Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Do the X'matkuil"

It was a brisk (86 degrees) Thanksgiving Day today and since the only turkey we've seen lately is the one wandering around the neighbor's yard across the street, we decided the best thing to do was go to the Yucatan State Fair to see what was what.
It was about a 45 minute drive to the city of X'matkuil (pronounced Ish-mat-koo-eel) and very easy to find the fairgrounds as it's the biggest deal in town. The cost: $2.00 to park and $1.00 each to get in. "Ah-ha", I thought, "more cash for scones!" (more on this later).
At the front entrance there was this very nice facsimile of El Castillo of which we are all REAL proud .

Our first stop was, of course, Reptile Planet. It was a very nicely executed live display of some of the planet's most deadly and not so deadly snakes, lizards and even a crocodile. The fellow on the right is a Black Mamba. I'll leave it to you to Google it, but he's a nasty one.

Like any state fair, agriculture plays a big part.
Besides exhibits like this, there were also the latest example of farm equipment.

Did someone say "livestock"? You bet! We saw horses, bulls, sheep, goats...all kinds of things.

These are the sheep.

These are Brahmas.

This guy seemed VERY glad to see us.

And, like all state fairs, the carney games of chance were everywhere. But we never expected to see "this......."

"This" being an exhibit featuring "devices of torture, pain and death" as used in the Spanish Inquisition.
Fun for the whole family!
The line was WAY too long for us so, with our appetites aflame we set off to find a suitable fair lunch.

Since scones weren't available, good old Yucatecan Tacos were just what we needed. After four of these fully loaded beef numbers with cabbage, onions, tomatoes and avocado and some hot sauce....well, suffice it to say there was a reason Taco Bell folded up their tent and moved on from Merida long ago.


Just so we don't seem so smug about ethnic food here, we also ran across this food court:

Burger King?! Domino's Pizza?! Not today, friends!

Next stop: housewares. Again, a little different from what we are used to.

Did I say that 96% of the population here is Catholic?

Indra shopping for a new bedspread.

The rodeo is a popular sport here and there were also exhibitors showing some fancy saddles.

All good things must come to an end.....I was remarking to Indra that it's too bad we can't add the sounds and smells to these pictures. We plan on returning next year.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Teatro Merida

I thought I'd share some pictures of a theater I came across while taking a lunchtime stroll through the centro district of Merida.

This art deco number was built in the 1920's and like in so many other cities (notably Miami), slated for demolition until the locals convinced the government to save it. After restoration, it has been used as a performing arts center.

Check out this ticket booth.

...and these doors into the theater.

To the upper balcony.

Ceiling lights in the lobby.

We haven't seen the inside yet, but hope to someday when it's not so hectic around here.