In Mexico, it makes me chuckle that of all the English words to borrow, everyone knows “hippie” and “emo” for the sheer quantity of these ex-pats living here. Must be odd that these raggedy-disaffected gringos always seem to be looking for incense, mushrooms, yoga, and woven handicrafts…

And for me, it’s a peculiar phenomenon that so many are fanatics of Bruce Lee, and since I may as well be Bruce Lee’s daughter as far as Chiapanecos are concerned, a surprising number of my conversations with locals end up being about kung-fu and martial arts and Eastern philosophy. And Chinese food, and what an amazing feat it is that I’ve “dominated“–yes that’s the word they use—the chopsticks. (And due to the common knowledge that the Chinese immigrants are some of the worst Spanish speakers on Earth, mixing the l’s and r’s and unable to pronounce the rr ) I surprise them when mine is crisply understandable, even though I’ve explained that I’m Californian. I suppose I am being a good cultural ambassador for Chinese in the fact that Mexicans are fascinated: “My God! You’re the first Asian I’ve been able to fully understand!

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Click to enlarge.

These are tempting scenes from a typical Sunday at Chi’vit Mercado, which I find extraordinary in all the stories we can tell when we come home. They say one of the greatest joys of life is forgetting and re-discovery. And in the everyday existence of this market, I’ve found the $10 peso vermilion gladiolas from the Mayan flower peddler ($1 USD for a bouquet of twenty stems!) to be the most delightful way to persuade myself of the refreshing energy of putting beauty in my life.

Chi\'vit Mercado

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Days have a way of stacking up, especially if you’re not paying attention. There’s always stuff to notice, things to see and do, but you have to be in the moment. But that’s the thing of it, really, as long as you’re here, there’s always plenty to experience.” -Claire

Spanish Words of the Day:rencilla” quarrel  | “empeorar” worsen | “afilado” pointy, sharp | “hallazgo” find | “bufete” law firm | “tambalearse” to wobble, to stagger | “estremecedor” spine-chilling | “deshacerse” to come undone, to melt, to go to pieces

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