Mexican life

Lazy Sunday

colorcasa

WE DECIDED to veg out on Sunday. We often do that.

After driving downtown for a restaurant meal at Mexican lunch time, 2 o’clock, we returned about 3:30, put on our jammies, and started a movie on Netflix.

After an hour, however, we got antsy, so we paused the movie (City of Tiny Lights, quite good), got dressed again and headed out the gate for a neighborhood stroll.

I carried the camera.

Generally preferring black & white photography, I made an exception for the top shot because it’s all about color.

It’s a relatively new house near us that was constructed about two years ago. It’s the only casa in the barrio that gives us competition in the color category. But let’s continue on.

mural1

This is a mural right off the plaza. It’s pretty new too. The fellow looking over the mountains is Lázaro Cárdenas, president of Mexico in the late 1930s, and the guy responsible for nationalizing the oil industry, a mistake.

boys

We sat on a steel bench on the plaza and watched people. There weren’t many people out and about, but these two boys were enjoying non-electronic toys.

trio

These ladies were sitting outside a small store.

mural2

This wall facing the plaza is directly next to the 16th Century church. That’s church property behind the wall. Some young folks painted this stuff a few months ago. It includes Pancho Villa and the obligatory Ché Guevara.

I’ve thought about coming down here one night and blotting Ché out, but I likely will never get around to it.

Pancho Villa was no prize either.

door

Before we headed back to the Hacienda, I entered an open building, turned around, and took this photo. I like open-door photos. The entryway gave access to an interior courtyard where local ladies cook and sell grub on Sundays.

Over open fires.

I took about 25 shots total, but I didn’t want to test your patience as most people would do. These are my favorites.

Mexican life

18 quiches, to go

quiche

MY CHILD BRIDE is a baker, a very good baker.

She hawks her wares downtown on the main plaza most Saturday afternoons. She does it for fun and profit, the profit going into a separate bank account that sports only her name, not mine. It’s her mad money.

On very rare occasion, she does special orders. That’s one in the photo, 18 individual quiches that were delivered to a private party Tuesday. They were ordered by a woman doctor who runs a chain of medical labs in town.

Finding quiche in this neck of the Mexican woods — well, probably in most parts of Mexico — is not easy to do. It was my suggestion in the first place, way back when.

Quiche, that is.

Many people who pass her basket downtown pause, point at the quiches, and ask: What is that? Pizza?

If the locals don’t spot a tortilla around it, they’re perplexed.

She cooks a variety of quiches. These have spinach, bacon and some other tasty stuff. And she sells them for just 25 pesos each, which is about $1.50 U.S.

When we met in 2001, she was a civil engineer for the federal highway department. Now she’s a love slave and part-time street vendor. Life changes, often for the better.

Mexican life

King’s clothing

THIS TIME OF year hereabouts everyone goes nuts for flor de calabaza,  pumpkin flower, or maybe it’s squash in English. Don’t know, don’t care. Irrelevant.

The interesting thing is that the locals go nuts about it. They eat it in every possible form. They crow about it on restaurant menus. The fact that it’s seasonable just boosts the allure.

As you can see, it’s a very pretty flower. That’s my child bride holding a bouquet she bought in the neighborhood plaza this morning while we were doing our exercise walk. She paid 10 pesos, which is about fifty cents U.S.

When flor de calabaza is included in a recipe for whatever and cooked, it loses its beauty entirely, but that does not reduce its popularity one bit.

Today I’m going to reveal something that may get me run out of Mexico. I may have my citizenship revoked. I may receive death threats. Only the Goddess knows, but here goes:

Flor de calabaza has no taste whatsoever. None.

The king is parading in the streets buck naked, and everyone is oooing and ahhing at his raiment. And not only that, as I mention above, when it’s cooked it loses its loveliness.

So what is going on here?

Flor de calabaza is a beautiful flower. And it’s edible. This means its beauty must also make it tasty.

‘Fraid not. So flor de calabaza is merely an idea, a notion, a myth of sorts. I often say Mexican life is like Alice’s Wonderland, and this is a lovely — but tasteless — example.

Don’t tell anyone I wrote this. Por favor.

* * * *

(Note: My child bride admitted a couple of years ago — the first actual Mexican to do so — that flor de calabaza is tasteless. So why did she buy it? To include it in her pastries for the weekly sidewalk sale. Myth sells, amigos.)

Mexican life

Mood piece

JUST CAME in from the morning walk around the plaza, and I’m in a good mood, which is the norm.

It’s common to see people in bad moods. You can see it on their faces. Some are young with their lives ahead of them while I am old and my life is mostly behind me.

No matter. I’m almost always in a good mood. Maybe because it’s too late to worry. That time has passed.

Coming in from my plaza walk, I poured a glass of green juice and sat on a rocker here on the veranda and looked around me. It was so nice I decided to share.

The camera was just inside the door, sitting on a table.

We haven’t had one hard freeze so far, which is rare. It could still happen. The peach tree would be shocked because it’s full of pink blooms, thinking it’s springtime.

You’d think that plants and weather would be better coordinated, that they’d have meetings or something.

I shot the video for you, my internet amigos. It’s both a mood piece and a brag piece. It illustrates what’s possible with a little planning, a modicum of money and courage.

As I type this, a couple of hours later, my child bride is downstairs frying chiles, the punch of which is wafting upstairs and almost bowling me over. That happens.

You sauté raw chiles, and you’ve got a fight on your hands.

She’ll dump them in the pot of beans that will accompany the roasted chicken on the menu for lunch.

Roasted chicken, beans and rice are good for the mood.