I received an email this morning from a friend in Leavenworth. She wanted to know how long I was staying in Mazatlan. Well, you miss a blog post and you lose track of yours truly. Two weeks in Guadalajara, one weekend in Mazatlan, and now I’m in Culiacan. Right now the plan is to stay here for a week, and then your guess is as good as mine. After decades of routines and schedules I am completely caught up in the world of mindfulness and moving along when the time feels right. That’s why I found myself on a bus to Culiacan yesterday morning.
I mus tell you about the bus ride. ETN/Turistar is my preferred mode of travel but my route from Mazatlan to Culiacan has been discontinued. I reluctantly bought a ticket on TAP, on a first class rather than an executive class. The plan was to arrive in Culiacan around 2 pm so that Juan could pick me up after school.
It’s been years since I took one of these, and I forget how annoyingly entertaining it can be. The TV hovered inches above my head. Amazingly enough the movie was in English. No computer terminal at my seat on this bus. I put in my headphones and scrolled through the music channels. Nothing too exciting there. But the air conditioning was blasting and it was only a couple of hours. Suck it up princess.
The bus slowed down on the outskirts of the city and two vendors got on. I’d forgotten how amusing this can be. Vendors are not allowed on the ETN buses.
The first vendor to approach me was a young woman with a basket filled with wind-up toys. I smiled back and shook my head. No, gracias. But she was determined. She must have demonstrated four or five toys before she moved on to the next passenger.
Apparently the toy sales were not doing well. Moments later she was back with chocolate……melted chocolate. After all, the temperature outside was in the nineties before she boarded the bus. Once again I declined her offerings.
The second vendor was hot on her heels. This man had a cooler full of tamales. He wasn’t quite as aggressive and a shake of the head was sufficient enough to send him on his way.
She’s back! Vendor number one was now spouting me the benefits of the cream with marijuana she held in her hands. And then vendor number one was selling honey while she was still promoting her cream. I shook my head once again, reclined my seat, and closed my eyes.
Only another hour………………
I arrived in Mazatlan bright and early Friday morning. TAP was not only on time but actually early. I prefer ETN but this trip the timing was better on TAP.
I’m staying with my friend Koren who happens to be an amazing caterer. She kept me well fed on Friday while adjusting to yet another time change and the scorching heat here in Mazatlan. I then ventured out for a walk around the neighborhood after a short nap.
Quite a few changes. New condos, new construction, new park……but I was delighted to see old friends Lance and Daniel. We sat around for a while catching up while watching a glorious sunset.
Saturday morning before it got too hot, I went out for my five mile walk in Centro. I passed by the mercado, the cathedral, Republica and Machado. I had conversations in Spanish with various vendors as well as with others seeking shade on park benches.
Tonight I’m meeting a friend for dinner on the malecon, where we will enjoy the sunset as we dine. Delmer is another Canadian and he and I taught together a couple of years ago here in Mazatlan.
A concert is happening at the park near my house and there are rumors of fireworks tonight as well.
Tomorrow Rotary is having an event at Zaragoza Park. Hard to believe it’s been three years since Steve was manning the barbecues at this annual event. The years are just zooming by way too quickly.
Monday morning I will be on a bus on my way to Culiacan and a whirlwind weekend in Mazatlan comes to a close.
I’m back in Tlaquepaque enjoying one of my favorite Mexican celebrations…..Day of the Dead. This is a time when family and friends gather together to pray for and remember family and friends who have passed away. Altars are constructed and food and photos are prominent. Personal possessions are also displayed. Faces are painted and traditional dress is also featured for both adults and children alike. Brightly colored marigolds are everywhere and the cemeteries are alive with celebrations of the spirits of the deceased.
I spent hours walking down Calle Independencia and Calle Juarez taking photos of altars. It was fascinating watching the various artists painting faces of children and adults. The costumes were outstanding and Catrinas were everywhere.
In the evening I checked out the amazing altar outside El Parian in the square. An added delight was the celebration inside the government building which featured altars, catrinas and mariachis. In the Jardin Hidalgo a stage had been set up and various singers and dancers performed.
The vendors were out in full force. Food ranged from tortas ahogadas to churros. Other vendors sold everything from leather goods to jewelry. Needless to say, the people watching and photo ops were plentiful. Here are a few: