the start of a love affair.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I went to a town 3 hours away from Guadalajara called Guanajuato to visit a sweet couple I became friends with in Sayulita.

Guanajuato is: magical. Painfully beautiful. Romantic. Wonderful. Enchanting. Everyone I talked to described Guanajuato this way before I came, and I was like, yah okay, cool. But it's true.

The picture doesn't show this, but this square, it's enclosed by these trees where their branches and leaves are growing into each other and they are cut in such a way where they make this really beautiful massive box for you to sit in and under. It's so nice.

From the mummy museum. Some of the bodies in there startled me more then I thought they would. There was this one in there where the woman had this disease where her heart would stop every once in awhile, and at one point her heart stopped for an entire day so her family thought she was dead. And so she was buried alive and the way her body was displayed in the museum, it was terrifying. 

It was also weird/fascinating to see hair, eyelashes, and fingernails on a corpse and how real but not real it looks and how it stands the test of time. They looked so delicate and fragile. And of course you're confronted with and think about death and that was disconcerting as well. 

On the other hand, I realized that one of my favorite photos was taken here at one point! (ps - the bodies are now behind glass, they clued in and realized that hey, maybe we should protect these bodies a bit more)

Seeing Guanajuato, it just made me realize that Mexico has so many different regions with their own characteristics. And how it can differ in a small distance like 3 hours. It made me fall in love with Mexico more, showing me its complexities and nuances in vibrant, warm, and bright ways that just make me burst at the seams, coming undone (happily so) and wanting more.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

I was in Guadalajara for a few days and here's some snaps:

A small exhibit commenting on huaraches at Museo Art de Zapopan. It was a comment on (I think) how increasingly handmade, real leather shoes are being replaced by crappy, cheap, synthetic materials. I wanted them all. 

Especially these ones.

This is Soda. A sweet black labrador that was at m

I was walking around this giant market called San Juan de Dios, completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that was crammed into one space. It had everything, Mexican souvenirs, candy, illegal dvds, Michael Kors bags (this really stuck out to me haha), shoes (Vans upon Vans upon Vans), fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, tons of stuff to eat. And then I was in the spot where they had I guess all the mystical, herbal, magical stuff and that's when I began to feel a little less overwhelmed and wanted to look at every tiny thing they had to offer and to buy it all. But I settled on this box of soap. 

This plate of food killed me, it was so good. It's chilaquiles (Chips smothered in sauce with cheese on top), eggs with chorizo and refried beans. 

I went to Guadalajara kind of on a whim. Things were getting kind of weird in Sayulita and I figured since I was so close to Guadalajara, it would be a bit silly not to go. I didn't plan anything. I had no concept of what it would be like other than that it would be huge and possibly cool. And once I was on the bus, driving in at night (by the way, I realize now that I really dislike coming into new places at night. Someone told me this before and I kind of agreed but had never given it much thought, but I wish he didn't tell me because it was the only thing running through my mind when getting into Guadalajara and it just kept stressing me out more and more as we got closer to the center.) I was like, man what the heck am I doing here. After living 2 months in Sayulita, I knew it was small, but I didn't realize how manageable it was until I got to Guadalajara. I was so used to knowing where everything was, seeing familiar faces constantly, having a routine, that I just instantly got overwhelmed and a bit scared by how big everything was. I was completely unprepared. I tried to find familiarity in the city, things that I've known in Sayulita or in other cities and couldn't come up with anything. And it's funny because I had complained a bit in Sayulita that a lot of the times when you're there, it feels like you're in some weird part of Vancouver that happens to be really hot and tropical. It didn't feel like I was in Mexico, when I wanted to feel like I was. 

Guadalajara is definitely its own place. On my first day, I had left the apartment without eating (I figured I'd find something right away), forgot to bring a map, forgot to bring my list of things to do, got completely lost right away (god Sayulita made me so stupid), and I was so frustrated and almost regretting my decision to come (because I really didn't need to). But then I eventually ended up where I wanted to be and ate something (oh it's funny how things are better on a full stomach) and just sat in a plaza and began just watching all the different people going about their day in different ways and that just calmed me down and made me feel so much better. And I began to let Guadalajara be what it is and things were better after that. Orange trees everywhere. Old buildings with beautiful details. Delicious food. Kind people. Also it felt good to wear pants in the sun comfortably for the first time in 2 months haha. 

I know that I didn't even scratch the surface of what it has to offer. But I think I'll be back again and hopefully a little more ready. Because I can tell it's a great city and I'd love to get to know it more.