It’s different showing the city to someone else. My mother came into town, and we went everywhere today. I took her for tamales last night, some of the best I’ve found in the city, on Chapultepec and Justo Sierra. She stopped talking in surprise with the champinones y queso ones. I prefer the queso y rajas, but both are awesome.
After that we wandered the street for a while, then used the bathroom at McDonald’s without buying anything. There is no reason to eat there when it costs double what we just spent on tamales, and it’s the same crap I avoided in San Diego. My mom said to buy fries and throw them away, but I’d rather throw the money into the street. Maybe it has a chance to get to someone who needs it that way.
We sat at a bar looking out on the street and had expensive low quality beer. It was supposed to be “artisan,” but as soon as it wasn’t ice cold it was bitter and boring. Should have gone with the corona. It was fun, just walking and talking, showing her what I had found in my time here so far.
In the morning we went to Mercado Santa Teresita for chile rellenos in soup and menudo. Both were awesome. That place has the best food I’ve eaten in the city so far. It’s a little out of my way, but well worth it. The pozole I had there last time was fantastic. I love those markets. There usually isn’t any bad food because it never lasts long in the face of competition. At least I found that to be true. The Spaniard was not impressed by the enchiladas he had there, but I was happy with my chile relleno.
We headed downtown to wander and see a few things. The Palacio de Gobierno, Catedral de Guadalajara, and we went to the Museo Regional de Guadalajara. She loved the old figurines the best. Personally I always found them interesting, but I preferred the art on the walls. Just a style thing I guess.
In one square the Dia de los Muertos statues were still up, and we wandered through. The pigeons were more interesting to me. That and the children running through them. That looked like a lot of fun, but when a giant white man does it, it’s “weird and suspicious behavior.”
There were a couple stages set up in the big plaza in front of the opera house. There was a screaming incomprehensible death metal band on one side, and a group with an accordion on the other side. The death metal band was playing, and I think the accordion player was messing with them. From across the plaza the accordion was playing as loud as the death metal band. Sometimes it sounded like they were competing, and sometimes it sounded like the accordion player was trying to improv along with the band. It’s hard to tell if it was a head to head competition like in Scott Pilgrim, or just an accordion player with a sense of humor.
Then we headed through the scuzzier parts of town toward the street market on San Felipe for dirt cheap tacos. I love that place. The food is simple, excellent, and dirt cheap. A lot of variety too, but it should be considered treason to offer pepsi instead of Mexican coke with Mexican food. Absolutely not an acceptable substitute. Pepsi is fine for pizza hut, but that’s crap anyway. Delicious crap, but still crap.
After that we went to the Bodega Walmart. It’s owned by Walmart, but it is the cheapest low grade Walmart ever. What they have is cheap, and all she needed was a towel, so it worked. Plus I get to keep the towel when she leaves. I miss having a towel, but I can’t be bothered buying one myself.
After that, siesta. We had been halfway across the city by then, and I needed the sleep. I mean she, needed it. Or I’ve gotten to used to taking naps in the afternoon. I love naps. Sometimes I look forward to them as my high point of the day. She probably did need it too, but she still has the Home Depot endurance, and I’ve become something of a scholar, or at least a good imitation of one. I do sometimes miss my blanket fort too.
We hit Matera for dinner. My belated birthday dinner. Excellent bread, delicious chipotle sauce and some kind of spinach pesto. There was also a small bowl of beans in oil. They didn’t have much flavor or texture, and the sauce wouldn’t stay on them. I do not understand the beans.
Then came the main course, the tenderloin. It was supposed to be for two people, but after the third basket of bread, I find I can’t eat like an American anymore. There was about a third of it left over, and the sides of rosemary potatos and roasted vegetables were fantastic too. In the end we spent less that $50 with the tip. In the States, it would have been at least that much just for the piece of uncooked meat. It’s still more than I ever spend, but she paid so all is good. I also have enough steak left over for two meals of steak and eggs.
We wandered back and rested a bit. I figured the city wouldn’t wake up until 9 like usual, but this weekend is weird. It’s black friday in Mexico, the day when all the shopping begins. They call it Bien Fin, good weekend. There are deals on stuff for Christmas, but I spent a lot of time explaining to my students Black Friday in America. I had to explain words like mace, tazer, and assault and battery. Whoever said “greed is good” was never maced for a half price Xbox.
By the time we got back to the center the city was mostly empty of shops. There was a big concert going on. The band playing sounded kind of like Pearl Jam, but the vocals were all in Spanish. I don’t know if it was local or not, but they had a good crowd despite the major construction project surrounding the square. It’s always amazing to see a medium sized CAT driving through a busy crowd to a construction site. I do miss some of the regulation in the States, like safety and pollution standards.
Normally Saturday night in downtown is pretty busy, but there was enough to make it worth while. We’ll hit Tlaquepaque tomorrow, hopefully the Spaniard will be free to go with us. Hopefully his girlfriend finally made it through the visa process and arrived like she was supposed to. We’ll see tomorrow.