Friday, October 30, 2009

"This is Yucatan"


I realize I  haven't said much about the attractions of Merida and the Yucatan. In reality I haven't been able to visit the surrounding towns and ruins this time around because of all the house-hunting busy-ness. However, someone has posted a YouTube video which gives a good, if somewhat idealized, picture of what is so irresistible about this place. It's a bit light on the dirt and noise and heat of the city, the smells and the delays and frustrations, but hey, it's a promotional piece.
Here in La Ermita tonight the main street is closed to traffic and people have set up Hanal Pichan altars outside the church and all the way down the street as far as my house. I took a few pictures though the afternoon light was challenging with my cheapo camera.  It is very moving to see the photos of old folks and dads and teenagers and babies propped up on the tables amid food and flowers. A stage is set up by the park. I wonder what the performance will be tonight?
This spot is a parade of beautiful and unexpected scenes. Last night I looked out my door and a man was coming around the corner on a horse. Not driving one of the calesas - the buggies with the undersized ponies that serve the tourist trade. But a full-sized horse, with just a regular looking guy on top, in the middle of a big city. I wonder if he keeps it in one of those huge yards that extend way back from the street. You can't tell where they are, behind the high facades and walls of the houses here.

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