Friday, May 20, 2016

Tehuacán Mexico

What comes to mind when you think about Mexico? Warm weather, 5 star all inclusive beach side resorts, tequila, tacos, siestas, drugs and crimes. Cactus, tumbleweeds, donkeys, dirt trails and good weed? All of those things and many others exists here in this kind and generous country. However I can say with certainty that Tehuacán, capital of the Mexican poultry market did not spring to mind.

As things go Tehuacán can be considered a bit isolated in a broad sense of the word. To get anywhere takes time, commitment, patience and the ability to sit on a bus for an extended period of time. The good news is the buses are pretty darn modern and comfy. One hour from Puebla. 3.5 hours from Mexico City, 3 hours from Oaxaca, 10 hours to the Pacific beaches of Hualtulco or Puerto Escondito or 5 hours to the Caribbean beach of Veracruz, which is not worth the effort unless you are training in running scared for you life.
The Mexican flag has a great story behind it, and it started here around Tehuacan
That being said Tehuacán is clean, safe and thriving and maybe just a bit on the boring side, like a good accountant in sensible brown shoes. Sure, there are bars, restaurants and local charms but I sadly stare at the gorgeous mountains surrounding the town knowing they are to dangerous to explore. Yes Narcos (drug runners) drugs, guns and getting killed  are distinct possibilities if you are a Gringo hiking. There not "gold in them thar hills" there is "danger in them thar hills.

As teachers with Heslington we get hired for one term at a time which lasts 4 to 6 months. There are teachers here on their second term who literally have mentally checked out with 6 weeks to go. They have that bored to death stare that one gets by being somewhere that does not excite them just a bit to long. I will keep that in mind come August if the opportunity presents itself for a second go around. I am counting my chickens so to speak but this is the town for it.

Downtown Street View
Bored is a relative term. What is boring to one person is top end excitement to another and I can certainly keep myself busy for 85 more days. I am gaining valuable teaching and classroom management time plus learning to teach the Cambridge Exam preparation course. We will see how that goes as I have 4 days of 90 minute classes to teach mid teenager aged students who want nothing to do with it. Yippeee! Good times.
On a more "my life is getting sadder by the minute" note, learning the rules of grammar is exciting to me now, I never saw that one coming. Then there is my bumbling of Spanish which I can practice at any time plus the streets here have fantastic finds such as woman who sell delicious food outside of the windows of their homes. If you ask they will open their doors and you will literally eat in their kitchen. There is beer to be enjoyed on sunny days, well rainy days now. Euro 2016 is about to start and there is an Irish Bar in town which should provide enough amusement to last a while.

Yes Sir. That is a Woolworth. I ran in looking for the lunch counter to no avail.
This is not a tourist town, this is a working town. There are no cheap backpacker hostels or hoards of lost 20 somethings wandering around  dazed and confused looking for the latest "I heard it was cool" thing to do.  There are some nice hotels as you would expect in a town of 250,000 and a quick check on AirBnB shows a few cheap places to bunk for the night. If you are traveling and have been on the road for a while the attraction here is that there is no attractions. That can be very appealing especially in a large, clean, inexpensive and safe city. The only non Mexicans I have seen in this town the past 3 weeks have been the teachers of Heslington and a tall blond German girl hanging off the arm of a much shorter local. The Germans, like Coca Cola are literally everywhere.

Now that is a church entrance
I will probably need a weekend road trip soon, maybe next week. The logical choice would be Puebla which is an hour north. There is also a huge market for ESL teachers so having a look around serves a couple of functions. I also have a 5 day weekend coming up in July so that means big, busy and scary Mexico City and the ruins at Teotihuacan. One simple yet great thing about living here is whichever way I choose to walk home I have a choice of 10 shops where I can pick up an ice cold 6 pack. I can not imagine the absurdity of the antiquated Ontario liquor laws any longer.

My "go to" for immediate supplies including fresh baked bread and treats
Finally, did you know that the following sentence is grammatically correct.
 I said that "that "that" that that man said" should be underlined.
Yes sir, 5 that's in a row and its correct. As sad and pathetic as it sounds this is what seriously excites me now.  It sure makes me miss the awesomeness that is Nicaragua. I think I need to climb something soon!

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