Sunday, March 8, 2015

Wherever You Go…..

my table at Cafe Brujula
It is a week today since I arrived in Oaxaca. I am getting used to the apartment and I am happy to exchange greetings with Patricia, the manager, and Sofia, the cleaner. They are the faces that I see most days. Continuity and connection are important to me wherever I am.

Travelling alone takes a lot of effort! I am not by nature an extrovert but I do enjoy the company and conversation of others. In a week, I have joined the Library, met 2 or 3 people whose company I might enjoy, participated in a walking tour and made an effort to set up my volunteer work. I should be starting soon.

Through Skype, I talk to Maman every day and to Monsieur frequently. I write my blog,  started making notes for my children's story and I have read a few books. I've spent 2 months previously in Oaxaca so I won't be sight-seeing unless it is with a cultural guide. There are some opportunities to visit
textile coops or libraries in the pueblos.  The fees for these tours are used to help the people of the area.

Yesterday, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Small things like accessing money can cause worries…
"What if the machine swallows my card?" "I get robbed?" etc. Yesterday, I visited the Santander Bank.
No problem. I walked down the pedestrian street and I bought a history book of Mexico. I can read in Spanish and reading will increase my vocabulary. I think that possibly the effort to construct meaning from unfamiliar words may even ward off brain ageing.


the Old Gringa

As I was sitting in the Café Brujula reading, the young man next to me started a conversation. There aren't many Old Gringas sitting reading Mexican history, I guess. It turns out that he had visited Winnipeg for three months. We spoke for about half an hour in a mixture of Spanish, English and a smattering of French. When in my life do I ever meet an interesting young man who loves languages?


 I found this interesting video by a Broad Abroad. I guess that the important thing about visiting another
country is to be informed and respectful of the culture.

Happy International Women's Day!

9 comments:

  1. Your ability to speak the language must open up so many more opportunities for friendships and connecting with the locals...when you mentioned anxiety over the bank machine I thought that might be how I will feel in Paris when I go to get more Euros!
    Your hair is looking so pretty curled and soft...the shade of grey is very flattering too.

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  2. As I get older, I am more willing to use my languages and to speak to local people. I would starve for conversation if I didn't. The fear of bank machines is pretty much unfounded. I always carry 2 different Visas and cards for 2 different banking systems. In Paris, you would easily find an HSBC branch if you had a problem. Thank you as you were my hair inspiration. With no dryer, little product and I don't think there are many hairdressers around here, natural hair does make sense.

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  3. Madame I love that you had this trilingual conversation with this young man. While you were perhaps anxious about a few other things, evidently he saw you as the traveller d'une certain age that you are -- an interesting and informed woman.

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    1. Thank you. It's exciting to meet younger people who want to learn more about the world. There seem to be a lot of interesting (ed) people here.

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  4. You look wonderful! Keep doing whatever you are doing as you look lovely. The grays give you a so much softer look. You are to be admired for going on your adventure. I am so glad you are blogging.

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    1. Thank you. One of my friends referred to a book called "Silver" which is a photographic study of grey-haired women. One of them used the word "authentic" to describe how she felt about herself.
      The "authentic" me has always wondered what it would be like to be born and to live in a different place. Through travel and meeting people, I get a chance to find out and to share my experiences.

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  5. Madame, may I add my compliments - you look gorgeous. Oaxaca agrees with you. I suspect your softer nature is appreciated by many of the locals you're meeting. Your interest in them and their culture must be the perfect place to start a conversation. And when you're talked-out...you have your apartment oasis to cocoon in. I look forward to logging in each evening to see your latest post.

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  6. Thank you. Photobooth photos are a challenge. I don't think I was meant to master the "selfie." I do love it here. It has its challenges but the local people are friendly and warm. I have never been dedicated to keeping a travel journal, but knowing that others are reading, keeps me writing.

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  7. Just imagine the content you'll accumulate on this blog...it's full of story ideas just waiting for you to write them.

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