Every evening at 5:30 it happens…the aroma starts to waft through the streets of San Agustin Etla, my temporary home for a month. My olfactory senses take over and I’m walking up the hill just so I can get a whiff of one of the best smells in the world. Bread. The little local bakery is hard at work tempting everyone within nose sniffing distance. You walk in the door and they hand you a tray, tongs, and point you in the back with a word – “caliente”. It’s like the Willy Wonka of bread factories – stacks of trays everywhere, a huge oven, and a cast of smiley bakers watching us. I love 5:30..
I’m staying in the Wooden Box (yes – that’s the real name) via Airbnb in a small village in the hills outside of Oaxaca.
More about Airbnb:
Want to try Airbnb yourself? I’ll give you a $20 credit here…
Learn more about using Airbnb for local experiences when you travel here!
I’m not alone, and am once again a 3rd wheel in a couple with blogging/business friends, Dalene and Pete, and I’m having a wonderful start to 2016. It’s not wonderful because I’m traveling to exotic places and seeing tons of new things, it’s wonderful because I’m traveling slow again. In fact I don’t even know if I can call it travel. Most days I don’t even leave the ‘Wooden Box compound’ – I’m super happy just hanging out here with Dalene and Pete, writing, talking, laughing, playing cards, and heading out to the bakery occasionally.
Don’t get me wrong though – this isn’t some relaxing, ‘find yourself’ vacation; I’m working my ass off on writing and organizing my year of travel/projects/speaking/workshops and any other stuff I can dream up to make a living. Oh yes, and then there’s the book proposal I’m supposed to be working on. I am the worst procrastinator ever…the worst. The good news though is that I have a direction for the proposal, so now it’s a matter of thinking like an author as opposed to a blogger; which is harder then you might think.
The only bad thing about this whole idyllic situation is the evil, mean dog that lives next door and acts like he’s going to attack us every time we go up the road to the bakery or restaurant or to catch a collective (local taxi transport). I hate that dog. Hate. I hyperventilate every time I walk by the house. I have visions of the Wolf Mutts in Hunger Games – but I’m no Katniss Everdeen when it comes to dogs. In some ways though it’s good for me as it makes me stay in and work most days instead of going out playing. Maybe everyone needs a mean dog to make them do their work.
And what’s travel and living abroad if you don’t have a little quirkiness? Every morning around 7AM my village ‘alarm’ goes off, “Buenos Diasssssssss……..” echos throughout the hills sort of like Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam. (Listen/View Dalene’s video of it here – I’m not exaggerating) Apparently morning announcements are normal around here. I have no idea what the women is saying, but it’s a lot of long drawn out Spanish that sounds sort of like a ring announcer at boxing match and then also supplements the announcements with the occasional music. I can pick up maybe one word every 15 minutes – something about family and cheese normally. And yes, she can go on like this for over an hour.
Pete, Dalene and I have made it our quest to meet this woman…and hijack her morning ‘show’. We’ve heard that she takes requests for 10 pesos…we are going to rule this valley. Anyone have any requests? Leave them in the comments below…
Our village also has a beautiful basilica and an art center ( Arts Centre St. Augustine or CaSa). CaSa is used for training, creation, and artistic experimentation, located in our tiny little village of San Agustin Etla. Pete and I have already spent a great deal of time there with our cameras as you’ll see in the Instagram photos below!
So this is my last couple of weeks in my little Mexican hill paradise…enjoy…
San Agustin Etla on My Instagram