Blogging and traveling share the best thing in common: meeting terrific, new people. Of course, if you’re me, you needn’t start your own blog, you can just write very lengthy comments on other people’s blogs for years at a time, and they’ll eventually relent and agree to meet you. That’s how I got the opportunity to meet a few of the Mexico Expat blogger community before finally being cajoled into starting my own in 2013.
Over the past two days, I’ve had the opportunity to deepen a friendship with Steve Cotton, who I first met in 2011, after reading his blog for years. And today I got the opportunity to make a new friend in Bill, who writes Travels of a Retired Teacher, a blog I’ve begun reading in the last few months or so.
Steve is one of those rare folks who can be both intellectually rigorous in a discussion, while remaining amiable and a pleasure to chat with. And of course his range of knowledge is quite impressive. From the minute we met at 3:30 at Reforma 222 to the time we bid goodnight around 11:00 PM, the conversation flowed like margaritas at a Cancún spring break. We covered US politics, the stunning problem faced by the Chinese Leadership, Mexico’s history and development, the US fiscal problem (which exists independent of politics), plus a few more down-home topics like past relationships that had taken a turn toward the absurd, or what you really have to do to get rid of leaf-cutter ants. (Hint: it isn’t “Raid,” though Steve may beg to differ.) Of course since I had met Steve twice before, I knew that I was in for a treat. I also knew that we weren’t just doing a polite meet-up, but have indeed formed a genuine friendship. For that, I simply say, “Thanks, Steve! I had a great time.”
Bill is newer to the Mexico Expat blogger scene, having started his own blog in October of 2013, only a few months after I began mine. However, Bill is anything but a newcomer to Mexico, having been a student in Cholula at the University of the Americas in 1973. Bill then went on to become a Spanish teacher in the Cleveland Public Schools, where he taught for thirty years before he retired. Along with Spanish, he also taught Mexican history and culture to his more advanced students, and has traveled extensively through the country, constantly bringing back new ideas to refresh his courses. Since Bill is totally fluent, of course his insights on Mexico are well worth noting.
We met up for breakfast at La Buena Tierra, a lonely outpost (OK, a small restaurant chain) of healthy, organic food in a sea of tacos, tortas, and arrachera. I’ve been a fan of La Buena Tierra for years, and when I found out that Bill and his partner, Alejandro are also fans, it seemed a natural place to meet up. Not to mention the fact after eating the good, but heavy food in Puebla, I was ready for something more vegetarian. Of course I was late. I ALWAYS underestimate the amount of time it will take to walk from the Zona Rosa to La Buena Tierra, but Bill kindly waited for me. (Thanks, Bill!) And with me slightly winded, we sat down for a great breakfast, which was to start a wonderful day. From there we went to the Anthropology Museum, and then wandered around Condesa. Bill showed me the place he’s renting, and I have to say, I’m seriously envious, LOL. We finally wrapped up around six, and I’m happy to say I have a new friend! Woo hoo! Thanks, Bill.
As for me, my mission is pretty much accomplished in DF. I do have one more friend I’m trying to meet up with, and that’s tentatively set for tomorrow. Though my initial reservation was only through tonight, after more careful thought, it seems sheer lunacy to try to leave DF on the Saturday that begins Semana Santa. The week may be holy, but the traffic will be demonic. And there’s no need to subject myself to that.
So where to next? That’s an easy question, but hard to answer specifically. I’m dying to see more of Edgar, but he’s away from Puebla until the 21st. And I still want very much to go to Yucatán, though I’m dreading the drive. In particular, the Southern Gulf Coast, say from somewhere south of Veracruz until you hit the Yucatán, is mostly dull oil towns. Think West Texas with tacos, cochinita pibil, and molé. Sure, the mountain areas south of Tabasco have a number of attractions, but apparently it’s not a good way to get to Yucatán. So I’ll just have to grit my teeth, and put the pedal to the metal until I can get somewhere more interesting. According to Google Maps, it’s about a 14 hour drive from here to Mérida, if I go though the dull bits, so at best it’s a three day drive. If I do anything more interesting, it’ll take longer.
Until the next step, Saludos!