I arrived to Oaxaca city after a 24 hour bus ride. Compared to some countries in Asia this one was hard. In Vietnam there are sleeper busses. In india there are sleeper compartments on the trains. In Mexico there are these truly uncomfortable seats. And the bus never stopped for food. haha…. that was interesting. For 24 hours I was missing the uncomfortable busses in India. At least they stop now and then and one can have a decent chai. Here nothing.
I guess this is the thing with traveling through many countries for a long time. One starts comparing good and bad. Don’t take me wrong, there are good things in every country. And of course one of the reasons for travelling is exactly that. To experience the differences.
After fasting for 24 hours I went out for a meal. Being a vegetarian in Mexico has turned out to be difficult. Not many options and when I have found something vegetarian it hasn’t been flavoured. Or perhaps they have prepared something for the ‘tourist’ they think the ‘tourist’ will appreciate. Being spoiled with vegetarian well seasoned food in Asia, I feel a bit like a fish out of sea. This is the reason why I have started making my own food, which I haven’t for one whole year. I feel a bit lost.
This morning I decided to visit the local food market. Just before I left the hostel a woman approached me asking me if I knew the password for the wi-fi. She asked me where I was going and I told her.
So I got to Mercado de la Merced just past 6 am. The merchants were still unpacking and preparing their stalls. A beautiful sight. All the colours and variety of veggies, flowers and bread. The amount of bread to feed a whole army. I sat down for a coffee. And there she comes. The lady from the hostel.
Her name is One, like in one, two, three, she tells me. A chinese 72 year old woman from Kuala Lumpur traveling on her own.
So we talk and I can’t stop asking her questions. She is not the typical chinese elderly woman. The chinese custom is to work and struggle to provide for your children. She says that most chinese buy their children a house and then they take care of the grand children. And that is their life. Always taking care of someone else. They don’t have a life, she says.
She travels on a budget, staying in hostels, trying to do things the cheapest way possible and that will keep her on the road longer.
We talk about the fact that we get older. I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of not being able to live a good life, she says. And I totally agree. Death is not what scares me. Living a not meaningful life when I get old, that what scares me.
One is full of spirit, full of energy, full of life. I hope I will have that too when I am 72.