News, views and booze

Plus, Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

The news is we’re officially Florida residents and we’re lining up ballots for the next election. Vote early and often in these scary states! (That’s the view in case you were wondering). We arrived Saturday evening, but the U.S. gave me some tummy trouble, so sorry for the delay. Guess I should have bought bottled water.

Florida is, as Steven put it, a soft landing because so many people speak Spanish. Our Uber driver from the airport was Dominican and he said Dominican Spanish is like singing a song. So poetic. Then, I said “con permiso” at the Target the other day and an employee spoke back to me in Spanish with a grin on his face. Nice. At the DMV, where we learned that this country really is no better than any others, the entire computer system for the state was down and there didn’t seem to be any method for dealing with it. We waited almost five hours as the computers went up and down and slow and fast (including 45 minutes after we were processed but then couldn’t pay) before I finally got my Florida serial-killer photo license. Steven apparently is a danger to Florida society so he got a temp and should get his in the mail after a background check. After all, he is the scary one of us.

We are enjoying our time with Nana and looking forward to seeing the rest of the family — especially our perfect granddaughter, who turns 3 next week.

Meanwhile, back in Mexico …

Needlework and mezcal? Seems like a dangerous combo to me.

I was very sad to go because we really loved Mexico City. It was the first place we’ve stayed for as long as we did (3 months) so we were starting to establish routine, getting to know the workers in the mercado and having people to smile and talk to at the gym. Plus, it’s just a great city with excellent food.

You probably won’t be surprised to know that we had a list of places we hadn’t eaten yet and checked a few off the list (see the food and drink porn below). We went to the restaurant on the corner, which seemed a bit upsale and touristy, but was always crowded. Can’t go wrong with breakfast enchiladas!

My librarian friend, Perla, had recommended a tamale place down the block from the library and we finally went there. They had sweet as well as savory tamales. Guess what? The sweet tamales were blintzes in masa! Can’t go wrong with pineapple or apple and cheese tamalinitzes.

We tried to go to a vegan taco place that has pink tortillas, but we were thwarted. Many restaurants don’t open until late afternoon and all seem to close by 11ish.

We were supposed to go out for one last fancy meal with Steven’s harem of Steph, Teresa, Vanessa y yo, pero … Steph works too hard and was too tired. Steph and Teresa left for a two-month stint in the U.S. on Tuesday, so we didn’t get to see them again. We’ll have to wait for their wedding in September.

At the end of our jaunts, we go through the fridge and eat anything we can. I really hate wasting food. So that’s what we did. On Thursday, we went to Guardians of the Galaxy Parte 3, which we liked, although we are apparently not discerning Marvel fans because the critics panned it. Palmitas for dinner! The movie was in English with Spanish subtitles and, to our relief, did not include an intermission an hour into the film as is the custom in Turkey.

We decided to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in grand fashion — by going to see Los Diablos Rojos otra vez. Yes, of course, Cinco de Mayo is not a holiday in Mexico. Maybe it’s a small one in Puebla, where the battle took place, but the holiday that the Diablos were celebrating was May the Fourth. Seriously. The mascots were dressed in Star Wars gear and had a saber fight between innings. We were in the front row and I talked a bit with the equipment manager for the opposing team, the Generales de Durango.

Steven and I had tried to get tree food again, but we didn’t know how late it opened. In the afternoon, the spot is taken by a different fonda and alas, at 5:30 there was no sign of our tree food. We then headed over to La Casa de Toño, but there was a line, so we decided to just eat at the ballpark, as one should anyway.

We were in luck because although it seemed like my only choice would be Pizza Hut (YUCK), at our seats the vendors were selling vegetarian (and non-veggie) machetes. We often find ourselves in situations where we don’t know the system and this was no exception. We didn’t realize that we would get TWO machetes per box. That’s a lotta taco!

The game started an hour after the appointed ticket time, but it was because of a “gran sorpresa!” or a three-song performance by Rafa Pabön. We were beginning to wonder if there was some unwritten rule about the ticket time being an hour before actual game time. The game itself was a blast (Vamos Diablos!). They won 8-5. We estimate the play is about Triple A level. Let’s face it, if the pitchers could throw consistently and consistently above 90 mph, they’d be in the MLB. There are lots of MLB washouts/retirees on the rosters, as well (including the ageless Fernando Rodney!). The league has a pitch clock, but it’s only active when there’s no one on base.

Our Schedule

For any of our Chicago friends who read this: We will be there May 21 (for me) or May 25 (for Steven) through the end of June so line up to get your spot on our calendar! We are really looking forward to seeing everyone. Also, if you know anyone who wants to practice their Spanish or speaks Spanish and wants to learn English, pass them along to me. I’m afraid I will lose everything I gained.

If you’re interested …

Here’s a piece I wrote on pisco.

2 thoughts on “News, views and booze

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