February 21, 2019: No Momias for Me

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My neighbors upstairs had told me about a cemetery they recommend my visiting. Since it was my day to make myself scarce and let Rosa do her magic, I figured that today was the day to go. It would make a nice long walk from my apartment and back. Since there was plenty of food in the apartment I had a nice lunch before heading out, and didn’t go to my favorite street vendors. Before leaving I programed google maps to take me to the cemetery. Part of the route I had walked before, but as normal I saw things I hadn’t noticed on previous walks.

You have got to wonder what that tiny room with the big windows on top is. The path, which Google led me on took me through what seemed to be a historical train station.

Can you beat that sky?

I frequently checked my phone to make sure I was going the right way. This area of town seems to be better mapped for walking than some of the areas I got lost in the first few weeks I was in Guanajuato. The path lead up a winding route, which was just as visually stimulating as the other walks I have made around town.

The ruins of a building
This photograph doesn’t do justice to the mass of things decorating this yard. It reminded me of Isla de las Munecas – The Island of the Dolls, just south of Mexico City. I have never seen the island, but saw it on TV. I really don’t want too ever see it; too spooky.

When I arrived at the point that Google thought was the cemetery, it was nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, the locals think that the only reason an anglo would be in that area of town is to see the Museo de las Momias. I made my way past the mummy museum by saying, “No me gustan las momias. Quiero encontrar el cementerio.” Of course in the heat of the moment my grammar was not that good. I had to circle clear around the wall of the cemetary to find the gate. The Museo de las Momias is behind the cemetery’s back wall.

The Entrance to the Pantheon Municipal Cemetery
I hadn’t realized that it was an active cemetery until I saw this grave.

Soon after I began to look around, an old woman came up to me and tried to speak to me. I couldn’t understand a word she said. It didn’t sound like any language I was familiar with. I wasn’t sure if she was a beggar or if she was just trying to talk about a loved one who was buried near by. She kept pointing at one of the graves. I hurried away, and she didn’t follow me. Thinking back, I don’t think she was a beggar. There were signs posted all over the cemetery saying that begging and vending were forbidden. There were several groundskeepers working in the cemetery that day, so I don’t think they would have let a beggar pester visitors.

She was gone when I passed that way again. I can’t help but wonder about her speech. I wonder if she had had a stroke or if she were deaf. That might have altered Spanish to the point it was unintelligible to my tin ear.

The cemetery was laid out in several areas. There was one large area with standard burials and larger monuments. The walls of this area were mausoleums like the one above. To south side of the main area were smaller areas with only mausoleum walls. From inspecting Google’s satellite maps, I noticed that there is a smaller area to the north that has standard burials, which I managed to miss.

The larger of the mausoleum wall areas had a nice little park in the center.
I thought it was interesting that the stones in the mausoleum faces often were inscribed with R.I.P. In Spanish that would be D.E.P. With a little googling I found that it is from latin “requiescat in pace”.
Many of the mausoleum fronts were sealed with bricks coated with concrete. These were marked with various degrees of artistry.
Most crypts had a ledge where flowers and other offerings could be left. Some were so lager they looked like little balconies.
I noticed that wives seemed to be interred with their own names.
Some of the crypt faces were quite elaborate.

The groundskeepers, who were working all around me during my visit, leave ladders so that families can put flowers up on the ledges of the tombs.

As near as I could tell Pelon means baldy.
Some of the crypts were more elaborate than others.
The passage way between mausoleum areas.
The center of the cemetery
The big rock is a monument too.
I spotted a colonnade at the back of the central area.
One thing I don’t remember having ever seen in a cemetery before was the extensive use of the symbols for Alfa and Omega.
General Florencio Antillón Moreno who helped free his home town of Guanajuato from Maximillian’s forces.
The back of the main gate
I found that the colonnade housed the oldest of mausoleums. At the near end of the colonnade a stone worker was woking on a mausoleum stone.
The unfinished stone; the carver must have gone to lunch.
Other works in progress.
A pile of old ladders.
Two small images and a bundle of twine, laying on one of the graves. I had to zoom into get this photo. The bundle of twine was about 2.5 inches.
As I was leaving I found my Bug of the Day.

On the way back from the cemetery I went down a different route than the one I had taken up. On my way I found a porch dog. The dogs here don’t seem to be the least bit territorial. Rarely do I hear one barking.

As I was walking back to centro I noticed two bugs parked. Though I all ready had my Bug for the Day, I had to take photos of these two. The orange one fit in with the theme of the day’s outing.

Unfortunately my walk back coincided with the kids getting out of school. I crossed over to the other side of the street so that I didn’t have to try to walk past the bunch above. Here when the sidewalk gets too crowded, people just walk in the street and it is up to the cars to avoid hitting anyone. I miscalculated, because I stopped to take the photo below, and the group above crossed the street and got in font of me again.

The only one of the public fountains I saw that had been plumbed to work.
I guess everyone who visits here, sooner or later takes a photo of this building and its stairway.

Even after the morning walk, I had time to burn before heading to the market and then home. I stopped for a while and read a book on my photo in this little park.

While I was reading I found myself rather hungry so I went to a nearby fruit vendor and bought a cup of mango papaya topped with various things. There was granola, yogurt (maybe), honey, and crema. The mangos here are very tart so they matched very well with the the sweetness of the papaya. After I finished that I made my way over to where I knew a man was selling ice cream. I got a cup of pistachio. It was more like ice milk than ice cream, but the pistachio flavor was quite good.

As soon as I had finished my ice cream, I made my way over to the Mega market. I was glad to find a nice thick pork chop with a good amount of fat. I hate the way you cannot find a pork chop in the US with the proper amount of fat edge anymore. Since I was able to find a proper pork chop like my mother used to buy, I decided to find some curry powder, so that I could cook it the same way she used to. She was of the opinion that if the chop was from a pig that was too old, the curry powder would take away the gamey flavor.

At about 1.70USD my nearly pound of pork made three meals.

On my walk home I ran into a man offering tastes of pineapples he was selling. I declined, but as I walked past his truck I saw that the pineapples were very small. I double back and accepted a taste before buying one for.75USD.

The orange tiles or 4×4 inches, to give you an idea of the size of the pineapple.

After seasoning the pork chop with curry, salt, and pepper, I ate a portion with sautéed mushrooms and onions while watching podcasts on my iPad. I debated if I should have white or rad wine with pork, but settled for beer.

There is a TV in the kitchen, but I just can’t get interested in TV programs. I would rather watch YouTube or various podcasts.
Categories: Cooking, food, Guanajuato, Mexico, Nomad's Food, Street Food, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , ,

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