Tuesday, November 30, 2010

return to teotitlan

this morning, after a sleep-in and lazabout, i headed off to teotitlan - the village made famous by its fine wool tepetes (rugs) and beautiful church. i had gone there on the micro-finance tour and wanted to go back and buy a couple rugs off of one of the women i had met on the tour. unfortunately, her shop was closed today so i opted for one of the many other places to buy rugs there...there are probably a hundred different places - both small outdoor stalls and actual stores - to choose from. i chose to buy from some women at a stall as they're the actual weavers and not someone who is acting as a middleman for the weaver. power to the weavers!

it was a hot ride out there in a very crowded colectivo cab - me, and two women with a child each in the back seat and two more women in the front seat with the driver. yes, eight of us...super safe. and on the way back i opted for a very crowded, hot and stuffy bus...it was great. seriously. but once we got close to where i had to go i jumped off and walked the rest of the way home...

i have no food here and was having some problems on the way home getting food - more on that is 'garn's rules to mexican living' coming up very soon.
so now, here i am, at home, eating some yogurt and finishing my last indio beer...that's lunch today....

have a great tuesday.

g. xo

Monday, November 29, 2010

friday night fights.

friday december 10th sebastian curadeau (aka the garbs, garbis) is having a show of luchador pieces he's made....and i've seen them and they're wicked! hand-made 2-D masks he's sewn up and placed into frames. the show is at hammered and pickled on granville island and you should go...i'll be there.

if you need any info about this show drop sebastian a line.


g. xo

casa oxaca pt. 2

they call this a tart at casa oaxaca...custard thingy with house made sorbet and cactus fruit sauce.

so...without the boring details of our last visit to casa oaxaca...tonight brought us, well, patty and myself - no richard - to casa oaxaca part two...
the food was great, the company even better, the head waiter remembered us and treated us like gold...all good...
below, the goods...

g. xo

squash blossoms filled with cheese and drizzled with honey...and other stuff...

duck garnaches with pickled onions...we out more green salsa on them...

made at the table salsa and various things to put on bread and chips..

almond mole con pollo...with green olives and slivers of almond. good god.

walkin' the line.

these dudes were playing at the university today...they were excellent. i made a video but i was too close to people talking so...no good for the sound on the video.

holy guacamole!
this morning after my jj bean stovetop espresso - which is running out quickly - i had a shower and headed out to go for a walk. i have, in the past, gone and looked at different university campus' when i've been close to them. i think i like them because they usually have somewhere you can sit and relax, get a little food, see the buildings - which on some campus' are awesome and if i'm feelin' frisky, grab a t-shirt as a momento...i love my chico state t-shirt. so today one of my destinations was the university here in oaxaca. it's a bit of a trek from my place but, as usual, it's sunny and what else have i got to do that's pressing? - nothing. so...away i went. when i finally got there - using a little spanish along the way to find my way - i realized the univeristy here is more like a small college. and due to the climate here - lack of water, excess sunshine, etc - finding a nice green area to have a little sit on or lie down on, wasn't going to happen. still, i'm happy i saw it, as small as it is...but bummed as they have nothing that says the name of the university on it...no biggie - i've got a lot of t-shirts. (i settled later on for a t-shirt i had seen a few times that's super gringo tourist gear....maybe that's why i love it so much....)
on the way back i took a different route and kinda got turned around and ended-up not where i wanted to be but....somewhere else - which here is a-ok, just different streets to see and more wacky shit to see. all good.
i dropped into a gallery i have been meaning to go to for a few days. it's a photo gallery that is having a show of two artists work - roberta neiman and per bak jensen. roberta's work there today was the main reason i went in. they were photos of telephone poles and the mass of wires crisscrossing each other and the tangled mess they can become. i was interested because i have a facination with lines and have taken some shots that have appeared on the blog before. at first i couldn't quite tell if the prints were photos or silkscreens made from photos. they have that slightly unreal look to them. i loved them. per bak's work is not unlike that of stephen shore or jeff wall (though not as grandiose (?) as wall's work) i really like his stuff...ok, i just looked on the net for some of his work and found mainly lanscapes, nothing like to work i saw today...still grwat work. enough art talk...good photos. good stuff.
today i picked-up a few things i have been meaning to get in the last week - some gifts, some moles, a bag for all the crap, etc...and i'm glad i contructed a plan in this regard...some investigation, some pondering, some quick attacks on places, and outta there. it can be a stressful adventure sometimes in the markets - confined spaces, vendors all talking at you (not to you), the smell of raw meat in the air (today was the first time i had to leave the meat/poultry area as i felt like i was gonna hurl..not kidding, it was bad...) and kids almost making you fall over them as they run by and then asking for some money from you...awesome shit - just in small controlled doses.
tonight pattie and i are going to casa oaxaca - again - and hopefully this time there's no wedding so we can eat there and not the retarded sister restaurant a couple blocks over. it's too bad richard won't be there...oh well, more food for us.

ok. time to have a little lie down and relax before dinner...i had a couple awesome tacos for lunch (not all tacos are created equal or look the same here...) but these were awesome. i also grabbed a horchata from the women next to the taco stand - a woman i had helped hours earlier when i was walking close to my place on the way to the university. she was using a had cart to move her supplies along the sidewalk and having some trouble so i asked her if i could help her...and next thing you know i'm the hand cart dude...good times.


garncarlos. xo

lunch today....spicy chicken tacos...these tacos are cooked flat on a grill and then rolled-up. unlike other tacos that are served on a smaller, hot tortilla and served flat. most street food is some variation or tortillas and fillings...just called different names...but all super tasty.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

monte, mole, black pot extravaganza

today was the big trip to monte alban...which turned out to be more than i bargained for. not only did we all see monte alban but we also went to a small village to see some traditional wood carving art (called alebrije) - the multi-colored mexican folk art style you've probably seen, a monestary, a full-on buffet and a trip to the mecca of mexican black clay art - every manner of the traditional black pot and anything else they could and do make out of the classic black clay - well, not black until fired....i'd be able to tell you a lot here but today the pics do the talking...with some idle commentary with each pic or so...



before anything happened today alex and i had to get some fuel in us - today's answer...tamale tortas with mole...

and then it was monte alban...the big brother of mitla.

a pretty amazing place.

with steps that you really have to pay attention to on the way down.

this gentleman carries on the traditional methods of pot making. his grandmother and/or great grandmother was a big deal in the pot world in mexico.

a taqueria near the wood carving headquarters.

wood carving central...a colorful place.

then it was time to visit a monestary...why not...?

then we ate like champs...well, actually, i had one plate and was good...my man alex and jim from toronto ate like champs...

it was a buffet but it was actually ok...

them tourists.

while i was at the ruins yesterday i did a little time lapse video on the steps we all had to walk up and down.

have fun today.

g. xo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

quesadillas come to the rescue...

last night's bonus round quesadillas from casa oaxaca have come in handy after my trek to the hinterland today - god's country as it were. pattie decided she didn't want her share so i'm eating like a champ...sort of..

so today was a bit of a disappointment but i do appreciate the legacy and cultural importance of the ruins in mitla - i really do, i just thought, maybe, there would be more to it...still very impressive but...anyhow. the town of milta is quite a nice small village with all the charms that come with it. small stores, regular and tourist based, food of various sorts all over, artisan mezcal distilleries...and guys in those wacky three wheel taxis buzzing around everywhere...some of whom want to talk...

a condensed version of a conversation i had today with one of them...

taxi dude: hello! (said as he pulls up in his taxi)
me: hi...
taxi: what are you doing? relaxing?
me: yes, i guess so...
taxi: you've been up to the...um....ruins...?
me: yes...i've been there. i've been all over.
taxi: you have been to the water?
me: water?
taxi: yes...you should go there, i could take you, you could relax there...do you smoke?
me: cigarettes? or marijuana?
taxi: marijuana...i can get you some...help you relax...
me: oh, that's ok...i'm from canada, i don't need any pot...
taxi: you smoke pot?
me: sure, but not a lot...
taxi: mezcal? you've had some mezcal?
me: yes, but i prefer tequila...
taxi: oh...lol...you just haven't had any good mezcal. i like mezcal and some pot, i go and relax that way.
me: that's great.
a woman comes up and wants him to take her...
taxi: you should give me your sunglasses...
me: what?
taxi: you should give them to me i need them so i can see, it's so sunny...so i can see better...
me: i don't think so...
taxi: (now seeming a little pissed off...) you should...come on...give them to me...
me: i don't think so...
and away he went...pissed off...a little...

and so was my trip to mitla...and back in a colectivo...and that's another short but good story...not now.

g. xo

some more pics from today.

a zapotec woman selling nuts near the milta ruins.

a church in mitla that could very well be a thousand or more years old...when i walked up the steps there were broken beer bottles everywhere and it looked as if someone had had a fire up there. some of the ruins are heavily protected, not this one.

these next few pics are from the main site at mitla.

some shots from this mornings action at the organic market.

a place near the market that lets you know they sell pork, goat and chicken.

we had tamales for breakfast.

just a street nearby.

in mitla, if they have to do some road construction, they just lay out some rocks around the hole so you know it's there...