Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mexican Days - latest good read

I recently finished reading beautifully written Mexican Days: Journeys into the Heart of Mexico by travel author Tony Cohan. More like a novel than a travel book, Mexican Days chronicles Cohan's travel assignment just months after 9/11.

"I wrote about the high mountain idyll of the Sierra Gorda- its lazy rivers and tropical valleys, Franciscan missions and surreal jungle gardens; Mexico City's intensity and cultural turmoil; efflorescent Oaxaca and the guiding figure of Francisco Toledo; Guanajuato's twisting, tunneled dreamscapes, its phantoms and ghosts. I wrote of Veracruz State: Xalapa, with its coffee and orchids and mists; sweet Tlacotalpan's wide river and pastel buildings and son jarocho pulse. I wrote of the Mayan regions I'd visited: languid Mérida, the jungle retreat of Katanchel, Palenque's singing ruins, the weaving women of Chiapas."

... The more I looked, the more Mexico appeared fathomless. Yet as Francisco Toledo was showing us in Oaxaca, it was impossible, maybe meaningless, to separate Mexico today from Mexico yesterday: it was upon the stones of Monte Albán, not the shopping mall and the parking structure, that a meaningful Mexican present would be found, a future built."

Most enjoyable and available through - hard copy or Kindle.


  1. Looking forward to wresting Mexican Days from Tom, who just finished it. I got it for him after I read and loved Cohan's earlier one, On Mexican Time. I recommend it too.

  2. Hi, John & Alan, what a small world, my husband, walter & I used to live in buckroe beach for 12 yrs & I worked riverside hospital trauma icu, sentara Norfolk trauma, open heart unit for agency critical nurse. We bought our Merida home 12 yes ago, we moved to Houston 5 yrs ago bc flight to there took me all day. Now I am working Texas Heart Insitute @ St. Luke episcopal hosipital open heart & transplant recovery unit. we miss viginia but Houston medical center is amazing place, dr. Cooley is my boss, all the world known surgeans are great & they paid highest pay for device nurses so I am very happy to move here & from iah to mid only 2 hrs flight, I love it. Walter, he retired 8 yrs ago GM 15, @ ft. Monroe & ft. Eustis. He really enjoyed his retirements, enjoying spent time in Merida house but i am still working maybe 5 More yrs & maybe later on work prn so we can travel more, We lived in frankfurt germany 1989 to 1993. We moved it european life Style so Merida is for us little get away vacation or another option for us maybe retirement home. Our house is calle 47, 54y56, white house, conner of paseo de moteo. I will be there may 4 till 26 may so stop by & hi to us. It is exciting our VA neighbor is here . See u soon.

  3. Debbie- yes I plan on getting On Mexican Time as well. Also the new David Lida book "First Stop in the New World." I also picked up a beautiful Mayan Prophecy- 2012 book at Barnes & Noble bargain book table for 10 bucks. It is quite detailed and complicated and explains all their calendars (they had several). It's a little like a textbook though- but beautiful photos of many of the ruins and other artifacts.

  4. Hi Suk- Wow, it really is a small world. I'm surprised we did't run into each other at Norfolk General. We have a new Heart Hospital on the Sentara campus that has been open for about 5 years. Very nice.
    We will be in Merida for a very short stay during the time you are there, so we will definitely stop by to say hi. Moving to Houston to be closer to Merida is a good idea. Alan has a brother there, so this is a possibility for us as well. Take care and thanks for commenting.