Monday, August 29, 2011

Flor de calabaza and a roof

It´s almost September, the time when rancho folks come into town with buckets of flor de calabaza for sale.  That´s the yellow zuchini flower that many Mexicans sautee and tuck into quesadillas.  The taco lady with hands of steel declined to buy the offered flor de calabaza this morning, but gave the boy selling them a couple of tacos.  After, he insisted she accept a bunch of the edible flowers anyway.

End of the summer also, in our case, means that my brother-in-law, a labor lawyer in León, just won a big case he´d been working on. What that means is that he came to visit his mom in San Miguel yesterday with an overloaded wallet. 

There is a chapter in my memoir, Flirting in Spanish, entitled The Lamina Roofed House.  It told how Carlos took me to his parents´ house for the first time.  Approaching his house, I could see that part of the roof was lamina - corrugated plastic.  There was another chapter that I decided not to include.  It detailed how some drunk soccer boys, sitting on a hill above my mother-in-law´s house began to throw bottles at the house while I sat outside nursing infant Carla one Sunday.  When they ran out of beer bottles, they threw rocks.  My five foot tall mother-in-law ran outside with a machete raised over her head.  The nonsensical attack was over as soon as it started, and the boys came to the house the next day to apologize, and promise to buy another piece of lamina, as they´d torn a hole in the roof.  That was nineteen years ago.  For 19 years - more actually - the family sweated under that roof during hot months and shivered in the cold.  Now, with big brother´s success, the family will get a proper poured-cement roof.  And the lamina roof that my chapter details will be a thing of the past.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Never a Normal Day in San Miguel

First, a couple of days ago, I asked for the usual - two egg and frijol quesadillas (with salsa, got all the food groups covered) from the friendly lady with hands of iron - she turns tortillas, lifts metal spoons from bubbling pots of guisados, shuffles gorditas with her bare, unblistered hands - on Calle Nueva.  On my side of the food cart, I spooned on salsa.  I oversalted (in Mexico nobody glares at you if you do.)  I bit my torta staring at the taco stuffings I could have ordered...liver, chicken in tomato, papas in chile pasilla, mushrooms in cream, when a paper was thrust in front of my face.

"Dibujo del dragon," offered a man who looked like he hadn´t slept much in past hours.  He wore a shirt over a shirt, warmup pants over jeans, had a rather trim moustache.  The drawing was done in black and purple crayon. "Me lo compras?"

"No, gracias."  I didn´t want to buy a dragon drawing.  The man moved on to the next taco stand, and then the next offering his drawing to those breakfasting on tacos.  At the final stand, the guy gave him a taco de cabeza.  The artist tucked his drawing under his arm, and ate.

Then, yesterday, I finished my Mega shopping, and found, when I tried to pull out, the parking lot exit blocked by thousands of frenzied teens.  A huge line of them walking toward the center of town.  First came the green team.  Green t-shirts, sweatshirts and shoelaces, chanting something.  Fist pumping.  What could have them so stirred?  Then came a white-faced clown, riling them up even further.  By now, the blue group was passing.  Then purple, then yellow.  Thousands of teens, hollering and cheering.  There was a banner.  A God banner!  Along came some kids with the head of Jesus on their bags.  Someone yelled something.  The crowd answered, "Si, Cristo vive!"  They were deliriously happy about it.  I thought of those Baptists who sing and whoop and swoon.  I've never seen Catholicism expressed in such a whoop-de-do way before.
Today, officials say the teens numbered 7,000 and came from towns outside San Miguel.  I´m still trying to figure out what their final destination was.
I got out of the Mega parking lot after 25 minutes.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

San Miguel reading for Flirting in Spanish

So a lady I think I have never met (or maybe I have...has she come into my spa before?) is hosting a Flirting in Spanish reading at her home on Aldama 15 this coming Tuesday, August 9 at 7 pm.  Isn´t that the most fabulous thing?  She´s providing botanas and wine and told me to announce it in the newspaper, which I´ve done.
"You really want a pile of people in your house?" I emailed.
Turns out she likes literature and entertaining and is happy to combine the two, so I say happily, bring on the fiesta!  Anyone who is in San Miguel is invited.
I´ll read, sign, answer questions, eat cheese, drink wine with my pinky extended! 
I love this week´s host.  She read a previous blog post here, and emailed me, "Don´t let Sean (age 14) go to the Mint!)"