Saturday, 1 October 2016

Mucho Gusto Merida

Real Mexican Food
Merida. Urmm... thought we would be here a couple of days and stayed a week. It's a interesting place. The usual attractive buildings in the downtown centro area (although the colours are more muted – more pastels than primaries). It's the capital of Yucatan, has a lovely Zocala in front of the Cathedral with horses and carriages lined up to take you on tours of the streets. The Cathedral was the first one built in the whole of the America`s. It's a pretty solid building and is a cross (clever pun) between a house of god and fortress. Sometimes Jesus just needs some back up too. 

The First Cathedral in the America's
The municipal government lays on all sorts of events everyday such as light shows and video mapping on the Cathedral, A night of 40’s music and the three things we saw – A ‘Pok ta pok’ demonstration. This is an Ancient Mayan ball game played with three people on each team. A hoop is affixed somewhere about the 8ft up mark on the side of a long thin court. The players coming from opposite ends move to and fro try to get points by getting a 3kg ball through the hoop using neither arms, head or legs – all hips, arse and torso. Quite an art. - sometimes the ball is on fire!!!

Football Mayan Style
Mexican night – Every Saturday there is a flea market and traditional dance performances are given by large troupes of dancers in gaily coloured attire. Bit touristy but nearly everyone was Mexican so maybe not.

And, Baila Merida (Dance Merida) where a stage is erected, flashing lights shine into the night sky and the square is filled with crowds all having a bit of a dance to 8 piece live band. This on a hot Sunday evening when no alcohol was being sold in the shops so there was no drunken revelry, just complete unabashed enjoyment.

Bailar Marida
We were fortunate enough to take in a performance of OSY (Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan) which is based in Merida and perform bi weekly for the ridiculously cheap price of 150 peso (sick squid). For this you get Row F centre stage tickets and can hobnob with the cultured and well dressed citizens of Merida. I believe, I was the only one in flip flops and tee shirt. But then they probably have more than a bag of slowly degenerating clothes to draw upon. The conductor, the most energetic of his ilk I have seen, was positively dripping by the end of the performance which took in Beethoven, a fantastic trumpet piece by Hummel and, not surprisingly, a stirring bit of Sibelius. Old Sibby certainly knew how to employ an orchestra and this maestro gangmeister worked ‘em like a pro – especially the cello players whose fingers were going double time over the frets most of the time.

A bit of culture 
Another night we enjoyed a free piano and violin recital at another theatre. And, one afternoon (how decadent), went to the cinema. It cost 100 pesos each (4 GBP) and for that we each got a huge leather, lazyboy style chair with electric settings that could take you from sitting to laying vertically. The chairs set in doubles were set apart from the neighboring patrons by 2ft. Each chair had drinks holders, swivel glass table and call button to attract the waiters who could take your orders ranging from pop corn to a three course meal with wine or cocktails. We saw the latest Bridget Jones movie. Which was pretty goood. The best part however was being in a cinema with mainly females who were positively squirming and ooohhhing over the shirts off scenes and raucously laughing at the comedy situations.

Thats it. Mexico is nearly done. Now off to our house sit on a remote peninsula on the Caribbean coast just above Belize. Private beach, nearest neighbour 1 mile so woohoo! …sun, sea, sand, sex….and probably bad hair here we come!

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