Guadalajara (Week 7(b))
It’s as I promised: today I have found strength enough to give the rest of the update to this past week
Why you may ask? Because today we have done a lump sum of going out to eat tortas today and working hard at digesting the food in the form of a nap.
It’s raining hard against the glass window as i am writing this and it is our usual afternoon thunderstorm.
Where we left off was the evening where my aunt and I had arrived in Guadalajara and Aunt 2 was upset as us arriving so late. But road trips are exactly that and lie all in the journey and not the destination.
To recap this week:
Monday: We started off the week by having my Aunt 2’s birthday celebration.
In the morning we went to the Bosque De Los Colomos to hang out with ducks and see a Japanese garden as well as give ourselves an opportunity to stretch the legs.
The Japanese garden was designed by an actual Japanese landscaper and it has a wonderful peaceful zen vibe to it.
We got lucky because there was a wedding photographer and we hung out a while while the happy couple were getting their wedding photos taken,
It was cute because a little girl – neice of the bride? – kept butting into the pictures and wanted to be photographed with the bride to the laughter of everyone.
The garden took me back to the when-we-were-in-Japan gardens and it was true to fact, even with fat koi fish.
the second half was spent at the duck pond and the ducks getting closer as i lured them in with false promises of breadcrumbs to actually take their photos.
there was this big white duck with a horrible turkey face that my friends tell me is a mascovy duck. they certainly dont have them back in washington but i learnt they are common in Miami. either way the jerk wouldnt let me take a good photo but after some cooperative teamwork between my aunt and I, I got what I wanted which was a picture of his horrible red face.
but by then the time had run on the clock and because this time we wouldnt be operating on Mexican time we booked it to the restaurant that the whole family – all ten of us – would be celebrating my Aunt 2’s birthday.
The hamburger at Chili’s wasn’t all that great and while it may be that I don’t eat red meat I was left feeling slightly nauseaus by meals end.
It did feel like being back home with the terrible club music playing and next door being all sorts of chain clothing stores and restaurants to make me feel like I hand’t gone anywhere.
We walked off the food by going shopping for new smartphones for my Uncle, and left the birthday couple to their afternoon stroll while we retired back to the house.
An afternoon storm later, and on impulse, my aunt and I decided that we would go to a 21.30 movie because we were rebels without a cause.
(My grandmother keeps nagging me about going about the house without shoes – but what can I say? I don’t like wearing shoes in warm weather)
The movie was Despicable Me 2 – or in Spanish – Mi Villiano Favorito 2 – and it was dubbed. Which suits me fine because it helps me practice my spanish and i understand most everything.
We also saw it because I was fairly certain that my aunt and I were the only people in Mexico who had yet to see the film, and if you havent seen it I do reccomend it for the antics of the minions which leaves you on the sticky soda floor laughing.
And it totally makes you feel like a teenager sneaking in past midnight not making any noise or turning on any lights to stumble in the dark towards the bed.
Which at this point we had puffed up so sleeping was better.
Tuesday: On Tuesday we went to Tlaquepaque (Pueblito) and would you beleive it? My grandmother even came along for the ride.
Which a) made me generally happy to spend time with her and b) get her moving her legs because even if we didnt walk as much as we would my aunt and i alone, she did walk at least an easy 2k without complaining.
Today would be the day where I bought myself a super highquality leather hand suitcase – to put all manners of the things I have bought here in Mexico – and she is beautiful a dark brown leather and smells exactly like it should.
I am really excited to pack the suitcase and take it home.
I also bought two bottles of really really nice almond tequila which if you are a close friend and reading this, I will treat you to a little bit of when I get home.
Almond tequila is tequila infused with almond. And it is smooth and sweet and has left me rediscovering my Mexican love of tequila when it doesn’t burn a hole in your stomach.
The bottle is also beautiful, so I hope they will arrive safely back home because I am excited about these bottles as you can’t find them outside of Mexico and they are considered a specialty of Guadalajara.
Lunch was held at El Parian and while the food was okay at best – the chicken was juicy – it was more the atmosphere of the cantina.
Even if it was empty because the people dont come to drink until at least 17.00.
But with lights strung amongst the trees it really is romantic.
And to have an ice cream in the park too makes for a perfect afternoon with the children scaring the pigeons.
my aunt was looking for a half pot to hang in her garden for a vertical garden but ultimately decided against it in favor of some almond tequila.
I think it was a good choice.
when we got back I went for an 11k run which felt good and just as I had walked in the door the thunderstorm began. if that’s not luck I don’t know what is,
even if i got treated to a 45 minute religious sermon being trapped in the kitchen I made a quick escape from one house into another until evening.
and even if they think that eating avocado with sugar is weird. which it totally is not and I think it tastes delicious.
It was also a good opportunity to get out of the house and spend some time in the quiet of a busy pueblo.
Wednesday: Yesterday we went into the Socalo or historical center and the governement’s heart in Guadalajara. The places that we actually went to were called Plaza Tlapatia and Hospicio Cabanas. In the evening my uncle invited me to go see Titanes del Pacifico, or as it is called in English, Pacific Rim.
Guadalajara is not famous for it’s original indian populations – and as such there are few archeological sites nearby. so when the the Spanish came they set up the town, and the cool part about it all is that even though the politicans are hard at work and their meetings, they allow the general public into the building and let you walk the rooms that are not currently being used. Which allowed me to walk into the room where Congress meets to make the laws of all the state. (Mexico is like the USA in that sense, in that it too has states) And I got to walk into the hall where the portraits of all the presidents of the city were.
Its interesting to see how the fashion changed from the 1850s up through today.And how some of those men had some of the best facial hair that really needs to make a come back in the style of USA President Van Buren.
The next place that we went to was the Hospicio Cabanas, which, over the years has served as a hospice, a military school, and an orphanage. Today it is a museum and a school dedicated to the study of the murals Clemente Orosco.
Orosco was one of the famed Mexican Muralists, and everything that comes with the title. So while the murals are not the most beautiful things in the world, there are plnety of people who love his interpretation of the human condition and industrialization and past cultures.
But more than the murals – which really do little for me – is his understanding of geometry, space, mathematics and illusion. The murals flip position or sides depending from where in the chapel you are looking at it, and while obviously it is you who is moving, it looks like the painting is alive.
His famous work is callled the Hombre En Fuego and it is painted on the cuppola of the building. What makes it cool is that as you walk around the cuppola the man seems to stand up, lay down, and is always facing you.
Again, it is not so much the artwork per se, but the method in how he did these optical illusions.
Aunt 2 is a dentist, and so after lunch I went to her office to get my teeth cleaned – one of the perks – it ended up also being a cavity filling, and my aunt put some glue and things on my teeth to kill bacteria. I dont understand, theyre doctor things but I did get a flouride bath that tasted like “bahnahnah”
Then that evening my uncle invited us out to see Titanes, and that movie is stupid good. It is Guillermo Del Toro’s production, and it leaves you with a smile on your face. Because while there is no real depth to the movie, its great CG effects, and has a human/romantic touch.
Basically I loved this film for no real reason.
I won’t spoil it, but it is all giant robots fighting giant sea monsters and I recommend that you see it immediately.
That and caramel popcorn that they sell in theatres made for a smile that wouldn’t leave my face the entire night.