The Fountain Never Changes

Political administrations in the D.F. come and go, but there’s always a few constants in the Distrito Federal — the traffic and the fountain at the entrance to the Camino Real. Well, the red on one of the walls used to be a brighter shade of pink. Who cares if museums are closed?

Read on.

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A Little Piece of America

Eddie Willers is a Third World Shopkeeper in Tampico, by way of someplace in England, and he’s not known for mincing words. Take a look at his response to those who’d like to keep Mexico and those who inhabit this country “native.”

Keep up the good words, Eddie.

Chinese – Just Like Grandmother’s

Many people have some kind of biological imperative to seek out Chinese food. I’m one of them. Wherever I go, it’s just a matter of days before I must find a Chinese restaurant. Some of them have ranged from very good to almost passable, even in Argentina and Turkey. Even the strangest – in Ardmore, Oklahoma, where I was asked if I wanted Texas toast to accompany the meal – have had a quaint appeal. Even the microwaved flour tortillas which have masqueraded as mu shu pancakes were an honest effort. Only the week before, when I was in Philadelphia, I turned down invitations to eat at famed city restaurants, just so I could have some Chinese at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House. (Go there, if you’re ever in Philadelphia, because it was a fabulous find.)

In my cookbook collection are several old cookbooks dating from the 1930’s, kept mostly for their humorous renditions of recipes. In those books are recipes for Chinese Chop Suey which call for cooking everything, including the canned bean sprouts, for not less than 35 minutes. But then I can fondly recall how excited we became over my grandmother’s idea of home cooking: twin cans of Chung King. All of that rose to the same culinary expectations of the school cafeteria. We didn’t know any better.

Morelia’s Chinese restaurants take the concept to new levels. The waiter at one insisted that the notable lack of seasoning, save sugar, in the Szechwan was “the way Morelianos liked it.” Figuring that a new Chinese restaurant in town just might be the local version of P.F. Chang’s or Big Bowl, mostly because it offered valet parking, we decided to give it a try. Retro-Chinese food! Who would’ve guessed? The place was packed, and the best we could determine was that the patrons had never visited the place before – or harbored a passion for La Choy. Even the odd place in Ardmore couldn’t compete with this place.

We quickly decamped to Starbuck’s, where the food and beverage is always reliably decent.

 

Does Dying Really Hurt?

Sooner or later, everybody will. Until we do, there’s a lot of speculation about how it feels to die. NewScientist explains how dying really feels.

An appropriate enough topic as we approach Day of the Dead, my favorite holiday season. One of the best parts of this holiday in Morelia is the Casa de la Cultura’s Ofrenda Competition, which is now in its 21st rendition. From November 1 to 5, the Casa de la Cultura will be filled with incredible memorials to the dead and the concept of no longer being part of the living. The rules of the game are explained here.

Fried Green Tamales

They said it tastes “just like chicken.” It was one of Hannibal Lecter’s favorites and a staple in Jeffrey Dahmer’s diet. And then there was Alferd Packer, who even had a grill named after him at the University of Colorado.

Cannibalism is nothing new, but it always makes the news.

In a small rented apartment on Mosqueta No. 198 in Colonia Guerreo in the D.F., aspiring horror filmwriter José Luis Zepeda Kawa had a few friends for lunch. Even though his neighbors described him as an attractive friendly sort of guy, in the way neighbors often relate to the ones least suspected of heinous deeds, Zepeda’s friends never went home. He ate them.

This story, even though set off in the far-off Gotham of Mexico City, filled an entire page of La Voz de Michoacán, but did it really merit a link in the Drudge Report? It’s just such old news to those of us living in Morelia, where back in 2004, a tamalero killed Herbierto the apron-seller and cooked him up into tamales for sale just outside of the Hospital Civil, only to have his act followed up by a deranged young man in Indaparapeo who cooked up and ate his very own father.

Last night I read Nando Parrado‘s Miracle in the Andes. It didn’t taste like chicken to him.

What the U.S. Presidential Election Means to Mexico

In Mexicalpan, Kelly Arthur Garrett hits the nail on the head about Mexicans’ perspective on the upcoming U.S. presidential election. During the 2000 election, we thought Bush gave a damn about Mexico. His first meeting with then-President Fox bore such high hopes, but he proved us wrong. You’d think a pair of boots made of exotic leather would mean something.

Why do I have a feeling that the Estadounidenses just plain don’t like us? How many can even name the current President of Mexico?

 

 

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