Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Photo Essay: A Mexican Eve With Radish Sculptures And Familiar Faces

Forty-five minutes in.

I still couldn't see the end of the line and I was down to my last straw of patience. Why the hubby and I put up with such queue? Well, the whole of Oaxaca seemed to be there — as if that snaking line was the hottest see-and-be-seen spot in town so we thought, this gotta be amazing. Besides we had no plans that late afternoon. More importantly, admission was free.

It was day 184 of our round-the-world trip and we were there to see radish sculptures

Noche De Rábanos.
Depending on your love for root vegetables, your reaction will range from 1) dumbfoundedness to 2) sheer delight to 3) hilarity. But whatever you think of it, you'd be interested to learn that the Night Of The Radishes or Noche De Rábanos began many years ago. Like, about more than a hundred. That long. It's celebrated annually, every 23rd of December.

And it ain't just a simple exhibit, the entries are actually up for competition.

One hour in line. For radishes. Radishes!

Security was tight. Man, those are heavily guarded root vegetables!

Viewing platform. Told you they're pretty serious.

There's a flower sculpture competition too.
Aaand corn husks.
Día de Muertos or Day Of The Dead

Creative and somewhat creepy.

Because it's almost Christmas, there should be a nativity scene.

And then there were those we didn't understand just cause we're not fluent in Spanish.

But this we know. Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
Even with the sea of crowd inching from one display to another, it took us only less than ten minutes to see everything. One hour queue for a ten-minute affair with radishes. Sounds quite ridiculous, but I have to admit, we unexpectedly enjoyed it. I only wish the viewing platform's closer to the exhibit so people could see all the teeny-weeny details.

Before calling it an eve and heading back to our posada, we passed by a block that was sorta out of the way but had a night market so we could check merchandise on sale. Speaking of ridiculous queues, I saw a two-meter deep one for a hectic taco stand, and found a couple of familiar faces in it. I pointed them out to the hubby. Both of us couldn't remember their names, an American couple who once couchsurfed our place, but we approached them and greeted "Ola!".

Top: Hosting Patrick and Tony (I know their names now after rereading their Couschsurf request) in our Baguio home, December 2010. Bottom: Finding them at some taco stand in Oaxaca, December 2011. 

Their faces broke into smiles of surprise when they spotted us. "You guys are the Couchsurfers from Ba-gee-yoh (Baguio)!", one of them mentioned. And that was the start of a lengthy where-have-you-been-where-are-you-going chat that kinda annoyed the other people in line behind us for it took the couple forever to choose their grilled meats. They can't remember our names as well, but none of us reintroduced ourselves. Cause you know, there are times when you don't need to remember names. Just moments.
We bade farewell when they were about to gobble their dinner. Those freaky radish sculptures sucked all the appetite out of me that I didn't feel like eating much until noche buena (and that's because we found mole poblano)!



Sky Summer said...
October 25, 2013 at 9:23 PM

10 Minutes view for a 1 hour queue ? Just Wow! For the sake of Raddish?

At napa google talaga ako sa Mole Poblano, It looks like Dinuguan. How does it taste? said...
October 25, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Heya! It's chocolate+chili sauce. OMG it's sooo yum!

docgelo said...
October 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

the queue looks insane but after seeing those creative labanos-rabanos sculptures, i think it's worth it! ang husay!!!

paul | walkflypinoy said...
October 28, 2013 at 9:00 PM

But were the radishes edible, is my question. (Hashtag katakawan)

Mary {The World Is A Book} said...
October 29, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Amazing what people can do with vegetable art! I remember you mentioning these radishes in one of your comments before. Who knew these were even possible. Those are some awesome skills! I love the Frida Kahlo one! said...
October 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Yeah, pretty impressive. You could tell there's so much heart put into the artworks :) said...
October 29, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Hahaha! Dami kong tawa sa hashtag. Yes, these red radishes are edible.

Stella Sandoval said...
November 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

This reminds me of a book I have read, Pam Ryan's

Becoming Naomi León. It's a great children's book (because I'm still young at heart, haha). It's there that I've learnt about Oaxaca, which is pronounced as wa-ha-ka, as I've realised. And the Dia de Los Muertos! I could only imagine how fun it would be to be there and enjoy the celebration. Great photos you have here, by the way. :D

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