18 July 2008

Ballgames



On a hilltop outside the city of Oaxaca, México, is a spectacular archaeological site called Monte Albán. We were fortunate to have a funny, knowledgeable and articulate guide during our visit there. I'm not much for tourist spots, but Monte Albán was beautiful, and a worthwhile destination. That's a photo of the ball-court. Who knows what kind of crazy ballgame the Zapotecas played? México is a great place for juxtaposing the old and the new. Sure enough, in the city we found our way to the parque de béisbol, where we got to watch a more familiar, modern game. They love baseball in Estados Unidos Mexicanos (yes, they are the "United States" too!). How can you NOT like a place that loves baseball? Naturally, we had to attend the games every night. We tried three times, got rained out once, and would have done a fourth and fifth but the wedding celebrations got in the way. After all, we did travel to Oaxaca for Ron and Susana's wedding, so we couldn't just blow off the cocktail party, ceremony and reception for a weekend of cervezas and cheerleaders, could we? Here's a look at the estadio, inside and out:







You can see the tarp crew at work. It was the wet season there, and we had showers most days. The Valley of Oaxaca was lush and green--it was hard to imagine that their dry season can go as long as nine months. A few times, when the sky overhead was filled with clouds and the air moist with impending precipitation, I squinted my eyes and thought I was in Ireland. Mexicans drive like the Irish, a pedal-to-the-metal "we're in God's hands now" fatalistic mad careering through narrow streets and around blind turns. And Mexicans, like the Irish, are impossibly friendly and generous, especially to American tourists. They play weird ballgames in Ireland, highly entertaining, impressively athletic, but not baseball. Here's some scenery that might make you think of the Emerald Isle:





Stay tuned for more México stories and photos!

2 comments:

EboRâguebi said...

Rugby, Rugby, Rugby!!!

Luís

nancyo said...

Really nice (articulate)trip commentary, Mark. Thanks for sharing.