Well, maybe not SO eency. She is only 4-1/2″ tall, this hand-carved and painted Dragon Miss (too frivolous to be a Dragon Lady). She actually looks more like a teenager dressed for the junior prom (do they still do that?) or a second date, all prettied up in her floral print, dressed to impress wouldn’t you say? I am not beyond using anthropomorphism to give her human attributions!
When I look at her I just have to smile at the whimsy by which she was created at the hand of talented young Arrazola alebrije painter Bertha Cruz. (The carving is done by Bertha’s husband.) Bertha has breathed life into this little gal. Who would ever think of marrying yellow marigold flowers, polka dots, a flame-red tongue and zebra-stripes on a dragon? Only a Zapotec with a creative and fanciful mind. She says to me, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
I was working on her today when WordPress sends me a tickler: write about something SMALL. It was perfect timing.
Recently, my little dragon’s ears, fore-wings and one of her back wings dislodged and I needed to do some repair work. Using a teeny weeny container of Loctite Super Glue (Control Gel) that measures 3-3/4″ tall (but VERY powerful — it will glue your skin together if you aren’t careful), I put drops of the clear stuff into the eency holes that serve as orifices for the small pointed ends of the wood carved and painted pieces. Then, I pressed the pointy ends into the holes and counted to twenty. Instantly terminado (finished). She is as good as new.
I love this piece. It reminds me of the joy and creativity of Oaxacaquenos and the colors of the city that I love so much.
Perception vs. Reality: U.S. Ranks #7 in Gun Violence; Mexico Ranks #17
Is it safe to travel to Mexico? Is it safe to travel to Oaxaca? Is it safe to fly to Mexico City and change planes for Oaxaca there?
Here’s a web site you should know about: NationMaster sent to me by my friend Sheri Brautigam, an expat who lives in Oaxaca.
It is a massive central data source and a handy way to graphically compare nations. NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD.
I used their form to search using these terms: crime, gun violence, homicides. What was generated was a map, graph, and pie charts of rankings by country. I was surprised to see that the U.S. outranks Mexico in the use of firearms that resulted in deaths. If we are to believe the media, our friends and family, it would be a different story.
But statistics don’t lie. That’s why you should keep and use this site to find out other factoids about life as we think we know it.
This coming Wednesday morning I will climb aboard a regional jet from RDU to JFK. Six hours later I will land in Mexico City and board another regional jet for Oaxaca. I am traveling alone. I will negotiate the NYC airport solo and make my way through the new international terminal at the Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City by myself. The airport in Mexico City is like many other new, clean and vibrant airports across the U.S., filled with restaurants, shops, and helpful staff. It is a shopping and eating adventure, so if you have a layover it can be a lot of fun.
A recent Seattle Times article noted, “Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism said the number of foreign visitors in 2010 exceeded the approximately 22 million travelers who arrived in 2008 — before the outbreak of swine flu in April 2009 left resorts empty for much of the rest of the year.
The U.S. Commerce Department said visits to Mexico by US residents rose 8 percent during the first six months of 2010 — a period that includes spring break months — compared to the same time period in 2009.
Much of that has been attributable to the favorable exchange rate and cheaper package deals at Mexican resorts, Travel Leaders spokeswoman Kathy Gerhardt said.”
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Travel & Tourism
Tagged crime, Mexico, NationMaster, Oaxaca, safety, tourism, travel, Travel Guides