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Lietuviskas aprasymas zemiau

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Day 11: Mexican Folklore, Salvador and the Sheep

February 18, 2006

So we are having a blast in Morelia and decide we will stay here until we feel we've gotten enough of it. As we obviously are in one of the major cultural centers of Mexico, we unanimously agree that, in addition to strolling the streets and sneaking through the backyards of various artsy establishments, we should also attempt to do something more educational, preferably in the direction of getting better acquainted with the local traditions and customs.

The task was easy: last night we were passing by the café called "El Leon de Mecenas: Café Cultural y Pena Artistica". Attracted by live music, we stepped in to see what was going on and… stayed for a couple of hours :) "El Leon" was celebrating its 11th anniversary and treating its visitors with really good bands playing a fusion of jazz, flamenco, Mexican rock and traditional Mexican folklore. The place was very nice and the music was great, so we decided to come back the following night. Turned out they had one of the most famous folklore performers, Pancho Madrigal, scheduled for the upcoming night… how could you even get luckier!? Or so we thought…

So we buy the tickets before they get sold out (the anniversary night was packed with no place to sit or even stand!) and come back the next day for Pancho and some of the best Mexican folklore. The concert starts at 9:30PM. A bit past 8PM, we are already there - must get the best seats! Get seated at one the front tables, right next to where Pancho himself will sit, lucky us!
It's almost 9PM, but the café is still suspiciously quiet and almost empty. 9:20PM, still no Pancho, but the first spectators finally start showing up. We determine that the age average of the audience should fall somewhere between 60 and 70, that's counting ourselves, in our late twenties, in.
Still no Pancho, but a good-looking philosopher from Guadalajara shows up on the stage and presents a new book about love and its social manifestation. Good, now we'll know something … But where in the world is Pancho!?? While waiting, we estimate that the age average of the audience has decreased into the 70-80 group, counting ourselves in. Finally, a creature with a guitar stumbles in through the door: apparently, one of the band members was late :) Half an hour later, Pancho Madrigal himself shows up on the stage and the concert starts. The ladies in the back row start raving…
It is not very easy to find an appropriate comparison for Pancho that would fit all countries and all cultures. For a better understanding of the situation we found ourselves in, try imagining yourself taking a foreign friend of yours to a concert of your grandmother's or perhaps even your great-grandmother's favorite band. To make the matters worse, our table is right under Pancho's nose…

In spite of everything, this was by far our most cultural experience in Mexico. Pancho Madrigal surely satisfied our cultural urge for many days to come.

Recommendation: "El Leon de Mecenas" café. Run by a professor from the University of Morelia (his full-time job), the place (most of the times… :)) offers a stage to young artists and an alternative for those in search for a different kind of nightlife.
Abasolo No. 325 Centro, Morelia, Michoacan

To those, who know the Gypsy Den Café in Santa Ana and the "Music at the Library" series in San Juan Capistrano, California - "El Leon" is a very successful mix of the two. Can't wait to see it already? :)

The report from Morelia would not be complete without a word about the owner of our little $8/ night motel "Puerta del Sol" as well as the motel itself. On a trip like our Pan-Americana, you inevitably encounter lots of unexpected expenses therefore saving wherever possible should become your lifestyle from the very first day of the trip. We have also noticed an interesting tendency: a choice of a cheap accommodation is often complemented by a funny and rewarding experience. This is one of our stories of the kind.

Tired after a long drive from Guadalajara, we are happy to see a little motel called "Puerta del Sol" just a couple of miles from Morelia. We stop to check it out: the amenities couldn't be more basic, but the rooms are clean and nicely painted, and include a bed and a shower. The owner is all smiles and the price is very attractive: $8 per night. What else could we ask for? So we stay there and have a good night sleep until in the morning we are woken up by… the sheep, which sounded as if they were right behind the wall. What, in fact, turned out to be the case :)) If your definition of "a room with the view" includes an ocean, a mountain summit or at least a rose garden, better stick with Hilton. In an $8 motel the view means a backyard full of sheep, which can get very load when they are hungry :) The sheep were also very friendly, and so was Salvador, the owner of the place. A world traveler in his dreams, Salvador was fascinated by our Pan-Americana idea. He immediately announced us his very special friends, invited us for a beer, insisted on bringing a TV set or at least a radio into our room, and finally refused to take the money for the room. We rejected the free lodging offer, but gladly accepted the invitation for a beer and all the valuable information Salvador had to share. At the end of the stay, Salvador gave us a precious parting gift from his own little library: an old book on the history and the cultures of Mexico. Perhaps it is true that those who have less, have more to give.

All things considered, when was the last time you got such kind of treatment in a Sheraton or Hilton? :))

Recommendation: "Puerta del Sol" can be found on the right side of Mex 43 (a local road to the center of Morelia off Mex 15), just a couple of miles before Morelia. Highly recommended! :) If you stay there, ask for the room neighboring the sheep and don't get surprised if the lights in the entire motel territory dim when you plug in your electric kettle. :) And, most importantly, please pass on the best regards from Zee and Dovi to Salvador!

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How come we are very loud?? It's 5AM, it's brekfast time, and we are hungry! :)

Next door neighbours

Kaip tai kodel mes biauname 5-ta valanda ryto? Primename, kad isalkome - laikas pusryciauti!! :)


Nuvesk pelyte virs paveiksliuko, spustelk jos kaire ausele, ir paveiksliukas padides

11-oji diena: Meksikietiskas folkloras, Jungenu Kapelionas ir avys su eriukais

2006 m. vasario 18

Jau pati pirma vakara vienbalsiai nusprendziam, kad, salia veplinejimo po miesta ir nelegalaus landziojimo po ivairiu mokslo ir meno instituciju kiemus, reiktu nuveikti ir kazka "kulturingesnio", pageidautina - tradiciju pazinimo kryptimi. Taip jau atsitinka, kad kaip tik tuo metu einam pro labai patrauklia kavine, "El Leon de Mecenas: Café Cultural y Pena Artistica". Viduj kazkas graziai groja ir dainuoja. Mes, aisku, lendam vidun :) Issiaiskinam, kad papuolem ne siaip sau I kavinuke, o I kulturos centra, kuriame kas vakara vyksta koncertai ir paskaitos ivairiomis Morelijos visuomenei aktualiomis temomis. (Dabar jau nenustebtumem suzinoje, kad kiekviena Morelijos kavine skelbiasi esanti kulturos centras, taciau tada buvo pirmasis musu vakaras mieste, todel be galo apsidziaugem, kad mums labai pasiseke sitaip taikliai uzeiti - tiesiai I kulturos centra!) Be to, "El Leon de Mecenas" ta vakara svente savo 11-aji gimtadieni, ir koncertas tokia proga buvo tikrai geras: dzazo, flamenco, tradicines meksikietiskos muzikos ir roko grupiu misinys -aisku, "uzkibom". Isivaizduokit, kaip apsidziaugem suzinoje, kad sekanti vakara koncertuos visu vietiniu labai mylimas folklorines muzikos atlikejas Pancho Madrigal, o pries koncerta zymi filosofe is Gvadalacharos skaitys paskaita apie meile. Ir sekasi gi mums! Jau ta pati vakara nusiperkam bilietus, nes gali gi paskui nelikti, jei jau Pancho toks visu mylimas!

Koncerto vakara I kavine prisistatom pries gera pusvalandi - reikia gi uzsiimti kuo geresni staliuka kuo arciau scenos, kad gerai girdetumem ir matytumem izymuji Pancho, o Pancho kad geriau galetu matyti mus! Neilgai trukus, pradeda rinktis ir kiti folkloro zvaigzdes gerbejai, kuriu amziaus vidurkis mums sukelia pirmaji itarima. Kazkodel tarp vakaryksciu ziurovu jautemes siek tiek jaukiau… Pasirodo filosofe is Gvadalacharos ir labai graziai pakalba apie meile. Paskaitos metu ziurovu amziaus vidurkis smukteli dar kokia desimcia metu. Pagaliau ant scenos isitaiso muzikantai, ir galiausiai - kuda butybe su skrybele, kuri sedasi scenos centre, ir nebelieka ne menkiausios abejones, kad pagaliau mums pasirode pats Pancho Madrigal.
O toliau buvo tiesiog labai juokinga: ir is Pancho, ir patiems is saves. Pancho demesi savo nuolatiniu kikenimu, manau, tikrai atkreipem :) Kad butu aiskiau, pabandykit isivaizduoti pora studentu is Lotynu Amerikos, atkeliaujanciu i Lietuva ir pati pirma vakara papuolanciu tiesiai I Jungenu Kapelos koncerta… Pancho Madrigal greitai buvo perkrikstytas I Jungenu Kapeliona, ir uzsitarnavo musu didele pagarba, nes dar niekas Meksikoje ligi siol sitaip nebuvo prajuokines :) Kad nors butumem atsisede prie nuosalesnio staliuko…

Morelijos aprasymas nebutu uzbaigtas, jei nepaminetumem musu laikinojo busto savininko Salvadoro ir jo aviu bei eriuku, kuriu gardas buvo tiesiai po musu kambario langu! Avys jaukios - vos pamaciusios zmogu, atbega pasisveikinti :) Pats Salvadoras irgi gyveno salia motelio, todel netrukom susidraugauti. Pats budamas didelis kelioniu myletojas, Salvadoras taip susizavejo musu Pan-Americana planu, kad net nebenorejo imti pinigu uz nakvyne: jam, atseit, garbe, kad mes pas ji apsistojom. Pinigus uz kambari siaip ne taip isiulem, bet uz tat buvom vaisinami alumi, Salvadoras periodiskai patikrindavo, ar mums tikrai nieko netruksta (televizoriaus, radijo, ar gal siltesnes anklodes, ar gal avys per garsiai bliauna…), o isvaziuodami gavom daugybe naudingu patarimu, nuosirdziausiu linkejimu ir nuostabia knyga apie Meksikos istorija ir kultura is asmenines Salvadoro bibliotekeles. Keistoji taisykle ir vel pasitvirtino - kuo zmones neturtingesni, tuo daugiau ir nuosirdziau dalijasi tuo, ka turi.

Atsidekodami Salvadorui, rekomenduojam visiems keliausiantiems I Morelija apsistoti mazame "Puerta del Sol" motelyje miesto pakrastyje. Nei patys nepastebesit, kaip tapsit mielojo Salvadoro ir 15 jo aviu bei avyciu draugais :)

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