This year I decided to spend Christmas in Oaxaca, Mexico. I will head home for 2 weeks on January 4, 2017, to attend my daughter’s wedding.
This isn’t the first time I have spend Christmas alone. I have done that 4 times now. It isn’t the best, but then again, Christmas is not my favorite time of the year. There are so many expectations that have to be met and I always feel like I don’t meet half of them 🙁
My favorite Christmas ever was going to Disneyland with the family. The expectations were few. It was all about us and having fun together. And being at Disneyland meant there were lots of things to do :-). I really don’t like just sitting around during Christmas.
It has been awhile since I posted 🙁 This is largely due to getting into the routine of staying in one place for awhile. It is actually a good thing for a bit after traveling for 5 months.
I wake up … go to Cafe Brujula for coffee.
In the courtyard there is a nativity scene. Don’t ask me how the baseball players got there 🙂
After coffee I do errands like Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, laundry, etc … walk around the city to see the sights.
Then it is back to my Airbnb where I watch the news, study Spanish, play a computer game and just relax.
Oh … and watch my toe nail come off. This was from Japlan where I banged my foot against the pavement while trying to control my bike as I hit loose gravel around a corner.
As it gets dark at around 6 pm I head out again to see what is happening at the Zocalo and grab dinner. At night I watch some of the TV shows I downloaded before I left. Then bed.
The Zocalo, or town plaza, is bordered by restaurants, a church, and a government office. It is a place where people gather to eat, relax, and just walk around. Every night during the Christmas season there was entertainment. This included, bands, orchestras, dance, nativity scenes with a petting zoo, a food craft display, and even Mass.
At this food craft event the place was packed. At one point I was moved by the crowd and there was nothing I could do but laugh.
I find the different priorities between back home in Abbotsford and here in Oaxaca interesting. Back home it appears to be more about saving money, creating and maintaining infrastructure and cleanliness. The puritan work ethic I guess.
You wouldn’t find free entertainment each night at a central place like here in Oaxaca even though Abbotsford, and Canada in general, is much richer. Oaxaca seems to do this at the expense of infrastructure maintenance and cleanliness.
I am not saying one is better than the other, only that the priorities are interesting and thought provoking. Perhaps we have something to learn.
By the church there is a Christmas tree and ice rink. People love watching people skate. Well … most people don’t actually skate. They get onto the ice, hang onto the boards for dear life, and then inch their way around the boards until they get back to the door. They have fun though experiencing walking on knives on ice 🙂
For Christmas Eve I was invited by the Airbnb host to a pot luck dinner at 9 pm with others in the Airbnb complex which consists of 4 residences Only one other couple showed up besides the Airbnb hosts. However, it was fun. The other couple, from San Francisco, just got married and are traveling the world for a year before deciding on where to settle down.
At midnight it was like New Years Eve in Canada. Fireworks erupted and lots of noise. They love fireworks that just make a loud boom in the air. I don’t get that as I much prefer the fireworks with a colorful display.
We ended our get together at 2 am. However, I could hear loud parties until 4 am.
Christmas Day was pretty subdued. Most the people on the streets were white tourists. Where did all the Mexicans go?! Sleeping I guess 🙂