slowly surely + xyz : a journey of (re)discovery

I AM. Enticed

By InspiredJourney

Sitting on the side of the queen-sized bed in this hot private room, I note the feel of the mattress as perform my ritual of removing needed clothing and trash bag from mon sac.

I ready myself to meet the sun and get busy working.

I walk the grounds, searching for Fritz, to get instructions of the tasks I’m delegated to perform.

It takes a minute to locate him.

Noted.

Once I connect with him, I sensed he might have been slightly bothered by this. But, what am I to do; take the initiative to do whatever I please? Would be great, but is not my default when dealing with someone else’s property.

He walks me to the ‘garden’ and calls to Jean: “She can help you. Can you show her what you’re doing?”

Jean: Sure! C’mon.

He shows me that he’s basically raking leaves, shows me to where the rakes are stored and tells me to protect against the blazing sun as I commence my ‘job’.

I do.

At just about an hour in, shirtless and barefoot Jean gently tiptoes towards me.

He’s not alone. He has friends in tow; two sweating plastic tumblers of iced beverages filled both his hands.

The approach: “Heeey chica! Here you go.”

I inquire about the offering: ” … and this is?”

‘It’s rum and Sprite with lime,” he says through a barely noticeable accent.

Ohkay.

The ice was enticing. So I accepted his kind offer.

I drank, trying to not chug it. It quenched a thirst I hadn’t realized I had. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was most appreciative of the gesture.

We chat a bit; exchanging in the usual small talk. He’s from Canada and there with Maarrrgeaux. Yup, her, my tribe sister-friend not. They’s been in Oaxaca, at this hostel about a week at this point.

After the momentary exchange, I thanked him as he tiptoed to wherever next. He was pleasant, and I appreciated him.

The agreement is four hours a day in exchange for accommodations. So, bound to this, I continue my garden duties.

Around the three-hour mark, I see Fritz walking by. With a humbled posture and says: “Hey, you’ve been out here working for a while. Please, take a break. Don’t worry, you’ve worked enough.”

I guess he felt bad for me in some way … lol. Not sure what he was on about, but I did place my rake aside and headed back to my room.

I change and make my way to the reception desk to inquire about suggestions for the nearest market. I needed to make sure I find a place to shop for water and fruit, since they were my staples.

The current reception person and her ‘helper’ didn’t know, but showed me a map.

I see and ask Fritz. He suggests a store, citing it as the best option, but states he’s not sure of the hours and that I may want to take a taxi.

Mercado Benito Juarez it is.

I locate and map the route, opting to walk it and get a sense of the surroundings.

The town is quiet. The people friendly when I ask, confirming I was going in the right direction.

I hit a busy corner, full of men.

Though I’m dressed in a spaghetti-strapped fitted stretch camisole and leggings, I’m hoping the black fabric makes me and my ample breast invisible.

Silly, yes. Blame the introvert I am.

I really dress for me and not for attention from others, especially a crowded intersection of famished/thirsty (awful stereotype hot Latino here) men.

The black didn’t work..haha.

Though I’m reading the sign and know I’ve arrived at my destination, I walk towards this building puzzled. I was expecting a grocery store, rather than a warehouse.

I wander in, looking left and right at the various stalls: flores, ropa, zapatos, jugo fresco, sombreros y mas. The flowers and fallen petals so plentiful, it felt as if they were preparing for a funeral or four. The scents were glorious theaux. Walking pass the butchers, I nearly vomit from the smell. The fresh fish, plump, clean and  healthy looking.

At last I arrive at the fruit stalls.

To get a sense of prices, I make my way to a few asking “cuanto cuesta” of different vendors, before settling to buy from a couple of them. One young lady got most of my business that day. She was gentle and not hawkish.

I begin my walk back to the hostel with a couple heavy bags. This time, being daring by taking an alternate route.

Walking back into the hostel, I see a gathering in the general space and hovering around the reception desk. I can tell, there was a familiarity among the group, and this desk was the common meeting area and likely a place I didn’t want to hang around.

Back in my room, stack my goodies on the shelf and call it a night.

Being that I had been in Mexico nearly two weeks now, my natural clock had adjusted to the two hours difference in time.

The early bird here, I was awake when no one besides perhaps, my spirit guide Ras and friends/relatives, were stirring.

I prepare myself and start my gardening duties long before the next person or sun would show.

By the time others were awake, I was done putting my hours in. This proved to be to contribute to a slight problem. More on that later.

Mornings after work, I wandered around town. Taking in the sites and seeing how I vibed with the place. It was more like a sleepy town, and not a place I could see myself living full-time.

As time and a couple of days ticked on, I opt to be friendly and ‘successfully’ engage with the group at Hostel Fiasco.



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