* Tonight’s Dinner
1 Tamale = 10 pesos (approximately 75 cents U.S.)
A lot of errands to be run during today’s walkabout. First was our FREE breakfast at the hostel, and then we dropped off our weeks worth of laundry. My bag weighed 2-1/2 kilo’s (1 kilo = 2.21 pounds), and will cost me two tamales (23 pesos). I will pick it up tomorrow, and have fresh non-stinky clothes for the coming week.
Walking down the street we met the man who is mounting my ambar con insecto (amber with trapped insect . . . in this case a small bee) stone into a gold mounting. I purchased the amber last year, and never got around to having it mounted. The stone isn’t ready (mañana, mañana, mañana), but we had a nice visit anyway. His English is very good, having spent a considerable amount of time in California—first in San Diego and then in San Francisco. He’s done everything from working in a taco shop, to becoming certified as a Master Diver and diving with tourists at some of the finest diving sites Mexico has to offer. He now owns and operates a shop and school for the creation and sales of fine jewelry.
Haircut & Beard Trim for Joel
Bringing our conversation to a close, we proceeded on our 2-hour walk around San Cristobal de las Casas. The sun was shining brightly, after a full night of rain, and the morning was just plain beautiful. Spying an old fashioned men’s barbershop (not a unisex salon), we stopped in for a quick trim. When did men lose the right to have a barbershop anyway? He cut our hair, he trimmed our beards, he trimmed our eyebrows, he trimmed the hair in our ears, and he even trimmed the nasal passages. He used a straight razor to tidy up our necks and cheeks, aftershave lotion to perk us up, and talcum powder to dry us off and make us smell nice. Total cost was seven tamales (70 pesos).
Just one of the many churches to be found in San Cristobal
Heading back to the hostel at about 1 p.m. it felt like cerveza time, so we stopped at Lola’s Restaurant for a quick one. Sitting in the shade, watching the people pass by, we enjoyed our ice cold beer. Three and half tamales (35 pesos) apiece. Forty-five minutes later we were on our hostel’s terrace smoking our cigars, and enjoying the view and weather. Later, a little voice in our heads whispered siesta, siesta. So, we took an afternoon nap. After such a strenuous day we awoke from our naps in a ravenous state. We walked a few blocks to a close-by (non-tourist) chicken shop, where we proceeded to eat way too much. Our dinner cost us about nineteen tamales (189 pesos), and included the following: 1 whole grilled chicken, 2 hotdogs, 2 onions, 2 hot peppers (really hot), rice, beans, a dozen fresh corn tortillas, fresh salsa and limes, and a Coke. * See the photo at the top of the page.
A Life of Privilege
Finishing our meal (yes we finished it) we headed home. About a block from our hostel I heard some barking above me. Looking up to the second floor I saw this little guy looking down at me. He stopped barking, and allowed me to take advantage of the photo-op. Not all dogs are mistreated in Mexico—that is a myth. There are street dogs, of course, but there is also the dog Aristocracy (of which this is a prime example). For the most part, even the street dogs in San Cristobal seem pretty healthy and happy. They don’t suffer the heat and humidity of Yucatan.
Tomorrow is another day, and after breakfast I think we will book our tour (for Thursday or Friday) to visit the beautiful waterfalls and lakes of Chiapas. We are very close to the border with Guatemala, and the terrain is very similar. Well, I feel the “Sandman” approaching, so I will bring this post to a close. Buenas noches amigos.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Indochine Photography International
The Yucatan Times
* Expat Journal
* Indochine Portfolio
* My NatGeo Portfolio
* My 1x.com Portfolio