It was standing room only, but I found a seat among the several hundred international media in attendance at Tianguis 2013 in Puebla, Mexico. The cameras flashed constantly as the VIPs made there way across the stage and sat down much to quickly. “Photo!” One photographer called, which prompted a similar chorus of dissatisfied shutterbugs waiting to get a better shot of the VIPs, who all eventually stood up. The flashes went wild.
Attendees to Tianguis 2013
Tianguis is an annual event in Mexico that invites travel agents (the folks who make your travel plans and suggest options), tour operators (the folks that put together tour packages so you can get a great price while they take care of all of the details) and travel writers, like myself (who encourage you to travel).
I admit, I never come to these events to listen to these VIPs give speeches, even if attempt to appear to be interested. After all, I know exactly what each is going to say. They will talk about gratitude for our attendance, about all the wonderful culture only available in Mexico, great food and great people, beaches and luxury and a bunch of other things Mexico promotes.
I love Mexico and have visited dozens of times, but really Tianguis is all a bit of gobble-de-gook in an expensive dog and pony show. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s true. The good news is that I really do love Mexico (you probably do, too) and Tianguis is ultimately about celebrating Mexico with the people that try to promote it. I suppose I could have just written what the VIPs said.
Instead, I thought I would write about a nice surprise, Puebla. Puebla is Mexico’s fourth largest city of about two million people, but has a great old town area with an equally great zocolo (town square usually next to a cathedral). Just take a look at some of these great photos
My delicious Poblano mole on my trip to Puebla for Tianguis
The cross along the pedestrian walkway in old town Puebla
I will be writing more about Tianguis and Puebla in the coming days, but wanted to make a story that introduced Puebla while keeping Tianguis in its proper place, appreciating it for its real value of celebrating Mexico.