Today I took another one of my photo walks through the capital city of Yucatan State, Merida. This first image was shot from the balcony of the backpacker hostel Zocalo, around sunset. It gives you a great view of the central plaza of Merida. At $135 pesos a night (about $10 US) it’s right in the heart of it all.
Down in the plaza, I was “befriended” by 3 locals (at different times) who spoke surprisingly good English. After the 2nd one, I figured out what was going on. They were very smooth and laid back. They would ask you where you were from and become very helpful with recommending sights to check out.
Over the course of 20 minutes, they would casually get to know you and tell you about themselves. But then, at the end of the whole conversation, they would all “recommend” that I visit a particular Mayan store to pick up an authentic hammock or Panama hat.
They weren’t your typical salesman, these guys were professionals. If only one of them had spoken with me, I would’ve been completely fooled. They would always explain that because of the local festival going on, this store would be closing for 10 days, in about an hour. They always offered to walk me over to the market, to make sure I got a good price before the place closed. They obviously got some kind of commission if I bought something…
Later in my walk, I saw about 20 Mexican Police guarding a large, old building. I have no idea what for, they wouldn’t tell me. They were armed with shotguns, and there were 3 or 4 trucks full of them, along with a couple guys at the doorways.
I walked up and tried to talk to them. One spoke pretty good English and proceeded to tell me how much he loved Michael Jackson and President Obama. He said his kids were learning English in some special school. After our chat, I got permission to take a few photos from the guy in charge.
Next, I found this dilapidated building with character on the street that had very little traffic driving past it. I hid behind a corner and started snapping shots whenever a vehicle drove by. It was always a surprise what passed in front of me, and I just kept shooting until I got something worthwhile.
This little midget delivery truck was just what I was looking for! These little scooter trucks are all over the place down here. I guess they can get around the narrow streets easier than larger trucks.
All in all, I had an interesting day-long photo walk around the city. :)