Tuesday, February 7, 2017

...it Just Took AWhile

I've been going to the National AAA baseballs games in Mazatlan since 2000, I am a Venados fan and very much a fan of the grilled sausage at the stadium and of their hotdogs. However for some reason it has taken until now to figure out where the really really good seats are and how the seats are numbered. Turns out the most expensive seats are not the best seats and the seats with the best view are not the funnest seats. I have found (with the help of friends) the seats with a great view and that are fun and economical. 30 pesos. Yup, the 30 peso seat is the best seat in the stadium.  It just took awhile.

I have studied the Mazatlan bus system also since 2000 and can finally say I have triumphed and can travel throughout the city via bus, well I always could, but with usually a few hiccups, the hiccups are getting less and less. Each bus has its route and a schedule but it's not written down anywhere in a handy laminated 4X5 card (which we would all love to have) 
Over the years I have occasionally stood on a street corner and done a "bus study" and made a list on a small piece of paper only to lose the paper or to find the ink has faded on it when I needed it, like ink does here. It may have taken years but I have it figured out....mostly. When in doubt the best way to find out what bus goes where is ask the person standing beside you. The locals all know the routes, it's common knowledge to them and they are always very willing to help.
 I have had great bus fun over the years, met wonderful interesting people on the bus. I have never seen a bus system anywhere that appears to be this chaotic and crazy but yet so very efficient and economical. 7.50 pesos will get you clear across the city. The cholos bus will take you from central to the edge of town ( a 1 hr ride) for 7.50 pesos, another 7.50 pesos will get you back to central, that's a 2 hr city tour for 15 pesos. Where else can you get a bargain like that anywhere. It just took awhile to figure this out.

Cilantro, never used to like it. Not one bit, didn't even like the smell of it. But it was stubborn and it just kept showing up in my food, year after year after year, there is was, looking all green and smelling all funny pretending to be parsley. Slowly, ever so slowly it woed me, now I'm a fan and I know that you can't eat some things without it, like ceviche, salsa mexicana, pozole and so on, I am a fan, I even grow it in Canada now. Have to have it. It just took awhile.

The locals eat everything with lime. Everything, they squeeze it on their tacos, in their salad, in their pozole, on their chicken fingers, shrimp, beef, fish, beer, on a cut finger, on a mosquito bite, their kids school whites, socks, shoes, blouses, there is no end to lime use here. Again, I didn't like it at first but couldn't escape it. Now, I love it on pretty much everything too and I miss it when I am in Canada, we have limes there too but I can't afford to buy them. I sure do like me some lime. It just took awhile.

Mariachi music. Used to find it annoying when I was sitting at a table eating my meal and chatting with friends and then a mariachi band would show up and play at the next table so loud that your glassware would shake and your table would start rocking. It was loud, and the songs seemed so long, I would sit with my North American friends and roll my eyes. I know...how rude. I have learned to appreciate this custom, it's Mexican art, it's a tradition and a part of the Mexican culture, one that I can now love. I look forward to hearing them. It's nice to take a break from conversation and eating to just lean back and listen. 
If you stop and just listen then it is not an interruption anymore, it's a part of your meal. I love them now and even recognize some of the most played songs now. It just took awhile.

Swimming. Can't believe it took me this long. I didn't learn to swim until last year, I have a dear friend to thank for this, she knows who she is. I miss you. I have grown to love the ocean but with a deep respect for it. I have a lot more to learn but I have come a long way. I am in the water almost every day now. I love the smell and feel of it on my skin, I love smelling it on my sheets and my clothes. I just took awhile.

My Spanish....ehhhhh, it's coming but it too is taking awhile.

Because I am backtracking a bit here I'm going through old photos. 

I used to go to my Tio's plantation every Monday with them and help them on their farm, the highlight was always eating fresh tortilla a la Rancha out there. Fresh hand made tortillas on a fire. You know that smell of fresh bread coming out of the oven? This is intense like that but with out that yeast smell, the smell rolls over you like soft delicious little mini waves. It's a smell that you cannot mistake for anything else. 

A few old bricks makes an instant fore pit

An old disc plate seasoned with some lime

A pair of hands that know exactly how the dough should feel

You had to be there to understand the taste and smell

These were good seats 

I always forget to get a picture of the sausage


Barbara Lane said...

No worries about no picture - I could taste the sausage anyway. Perfecto. Now I just wish I had a few of those tortillas....

Suzanne said...

I really enjoy Maria's blog posts. They are descriptive and evocative, and I get a true sense of daily life in Mexico. I had missed reading them, and I'm glad to see her posting again, now sharing some of the Isla life. IT JUST TOOK AWHILE! ;-)

I like your repetitive explanatory paragraph theme! I'm going to "borrow" it for my next post on Zihau, if I may...

Mary Klassen said...

Suzanne, borrow anything you want from here and thanks for not giving up on me.

Barbara, thank you as well, for your patience.

Dave said...

Hi I had given up on you. I thought that you had joined those who had given up blogging, so its nice to read your posts again. All the best.

Barbara Lane said...

For those of us jonesing for The Canexican, throw us a bone? Meanwhile all the best to you. If you ever get a hankering to visit San Miguel de Allende you have a home. Abrazos.