Saturday, June 10, 2006
Teotitlan at last! I've been wanting to get out there pretty much ever since I got here, and I finally made it yesterday. I don't know if I have mentioned before, but they make rugs there and I have some friends out there that I wanted to visit. Since no one wanted to go with me (or drive me) I had three options for getting out there. I could take a taxi, but that's kind of expensive for that distance. If I wanted a taxi but didn't want a high price, I could have taken a communal taxi, which is just $5 or so, but there are other people riding with you. Since I'm so cheap, I decided on the third option, buses, even though I'm not all that familiar with bus routes here, I didn't know exactly which buses to take, nor did I know exactly where to catch the buses. Still, using buses just cost me under $2.50 the whole day, and even if I hadn't ended up in the right place I could have explored wherever I wound up. :) :)
I did know where to get on the first bus though, so I just walked up to the main street to get it. I knew it had to say "Gigante" (a store), and "VW" (a VW dealership here), but I didn't know if I could get on a bus with just "Gigante" on it. I did, and I might just not have seen the "VW," but it was still a relief to get to where I was going, the baseball stadium. From there I knew I had to walk one block in some direction to get the next bus, but I didn't know what direction. I walked a block in the direction that seemed to have the most buses... and since I didn't see any buses to Mitla (which go by Teotitlan), I assumed it was the wrong direction. I did ask someone where to get the right bus, but that was the only time I had to ask for directions. :) Most of the buses I took were full so I had to stand lots of the trip. It's not as bad as you would think...
We went by some kind of gas refinery/storage place where there were tons of people. I think it was the teachers out there striking. And slowing down the traffic. And on the way back packing onto the bus like sardines (by then I had gotten a seat, thankfully). Anyway, on most buses there is a guy that yells out the door where the bus is going and helps them get their stuff on the bus if they have very much. On my bus out there he was nice enough to let me know before the right stop, so I could get off there. Now you might be thinking, "Oh, good. He finally made it!" But no, they had merely dumped me at the side of the highway out in the middle of almost nowhere, with the the hot sun beating down on me, with dirt and dry stuff all around me, and with nothing to drink....... For the wimps who can't read more than three paragraphs per post along with picture captions, scroll down to the next post to find out how the hero (me) avoids almost certain death in this bleak, dry situation.
First pic: My friend working on a rug on a traditional loom.
Second pic: They make a wide variety of sizes of rugs, from the little coaster in the lower right hand corner, which was made by the youngest kids, to the huge rug that's underneath all of them and can be seen on the left, which was made by the most experienced weavers.
Third pic: The whole family. They're my good friends from Teotitlan del Valle, the village that makes these rugs, or tapetes.