I was determined on this trip not to go to any touristy places but already on day 4 I caved in. Last night’s so-called mini weekend was a bit of fizzer. Not too many places were actually open. Most of the bars on Priciliano Sanchez were open but very few people in them. And what people there were went home early. The jet-lag is wearing off and I wasn’t too tired and feeling a bit restless. Although for future reference, the Blood of Christ starters followed by bottles Dos Equis is not a good combination. So I decided to hop on a bus and head to San Pedro Tlaquepaque.
It used to be a city in it’s own right but Guadalajara spread so much that now it’s just a suburb of Guadalajara. And actually, it’s very close to the city centre. Apparently the name comes from an Aztec language and means, “place above clay land”. Hence, it’s famous for pottery and handicrafts. It’s a cute place, quite small with lots of galleries around and a pottery museum aswell…
Lots of nice restaurants too…
I stopped in one and ordered one of the specialities “Birria de Ternera”. Again it was a bit of a roll of the dice. I knew ternera was veal but didn’t know what birria was. It turns out it was much the same as what I had at Mama’s Stews yesterday but Mama’s was waaaaaaay better though. This one came served with hot fluffy tortillas and some chopped raw onion on the side.
I’m so easily talked into anything… The waiter took my order and asked, “What would you like to drink? Tequila???”
It was actually pretty good but it means that my first meal of the day was just meat, bread and tequila.
Doing the “Danza de los Voladores”. It’s an ancient ritual which was created, to end a drought. “At least 450 years ago there was a severe drought that brought hunger to the people. The gods were withholding the rain because the people had neglected them. The ceremony was created, to appease the gods and bring back the rains.” Five guys climb up a 30 metre pole and spin around for a while. One guy plays the flute while the other four descend to the ground by ropes.
My next encounter was with these two lovely teenage guys, Javier and José…
They were in the central square shining shoes and persuaded me to let them clean my shoes. I was kind of reluctant since my shoes weren’t particularly dirty and they’re made of suede. But hey, you’ve got to support the local economy so I agreed.
In retrospect, I should’ve just given the money and saved them the work. I think they basically just wet my shoes and moved what dirt there was around. And because it was a cool overcast day, I ended up walking around for the rest of the afternoon with wet shoes. But they were both very well-meaning.
We chatted a bit in my pigeon Spanish. Javier (on the left) is 18 and his brother Jose (on the right) is 16. They come from Tijuana but left because they didn’t like it there and so came to Guadalajara to live with their grandparents. They come to the square in Tlaquepaque in the afternoon after school to earn money. The both need to buy new backpacks for school. The price for the shoe clean was 20 pesos but I gave them 50. I felt like I should have given more.
And that was it!!