Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig

I just got back from dinner at the New Town – wor wonton (broth way too salty) and tea. I love the apple tarts at New Town, but I would have preferred to have eaten my home-coming wor wonton dinner at Gain Wah, where the broth is better. Unfortunately when I looked in there no tables were free. Drat.

Dinner music at the New Town: Mr Roboto by Styx; Pilot by the Ian Thomas Band; Hell’s Bells by AC/DC. Seems a bit hard core for a Chinese restaurant.

It’s a lovely evening, and on the way back I walked through the Chinatown Night Market, where they sell lots of cheap and/or weird stuff – cell phones, CDs, snacks, trinkets, jewellery, clothing and hand tools. My favourite table is the one with the lingerie: seriously padded bras that hold their shape when they’re lying on the table, for $5 each or 3 for $10, and underpants 10 for $10. Quality stuff.

Other than the ever-diminishing size (four blocks to two to one), there is something reassuring about the sameness of the oddness of the Night Market. I like to go there once or twice a season and imagine that I am in some foreign place. Sometimes the smells there conspire to help me believe I am not in North America.

The most interesting market I have been in was in Taxco, up in the mountains of Mexico. Taxco is known as the silver city, and I was looking for silver bells and thought I’d be able to find them there.

Taxco is about halfway between Mexico City and Acapulco, a four and a half hour bus ride on winding mountain roads away from either one. I was staying in Acapulco, and thought I would go up to Taxco for the day. So I bought myself a ticket for the early bus. I tried to buy un billete de Ida y Vuelta, but I could only buy Ida. One way.

When I got to the bus all the seats were taken, even the seat I had been assigned, so I sat on the step beside the driver and listened to him and his girlfriend talk about not much in particular. After an hour or so I was able to sit in a seat, and the rest of the ride was relatively unexciting.

Taxco is located on a steep mountain, and the market is sprawled over the topography, along sidewalks and stairways and through closets and tunnels. It is a maze up to where the cathedral is at the highest point in town. There is a lot of silver jewelry there, but I wasn’t able to find silver bells.

After a few hours I decided to go back to Acapulco, so went to the bus station and tried to buy a ticket. There I found out why I had been able to purchase Ida, but not Vuelta. The bus starts in Mexico City and stops in Taxco, but only takes on as many passengers as there are empty seats. So if there are no seats, you stay in Taxco. There weren’t so many buses each day, and I had a two hour wait to find out if I would even be able to purchase Vuelta to Acapulco. I didn’t go too far from the bus station.

I hung around and waited, and bought some little Mexican porn comic books at the magazine stand. When the bus from Mexico City arrived there were two empty seats, so I had the great good fortune of being able to purchase a ticket for one of them.

I found the bells I wanted in a shop on the beach in Acapulco the next morning, and bought three for each of my friends. In Feng Shui practice, if you want prosperity to come to your home, it is recommended that you hang three coins on red thread on the inside of your front door. If you also hang three bells on red thread on the outside of the door, the effect is enhanced. So I gave my friends three coins, three bells and some red cotton yarn to attract prosperity.

~ by thiscassandra on Sunday 10 June 2007.

One Response to “Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig”

  1. Welcome home! I admire your writing – I find it very hard to keep up posts while travelling.
    Do you have any train stories?

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