Blogging From Mexico: Part IV

20 May

After eating at the Potluck at the Legion in downtown Chapala tonight, my grandma said that she was proud of me which seemed out of the blue.  She then said that I should know why.  I obviously didn’t and inquired about it.  She said that I was handling myself very well with all of the people thus hinting at all of the physical contact.  She must have been watching my slight winces every time someone touched me in some manner.  I then told her, “yeah, I don’t like touching.” She said, “Neither did I for about 25 years.”  My Grandpa then chimed in, “even with beautiful women!?”  And, I replied “yes, even with beautiful women.”

Then the man next to me scraped his callused fingertips and long nail (sometimes just a tug on my arm or a pat on my shoulder or back) against my arm to attract my attention to yet another terrible joke.  I turned away from him and whispered swear words… 5 minutes later, the cycle repeated.

Graffiti in the area of Mexico I'm in (because I don't want to make a giant general statement) is more so tagging, but I think it looks really neat on the older buildings with the tags layering ontop of each other

Yesterday was another pitter patter do nothing day which I am all for.  We did manage to take ourselves out to this Mexican restaurant that’s sort of on the outskirts of Chapala.  I ordered some enchiladas and a burrito for 80 pesos (come on, that’s a steal).  The waiter gave me a look like “Seriously!?” and then proceeded to alternate between Spanish and English while telling me that both dishes were fairly large.  I gave him a stern look in reply stating “Oh no, I got this.”  I received the enchiladas first and pounded out both of them and about half the rice mixed with all of the beans.  At this point, I was already full, but then I had the burrito coming.  The waiter came back and joked about ordering me another burrito; I, in return, demanded two more… I could have been joking, but I was deadly serious.  I had to prove to him that skinny people can eat, too.  This could have turned out to be my undoing, but I battled forward.

The burrito was great. It was filled with guacamole (that I’ve only begun enjoying over the last year) and thicker chunks of carne asada than what I was used to.  However, I do not remember the last half of the burrito because I was no longer tasting… it was more like shoving down and hoping that nothing would begin fighting its way back up.  I paced back and forth between the bathroom and my seat just to let it all settle.  Then, finally, I took the last bite.  With a triumphant smile, I raised my arms up about 10 inches into the muggy air.  Unfortunately, the waiter never did end up seeing my achievement thus breaking off my playful “F U” to him and his preconceptions.

Being safe in Mexico... in a car... with other drivers who are impatient... kinda like everywhere else...

Back to the potluck tonight.  I began my dish around 2:45 – my Grandma and I had recently returned from swimming where I also happened to get stung by a Mexican Bee… which is really me just ascribing a place to a bee because I don’t know where its origin truly was but I do know where its place of demise was: stinger inside my forearm, body in the pool drowning – but even by 3:45 it wasn’t all the way cooked, yet.  Some of you may have tasted the dish I made: it’s just some root vegetables (Beets, Potatoes, and Yams) thrown in a casserole dish with oil salt (preferably of the sea) and pepper.  Well, luckily we had to head to the Legion early because Grandma was part of the crew hosting the event and had to help set up.  So, luckily, my dish had time to roast for another 20-30 minutes in the Legion oven.  There were about 25 people who showed up, and about 12 dishes and 3 desserts.  So, I tried a little bit of each (excluding the things I knew I obviously wouldn’t like) and went back for seconds… then had 4 servings of dessert.  I think I’m getting fat.  I am seriously concerned.

So, because this was the Legion, I have heard enough war stories to last me probably 10 years.  Although, I have to admit that my Grandpa Ed’s are pretty funny and entertaining.  Excluding all of the people touching me, I did get a lot of admiration by being this person who was the youngest by probably 20-30 years who could cook.  I have to admit, though, most of the time I just stared at the birds (some type of swallow and something that looked like a larger canary) and traced how I would draw them on the tablecloth.

I’m a little tired of being told I’m handsome (okay, that one is sort of a lie), tall, should probably play basketball, need to stay in school, don’t smoke (despite half of them actually being smokers), people inquiring about what I was reading (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), jokes about Seattle, and being touched.  Emphasis on the last one in case I haven’t made myself clear.

Peggy and Ed: the two people I didn't have to make an effort to tolerate

Peggy and Ed were the best that I met which is probably a little bias because Peggy has been my Grandma’s friend for 30 or some years.  Meaning that her son and my dad were friends… meaning that she saw me after I fell out of that two story window and looked miserable in my cast… meaning that they were actually quite lively and enjoyable.  Funny, my smile in that picture reminds me of my cousin Corey… which does not happen a lot.  Anyway, the first time I met them was last Saturday/the first day I was in Mexico/the day I slept a lot.  They managed to catch me in between two naps/sleep recovery sessions and I was still rather sleepy.

Well, we got a call tonight saying that the tour did not have enough people.  So, our jaunt to the circular pyramids has been canceled.  We haven’t made any decisions about what to do, but I hope it’s something a little bit touristy because, as nice as it has been to relax and hang around the house, I wouldn’t mind some actual pictures showing that I did something neat in a foreign country.

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