En el Estudio Rustico and Adjustment

en el estudio rustico
Over the last four years, I have lived in a lot of rental apartments. In Paris, especially, I have chosen
to spend more money in order to live close to the Seine. My apartments, although much smaller than 
I am accustomed to, have been aesthetically pleasing to me and close to cafés. There have always been épiceries and markets nearby. This year, I planned only to visit Oaxaca for two weeks but plans change....Oaxaca is such a popular winter spot for retired Canadians and Americans that apartments are rented on a year-to-year basis.
la cocina

So, I came to stay for 16 nights in "el estudio rustico." That really is the name of my mini-apartment.
A friend had stayed in this complex and I was fortunate (after a booking mistake) to find a bed. The complex has 8 apartments and "el estudio." It is located close to the "ring road" that separates the centre of Oaxaca from the outlying areas. Many of the nearby businesses seem to be automotive supply shops.
a touch of colour
The enclave is surrounded by a rock wall that looks as though it dates from the 16th century. Despite
the lack of water, there are flowers and greenery throughout. Water in Oaxaca is scarce right now. As there has been no rain since November, personal use of water is limited. I, fortunately, seem to have warm water for a shower on a regular basis.

My apartment is cleaned thoroughly every week and the linens are changed. Laundry must be difficult here. I bring clothing that can be washed in the bathroom basin and dried on a hanger. The wifi works well enough for Netflix but I have been having a problem with Skype in Oaxaca.

After a few days, I have discovered the benefits of living in a non-touristic neighbourhood. The, restaurants, almost hidden from street view, are very inexpensive.
This cheese omelette cost 2 dollars.

There are opportunities to explore foods that I have never tried. Yesterday, I visited a neighbourhood restaurant that I had discovered on Trip Advisor. Nimbus, an artisan pizza place, is about 4 blocks from el estudio.
My pizza was topped with queso de cabra (cheese), floras de calabaza (squash blossoms) and
chapulines (grasshoppers). It is the first time that I have eaten insects but they were crispy and salty.

I have begun my volunteer work in the library. Next week, I shall be helping Libros para Pueblos to box up books for the villages. The Oaxaca Lending Library provides me with lots of reading choices
and opportunities to meet with other gringos. I have been invited to join a book club called "Broads
and Books" but I'm not going to be here long enough. Maybe next year...

Adjustment to new surroundings often takes a bit of time. I have had a cold and low energy. Some days, reading my book and taking a short walk seem to be enough. Perhaps, it is best to release my expectations and to enjoy what the days bring. 


  1. The food looks delicious and grasshoppers sound interesting!
    Sorry to hear about your cold...Mother has one too and I just got over mine. I am reading The Liminaries and really enjoying it so far....take care.

    1. Grasshoppers are definitely an acquired taste! I've seen them for sale but never been bold enough to try them. It seems that colds have been going around and have been slow to leave.
      I have been contemplating The Luminaries but I have to read Everything I Never Told You for my at home book club.Happy week-end!

  2. It sounds to me as if you've adjusted quite quickly and you're making the most of your visit, but I'm not surprised you might fatigue easily, and maybe it would be good just to give into it. Reading a book and taking a walk, experiencing new foods, giving your body a chance to adjust to a new climate. . . why not?

    1. I have been on a reading blitz. What kind of woman travels to a small studio in a foreign country to read? I finished The Neapolitan Quartet and The Days of Abandonment this week. Did you know that the Quartet is being made into a European mini-series? I just read it in the latest Booknews.

    2. Oh, I'll want to see that! So now you've read one of the earlier books as well. And as for "what kind of woman"? Well, I'm that kind as well. . .

  3. Change is hard on the body, even if it's change we've anticipated with pleasure. I second Mater's advice!

  4. Thank you for this blog. I, too, am a retired educator with a husband who prefers to not travel. I, too, love travel and will finally venture out this year, solo, to Brussels.to visit my sister. How can I not?! Thank you for sharing your travel insights and courage. I have heard only naysaying on my end.

  5. It is sometimes a challenge but it is great to have adventures. At my age, there are places that I really want to visit and revisit.


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