Sunday, March 9, 2008

my first visitor

Have you misplaced your head? Try looking in the Zocala Cathedral for it. You might discover it there.

Last week on Wednesday afternoon I took the bus to the Mexico City airport to pick up Mary who flew in from the US for a brief visit. She receives the prize of being my first visitor in Puebla. Due to heavy Mexico City traffic, we didn't return to Puebla until 9:30pm, so we stayed at the apartment instead of trying to catch a bus to the house I was house-sitting in Cholula.

Thursday morning I gave Mary the grand tour of PCS. It probably took 15 minutes for her to see the whole school. Once we'd finished that, we caught a bus downtown to see my favorite talavera shop,
El Parian, the Zocalo, and several cathedrals. We enjoyed lunch at El Balcon, a restaurant I hadn't been to except for once my first week here when four of us went in the middle of a storm and left puddles all over the floor. Now the rainy season is long over - in fact we've had very dry, cold winds the last few days - so Mary and I didn't leave a muddy mess.

After walking all over town, we bused back to the apartment. Janelle joined us for dinner at the local Suprema Salsa, and then she drove us out to Cholula.

After a lazy Friday morning, Mary and I walked to the Cholula pyramid which has the largest base of any pyramid in the world. Typical of the 14th century Spaniard Catholics, there is a cathedral built on top of the pyramid. We took the stairs up to see it. Scary stairs! Some are short and steep, and many are worn smooth by the passage of thousands of feet. On the way down, I slipped on one and landed on my elbow. I'm still waiting for visible evidence of the way the elbow feels...

We paid to go through the underground excavations archeologists have made. Quite
fascinating, but unfortunately since I hadn't really visited the pyramid before, I didn't know until today we missed a whole bunch of the other excavations that have been made on the other side of the pyramid. Oh well. Once we'd seen the part of the pyramid I knew about, we explored downtown Cholula, including a modern art show.

In the early afternoon we returned by bus to Puebla, took care of some small errands, then caught a bus to Dios es Amor. I discovered that there are two different 28 buses, a phenomenon I'd somehow never encountered before in spite of many bus trips to the church. It took having a visitor with me to bring out the wrong 28 bus. When it turned on the wrong street I thought, "This is strange," but because the window signs were all correct I decided there were probably repairs on the right street so the bus had to divert.

That is, until the driver stopped at the end of his route and asked where we had wanted to go. Incidentally, his route ended in the infamous Libertad, a place I've been told it's good to stay out of. When I'd explained, he said I wanted the other 28, and kindly paid a 76 driver our fare to take us back out to where we could catch the right 28.

Our adventures hadn't quite ended. We caught the right 28 after waiting a good long time. This 28 however, also turned on the wrong street but near enough to the church that we could get off and walk.
Janelle later explained that some 28's have a sign in their window, and those are the ones that turn whereas the ones without the yellow sign continue straight. Good to know.

At Dios es Amor, Mary met lots of church friends, because after the classes ended, a group from another church brought fresh corn and soup to share, so people hung around munching corn and talking. Corn with lime juice and salt is really tasty by the way.
We had to leave early afternoon to get to Mexico City on Saturday so Mary could catch her flight on time. As far as I know she had no problems catching her plane. I had no problems on the return to Puebla. Tomorrow school begins again, although I'll be gone Tuesday with a group from Canada that's visiting the Sun and Moon pyramids near Mexico City.

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