Guadalajara, Day 5

Ok, lets go over the things I like about this place and the things I don’t like.

Like:

  • Truckloads of fruit coming to the market every day: oranges and pineapples by the truckoad, and fruit trees growing on every street.
  • Bats drinking out of the pool at Las Sabilas.
  • Birds drinking out of the pool: at dusk, the bats would start to fly around and eat mosquitos.  Sometimes they’d detour on their fly-bys and dip into the pool for a drink and leave a little ripple.
  • Street food vendors
  • 50 cent beers for the locals
  • Flowers that change color during the day
  • brown-eyed babies, curvy Mexicanas and bedroom-eyed Mexicanos
  • Jasper swimming in the pool
  • chilaquiles: Jasper’s favorite breakfast food in Mexico.  Deep-fried tortilla strips in chile sauce, sprinkled with cheese.  Served with tortillas and frijoles.  Tastes a lot like chilli-cheese freetos.  A lttle heavy for my tastes at breakfast.
  • carne de cerdo en chile: Pork swimming in a red-chile tomatillo sauce which was out of the world.  We had nary a bite of cumin in our travels for those of you who object to it.
  • jugo de naranja: fresh orange juice
  • jugo de piña: fresh pineapple juice
  • aguas frescas: Lime, or orange, or rice, or tamarind, or  grapefruit or other random ‘ades’  with spices or not.  Quite refreshing  in the hot sun.
  • gorditaas con carnitas y salsa verde: street vendor selling hand-made tortillas grilled to melt the cheese with meat and tomatillo salsa.  The cheese and tortilla were browned and nothing less than heavenly.

Don’t like:

  • Not being able to throw the toilet paper in the toilet, instead having to throw it into the trash after using it: Mexican plumbing can’t handle toilet paper.   There are some habits which are very ingrained.  Toilet habits rank among those.
  • Buses and trucks driving on side-streets: buses and trucks make loud, loud noises.  When they drive past you on a side street, or hit the air breaks, it can be very jarring.  More than once Jasper jumped and covered his ears.
  • not knowing the tip protocol: according to my sources, one should tip a waitress, and the person who cleans one’s room.   But the taxi-driver does not expect to be tipped.  It’s really a hard situation when you just don’t know what’s polite.
  • itchy spots from the sun: our swarthy guide didn’t really buy our excuses about not being able to stay in the sun longer than a couple hours.  People with sun-friendly skin just don’t get it.  They think you might just be out of shape or lazy.
  • no door on the bathroom: your family might be close enough to not mind sharing a room while pooping.  Mine isn’t.  We’re not even striving for that.  We like a closed door between the pooper and the outside world.  This required ingenuity on our part.  We started to discretely ask each other for “private bathroom time” wherein the entire hotel room was off limits to family members not using the bathroom.
  • sleeping in a bed that isn’t  mine
  • machine gun toting guards: mostly at the banks or jewelry stores
  • $1.50 beers for the Gringos: knowing about this instance makes one feel uneasy in every other commercial interaction.
  • chilaquiles: Jasper’s favorite breakfast food in Mexico.  Deep-fried tortilla strips in chile sauce, sprinkled with cheese.  Served with tortillas and frijoles.  Tastes a lot like chilli-cheese freetos.  A lttle heavy for my tastes at breakfast.
  • cecina:  corned beef jerky.  Salty, dry, crisp-fried, thin sliced pieces of beef served with frijoles and a salad.
  • String mops: String-mops may be the root of all evil.  I’ve never seen them leave a floor cleaner than when they arrived on the scene.  I’m somewhat of a freak when it comes to cleaning a floor.  This caused some tension in our relationship with the maid.
  • Acres and acres of Chinese-made crap being pedaled: street markets would pop up spontaneously in the night while we slept.  We’d go out walk through, smell and eat the street-venders’ wares and get out. How many shoes can one world need?  We saw enough shoes in our trip that i am comfortable adding shoes to my list of things which need a moratorium of their production.   By 6 in the evening, they’d be gone.  Even the trash was gone.
  • Cucarachas: only saw 3 on this trip.  This is a record as far as latin american countries.  we usually see many many more.
  • deformed and disabled beggars : these put a damper on many a walk-about.  Jasper found it unconscionable that people without arms or legs, or both, would be left to beg for coins on the street.  The only way he’d leave the hotel room was with a pocket full of change.  Jasper asks important questions like, “how does that guy even get to the corner?  He’s just like a basketball with a head. Someone must bring him in a wagon.”  When I asked my Mexican acquaintances how they handled talking about the beggars with their kids, they couldn’t understand the question.
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