As our capricious Popocatépetl volcano rumbles back to life, scaring the living hell out of many Mexicans (yours truly included) a baker in Puebla has come up with a brilliant idea: To bake a Popocatépetl-inspired concha called — what else? — the Conchatépetl.
It comes stuffed with strawberry to “simulate” the lava, and it costs only $20 pesitos.
Filing under Mexicans: How Can Anyone Not Like Us?
You may not know this but Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a very important religious holiday in Mexico, and among the many events that take place during the course of the week, the so-called passion play is one of the most popular — and well-attended. It consists of a representation of the via crucis, and involves everyone, from workers, students and housewives who become actors for one day to play the roles of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Nazarenes, the apostles — and other characters (not all of them strictly Biblical) including a spy, a dog, and a wandering Jew.
In the play, when Christ gets captured, we see him carrying a cross a long way and until he reaches a location that represents Mount Calvary. In the most famous of these representations (the one that takes place in Iztapalapa) we see Christ carrying his cross from the town’s main square to the nearby Cerro de la Estrella in the heart of Mexico City.
Unfortunately, not all Mexican towns and cities have a mountain or even a hill around, so they resort to crucify Jesus on pretty much any location, including an electricity pole. This, as you can imagine, can have bring about some funky accidents.
You might not know this, but I have been trying to keep a diary since you got sick, bonita.
Rest assured it is not a drab, depressing detailed medical minutia some people might expect. It is rather (or hopes to be) an upbeat, objective timeline to try to keep track of where things stand today (March 30, 2023) – and what has happened since you entered a cold hospital room on Feb. 17 with nothing but a bad back pain.
I know this sounds selfish, but I want (need) you to know you have been on my mind 24/7 since that Sunday afternoon when my brother called – in panic – saying you might be very, very sick. Fortunately, things have been better ever since and I’m here to be close to you. For as long as it takes.
Yes, there were doctors who gave up on you at some point, only to be told to basically FUCK OFF because, I mean, you are only 28. Screw them. We’re fighting this to the end. Go, Catus-Condo!
Of course you know this, but there is an army of well-intentioned people who adore you and who are doing all we can to move Heaven & Earth to make sure you’re OK. We know you’re calm, painless and asleep right now and that gives us peace.
If life has taught me anything, is that the medical profession can do wonders, but not nearly as much as the army of people sending you prayers and great vibes on a regular basis, every day, all the time: Did you know we got folks sending you thoughts and love from places like Austin, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belica, Berlin, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, New Paltz, Manila, Munich, Tijuana, Toluca, Querétaro, Washington D.C., and Zagreb, like EVERY SINGLE DAY? Yeah, you’re worth that – and so much more.
We got you, bonita.
You mean so much to so many of us, that you’d be well advised to come out of your beauty sleep and come sing, dance with us.
Take your time, of course, we’ll be here for your curls, your voice, your ukulele –and your incredibly witty sense of humor.
So, I’m back in Mexico City, this time – unfortunately – on a not-so-happy family emergency. And while I juggle my time between work, family gatherings and hospital visits, I try to roam about the city as much as possible to try to figure out how the so-called “digital nomads” are transforming my beloved D.F. (Spoiler alert: Not in a good way.)
I see a lot more signs in English (and I’m not even in Roma or Condesa) and prices of pretty much everything have gone to the roof. Yet, the food is glorious and my people are kind.
I’ll be here for a while, so expect more Mexico-related posts vs. the usual Bad-gringo food ones. Oh, and if you’re around, hit me up for a semi-happy hour or something.
Photo: Laura Martínez, Colonia Nápoles. March 2023.
But some of us couldn’t care less, because there is something far more interesting: The 8-pound, 24-carat-gold-plated statuette that will be handed out at the Academy Awards Sunday night is said to be modeled after Emilio ‘El Indio’ Fernández, a Mexican director –and actor– who used to live in Hollywood in the 1920s.
And while many people still dispute that story, I believe it’s true and will remain true as far as this blog is concerned.
Intrigued about what Americans understand to be “Hispanic Foods,” I ventured into aisle 11 in a Catskill, NY supermarket only to find a bunch of non-Hispanic, definitely-NOT-Mexican, dubious looking things, including Old El Paso’s Tortilla pocket kits, large cans of taco seasoning, Juanita’s Nacho Cheese Sauce and other such horrors.
I was kind of hoping to at least grab me some Hispanic cheese, but nope; no cheese was to be found in aisle 11. Perhaps there’s a Hispanic cheese aisle I’m missing, so I’ll go look for it and will keep y’all posted.
Are you on a tight budget for fancy avocados and still haven’t made any “ethnic-looking” friends?
You can now buy 5-feet-tall Mexican “scene setters,” ready to assemble and give your Super Bowl party a unique fiesta touch. It’s as easy as bashing a piñata! Besides, with the pandemic still in full swing, WHO NEEDS REAL PEOPLE AROUND, ANYWAY?
For only a few bucks, you can pretend to have real Mexicans at your birthday, bautizo, quinceañera, wedding, etc. These Insta-Mexicans are over 5 feet high; they won’t eat all the tamales, nor gulp all the beer or crash in your living room forever.
So, what are you waiting for? Go get your Instant Mexicans ahorita mismo!*
*I bet these are totally Made in China, but just pretend you didn’t read this note at all.
If you caught the Grammy Awards ceremony last Sunday (and you are someone like me always looking for the awkwardness) you might have noticed the closed captioning during Bad Bunny’s opening act, which was… well… awkward.
And that is because while he was presenting or singing away, the captions only read “[SPEAKING NON-ENGLISH]” and “[SINGING IN NON-ENGLISH]” apparently, because that’s the language spoken by my people.
Ok, CBS, I get it. To be real honest, I have no idea what he’s talking *and* singing about most of the time. Still…
The only great thing about the closed captioning brouhaha is that someone came up with the awesome idea of launching a non-English Spotify list, featuring –who else?– Bad Bunny himself along with other English –non-English– performers.
And just when I thought tacos hadn’t been insulted enough in this country, today I learned about a new, disturbing trend: Gender Reveal Tacos, featuring plasticky, rosca-like niños dios and what looks like pink and … green tortillas –for some reason.
As someone who has long detested the entire premise of gender-reveal events, I’m really not quite sure what people are supposed to do with the above. Are the proud parents-to-be supposed to eat the plastic babies? Wrap them in a pink –or green– tortilla depending on the creaatures’ so-called gender?
Also: Does throwing a big serrano in the mix is a hint to let us know it’s going to be a … boy? (please go Google “chile” as a nickname for penis, etc.)
So many questions!
Perhaps, as one of my Twitter followers put it, the economy is so sucky right now, that El niño has “picked up a new gig doing gender reveals since the rosca wasn’t cutting it.”
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled the official George Santos bobblehead, featuring a smiling Santos, complete with a blue sweater-suit combo and –what else?– a Pinnocchio-like nose.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t work in breaking news like yours truly) you’ll know by now that Mr. Santos, a Brazilian native, has been caught in his own web of lies and deceits: From claiming his mom was in the Twin Towers on 9-11 to allegedly bilking a veteran out of money raised to pay for his sick dog’s surgery.
This figurine is now available online and can be yours for “only” $30 and it’s not just going to sit there doing nothing. It will actually play clips of some of Santos’ biggest lies in his own words at the touch of a button.
The best part? The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is pledging to donate $5 from every sale to “selected dog-focused GoFundMe Campaigns.”
Don’t lie, you know you want it!
Photo: National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
Three Kings Day – better known as Día de Reyes in Spanish-speaking countries – is celebrated on January 6 to honor the Three Wise Men (Los tres reyes magos) who went through great lenghts to visit baby Jesus and bring tons of presents to celebrate his birth.
In Mexico –and a few other countries– the festivity includes the cutting of a special, oval-shaped cake known as the rosca de reyes, which comes filled with tiny plastic dolls symbolizing the hiding of the infant Jesus from King Herod’s troops. But because we live in 2023 and Star Wars has become part of our daily lives, some very creative Mexicans are making Baby Yodas for you to stuff your 2021 rosca with instead.
Move over, Reyes Magos, here come los Magos Reyes!
Alguien está vendiendo Babies Yoda para Roscas de Reyes y no les voy a decir quién soy… 😅