la Plaza Grande en el Centro: a close-up

in the dead center of merida lies a large square park, covered in perfectly cube-trimmed trees, a simple circular brick platform shaded by palm trees, and a multitude of people {and even more birds, don't get me started on the pigeons!} just enjoying the beautiful day and one another's company. 

there is something so absolutely beautiful about the simplicity of this town. the mexican culture isn't obsessed with time and punctuality like we are in the states. they value relationships and living in the moment. the centro {the plaza and surrounding stores, markets, and vendors} is a prime example of this lifestyle. the mood of the atmosphere is very leisurely and relaxed, yet entertaining and exciting.

on the outer edges of the square and the down the streets stretching out around it for blocks are stores and vendors selling anything you could ever need, and then some - flowers, shoes, food, halloween costumes, pi├▒atas {a whole store dedicated to pi├▒atas! fiesta heaven!}, fresh fruit, dried fruit, ice cream, meat/fish {weak stomachs beware}, tortillas, jewelry, clothing, authentic trinkets, kibi {which looks like a giant, flattened hush puppy stuffed with cole slaw. when we asked the vendor what it was, he kept saying kiwi, KIWI! we hurried away, concerned at the quality of that particular food item since it did not resemble a kiwi in the slightest bit (but really he was saying kibi... a lebanese dish of cole slaw in between two deep fat fried beef patties //the kibi is now on my list of things to try...//} KFC, subway, mcdonald's, hammocks, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.

on sundays the roads in the centro shut down to traffic which allows for pedestrians to roam free of fear of being run over {a serious concern here - pedestrians have no rights whatsoever} and the vendors and restaurants extend their stations into the streets. there are balloons and music and food - what more could one want on a sunday afternoon?? i'm looking forward to experiencing my first sunday in the centro this weekend.

and now, after the jump {this post is a page-eater - click below!}, a photo dump:
i am just the rhyme-y-ist.

horse-drawn carriage rides around the city - also on my to-do list
la catedral {the cathedral}
a view of la plaza from the front of la catedral
feast your eyes on the food that is kibi. >> see what i mean??
a man peeling oranges and selling churritos {on back of cart - not to be mistaken with churros} deep fat fried, styrofoam-esque nothings-but-megacalorie-bombs - drizzled in hot sauce after purchased
another little park and monument a few blocks from la plaza
half of the monument and me
the colors! my! i can't get enough!
my future place of employment -- the streets of merida

topped off the morning with some helado delicioso {and inexpensive! bonus!}
i played it safe and went with "cookie"
oh, these pictures don't even do the plaza justice. i hope you get to experience it some day in person. such a unique and special place.

today we're headed to a flamingo reserve and then beach in celestun. i have already been informed by my director that my time in the sun will be limited. looks like i get to break out my brand new sun hat! finally.
adios, ten un buen fin de semana!
{have a good weekend}

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