Last time I offered a little glimpse of what days and nights were like during my time in Valladolid. But as time went on, they seemed to get wilder.
Party at Seven
Mario, our local chef-cum-poet extraordinaire, has a knack for creating great parties. Generally, if Mario was planning something everyone wanted in. But one plan seemed to go too far:
A breakfast party.
“Picture this,” Mario said. “We start at dawn. I cook. At seven sharp there is an amazing breakfast laid on the table. And together we share it, and the party starts.”
This proposal earned no shortage of groans. For the banda I ran with, it was just too early of a start. But Mario was relentless. Originally the idea was an overnight party—in one of Alberto’s cenotes, no less—with breakfast cooked over a fire the following dawn. Alberto ruled…
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Arianna and Rosalía share a bike near the carousel. Photo by Andre.
Valladolid looks quiet but there’s a lot going on. Last time I introduced the crazy cast of characters I managed to fall in with. Now it’s time for some misadventures.
Writers Are Boring
Most days were tame. Writers are boring artists: we don’t hop around stage and cast spells like musicians or actors. We don’t even put on a show of furious brush strokes. Furious laptopping just looks like you’re unbalanced, too angry over someone’s comment on Youtube. I spent many days quietly typing at home.
But I felt out of place in the Canada House. There were four bedrooms and just one of me. I mostly lived in the back building, but I preferred to work up front in the outdoor kitchen, surrounded by nature. As a result I spent a lot of time walking back and forth. It felt odd having such a huge place to myself.
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In the last entry I finished my ride across Mexico and reached beautiful Valladolid. But that was months ago. What was it like living there? Valladolid itself is a small colonial city, but my life there was much wilder than I could have expected. Here’s a first look into that time, and all the people I met.
When I arrived in Valladolid I didn’t have a clear plan. I knew I wanted to live there and write long term. “Long term” meant a few months, a novelty after biking to a new town every few days. But first I needed a place to stay.
For the first few nights I booked a room with Manda, a British fashion designer who came to Mexico to teach design. She ended up hating the job but loving the country. For three years she followed Mexican teenagers photographing their amazing Colombia-inspired fashion. (Her book about the teens is stunning, by the way.) But I…
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Researchers at the University of Tubingen have devised an algorithm that can analyze a painting and then apply its ‘style’ to any image.
There are two things that as a little girl I always wanted to do but couldn’t: roll my rrrrr’s and whistle. To be quite honest, both still more or less elude me, although I am getting closer to pronouncing perro correctly and hailing a taxi via a whistle rather than a crazy arm-swinging dance at the side of the road.
A few months ago, I began to realise the importance of whistling in Mexican culture. It is something that I think you can almost miss, but once you notice it, it is everywhere.
To hail a cab, whistle hard and one will seemingly appear from nowhere. To get the attention of the guy selling water below your window, give a quick sharp whistle and he will come to your door. Where perhaps in England, whistling might seem rude, here it is the best way to get someone’s attention. The getting-attention whistle, is called…
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Turmeric is great as a spice, but also has many health benefits. It is used as an anti-inflammatory for people suffering from arthritis, joint pain, and muscle pain. It also aids in digestion, is anti-parasitic, and anti-bacterial.
2 cups organic milk
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
Heat the milk over medium heat with the spices. Pour the honey into a teacup and set aside. Once milk starts to simmer, remove from heat, stir the mixture, and let sit to cool a little bit. While still warm, pour the mixture into the cup, stir to liquefy honey and enjoy 🙂