16 February: Oaxaca

Or Oaxaca City (wah-hah-kah). An attractive city whose historic center is on the Unesco World Heritage List. A city with a lot of hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee shops tucked away in courtyards of to the street closed buildings in handsome yet tranquil streets.

We took a collectivo to the Zocalo. The heart of the city. A traffic-free plaza, shaded by tall trees and surrounded by elegant arcades. The arcades and plaza are crammed with little market stalls, which mainly sell traditional clothing. The sheer volume of the stalls makes it impossible to see the plaza and its surroundings in its entirety.
The best way to do that is to sit on one of the many terraces, take a drink or two and let the whole scenery work on you.

Our driver had lived for 20 years in California. He had come back to be nearer with his family and to be a respected man again. Going back to the US was out of the question. A trust worthy coyote would ask between 10 to 15 thousand dollars in advance to bring him over the border. Anyone who had that kind of money would not leave Mexico. But start a business here and have a good live.
15 Thousand dollar is a fortune taking into account that the average wage is $ 100 a week.

We walked from the Zocalo to the Templo de Santo Domingo. It is warm, not to say hot, 33 C (92 F) and no wind, so we stay at the shadow side of the street. The streets are crowded. It is remarkable that however the city is a tourist attraction the street scene is determined by locals.

The main part of the Templo (church) was closed, due to a wedding. However through a side entrance we could enter the Rosary Chapel. An impressive art work in its whole, nearly every square centimeter is decorated with 3D relief and painted figures.
Leaving the church we ran in two wedding guests in traditional clothing. A bit later the wedding past us in the street.