It turned out that Oaxaca is pretty studly. I was right about the hostel. A steady flow of interesting people passed through, typically staying between 1 and 3 days. It's relatively uncommon that I expect to maintain a long term friendship with people I meet in a hostel. It might happen with a few people here.
Most of my travels have been based on living economically. The second easiest place to save is in the pantry. I've eaten some amazingly meager meals. Also, I consciously avoid writing about food (to not let myself fixate). But, that went against the reason why I was in Oaxaca. I came to eat. So, that's what I'm going to write about in
The Jaded Traveler and the Quest for the Seven Moles!
But, that will come later, for now, I'm just going to write about what I did.
I am told that Oaxaca is famous for art. Apparently its not quite so famous that I would have heard of it, but other people seem to have. I ended up spending a lot of time in art galleries. The reputation is deserved. During the artist tour of one gallery I saw a remarkable female silhouette. There were three in succession, the last featured a hollow spot where the woman had been and a silhouette shaped piece on the floor below. Being uncultured, I asked. Apparently, she really had fallen out of the painting.
I was a good tourist (thanks to the help I got) and made it to some of the big sites near the city. One of the big sites is a tree called El Tule. Apparently, it is has the largest trunk of any tree in the world. If I hadn't lived in the Northwest for so long, I would probably say it is the largest tree in the world. However, It isn't quite as tall as General Sherman in California. I also went to a natural soda fountain. They call it Aguas Hirviendas and it's a carbonated spring. Some of the sedimentary formations are pretty astounding, everything that touches the water crystallizes. I got a few a pictures of it up on the web. I even borrowed a better camera for a little while to take pictures. I was astounded by the difference between my camera and the good camera. The good camera was like a magic wand that made great pictures of whatever it was pointed at. If only they made those magic wands smaller.
Unfortunately, the springs were too nice and we hung out for several hours (after the last transport left). We asked in the nearby village how we could get back to Oaxaca and they told us that we could wait until the next day and there would be public transport. Being practical, I led my group to take care of the most pressing thing: dinner. Right at the start of our meal we saw the very last vehicle leave the springs. I interrupted my meal to flag them down. We ended up hitchhiking for an hour to get back to the city.
It's Hanukkah, so we celebrated that. I don't know an awful lot about Judaism, so I'm not sure how close we were. We put 4 candles on stick, sang some song, and then ate chocolate candies. I was told that that was a real part of Hanukkah. I realized, while doing that, that I'm about as Jewish as I am Christian. I started to wonder why I celebrate the holidays I celebrate. I might go shopping for something new.