Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Farewell, Querétaro!

Here are some things I will miss about Querétaro 

Sada y el Bombon: Only my favorite revista independiente de cultura urbana that I have ever read. Countless examples of simpatico...this magazine is witty, clever, informative, creative, artistically minded, socially conscious, and completely and totally on my wavelength. I miss it already. I have missed it since the first day I ever read it, by merely thinking about not reading it.

The plazas by day: Careful readers of this blog (if there are any left) will know that the plazas of Querétaro are one of its chief attractions. I should have spent more time wandering the plazas of the Centro during the afternoons in between the commitments of my (horrible, exhausting, I'm-so-glad-it's-over) split shift schedule. I am glad for the time I did spend strolling in them. There is something magical about sunlight on the multi-colored, colonial architecture buildings, the spray of the fountains, and the dark gray cobblestones. By the time of my farewell plaza walk, on my last full day in Querétaro, the city Christmas decorations were up and I stood and stared at the sun-sparkled tinsel that spelled out "Querétaro les desea un feliz Navidad" and I felt full of joy. 

The plazas by night: Then again, there is much to be said for nighttime on the plazas. I am just glad we lived across the street from the Centro so we could spend a lot of time there. I loved the music, the arts, the random creativeness, the restaurants and the coffee shops that I found on the plazas, and I loved strolling through them at night to partake of these things.

Volcanes: I am not sure how this secret of Mexican food has remained so well kept, but this was my favorite discovery in the cuisine of Querétaro. Essentially, a volcan is two small, round, crispy tortillas with a whole bunch of melted cheese in between, and some meat usually, which is why I feel guilty about loving them, but holy schmoly are they delicious!!! It's basically a little sandwich with what look like tortilla chips instead of bread. And don't take this the wrong way, but I'm not at all sure why Taco Bell has not jumped all over this. They have totally done their part to co-opt (and slightly alter) gorditas, chalupas, and so on. Volcanes are absolutely meant for Taco Bell's menu, and without even much alteration, although the cheese would never be as good. My mouth is watering just thinking about all the volcanes I am not going to eat anymore. 

The aqueduct: This is Querétaro's pride and joy, and I made sure to take a walk up the little hill to take one last look at it on my final full day, too. I will miss driving past the arches every day...and I won't even be there to see the fancy new expanded lanes of the thoroughfare that goes through the arches when they are completed, although I did get to witness the majority of their construction (didn't I just love my evening rush hour commute!) 

Learning about Mexican history, especially indigenous history but also the interesting Indpendencia and the Revolucion: Sometimes I did this by visiting museums. Sometimes I did this by reading. Sometimes it was by talking to people or by just being there to soak up cultural awareness. To paraphrase Suzanne Sugarbaker, there was quite a bit of Mexico that I did, indeed, want to soak up.

Nevertheless, it is time to move on and actually try to earn some money and make a living in the world again (what a concept). That's OK. I like to think Benito will continue to keep watch over Querétaro in my absence.

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