Patrick, the Pastry King

San Cristobal de Las Casas Travel Blog

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It's never a bad day when you see a fanny pack. Or, for that matter, man capris and other fashion faux pas courtesy our Euro-traveling brethren. And every day my immune system conquers the traveler's diarrhea lurking in every bacteria-laden bite of street food is reason to crack another cerveza, but, moreover, to be increasingly daring in my patronage of questionable curbside vendors. I might miss Thanksgiving in the US, but it's everyday during this end-far-from-seen vacation.

Our small hostel in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Hostel Conejo, is a few renovations short of humble, but it does boast hot water and a pot-smoking, rum-sipping twenty-six year old divorcee owner who wants to have sex with every female foreigner he can seduce to the hostel fresh off the bus. For once, we witness a man who lives by the admirable creed, "It doesn't matter what you look like." (Since handwriting this post last night, we've changed hostels to another for the same price, Hostel Plaza Central, which at 60 pesos each per night provides quiter, private rooms if less character, but the front desk attendent is another cool dude. A good change.)

I'm finding it a bit difficult hostel-hopping. Not for the usual expectation: my OCD stricken self being unable to function outside a realm of absolute order, repetition, and cleanliness. The day-to-day holds plenty surprise to distract me from the absence of ritual and the presence of personal reek. I'm a misanthrope by nature, despite the smiling facade that frequently fools bored gas station attendants and old ladies. I tend to expect the worst of people until experience proves otherwise, and I have little patience for the daily repetition of identical introductory conversations, characteristics hardly conducive to making friends in the short term (though that's hardly to say I haven't met some great travelers already, nor that I've loathed every moment of conversation). Sometimes I wish it were otherwise, but I'm never immediately interested in conversing with someone unless they're offering me a drink or making overt and affectionate gestures toward my crotch. I suppose that makes me a mild asshole. Maybe I can score copious quantities of prescription pain medication at a corner pharmacy, anything with euphoria for side effect.

San Cristóbal de las Casas is a nice, quiet town, if sometimes in a menacing way. It's certainly poorer and dirtier than Oaxaca, which still holds the crown of Best City Visited, and San Cristóbal's long, seemingly unoccupied alley-width streets lined with typical, brightly painted, window-barred domiciles and housefront shops tend to energize the mind trained to expect kidnappings and muggings. Still, it's a charming town, and Latin America's affinity for vibrant paintjobs is among its most endearing features. Packs of mangy wild dogs are less so, though none has attempted to snatch a pastry from my hands, so we have no beef. Yet. However, I do find myself secretly hoping for an exploding predatory large cat population to tear and claw the region back into a more personally preferential population balance. That's probably for the parade of truckbed-caged wild cats we saw on display in the streets of Oaxaca, jaguars and panthers and more, a free and uncoordinated market-side spectacle, full of kids risking their hands and wrists with flicks and waves inside the bars, within inches of severing-capable jaws.

I'm excited to eat an expat-run Isreali restaurant tonight, which, according to a Jewish traveler at our last hostel, serves excellent falafel (Update: it does!). The variety of quality international food is one of the greatest attributes of the US. But, whatever I miss about the US, it isn't cell phones, though Jackson and I both keep experiencing phantom vibrations in our pockets.

For those who've always wanted to hear me sing, our ever-improving and -evolving "I've got the voice of an angellll!" duet keeps us giddy and everyone else confounded, perhaps revealing too much of our current mindset in its newest, melodically identical incarnation: "I'm gonna stick my dick in an angellllllllll!"
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