Thursday, July 18, 2013

On traveling and making new friends

I went on my trip to Mexico by myself, but met two awesome people and became fast friends with them.

We took a road trip to Chichen Itza, Merida, Campeche, and Uxmal. We discussed politics, social issues and construct, graduate school, law school, jobs and relationships. We compared life in the U.S, Israel, Austria and parts of Africa using our experiences as focal points. We were different, certainly unique, but those differences were complementary and provided for stimulating conversations.

And of course, we took lots and lots of photos, silly photos, serious photos and everything in between.

Yay, Starbucks in Merida!

Frolicking in the Campeche cathedral

Lounging around Uxmal

Eating in and experiencing Chichen Itza

Enjoying the night life in Merida

The best part of friendship is its continuation!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Campeche: A Cathedral, A Market, An Heritage, A World of Colors!

Campeche is very pretty. Historical, no doubt, yet pretty (I never thought I'd put those two words ever together). 

Colors are always a beauty and Campeche had this in abundance. From the colonial Spanish houses, to the cathedral, to the bay, Campeche definitely earned its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I went to Campeche for a day with a couple of friends I met while in Cancun. I found that Campeche is really more of a day trip destination than a few days stay. 

There isn't much to do in Campeche, it is not quite as touristy as the other states in the Yucatan peninsula. But that is its appeal. It is laid back and relaxed and slightly windy along the coast, while warm and scenting within the market and the central square. Campeche is definitely a sea-side low-key, fortified town. I do not have a photo of the central square (I've searched in my iPhotos to no avail :(...) but I find it reminiscent of the central square in Merida, although again I have to say the colors are much brighter. 

Campeche appealed to all my five senses (in a good and the occasional not so good way):

I smelled the very ripe aroma of fruits and vegetables in the market, then the stench of the small gutters lining the streets and the fishy smell that rode with the waves on the edge of the coast.

Look at these lovely bowls of cashew and habanero peppers. It reminded me of some Americans I once met who thought cashews were not fruits, just nuts (o_O). It was hard for me to believe, but equally hard for them to comprehend when I tried explaining that cashew is really a fruit and the nut is simply the seed plucked off the bottom of the fruit and then roasted into cashew nuts that they buy in the grocery store. 

smelled an awful lot like rotten fish

I saw colorful colonial buildings as I walked between the streets and stores and the old majestic cathedral known as Campeche cathedral. So much color, so much detail.

I heard the whirring of ACs in the store as I walked down the street, vendors calling out to families, friends and fellow vendors as they sell their wares.

I felt the sun beat down on my back in the mid day heat. I felt the history unfold as I walked around the small town, felt the strength of the gates, walls and systems designed years ago to keep intruders out. 

Even in the shade, the warmth of the sun was saturating.

And I swear, that mango I had in the market tasted like nothing I ever had before, almost like a sweet indescribable sensation that bursts at the tip of my tongue. (although I suppose being thirsty a while before eating the mango heightened my senses a bit).

Campeche is definitely worth visiting.

Monday, July 1, 2013

A Night in Miami, Florida

This need no fancy poetry or spoken words. It was fun, it was all girls, it was exactly as it should be. We stayed a day in Miami, Florida before continuing on our trip to Jamaica.

The pictures below remind me a bit of when I lived in NY and would occasionally find myself in Manhattan at night. Life in a village on the Cape is quiet. It is eerily silent at night and the horn on the Martha's Vineyard bound boat is the only sound that travel across the village at night. It contrast with the night life, bright lights and noises in South Beach, in Miami.

This contrast makes me think I would eventually like to settle for a place with a bit of peace and quiet but with a bit of night life a few walkable (or taxi-able) distance away.

 We walked around the area a bit, but taxied our way through for the most part. It was late at night and as much as we love experiments and have a heightened sense of curiosity, we were not interested in experimenting the probability of getting lost on an unfamiliar road at night.