Mérida Centro and Beauty in Chaos

3

There is a small shop at the cor­ner of the street sell­ing bananas. I am con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a few when I real­ize that all the shops in the street sell bananas—exclusively bananas. It reminds me of China where one street has only shoe stores, the other one has a row of bar­ber­shops, etc.

I am still stand­ing there, at the cor­ner of the busy street, when a man picks a bunch a bananas and hands it to the shop­keeper, who puts it on an antique scale.

Doce pesos,” he announces.

Doce??”

The buyer seems offended.

The shop­keeper weighs the banana again, more carefully.

Once cin­cuenta,” he concedes.

The buyer seems happy and pays.

I smile again at the incon­gruity of the dia­logue. Even for Mex­ico, fifty pesos is nothing!

We are now in Mérida, a city we’ve stopped in twice (in 2001 and 2003) and of which, strangely, we have no mem­ory of. I usu­ally remem­ber places very well but Mérida is a blank. So we’ve decided to explore it again.

Dri­ving into Mérida was dif­fi­cult and chaotic. The streets were jammed with cars, taxis and buses and side­walks were busy with street food stalls and pedestrians.

Once past the zocalo, the streets were wider and qui­eter and we even­tu­ally found our hotel, on Calle 59. We scored a great deal in a posh place for only $44 a night. Life is cheap in Mérida.

Yet this doesn’t mean we are hang­ing out at the Paseo de Mon­tejo, the local “Champs Élysées”. I’d rather aim for chaotic cen­tro and get lost in the crowd, the noise, the pol­lu­tion and the dirt.

This is life.

Aren’t you scared to walk around alone?” a Cana­dian woman asked me in—of all places!—Porto More­los. Nope, I’m not. Mex­ico feels rather safe. There are bad peo­ple every­where but I feel okay here and I have no prob­lem tak­ing Mark with me at the mar­ket. It’s chaotic but it’s not dan­ger­ous. On a side note, it prob­a­bly helps that I am a good feet taller than the aver­age Mex­i­can (man or woman)! Sure, when I am by myself, I some­time hear “amor, amor!” and other cat­calls. But they are rather harm­less and I don’t slow or pay atten­tion to them.

Peo­ple are beau­ti­ful, in Mex­ico or else­where. And it’s fas­ci­nat­ing to observe them work­ing, shop­ping, walk­ing, eat­ing, etc.

Mérida is an inter­est­ing mix of Maya peo­ple (some wear­ing the tra­di­tional dress, such as the white embroi­dered dress) and Mex­i­can of Euro­pean descent. A lot of locals actu­ally think I am Mexican!

You can see the full set of Estación Méx­ico on Flickr.

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Paseo de Montejo

Paseo de Montejo

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Quinceañera Dresses

Quinceañera Dresses

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Mérida Centro

Mérida Cen­tro

Iglesia de Monjas

La Cat­e­dral

Iglesia de Monjas

La Cat­e­dral

Zocalo

Zocalo

Palacio de Gobierno

Pala­cio de Gobierno

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

3 Comments

  1. Great pic­tures!

    You man­age to cap­ture daily life in a great way. Congratulations.

    It is nice to see that you find beauty in the dif­fer­ent. Nor­mally all Mérida pho­tos are of the nice mon­u­ments, plazas or mansions.

    Hope you can take and share more of this region.

    Best regards,

    Eduardo.

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