(Note: remember, you can click on the pictures to see them a little bigger.)
Today we went to Xalapa to pick up our FM 3 visas for another year. We've now been here for three years. The immigration office is in the post office building on Xalapeños Illustres, one of the two main avenues heading I think more or less east from El Centro. For the third time, it was an easy and pleasant process, if anything bureaucratic can be called that. I think the people hired to assist with the forms must like people because they have always been affable and efficient and willing to answer any weird questions we have.
Afterwards, we stopped at a smallish gallery on Avenia Xalapeños Illustres run by the University of Veracruz that usually has exhibits of prints of one sort or another. We found an exhibit called Agorafobia by an artist named Gerardo Vargas. I´m not sure he is the one who wrote the following. It is one of those statements in galleries that puzzles me:
Agora, or the plaza or market of Greek cities, and phobia, or fear, provide the etymology of the word agoraphobia. These days it doesn't have to do only with panic in open spaces, but also panic from abandonment, loneliness, or finding oneself an orphan because of exile and exodus.
The first attack of panic happens when one leaves home.
There are people who fear the nght, who are [nictofobes]; others fear sex and the erotic. There are claustrophobics, hydrophobics, hypochonriacs and acrophobics.
There are people who avoid trains, planes and boats.
There are people unable to stand being in commercial centers, in the street; people who get anxious when multifamily homes are buit in front of their house where before there were woods, where memories can't be preserved.
To leave home, to start a trip, this becomes a clinical experience.
From panic to agoraphobia, there's only a whale.
Below are a wall mural of flying pigs and the border along the base of the wall.
When we left the gallery, Jim suggested we find the cafe/internet cafe he and mi cuñado John had gone to a few days earlier. On the way, Jim took this picture of a mural up the stairs in the elegant old government building adjoining Parque Benito Juárez. It is by a famous muralist, but I have gotten too blasé about living here and can't remember which one.
The cafe is on Allende, at the bottom end of the Parque, the quiet end. It is very pretty. We were there before the lunch hour so it was almost empty, but as we left, it started to fill up. It has a wifi connection and one person was sitting there with his laptop working away. I think when I get totally bored with my current index (which is not thrilling) I will go there for variety. Below are some pictures.
Here's my old man.
There were some really interesting paintings on long, old boards. You can see a piece of one above, and a cat and two women's faces from another below.
And are a couple of more views of the interior:
Here is the exterior:
And then we drove home.