Monday, December 19, 2011

Zaachila - Bulls and Oxen

It's Thursday, so it must be market day in Zaachila

What's so special about the Zaachila market? The livestock. My friend Aome and I travelled to Zaachila on a second-class bus. At the city center, we met up with two young friends of Aome's. They are muy amable (very nice). The three are intercambio partners. An intercambio (the Spanish word for exchange) is a language exchange, through conversation. Usually, Spanish is spoken for a certain period of time, then the partners switch to English.

I was in particular interested in seeing the oxen. I discovered that the Spanish word for ox is toro, which is the same as bull. When I got home I looked up some information. Here goes: Whether an ox and a bull are the same seems to be a debate. But, what is not debatable is that bulls don't usually live to see their fourth birthday. Whereas, oxen are trained to work and live long, bulls breed offspring and then quickly reach the frying pan. However, there's a price to pay for a longer life. They are castrated. The castration makes the angry bull docile.

We watched the owners of the oxen demonstrate how well they had trained their animals. We watched scurried when an angry bull threatened to break loose and run through the market.

When we returned to the City of Oaxaca Aome and I had comida corrida, a small meal consisting of soup or salad, a main course, a dessert and something to drink, for a small price. Our meal, beautifully, which was beautifully presented and delicious cost a total of $50 pesos, which is less than $5 Canadian.

Aome and I parted company at the end of a very pleasant day.

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