Wednesday, October 21, 2009

El fin de semana

Nothing too too crazy happened this weekend but I thought Id post just so everyone has something.

On saturday we went to the big market in town with our homestay mom Monica. She was rocking a sick air jordan hat, she loves basketball and is a huge shaq fan, which i thought was awesome. The market is a little insane and was a bit of a shock for me. The outside part of your market is your standard vegetable and fruit market. The kind you would see anywhere but the inside is a labyrinth of different shops that can sell you anything you need. The meat section is tough to deal with and people push the crap out of you but for the most part its just a beehive of activity and is pretty exciting. I dont think i will ever have the guts to go in alone, and if i do i may never find my way out. That might be fine because ill have all of the things i need to survive within an arms reach. My favorite part of the market is these guys who walk around and sell the craziest crap. You need a dog bowl theres a guy for that. You need a baby bottle theres a guy for that. You need a used tv remote, theres a guy for that(three guys actually, who knew it was a growth industry) and im convinced they are just breaking into homes stealing the remotes and then selling them back to the same people. The best though is a guy who sells tea and pills. He has a huge tray of pills without boxes just the sleeves of pills. One kid totally called me a gringo to my face which I thought was offensive especially with the tone he put on it but ive since learned that its not that bad. Still I thougtht that kid had balls, I wish i didnt stick out as much from time to time but Its pretty much impossible not to.

On sunday we went to the home of our homestay daughters in laws. It was a complete day of dichotomies. We ate a traditional mayan meal and washed it down with pepsi. We helped hand make tortillas and then gobbled down some doritos. There are tons of old world new world dichotomies down here and i think its one of the things that i like best. The mother in law also hand makes shirts that take her six months and are so intricate with detail it is crazy.

We also went to this religous ceremony that was a little surreal. It was for a saint known as San Simon or San Maximon. He had a lot to do with combining mayan culture and catholocism. The rituals for him are a little off center but actually pretty entertaining to watch. Outdoors they burn huge pyres of candles and i think eggs but im not 100% sure. The goal is to burn away your sins and ask for forgiveness. If you ask me the catholic church needs more traditions like this, pyromania sells thats a fact. Inside their is a shrine where people pray and leave gifts for Maximon. The best part though is the soul cleansing. This lady in a bandana and who was spilling out of her BEBE tshirt was apparently the equivalent of a priest or shaman. She would grab this stack of flowers and douse them in vodka and then wack the crap out of people. Once she had left you sufficiently bruised she would put a little vodka in her mouth and than spit it all over you, and wala sould cleansed. It seemed pretty silly in a lot of regards but people there took it very seriously. Its easy to judge and see how silly it is but how much silly crap do we all take very seriously in our own lives.

That was the weekend in a nutshell.

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