Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dieciocho de Julio

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Originally uploaded by pastry_child
I just realized that I have not introduced you to Luca! Luca is the family dog, a Schnouzer. When I first arrived, I jokingly told everyone that Luca was the only one who understands me.

Apparently there are several different types of Americans. There are the business travelers, the spring break Americans and the traveling Americans. I’ve been told that I am a traveling American (read: Hippie). The girls have been telling me about a market that is only open on Saturdays – they say I would like it because it has “Bob Marley style”. ;> I do think they have me all figured out though…whenever I am around, someone is showing me a chunky piece of jewelry or a fantastic pair of sandals – I think I might commission some of the girls to shop for me periodically after I have left!

Veronica and Braulio have a maid, which is a little strange getting used to. She cleans the entire house every day, and cooks breakfast for the guests and the 3 boys who live here. Once she has cooked, she brings your food to you in the dining room, then she will come out later and ask if you want more. If you say yes, (si, gracias), she’ll take your plate and bring it back piled high with more food, but if you say no (no mas, gracias), she’ll take your dishes into the kitchen for washing. I’ve probably received the best service of my life here! She is a sweet old lady who stands around 4 feet tall – She has to stand on her toes to reach the kitchen faucet! She makes the best scrambled eggs you have ever had, and serves them up with a big glass of milk. This morning she made chiliquiles, which is a mixture of tortillas and a red sauce. Of course, the meal was too spicy for me, but she was more than happy to make some scrambled eggs with ham instead. Everyone got a good laugh over that one –apparently she used ancho chiles, which are considered the least spicy!

I’m overwhelmed each day by how welcoming Adrianna’s family is. Every day Veronica wants to know if we slept well and if we need anything to make our stay more comfortable. Adrianna’s mother makes a large pot of postale, a pork and corn soup which you add onions, radishes, lettuce and lime to, and everyone comes over to eat – not at the same time, mind you. We eat around dinner time, and a short time later, a few more wander over…there are still people arriving well into the night. Time is not an issue – there is always a bowl and a chair for anyone who shows up.

We’ve gone to street taco stands twice now – something that Wyatt warned would cause considerable stomach issues which could only be helped with Immodium – and even then not by much. Despite the warnings, I want to take in as much of the culture as possible, and since there are taco stands on nearly every corner, even in the suburbs, we will eat tacos! Wyatt has had his share of issues as a result, but apparently not nearly so much as in the past – he wonders if they have made improvements to the sanitary conditions. Nick and I have not had any issues, however. This is quite the relief for me, as I’m sure you know…my stomach seems to be like a delicate effing flower much of the time! I have to say, I can certainly understand why Wyatt continues to cause himself suffering when he comes here!

We spent the afternoon at a place called Tlaquepaque. It’s a pretty touristy area, with lots of little gift shops. Obviously the prices can be pretty ridiculous – Wyatt says that some of the places that we went yesterday sell their merchandise to these people, who then mark up the prices and sell to tourists. Despite the price hikes, I did manage to find a pretty good deal – A bracelet which is exactly like one I have coveted online, but with different (better) stones, was $40 online, and I managed to get this one for 50 pesos (the equivalent of about $5 US.

After shopping for awhile, we went back to Adrianna’s father’s neighborhood, and enjoyed tamales from a street vendor! I had one chicken mole – the mole was so different – creamy! I also had a chicken and vegetable one, which strangely, tasted exactly like my chicken pot pie! I also had “”, which was interesting, but quite good. They cut the corn off of a cob into a cup, and then top it with this fresh cream which is the consistency of sour cream, but does not have the flavor. Finally, they top it off with some Mexican cheese and chili powder. Yum!

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