Drinks bought for us, dinner delivered to us, a prayer said over us, and an offer to stay in someone’s home extended to us… And this was all in one bar.
The kindness of strangers is a pretty common theme in our travels. Remember that time we were asked to house sit a mansion in Kenya? Or that time we met a pastor in a church in Malawi who invited us into her home for lunch? Oh, and my personal favorite, that one time we were accidentally hosted overnight by the former captain of the South African polo team??
We never ceased to be amazed by the sheer generosity and kindness we encounter when we’re open and vulnerable on the road. The media wants us to believe the world is a scary place. That we can’t trust anybody. That everyone we meet us out to scam us. Or kidnap us. Or kill us! Certainly, you’ve got to have a good head on your shoulders when you travel. Heck, when you’re at home too. But we’ve learned that our instincts are a powerful thing, and listening to them will rarely lead us astray.
Anyhow. Our time in Oaxaca was dominated by eating and drinking, basically the two most important things you can do there. Mezcal and mole, the stars of the culinary show. On our favorite evening, we poked our heads into a local bar attached to the town’s taxi hub, full of men fresh off their day’s shift. Nudey posters hanging on the wall and just one other woman in sight, not the ideal place for two foreigners to stumble into.
Nevertheless, we opted to snag the solo seats at the bar for a beer, not planning to stay long. A difficult task, when free beers and plates of food start lining up along the bar. We were like local celebrities. Everyone wanted a chance to practice their English. Hear us attempt Spanish. Tell us all about Oaxaca. Learn our impressions of it. Folks were literally stumbling over one another to bring us a better stool to sit on, have us sample their dinner, ask us where we’re from and tell us everything they know about California. One guy told us repeatedly, "You are good people, I can tell" while showering us with hugs. I’m sure it wasn’t just the mescal talking.
That is one of our favorite things about traveling, how warmly and enthusiastically we are welcomed just about everywhere we go. The men begged us to come back the following evening, but it was time for us to head to the coast. Till next time, Oaxaca.
For photos from the rest of our Oaxaca experience, click HERE.