Friday, October 17, 2014

Leaving Mérida

Long exhibit of then-and-now
photos on Paseo Montejo.
Today is my last full day in Mérida and there are many things I will miss, one of the most mundane … but brilliant in my opinion … is the street numbering system. My directional skills are at best lacking and if there are two ways to turn, bet against me and watch your fortune grow.

It’s different in Mérida … I always know where I am. I may turn the wrong way but I know it almost immediately. Give me an address and I can find it … unheard of! Here’s how it works: All the streets in the central district are one way and one set of streets is even numbers and the cross streets are odd numbers.  I’ve been staying at an address on 52nd street between 53rd and 55th. Even if I forget the number, I can find the block!

Why doesn’t every city work on this system?

Current day Mayan palapa
This morning I saw two great exhibits and found my very favorite -éria word.  One of the exhibits was a long outdoor exhibit of photos comparing architectural images of photos from about a hundred years ago to the same place today. Fascinating to see the changes … sometimes almost nil and sometimes dramatic.

One comparison was of a typical Mayan village home today and it looks almost exactly like the one of a hundred years ago.

The second exhibit was of pottery from the Tonalá area near Guadalajara. That may require a special trip … the pottery was incredible. Often the colors are not actually paint but different colors of clay.

Part of the exhibit was samples of the clay before it becomes clay ... it looks like rock so it's a pretty intense process of breaking it up, adding water, kneading it, and so it's not much like my idea of going to the art supply store and buying a block of clay.

I also had a chance to experience the extreme generosity of the Mexican people this morning. A couple of things I wanted to see were closed ... even though their "official" hours said they would be open. I stumbled into a book store thinking it was an art gallery that I wanted to see (turns out both were actually closed) and a typical conversation occurred where few words were communicated but both of us were trying.

Finally, for lack of anything else to do, the woman started pulling out information for me and then handed me a DVD of Yanni performing last year at a cultural festival.  I love Yanni so this is a treasure!

And, as some of you know, I am collecting words that end in -ería and now have 68, some standard … tortillería, panadería … some obvious … cremería, florería … some I still haven’t figured out  … tlapalería, chupería (think it’s a restaurant) … but now my favorite and it’s going to be hard to top this one since it also comes with a great image …piñatería.

It’s been a great week in Mérida but I am looking forward to getting back to San Cristóbal, which is beginning to feel like "home."

Here are some last glimpses from this charming capital of the state of Yucatán:

Beautiful wrought iron work.

Always the doors!

How I love this turquoise.

Simply color.

Cozy, little nooks


Are you having lunch with me?


  1. Wish I was having lunch with you... Finally turning a bit cool here. How are you finding the families to stay with, and tell about the transportation.. Buses with chicken & goats??? I remember some of those. Enjoying your trip!

  2. Buses are now super modern ... at least ones I've been on. Wish you were down here to have lunch with ... it would be fun to see all the textiles with you.

  3. That pottery...amazing.

    That piñata store is one I'd visit.

    1. Wow ... I was so excited about finding the pinateria sign, I didn't even go into the store! What a gaff! Now all I can think about are the wonderful pinatas I probably missed. Oh well.

  4. Still reading your blog and keeping tabs of your locations. Looks like you've enjoyed your last days in glad! The pottery is amazing!