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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Mexico Part 17

    Saturday, October 14, 2017
    Oaxaca City, Mexico

    A vintage bookbinding press at Casa de Juarez in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    A vintage bookbinding press at Casa de Juarez in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    Killer artwork at Casa de Juarez in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Killer artwork at Casa de Juarez in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    I had three more museums in my sights today. The first one, Casa de Juarez, was the smallest one yet, set inside the former home of bookbinder Antonio Salaneuva, “who supported the education of the great 19th century Mexican leader, Benito Juarez, during his youth. The binding workshop is preserved, along with Bento memorabilia and period artifacts.”—Lonely Planet

    Okay everybody, settle down! Your free tacos will be coming out shortly. A Mayan sculpture at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Okay everybody, settle down! Your free tacos will be coming out shortly. A Mayan sculpture at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    A Mayan blue period at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    A Mayan blue period at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    Next, I stopped by the Museo Rufino Tamayo, a larger space that is crammed full of pre-Hispanic Mayan carvings and statues donated by the famous Oaxacan artist, Rufino Tamayo. The smaller pieces of the collection are presented inside glass display cases, which in each room are lit up dramatically with a different color of florescent lights. Most of them run the gamut from goofy and humorous to downright spooky. The larger Mayan stone carvings and sculptures are freestanding out in the open, just like the much more recent sculptures of curvaceous, heavyset women by Salvador Jaramillo out in the courtyard.

    Guys, I'm sorry, but I really can't go out tonight. I've got a banging headache. A Mayan sculpture at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Guys, I’m sorry, but I really can’t go out tonight. I’ve got a banging headache. A Mayan sculpture at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    Dialogo by Salvador Jaramillo at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Dialogo by Salvador Jaramillo at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    The third museum I went to, the Museo de Palacio at the Palacio de Gobierno, was closed for some reason. Hmmm, I guess that’s why the armed guards at two different entrances would not let me in. Next, I ate lunch at a cafe looking out on the main square, the Zocalo, only to be solicited by a near constant stream of snack and souvenir vendors walking up to my table. It’s seriously crazy how many of them will go for it. Sometimes, if you stay at the cafe long enough, the same vendors will return multiple times.

    Looking south down Calle Alcala in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Looking south down Calle Alcala in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    Traditional Oaxacan dancers prepare to perform at a wedding in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Traditional Oaxacan dancers prepare to perform at a wedding in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    Then I walked a half mile back up to the Casa Angel hostel to find out where, besides the far away bus terminal, I could buy an ADO bus ticket to Mexico City. I figured out their office was down by the Zocalo, where I had just come from! So, I had to schlep a half mile all the way down there again. Then the clerk asked me which terminal in Mexico City I wanted to go to. I thought ADO only went to one terminal in each city, so I told her I didn’t know.

    Chaos ensues at a wedding in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    Chaos ensues at a wedding in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    The bride and groom at a wedding in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
    The bride and groom at a wedding in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

    Long story short, I had to go all the way back to the hostel again, find out which terminal was the closest to where I planned to stay, walk all the way back to the ADO office to buy the ticket, then back to the hostel yet again. By the time that day was finished, it’s safe to say I had done more walkin’ than Christopher Walken. At least on the way to the ADO office the second time, I chanced upon a lively wedding at a church, complete with a brass band and dancers in traditional Oaxacan costumes. I was really happy I got to see that!

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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