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View Diary: Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de Arizona (so far from God and so close to Arizona) (47 comments)

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  •  No Irish ancestors that I know of-yet my grandmom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita

    had red hair...The first "undocumenteds" in my family that arrived here came from England. I love Oaxaca. The first time I entered Oaxaca I did so illegally on Xmas day in the back of a banana-filled trailer coming from Guatemala. It is one of the poorest states in Mexico and has endemic problems of poverty & getting the same level of social services that other states in Mexico get. I hope you are able one day to get a business going down there.

    Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

    by catilinus on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:24:17 PM PDT

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    •  yes, the poverty is extreme (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catilinus, asterkitty

      i have many hand made artifacts, both because i love the work and because i wanted to do what i could to help people eat.  i was not your typical bargain hunting tourist, except in the mercado where it was expected.

      on the back of a banana filled trailer!  i think that beats my story about taking the classe ordinaire bus from oaxaca to pochutla which very nearly slid off the side of the mountain in the middle of the night because the rains had eroded the road.  

      •  Hey, I think I was on that bus! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, asterkitty

        from oaxaca to pochutla which very nearly slid off the side of the mountain in the middle of the night because the rains had eroded the road.

        Well, it was the bus to Monte Alban-but it did nearly veer off the cliff several times because of the rain. That was probably the scariest ride I had in Mexico-riding with the bananas wasn't scary.

        Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

        by catilinus on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:38:02 PM PDT

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        •  scary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catilinus, Lady Libertine

          yep.  everyone was yelling "abre la puerta" and trying to climb out windows because the driver was too busy trying to manage the bus to be able to get up and open the door.  i'd just had an amazing weekend and decided if it was my night to die so be it.  and no one would ever know because no one but my friends in huatulco knew i was on the bus and they only knew that i'd be back in a week or so.  

          obviously, the bus made it back to oaxaca but it did require all of the men on the bus working together to build up the road so that we could pass.  i will never forget it.  i've considered traveling on as many local and classe ordinaire buses as possible and photographing the front windows, but i won't if i've got it in me to take that route ever again.  there was a reason why the classe ordinaire got there two hours faster than the luxe and it wasn't the different route - it was because the music was up loud and the driver careened down those hairpin turns stopping only long enough for someone to quickly hop on and his little boys closed the door behind them while the bus was already moving.  i loved being a part of it but wish i hadn't chosen a seat right behind the driver.  

          i hope your diary gets read by a lot more people - hard to say at this hour on a weekend.  you've written about stuff that people should hear about.

          •  I read your post & realized how lucky I was never (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            conchita

            to have sat right behind a driver in the sierras. Also, I was spared ever having to help build up a road....

            A looong time ago I took Greyhound from SF to the Border. Then boarded a Tres Estrellas de Oro bus that traversed Mexico, switched at the Guatemalan border & eventually reached El Salvador...all on buses. That trip was...overwhelming. From the northern border of Mexico to the southern the bus had two drivers, with each taking turns sleeping on a mattress in one of the luggage storage units below.

            Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

            by catilinus on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:45:01 AM PDT

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            •  omg, i forgot about the luggage "berth" (0+ / 0-)

              when i would take a similar bus line from oaxaca to huatulco, we would get there around 5 am and the driver would crash down there immediately.  i only knew because i left a bag one day and one of the local kids woke him up for me.  

              i cannot imagine taking a bus non stop from sf to el salvador.  how long did it take?  i like traveling by bus in mexico - you see so much and they stop at great roadside cafes.  am considering taking my 74 year old mum with me this summer.  she's never been to mexico and would like it.  not sure yet where we should go.  i love oaxaca but wonder if it is the same after the events during the election.  pluto and i have plans to meet there too and i hope it will still be a good place for two political gringas.  the friend who i would have married is zacatecan from aguas calientes originally and all that i have read about it makes me think it should be the next destination or maybe san cristobal in chiapas. friends just bought land in puerto escondido, but that is too touristy to go to with my mum or pluto.  any places you love in particular?

      •  I think I've been on that bus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita

        or some similar route between Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas. The busses ride like mountain goats, clinging to bare cliffs.

        I've been to Oaxaca once, about 20 years ago. Yo amo México. I went to high school, about 15 years before that, in New Brunswick, NJ, which is now heavily populated with Oaxacans.

        Oaxaca to New Brunswick. From what I innocently thought of as paradise to what I remember as high school wasteland nowhere town. But reading Jill's diary earlier, that explains it all.

        Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

        by asterkitty on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:40:33 PM PDT

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        •  Were you in San Cristobal de las Casas (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita

          before or after the Zapatista uprising?

          I think we were all on the "same" bus as some point.

          Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

          by catilinus on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:44:09 PM PDT

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    •  sorry for the dorchestah stereotype ;) nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catilinus
    •  My grandfather and my great uncle... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, catilinus, Wom Bat

      ...along with my Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather, were undocumented immigrants from Soviet Ukraine in 1922. They had clearance to go as far as Canada, but opted to go to Die Goldeneh Medina, the United States of America. They had relatives in Chicago, so that was their final destination.

      Furthermore, in Chicago, 1922, if you only spoke Yiddish and a little survival Ukranian and Russian, you really didn't have much of a chance of employment unless you went to the only people who were "hiring" the likes of you: the Capone Mob. My grandfather ran liquor between Toronto and Chicago. In 1933, when repeal was successful, he parlayed all the contacts he got running liquor and got into the institutional food business.

      Oh yeah, in 1933 my grandfather could speak English. And spoke it well. He lost his survival Ukranian and kept a little of his Russian. And Yiddish was used as a secret language between him and my grandmother to keep secrets from the kids later on. When the both of them spoke to their children, they did it in English.

      The next OneCare Happy Hour will be TBA
      "How's that 'Drill baby drill-y' thing workin' out for ya?" -- me

      by Pris from LA on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:49:37 AM PDT

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      •  What a fascinating family history-reminds (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, debedb, Pris from LA

        me of the Jewish kids running liquor in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America."

        My dad's side of my family came over here speaking only Yiddish-just in time to become "legalized" via the Civil War & at the cost of having a leg blown off at Chancellorsville.

        Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

        by catilinus on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:02:51 AM PDT

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        •  I wish he would have lived long enough... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, catilinus

          ...to have seen Once Upon A Time In America. However, I don't think he would have had patience for it...it's a long sprawling story, even though the story being told is just about the same as the Good(e) family's story. Yes, they changed their name in the 1930s to escape anti-Semitism. However, Bernie changed it one way and Arthur and Chuck changed it another. So we are both the same family, but some of us spell it differently.

          The next OneCare Happy Hour will be TBA
          "How's that 'Drill baby drill-y' thing workin' out for ya?" -- me

          by Pris from LA on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:27:51 AM PDT

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