Saturday, October 02, 2010
from the "early impressions of San Cristobal" dept.
I've been in San Cristobal for a few days now and I must say I'm very impressed. From the welcoming gift of local coffee and a friendship bracelet from the governor of Chiapas to the positive vibe that fills the streets, it's not at all what I expected.
And it's certainly not what you see on the evening news. No drug wars here.
Sure, there are the aural reminders that I'm in Mexico: Barking dogs, crowing roosters and ringing church bells (It's 7:30am!) -- but even they have a certain calmness to them.
My year in San Pedro la Laguna, Guatemala was chaotic in comparison.
Over the past few days I've been strolling around town. There are two main walking streets (andadors) that form a T in the heart of the city. Locals and tourists saunter up and down, past wine bars, restaurants and shoppes. It's all here, yet none of it is in your face.
I feel like I've discovered a secret place.
Last night, Kelly, Dennis and I sat outside at a little wine bar and watched the world go by. A few Mayan street sellers (mostly women and children) stopped at our table to offer us various trinkets and whatnot. But a polite "no, gracias" was usually more than enough to send them on their way. Again: Calm.
After a few glasses of a cheap but tasty Sirah, we wandered over to a pizza joint to pick up a couple of pies to eat back at the house. The pizzas didn't disappoint: thin crust, cooked to perfection and loaded with my favourite toppings: Anchovies and olives. Yummy, nums.
We enjoyed a bit more wine and then called it a night.
It's been an eye-opening experience. I've only been here two full days and yet I feel like I've been here for months. That's how comfortable and pleasant San Cristobal is. Of course, living with Dennis and Kelly has helped a great deal.
As I write this I'm beginning my third full day. There isn't much on the schedule. A walk. Some wine. Enjoying the here and now.
This will change a little bit next week when I dive into my internet work. I've got five days to build the first website that I hope will generate a trickle of income.
But that's Monday. Until then, I'll be content to simply enjoy San Cristobal's charms.