No.57 — MEXICO（2018）
Modern with an Old Soul
By LUCAS B.B.
Oaxaca, Mexico is to Mexico what Nara is to Japan; the cultural foundation of the country. Oaxaca is the land of Mezcal (agave spirit), Alebrijes (animal guardians), Chapulines (spicy grasshoppers), and Tejate (a healthy power drink made from corn and chocolate).
The ancient architecture and relics of Oaxaca stand strong at two Unesco World Heritage sites Mitla and Monte Alban. Mitla’s graphical fretwork and intricate building construction to this day inspires modern design and architecture. While, Monte Alban, some historians believe is the birthplace of soccer. And the dancing figures the ancient Zapotec (Monte Alban’s original settlers) sketched into their stones provided inspiration for Keith Haring’s graffiti style.
Oaxaca’s diversity and originality for craft and food come from a rich population of indigenous people. There are 16 groups with their own languages and cultures living in Oaxaca. The craft world is easily reached by visiting the outlying towns of Oaxaca City. Each town specializes in it’s own craft, some dying, some weaving, some pottery and others stitching.
And the food! Oaxacan cuisine is otherwordly and it’s magical flavours are praised and promoted by top chefs such as Alice Waters and Mexican cuisine specialists Rick Bayless and Susana Trilling. The Oaxaca menu is literally infinite but some basics and must try’s are: ‘The Seven Moles’ (actually there are over 200 but the basic seven are based on the colors given to the mole from the chilies used), Tlayuda’s (large, thin, crunchy, partially toasted tortilla covered with refried beans- and frequently topped with Tasajo (aged, thinly sliced beef) and Oaxaca Cheese (a stretchy, slightly dry mozzarella like cheese). And of course Chocolate (Cacao is locally grown, mixed with milk or water and usually consumed for breakfast). If all this makes your stomach rumble then it’s time to tumble down to Mexico.
Oaxaca people are warm and the excitement of the markets and quality of the food and craft make it a wondrous travel destination. But it’s ability to stay ‘ancient’ and ‘be modern’ is mind blowing and the reason to return to Oaxaca again and again.
PAPERSKY Soundtrack For Travelers
A list of Songs to enjoy over a cup of coffee, while driving, and of course while flipping through the pages of the Mexico edition of Papersky.
GOOD NEIGHBORS’ MUSIC VENDER
- CARMELITA / Luis Perez Ixoneztli
- CRYSTAL FRONTIER (Acoustic Version) / Calexico
- DEMASIADO AMOR / Los Aragon
- TEQUILA / Lalo Guerrero
- CUMBIA LOCURA / Taggy Matcher & Kumbia Boruka
- LAS CUATRO CULTURAS / Rabbits & Carrots
- BATALLA DEL MOVIMIENTO / T.O.
- MANGO MANGUE / El Gran Fellove
- SI DIOS ME QUITA LA VIDA / Javier Solis
- POR NUESTRA COBARDIA / José Antonio Méndez