Mexico: My Digestive System Wants to Fly Back to America and Eat Saltines Now
December 21, 2009
I started off the day with breakfast at Mumedi, a design museum/bookshop and cafe. The huevos a la Veracruz were delicious. I read a chapter or two of a math book I’m working through.
Salsa de frijoles!
Then, I went back to the Zocalo in search of a particular scarf I had seen yesterday but for some reason not purchased, although the scarves off the street cost about $4. Amazingly, I found it! The exact scarf I had been kicking myself for not buying! The girl I gave my fifty pesos to was kind of taken aback at the quick sale. Then I saw that everyone else was walking around eating something that looked delicious, so I got one too:
It had some mild green chiles or something on there. It was tasty, and as awkward to eat as it looks like.
About an hour later, I started feeling kind of bad, but I was able to duck into the (free!) Museo de Arte Popular and chill for a bit. This picture kind of sums it up:
Throughout my stay in Mexico, I’ve spotted all kinds of things out of the corner of my eye and thought: Oh, that must be from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Now I’m just thinking Tim Burton kind of ripped off Mexico there.
More popular art!
This one gives me my doubts about pregnancy, the same way the movie Alien did:
Also today, I wandered into a little Chinatown:
And walked a really long way to get the a supposedly gentrified neighborhood where there might be things I (the gentry!) would like. At Cafe Libelula, I had a cappucino and a Nutella crepe while the couple next to me played Scrabble en español. The art on the wall is totally NSFW, but I figure you’ll survive; it’s pretty small on my blog.
I wandered past the big park next to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, where there was a giant festival with rides and carnival games and taco carts and flan and 20-by-20-inch pork rinds and bootleg DVDs and tiaras for little girls and Santa hats and cotton candy and pretty scarves and even more pork rinds, which I discovered are served on a plate covered in sauce, which kind of softens them up, but means that people are eating meals composed entirely of skin and fat.
Another thing happening at the fair was that families were waiting in line to pose for photos in huge Christmas- and Disney-themed dioramas, many of which featured live actors playing Santa Claus. Wow:
Then, despite my esophagus, duodenum, and general sense of well-being warning me away, I decided to try a new food I had seen several times but been unable to identify:
I nodded in assent as hot sauce and lime were added to my mystery squiggly strands. I walked away with a cup of this stuff and a fork, and ten bites later still could not determine of which basic food group I was partaking. It was a little like gummy worms, but more … organic. I wondered if it was some interesting fruit or vegetable. It was unobjectionable, almost tasteless. Inscrutable. It looked a bit like calamari, but definitely wasn’t, yet it certainly struck me that I might be eating, say, cartilage. It was more solid than fat, but struck me as … animal. Or … candy. I looked around for anyone who looked like he or she might speak English. No dice. I finally abandoned my cup of mystery squiggles, not wanting to eat an entire cup of what may have been … anything.
So, can anyone identify the mystery squiggles? What did I eat?!