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Post by Frijoles on Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:05 am


Any comments, good or bad, about living in Oaxaca City? Thanks.
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Post by CheenaGringo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:11 pm

While we have never lived in Oaxaca City, maybe some observations from visiting for 5 days last August would be of benefit to you?

Overall, centro Oaxaca appears to be a dynamic area with various pedestrian only streets, well kept buildings, a large variety of restaurants - galleries - shops - hotels - parks, etc.  Imagine a much larger version of centro Tlaquepaque.  There seems to be a constant level of activity throughout the day and into the evening/nightime hours that transitions from business related to singles and families out for their evening activities.  While we would guess that there may be sections to avoid, we didn't feel an security issues when out walking around.  We were impressed with how clean the streets and sidewalks were in centro but as one works their way out into the surrounding areas, the conditions seem to degenerate.

From all that we have read, there is a good sized foreign community but since we didn't see any gated communities, I am guessing that they are scattered throughout neighborhoods that they individually prefer.  Oaxaca City and the State of Oaxaca get huge numbers of foreign visitors, especially Europeans.  As a result, there is a variety of tourist related businesses who benefit not only from directing the tourists but also by receiving commissions from the sales of these visitors.  If one is moving about independently, one needs to be careful not to receive pricing designed for the tour groups.

Given our interest in arts and crafts, there was plenty to do and see not only in Oaxaca City but in the surrounding areas.  If you have an interest in archaeology, there are any number of sites to visit and explore.  Oaxaca is known for their moles, chocolate, mezcal and some food items which can be called exotic or unusual.  

Traffic is Oaxaca City is often a test of one's patience and tolerance because of the one way streets and a shortage of parking.  They have a liberal approach to stopping and double parking or illegal parking most anywhere they deem necessary.  The usage of horns was unreal and one can plan on being blasted by a horn if you don't start moving the moment a light changes.  

Overall, we had a good experience and came away positive about the city and the area!

https://picasaweb.google.com/118146709599975173363/OAXACAMEXICO?authuser=0&feat=directlink

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Post by Frijoles on Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:44 pm


Thanks for your input CG. Anyone else?
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Post by Zedinmexico on Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:19 pm

Very nice place. Nice large city but not too large that you can't get around. A little less mellow place than lakeside. Three demonstrations in one day came by me. The market had the best food quality wise and cost wise.  Many fancy resturants around the city. Try Marco Polo for breakfast. Next to large park where weekly market is. Sit inside away from the edge of the square  when you eat outside or the Indio will drive you crazy trying to sell you the same stuff. It is pretty bad. One of the negatives.  Airfare is expensive and most people bus to Mexico city for flights. If we were younger and not so village comfortable we would move there. We loved the art, museums, woodcarvings, and the famous hand made, hand made dyed rugs. Museums are good. Buildings are very
pretty. Churches are all over.  Try all the different kinds of Mole.  A great place to visit. Looks like much of Califonia actually. English
library run by expats. Ran into a few folks who were obviously Expats. One of the nicer cities in Mexico. Not as much English as here but enough. Do take a van tour of the local Indio culture. Go visit a rug maker or Woodcarver. Oh yea try the chocolate.

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Post by brigitte on Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:15 pm

Frijoles, I do not live in Oaxaca but I spend a bit of time there with locals as our very good friends invite us to eveyr wedding, baptism pueblo fiesta etc  there. We have visited many times over the last 12 years and have a house for our use when we go ther.
If you ever go there DO NOT use the word "indio" ever especially to an indigenous. It was a word used in the past but it is now the equivalent of the N word so do yourself a favor, do not use that word. It is not cute. The proper temr is indigenous.
Living and visiting are two very differnt things if you want to know what it is like there go ,visit and talk to expats there especially those who have lived there for a while . It is a great place to visit but living and visiting are two very different things.
The center is beautiful the rest of the city is not so great. There villages around with a lot of expats likt the various Etlas, St Felipe del Agua and others. Lots of beautiful countryside outside of the city to escape too when the traffic and polution get too much.

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Post by Zedinmexico on Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:21 am

brigitte wrote:Frijoles, I do not live in Oaxaca but I spend a bit of time there with locals as our very good friends invite us to eveyr wedding, baptism pueblo fiesta etc  there. We have visited many times over the last 12 years and have a house for our use when we go ther.
If you ever go there DO NOT use the word "indio" ever especially to an indigenous. It was a word used in the past but it is now the equivalent of the N word so do yourself a favor, do not use that word. It is not cute. The proper temr is indigenous.
Living and visiting are two very differnt things if you want to know what it is like there go ,visit and talk to expats there especially those who have lived there for a while . It is a great place to visit but living and visiting are two very different things.
The center is beautiful the rest of the city is not so great. There villages around with a lot of expats likt the various Etlas, St Felipe del Agua and others. Lots of beautiful countryside outside of the city to escape too when the traffic and polution get too much.

 I don't doubt what you say but why would they all drink Indio beer if it is an insult?  Is it a local insult?


I walked all over the city even the hill areas and had no problems.  Even befriended some kids putting up a big graffiti piece. Nobody bothered me and it was much cleaner and nicer than Guad. Sure they were curious about the gringo walking around. Lots of folks wanting to practice there English with me. I sat on the corner up on the hill and finished a couple of big beer bottles with the locals while we talked in Spanglish. They were very curious about why folks from the north would live in Mexico.  Maybe I do
things that I shouldn't but I usually get away with it. To be honest I felt safer there than some neighborhoods in Chapala.

Z

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Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:43 am

Have you heard of Uncle Benz rice and Aunt Jamima pantcakes or chocolate Banania?...They still are used so is Indio as a beer brand.
I work with indigenous and have many friends amongst them  here, Oaxaca and Chiapas and they told me it was an insult..I have no doubt that you meant nothing by using that word but it has become a no no to indigenous and you should know that.

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Post by Pedro on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:32 am

i can gaurantee you zed, that calling someone an indio is an insult.pinche indio zed. how many people have ta tell ya before ya get yer face punched one day?
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Post by Zedinmexico on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:36 am

brigitte wrote:Have you heard of Uncle Benz rice and Aunt Jamima pantcakes or chocolate Banania?...They still are used so is Indio as a beer brand.
I work with indigenous and have many friends amongst them  here, Oaxaca and Chiapas and they told me it was an insult..I have no doubt that you meant nothing by using that word but it has become a no no to indigenous and you should know that.

 Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to explain. Still seems weird that indigenous would buy this beer but it is what it is.

Z

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Post by Bob Bender on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:38 am

Zedinmexico wrote:
brigitte wrote:Have you heard of Uncle Benz rice and Aunt Jamima pantcakes or chocolate Banania?...They still are used so is Indio as a beer brand.
I work with indigenous and have many friends amongst them  here, Oaxaca and Chiapas and they told me it was an insult..I have no doubt that you meant nothing by using that word but it has become a no no to indigenous and you should know that.

 Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to explain. Still seems weird that indigenous would buy this beer but it is what it is.

Z

How does someone as clueless as you make it this far in life? Guardian angel?

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Post by Zedinmexico on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:44 am

Bob Bender wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote:
brigitte wrote:Have you heard of Uncle Benz rice and Aunt Jamima pantcakes or chocolate Banania?...They still are used so is Indio as a beer brand.
I work with indigenous and have many friends amongst them  here, Oaxaca and Chiapas and they told me it was an insult..I have no doubt that you meant nothing by using that word but it has become a no no to indigenous and you should know that.

 Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to explain. Still seems weird that indigenous would buy this beer but it is what it is.

Z

How does someone as clueless as you make it this far in life? Guardian angel?

Gee I learned the term from an Indigenous person.   Why don't you just foe me if you don't like me Seis. Leave me alone. I don't
like you and you don't like me.  

Z

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Post by Bob Bender on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:47 am

What term did you learn from an indigenous person?

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Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:59 am

Mestizos which is what most people around here and in many cities are do not consider themselves indigenous and would be the ones looking down at indigenous.
How many Mexicans speaking an indigenous language have you seen drinking Indio?
I have never paid much attention to what people drink but I have never seen Indio served in any of the indigenous fiestas , Modelo at room temperature and cheap mezcal is what you are offered in Oaxaca at large fiestas...
In Chiapas most of my friends do not drink but at fiesta ,Pox and coca cola are widely used.
If my husband buys anything but Modelo my indigenous women friends immediately come and tell me that he is wasting money and is buying expensive beer.
It is not in the indigenous culture to have a couple of beers. Any alcohol is looked at as a mean to ge drunk. Relaxing and drinking a beer or two does not add up and it is why it is very often followed by mescal.
I have no doubt that some indigenous may drink Indio but the vast majority does not.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:14 pm

Interesting that a person known for telling stories about being profiled and descriminated against by TSA and Homeland Security tries to rationalize his use of the word Indio by saying it is the name of a beer.  I wonder what response he would expect if he were to refer to a black lady as:
Oaxaca City <a href=Oaxaca City Mrs_b10" />

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Post by Smartalex on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:36 pm

I think the word we need here is indigena. The g is pronounced like an h in English. Learn to use this word. The native, indigenous people of the Americas have nothing to do with India and resent being wrongly identified and defined as such by the European invaders.

Mestizo is probably a poor choice for a word as well. It comes from the Latin root for mongrel. It's a lot like using "half-breed" in English.
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Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:51 pm

Mestizo is a totally appropriate word according to my friends in Chiapas who call themselves mestizos, however ladino is not according to the same people.

These people do not have to go to a dictionary to know what is ok and what is not and it is not like using half breed in English.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:21 pm

This discussion reminds me of the period when folks of Mexican extraction in the US decided that they wished to be referred to as Latinos or Chicanos. Now there is a backlash in certain communities if one uses the term Latinos.

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Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:48 pm

down there it is the term ladino with a D, they do not like , I think the term came from Guatemala but I am not sure on that one.

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Post by Smartalex on Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:15 pm

Ladino is a type of Spanish Jew. They speak a different dialect of Spanish and, indeed, have their own separate culture. Many Ladinos immigrated to the Americas during the early stages of the Conquest because they were being persecuted in Spain during the time of the Inquisition. Guatemala became one of their destinations. There are also Ladino communities in New Mexico.
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Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:47 pm

Ladino is an insult in Chiapas.Nothing more nothing less and it has nothing to do with Jews. Book knowledge is good but there is nothing like being there.

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Post by Bob Bender on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:46 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:This discussion reminds me of the period when folks of Mexican extraction in the US decided that they wished to be referred to as Latinos or Chicanos.  Now there is a backlash in certain communities if one uses the term Latinos.

The term latino in the US was NOT something Mexicans came up with. The US government wanted a label to put on Latin Americans and decided on using that term. Because whites in the States needed to differentiate themselves from people Latin America.

Once, my wife, when asked if she was latina replied, "la tina esta en el baño, yo soy mexicana"

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Post by brigitte on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:40 pm

Pretty funny answer from your wife.
In Europe the "Latins" or I guess Latinos are the Italians, Spaniards French and Portuguese and maybe some others ..do not know when I saw the terms in the US I thought it was a little strange but since the Portuguese and Spaniards had colonized those countries I figured it was all Latin America but never understood why the Spaniards, Italians, French and Portuguese were not included.

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