in case there is a glitch with the ATM. Friday I spotted a machine without a huge line, made my request in English and American dollars because it was prompting me in English….well it spit out $200 PESOS not $200 dollars. Well that’s like less than $20 US. I immediately tried again and it would not accept my card. I decided to try again today and the first machine was closed because it was empty and the second machine said insufficient funds; does that mean mine or theirs?
While I am on the subject of money, what is the deal with vendors not having change in Mexico? I mean EVERYONE of them! Twice now I thought I would be so smart and when getting money changed ask for all small bills and coins. Well, even they don’t have change! Nothing smaller that $200 pesos, well try to buy something that costs 10 pesos with a 200 bill and you’d think they had to print it themselves to give me change! Do they want to seem poor? Or want me to spend more? Even when they ask fellow vendors it is like an act of Congress getting change. It is a mystery to me!
The markets are amazing. I went out Thursday to get a sense of where everything is and choose my focus for Friday. I never made it past Zocalo, the Main Square, Friday and got totally lost in the markets today. There seem to be several that flow together not really having a clear end or beginning to any of them. I am mesmerized by the colors, sometimes to the point I’m sure I look like a lost gringa just wandering the streets. I try not to look like an easy theft target and keep myself aware of all my surroundings, not just focused on the shiny and colorful things! It is hard to not photograph each step I take. I try to be thoughtful and respectful though by asking permission and usually buying something. I am a bit afraid of ending up with a few too many “somethings” though! Actually, this blog has really helped me with picture-taking this trip. I usually have grand plans and end up carrying an empty camera around everywhere, and then snap random, un-memorable things in the end.
When it comes to traveling I am usually not one to go on the sightseeing tours of the area. However, I have been told by several sources that Monte Alban is one NOT to miss. So I am going to venture into the land of sightseeing tourists Monday and take the tour to Monte Alban. A couple of young British girls went today on their own via a city tour bus and said it was great! I figure I handled my two-day bus trip from Cancun to Oaxaca; I can certainly handle 4 hours to sightseeing.
I saw this lovely candy stand in the park, the night I bought sour cream!