Oaxaca-New York Journal
Though the list of what I miss about Oaxaca is so long it would take up my remaining space, what I don’t miss is easier to recount.
Today I killed my first cockroach in months and realized how rarely I've wrestled with insects, especially during this long frigid winter. If I were in Mexico, every morning would have involved some sort of standoff with ants, flies, cucarachas, scorpions, spiders and wasps. The only wasps I’ve been stung by in Manhattan have been on Fifth Avenue. And another thing… one word, “plastic” .The headache-inducing smell of burning plastic was a daily threat during our time in Mexico. Though, now that I think of it, it stirs fond memories of friendly people waving from their yards as I walked down sun-dappled cobblestone streets lined with violet Jacaranda trees. Well, I certainly won’t miss the um… street dogs. Their incessant barking regularly woke us carried on the warm night breeze mixed with the fragrance of mango trees and a sweet distant salsa rhythm.
Ahh, Oaxaca, sigh.
Which brings me to another reason I’m not sorry to be back in the good ol’ US of A. Obama! I wouldn’t have wanted to miss being with the crowds dancing down 125th street on election night in Harlem for the world. Joy like that during any US election is something I don’t expect to share again in this lifetime.
It has been interesting to note the dizzying changes that have occurred in our landscape over a mere two years. Two hideous skyscrapers now block our kitchen window view and favorite stores and restaurants have reconfigured to accommodate more banks, drug stores and “store for rent” signs. On the plus side, my newfound understanding of Spanish that has made me aware that every other person in the neighborhood speaks the language as their native tongue, so I still get plenty of practice.
And yes, I have made good on the commandment:
“Draw in your sketchbook everyday, religiously!”
Just like I did in, sigh, Oaxaca.