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Archive for the ‘2011’ Category

Day 2 of Mexico Trip: Small Towns

In 2011 on November 8, 2011 at 3:30 am

The second day was another day of studious driving. I had spent the night in Zacatecas, Mexico after being warned by a local to not drive that particular road at night. Although carjackings were not the norm, the idea of driving through a mountain at nighttime did not seem smart. As a rule of thumb, do not do anything in a foreign country that you would not do in the U.S.

I reached the town of Dolores Hidalgo, the home of Mexican’s independence and talavera (or ceramics). We walked around, chilled, ate home-made ice cream and daddled in and out of stores. While most of the stores featured pottery, artwork and garden ornaments, one particular store had an assorted of phallic looking talavera with Jesus on it. Weird, right? (By the way, if you want to see photos of that, ask me..I don’t want to put inappropriate pictures on this blog!)

Talavera

I passed many small towns including Aguascalientes (meaning “hot waters” as its known for its hot springs) until we reached the town of San Miguel de Allende. (On a side note, Aguascalientes is known for its national fair — San Marcos and one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world).

Aguascalientes, one of the safest cities in Mexico

Located in the state of Guanajuanto in central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende has been an important attraction for artists from all over the world. It was the one place where I actually saw more white people than anywhere else in Mexico. Even though the town is located in Mexico, San Miguel had an odd resemblance to French cities with its cobblestone streets, dainty bakeries and artsy culture.

First Starbucks I saw in Mexico

First Starbucks I saw in Mexico

A striking cathedral in the city center, San Miguel really put me at awe. I only saw structures and architecture like this in pictures and the Travel Channel. Seeing it in person — is something amazingly different.

La Parroquia, Built in 1880

That day, San Miguel had major festivities going on for the upcoming holiday season. Nativity scences, wreaths, lights and Santa Claus — these people love Christmas.

Nativity scene

Merry Christmas

It’s funny how a person can remember certain details as though it happened yesterday. Even though I finish writing this blog entry almost a year later, I recall perfectly clear that what I even ate that night: chicken enchiladas with green sauce with a Fanta. An orange Fanta that I remember thinking was so yellow in color…Writing about this experience, I miss mainland Mexico more than ever. I miss the people, I miss the landscape, I miss the food and most of all, I miss the memories.

Happy fishing.

The Tone of Mexico

In 2011 on January 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I always knew that Mexico would be one of the first places I would head to when I got my green card.

Why?

Because it was close-by, cheap and full of Mexicans.

Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

I got into Nuevo Laredo, the town between the Mexico and Texan border, around four p.m on a Wednesday afternoon and immediately noticed the monumental changes between the two countries. Well for starters, everything was written in Spanish. People were sitting outside their brightly-colored broken homes with no clear motivation in their eyes and the town somehow just seemed at unease. Or maybe that uneasiness was coming from me.

We headed into the border station where we filled out our paperwork and showed our passports. I was confident that I could enter the country on my green card as I had been given the thumbs up at the Mexican consulate a few weeks prior. However, I was taken aback when the woman behind the counter told me that I would not be able to enter without a tourist visa. According to her, Pakistan was just one of those countries they could not let slide. Luckily, a few Thomas Jeffersons later, they were happy to let me swing on by.

As I finally begin to settle in, I felt like a little kid at Disney World. Everything seemed interesting, amazing and thrilling. I got so caught up in the hoopla that ten minutes after we crossed the border, I decided to take a picture of the Mexican military tanks driving next to us. There were at least five in total, each one carrying around 7-10 men with masks on their faces and AK-47s in their hands. Little did I know that I was committing a ‘terrorist act’ when the tanks surrounded our car on every possible side. We were told to get out of the car, questioned for our motives and our car, bags, notebooks and cameras were inspected. Thinking that this was the funniest shit ever, I stood there trying not to laugh the whole time. When the officer came over to ask me questions, I told him I didn’t speak Spanish and he left me alone wishing me a good rest of the trip. I tell this story because it set the tone for the rest of the trip:

crazy.

More to come later.

Happy fishing.