So far we have visited three cities in Mexico: Mexico City, Tuxtla Gutierrez, and San Cristobal de las Casas. Although we did not spend much time in Mexico City and only spent a day in Tuxtla Gutierrez, I knew as soon as we drove into San Cristobal that I was going to love it here.
Everything is well within walking distance and cultural shops line the small cobblestone streets. It is considered to be one of the last remaining Colonial towns in Chiapas and it sure has retained its’ charm. All of the streets are one-way. There are very few stop signs or lights and the cars seem to smoothly figure out when it is OK to proceed through an intersection or not. Essentially, any lull, however brief, in vehicular or pedestrian traffic in one direction opens the flood gate to the traffic in the other direction. The streets have no street signs and the names of the streets and the directional arrows of the one-way streets are painted on the sides of the buildings.
The City has a mixture of rancheros, indigenous, and foreigners and they seem to peacefully co-exist. We have yet to encounter any hostility and very little Machismo here. The only time I have noticed machismo come into play is when walking on the street when one man pushed Linda out of his way.
The hotel we chose has been a large part of our experience: Posada San Cristobal. It has a restaurant on the first floor with a second floor balcony overlooking it. Most of the rooms are located on the second floor which has old hard-wood flooring which creaks very loudly with every step you take. Our room is the same and overlooks a busy street called Avenue Insurgentes. Across the street is a shoe and clothing store that plays loud music during business hours. It is so loud we can even hear it through the double wooden doors on our balcony. It would not be so bad if they didn’t play the same song nearly 30 times everyday and I am not exaggerating. (Todo Camibo by Camila)
It has been inspiring staying here. We have eaten at the restaurant in the hotel for the past two nights and have enjoyed the live marimba band. They dress in classic indigenous attire while playing, but as Linda and I discovered tonight, they don’t dress that way at home. Both members arrived wearing very modern, formal attire and changed into their costumes in the far end of the restaurant, long before the dinner crowd arrived.
We have found it hard obtaining the information Linda needs for her research. Partly because we are unorganized, yet it is difficult to follow a game plan that relies solely upon information obtained from the internet. The other factors include bad timing and some people seem hesitant to talk with her.