What a Month!

A lot has changed since I left for Oaxaca.

Four weeks ago, before the declaration of a pandemic, I left home to spend 5 weeks in Mexico.
I was going to visit the library that I am sponsoring and meet with some of the people who work with children's libraries in Oaxaca. I was totally unprepared for all that would follow.

Mexico City is full of great museums.

I planned on spending 4 nights in Mexico City where I stayed in a hotel on the Zocalo (main square)
of the city. Montezuma's palace once stood on the site of my hotel. The second day of my stay was International Women's Day. I had returned to my room by mid-afternoon, when a peaceful  parade of women began. I watched from my window...Nothing out of the ordinary. I've seen parades in Paris and in Oaxaca. Domestic violence and femicide are serious concerns in Mexico. On average, a woman is murdered every 2.5 hours in Mexico. There's a lot of anger and rightly so. I heard sounds and smelled smoke.

"Fireworks!" I thought. I was wrong. Molotov cocktails! People in ski-masks charged the barricade
blocking off the street below my window. All of a sudden, They were on my street with  2x4's and trying to bash in the metal screens of the shops below. Graffiti everywhere..
I closed the drapes and moved away from the window.

I have never been in a war zone, seen a riot or been so afraid.

There were lovely little restaurants in Puerto Escondido.

I was a bit uneasy for the rest of my time in Mexico City. I flew to Puerto Escondido on the west coast of Oaxaca state. My hotel was a palapa tree house outside of the town. Puerto Escondido
is famous for its surf and its lack of tourism. Prices are low and the restaurants are charming.

Unfortunately, returning from one of these restaurants, I lost my wallet. It may have fallen out when I paid the taxi driver or it may have been taken from the treehouse. I'll never know. I did not lose my passport or my secret cache of another credit card and a bit more money.

This happened the same day that our Prime Minister told Canadians to come home. Europeans, Mexicans and Americans were not receiving this message but as a Canadian, I tend to err on the side
of caution.

I stayed for 4 nights in Oaxaca.
I arrived in Oaxaca without my wallet. I had lost my bank card, credit card and most of my cash. I needed to book a return flight home. Monsieur sent me money by Western Union. Twice, I walked to try to receive the money and twice the man refused because I did not have a "comprobante de domicilio." I tried to explain that I was a traveller who had no such document. I had a passport, tracking number etc. But no way! Fortunately, a fellow Canadian loaned me some cash.

I booked a Business Class ticket (only 4 people in Business) and flew home to face my 14 days of quarantine.