Oaxaca unrest

Oaxaca, Mexico

This morning I say goodbye to Puebla and get a bus to Oaxaca (pronounced Wah-hucka). Before boarding the bus, I’m stoked to see Mexican Lionel Richie too #blessed

What was supposed to be a 5 hour bus ride, ended up being over 6 hours, due to the main route into Oaxaca being blocked by some protesters… The bus was actual luxury. Better appointed than any hotel room I’d stayed in so far in Mexico, with USB ports too (finally, I can charge my phone and camera batteries). We arrive in Oaxaca around 3pm. The afternoon consisted of walking the Oaxaca streets and market exploration. The markets are chaotic. The streets are filled with stalls and others with tents set up underneath tarps stretching from one side of the street to the other. It’s tent city in here. These people in tents aren’t homeless, jobless or here for fun… these are all teachers on strike for reform. There could be near a thousand. It’s a mass scale civil protest. For late lunch/ dinner, I wander off on my own and order a dish called Estofado. Chicken (pollo pronounced poy-yo) and rice with a delicious stocky sauce. Simple and sufficient. To finish off, I order a hot chocolate, served with a sweet stale brioche roll. This is a winning combination. The hot chocolate has hints of cinnamon and the stale brioche absorbs the sweet spicy liquid like a sponge. Muy bien! Victor leads the group through a political rally into the Sante Domingo Church. Heavily embellished like the other churches… Because religious buildings need gold leaf trimmings and the people need nada? “If it shines, it’s gold”, says Victor. Deafening sounds of fire crackers rain into the church. I love pyrotechnics and now distracted from the architecture, I make a beeline outside to witness the show. There are large paper mache characters being marched around on sticks, music and people everywhere. It’s an interesting political chaos to witness. The next two days are free, and I look forward to roaming the streets and getting amongst the markets.

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