Archive for November, 2008

a new taco spot

November 22, 2008

We tried a new taco spot last night and it was excellent. We have been casing this place for a while now. The puesto (term for a non-permanent place for something like tacos) is on the corner of a street we pass occasionally on our way to the center of town. Also, a friend once told us they were her favorite tacos in Guadalajara. We were warned that they often ran out of the best fillings early in the evening.

We arrived, after attending a reception at one of the schools where Adolfo teaches, at about 10:30. Which, I think, is prime taco-eating time. At this point, they were already out of cheek, but still had al pastor, asada, head, mixed (which could be anything), stomach and lips. (They use every part of the animal here.) Cheek is really good, so I was disappointed that they were out, but I ordered two asadas and two head tacos and Adolfo (who claimed to not be very hungry) ordered two mixed.

They were REALLY good. These tacos were better than our regular taco puesto. Although, the specialty of our favorite place is tongue and we didn’t see any tongue at the new place.

The puesto can be found at the intersection of Paseo de la Arboleda and El Sol in Colonia Jardines del Bosque an area of town designed by Luis Barragán.

back from the big city

November 18, 2008

We got back from Mexico City last night and everything went well with the whirl-wind tour.  It is a little bit difficult to show students a city of more than 20 million people in two and a half days.

My students and Adolfo’s students came on the trip and by strange coincidence Adolfo’s brother was in town on business.

We were able to eat some good tacos and by accident we had some surprisingly good hamburgers, but I wasn’t very impressed by the rest of our food choices.  Part of the problems was that we had to go to restaurants where we could walk in a say “party of 14” and they wouldn’t pass out.

While we were walking toward the center of Coyoacan in the south of the city we passed a truck selling products from Oaxaca.  Adolfo’s brother bought some really good Oaxacan cheese and one of Adolfo’s students bought a small bag of fried crickets.  One of my students had the courage to try them and I was impressed.  I passed on the crickets.

How to become wide awake at 4am

November 11, 2008

A couple weeks ago I was in Xalapa again for work.  It was lovely as always and every time I go, I try to do or see at least one new thing.  This time I was in town for Day of the Dead and there were lots of alters and invitations to tamales and hot chocolate. (and I didn’t get one single tamal!)

I was able to go see the Symphony.  The Orquestra Sinfonica de Xalapa is one of the best symphony orchestras in the country.  About 90% of the performers are of foreign origin, which is amazing for such a small town (Pop. 500,000 is a small town when compared to Mexico City).  We heard a Bassoon solo played by a guy from Illinois!  The concert hall was packed with a wide variety of concert goers.  The price for tickets is $70 pesos and I believe there must be a student discount based on the number of student-aged audience members.  The audience was also musically educated and there was no clapping between movements and people were very enthusiastic and polite at the same time. 

That night I prepared to return to Guadalajara and laid all my clothes out for my 4am alarm, in order to catch my 5am bus.  When I woke up I started brushing my teeth and getting dressed.  I went to put on my pants and sort-of shook them out in front of me and as I started to put my leg in my pants…. a scorpion crawled out of my pant leg and went directly under the bed!!!  I had never seen a scorpion live and in person and this one was about 4 inches long and black.  I was immediately wide awake.

As, I had packed all my clothes and had no other clean pants, I had no choice but to put on the pants that had housed a scorpion all night and head out to the front desk for my taxi.  It was quite a send off.

What a night

November 4, 2008

We gathered with some friends and family to watch the returns on CNN tonight and eat some chicken wings.  My friend told me that we had to eat “gringo food” for the election night, so I made some nachos and we ordered wings.

But mid way through the evening, Adolfo’s mother arrived and told us that a plane had crashed in Mexico City and they thought the Interior Minister was on the flight.  (The Interior Minister is sort of like our Vice-President.)

So, we spent the evening watching the celebrations in the states and feeling hopeful, and the confirmation of the death of the Interior Minister in Mexico City and feeling stunned (he was 36 years old and a rising star in the PAN party).

What a night.