Photos: author

Perhaps we understand why we left in the first place, but what makes us stay?

When we first go abroad, it’s often for the sheer plunge; the fear and thrill of falling. But when we stay, I think it’s for the little things.


A sense of smell.

The game of language.

Small, brilliant absurdities.

Walks (even better with dogs).

A refined ear for accents.

Getting to know the neighborhood.

There are so many others. For me:

Popsicles. Real popsicles with real coconut.

Light. The way the light changes from late afternoon to evening. I’ve never found a light like that anywhere but Oaxaca.

Graffiti. Bizarre, fantastic, local. Pedro Infante with an enormous sombrero. Dancing grinning orange skeletons.

The memela lady. The way the tortillas puff up on the comal.

The young dudes singing unabashedly to their iPods, walking down the street with a full-on groove going on.

The 5 o’clock coffee.

And you? Keep adding your own, below.

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