Okay, San Cristobal, Chiapas Mexico is awesome! We walked the city for hours today, and around every corner found new ruins, churches or other click-worthy scenery. In addition to being clean, colorful, and full of history, the city is ALIVE with hundreds of locals, a clear and welcome contrast to the gaggle-of-gringos in Antigua.
And this city has money, *although I´m still not sure where from or with whom*. Stylish internet cafes can be found on every corner of every block and swanky bars with live salsa/merengue bands open their doors every night. The tastiest taco stands, with only the freshest of ingredients nestle in between the internet cafes and bars. There is no fear of amoebas here…and I would even venture to add a generous 5 seconds to the 10-second food-to-floor rule. Yup. It´s clean, it´s hip, it´s happening AND it´s cheap! Our hostel removes only 35 pesos ($3.30 US) from our pockets a night for beautiful rooms and the hottest shower I´ve had in the last 8 months. A meal of those tasty tacos? $1 US. An hour online? .60 US. If you´re ever lookin´ a hideout with all the comforts of home and the color and flavor of Mexico, this is it.
Took an entire role of film in one day, and got a little some-some to show…
Picture 1: A really poorly scanned picture of me at the “Frontera” (The Mexico-Guatemala Border)
Picture 2: My two lovely travel companions from Germany and Denmark. (Who take every opportunity possible to crack at my American Origin)
Picture 3: My own beer? *heart flutters for Mexico*
We also went to the nearby Mayan village, San Juan Chamula. Cameras are STRICTLY prohibited, as many of the Mayan Indians in the town belive that a photograph can steal your soul….*don`t like to think of what kind of implications that would have for me*. We visited their “Catholic” church where families gathered themselves around dozens of candles who *according to the visitors desk* were performing healing ceremonies. Interestingly enough, a part of the ceremony involves specifically placed glass bottles of Coca Cola, which are ceremoniously opened and drunk. Lonely Planet says that they drink Coke in order to burp to expel evil spirits and illnesses. Now I have to report back that I didn`t hear ANY burping (although I AM a bit suspicious of the clear substance that was also passed around in small glasses that resulted in staggering men). But I am in no position to make conclusions or even guesses, and in general, the ceremonies seemed light hearted and fun (the children in particular were allowed to laugh and play and participate without consequence). . AND I`ve concluded that there are some custom-mysteries that should NOT be explained….but just respected (as well as kept as FAR away from the Coca Cola marketing department as possible).
Random and interesting: A nearby museum reports that the Tzfotzil Mayan Indians believe the world is a cube supported by four pillars surrounded by water… which I´ve been daydreaming about all day.