Posts Tagged ‘Jalatlaco’

The US election results had come in and, with mixed feelings, I was preparing for a trip up into the belly of the beast, to visit family.  A mural seen shortly before I left, on the wall of contemporary art space La Curtiduria on 5 de mayo in Jalatlaco, seemed to speak to me.


Today, after hearing of the death of Mose Allison, another musical great I had the privilege of seeing in person several times, I’m thinking the wall could very well have been singing…

Your Mind Is On Vacation
by Mose Allison

You’re sitting there yakkin’ right in my face
I guess I’m gonna have to put you in your place
Y’know if silence was golden
You couldn’t raise a dime
Because your mind is on vacation and your mouth is
Working overtime

You’re quoting figures, you’re dropping names
You’re telling stories about the dames
You’re always laughin’ when things ain’t funny
You try to sound like you’re big money
If talk was criminal, you’d lead a life of crime
Because your mind is on vacation and your mouth is
Working overtime

You know that life is short and talk is cheap
Don’t be making promises that you can’t keep
If you don’t like the song I’m singing, just grin and
Bear it
All I can say is if the shoe fits wear it
If you must keep talking please try to make it rhyme
‘Cause your mind is on vacation and your mouth is working

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No, I didn’t have to ford a raging river… just make a harrowing 5+ second dash, while dodging speeding cars in an effort to cross Calzada de la República, which used to be a river that formed the natural boundary between Oaxaca and the village of Jalatlaco.

Today, Jalatlaco (“sandy embankment” in the Aztec language of Nauhatl) is a barrio (neighborhood) of Oaxaca, but República and its traffic continue to provide a daunting barrier and some colorful street art.

Colorful street art on wall with female skeleton, bird, and serpent

However, once beyond República, the atmosphere changes.  Cobblestones from the old riverbed line the streets and slow the pace;

Doorway on a cobblestone street.

color and foliage, not to mention crowns, add to the character;

Green wall with gate with crown and palm tree.

and stone walls line the narrow streets, shielding the neighborhood from the bustle beyond.

Stone wall

By the way, my breakfast of huevos divorcíados at El Biche Pobre was colorful and delicious!

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