Yesterday we went on a day long field trip to a hacienda and a town called Tlaxcala. I never realized how beautiful the Mexican countryside is. You travel along and see huge mountains that touch the clouds, green everywhere and cacti called Maggio (or something like that). You also pass by ruins of old farmhouses and structures. You can see the Spanish style of architecture in almost every building.
Our first stop was at the hacienda. It amazed me to see how old it was, like something out of a book. They grew the cacti called Maggio there for the production of an alcoholic beverage called Pulque.
It’s a super thick strong tasting drink that looks like horchata. I guess it used to be a drink of the poor Campesino but now they are exporting it to France and Japan. Mexicans don’t really drink it anymore.
After the hacienda it was off to Tlaxcala. Getting there was half of the fun because of the constant fear of death. The Mexican “combie” drivers drive like maniacs. We were on a regular country road passing every other car and truck on the on-coming traffic lane. There could be a semi coming and we would still pass. Actually, everyone was driving like that. Sometimes we would be in our lane staring at a semi coming right at us. There were also no seat belts. I enjoyed the rush but Hisam got pretty steamed. He kept going on and on about not getting back in the bus unless they slowed down and obeyed traffic signs.
Anywho, our first stop in Tlaxcala was an ancient government building with murals depicting the history of Mexico. It was just another addition to my trying to understand the history of Mexico.
After that we walked up a beautiful path towards the church and convent. This path kind of reminded me of Granada in Spain. Ancient paths where you can see abandoned arches in the woods grown over with vegetation. I really got flashbacks of Spain when I went into the church. It was entirely of Spanish architecture and you could see the Mudejar (Arabe) designs in teh ceiling. I also was reminded of my class arte de Toledo in Spain. We studied Mudejar (Arabic people under Christian control) art and how they were used in construction of Torres y Iglesias. Just one more thing to make me miss Spain.
After that we walked back to the plaza and had dinner. Then we began the long trek home and decided to crack open some cans of pulque the owner of the hacienda had given us. We had a great time telling stories and laughing nonstop. We also got to see Mexico City at night. It is huge, it stretched on and on. It also looked so peaceful looking upon it from the mountain. IT amazed us to think how peaceful it looked from afar but how many bad things have to be happening in a city of twenty million. Someone probably just got robbed, another getting raped, someone’s kid probably just died, people sleeping on the street and digging through trash for food. Some people are probably inslaved in some dark basement and abused in unmentionable ways. But life just goes on for us in our combie thinking how beautiful and peaceful Mexico City looks.
Today is just a regular day of class and not much to write about. It’s hard being away from my girlfriend for so long but as they say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” It gives me something to look forward to.