18 December: Queretaro and Party at Marquez

indi's picture

Going to the Market, Mexican Style

We woke up really late near afternoon because we were all really tired after a long day of going to Guanajuato and the city Christmas fair. Carlos’s mom cooked us a big breakfast consisting tortilla with onion scrambled egg, red bean, eaten with dried chili salsa sauce and sour cream. A truly Mexican Desayuno (breakfast)!

After shower, we accompanied Carlos mom to shop for food material for later party. We thought she was going to go to supermarket, but we were so wrong. She took us to a Mexican traditional market. The market is just like Indonesian wet market: dusty and the sellers are just scattered around with their stalls or vans. Some people just sell things directly from the back of their vans or trucks. The only thing that differs from Indonesian market is that this Mexican market is clean. I mean, I did not see piles of smelly wet garbage with flies around. The only things that scattered around were just desert dust and newspaper wrappings.

The tomatoes in Mexico are really beautiful, with vibrant red and sour-sweet. Also, I have never seen onion so big! BTW, “tomates” in Mexican is the young green tomato, while “jitomate” is the red ripe ones. We saw stalls selling nopal: cactus plants that are eaten as vegetable.

 

The other interesting thing about Mexican market is that it is a drive thru market. Carlos mom just drove around and stopped right in front the stalls that she wanted to buy things from. Nevermind other cars or trucks waiting behind. Really! I tried to inform her that there are truck behind her car waiting to pass, but then the fruit seller told me to just let the truck wait. This is another culture of latin American driving: you stop wherever you want (even in the middle of the road or at the intersections) and the other guys just have to wait for you.

After the market, Carlos mom went to a special shop that sells all kinds of cleaner, hygiene, and detergent products. This small shop is very environmentally friendly. The products that they are selling are organic and biodegradable. Also, people don’t buy the products with packaging, instead, they brought refillable bottles. So, there is no packaging waste. This is how business should be done!

Visit to Queretaro

We went home to put the groceries and then took the car to drive to Queretaro. Queretaro is an industrial town about one-hour-drive from Celaya where Carlos’s sister lives with her two (adopted) children. On the way to Queretaro we stopped by carneria (butcher) to buy meat for lunch: A packaged of marinated Arracherra – a very tender meat from the ribs of a cow.

There are a lot of gated communities in Queretaro, and Ana Luisa (Carlos’s Sister) lives in one of it, in order to provide a safe and secure environment to raise her kids. We were greeted by the two boys: Sebastian and Jorge Luis who were playing at the front yard and were decorating it with Christmas ornaments.

While carlos mom was preparing lunch, we sat at the sofa drinking cold Sangria which a mix of red wine and Coca Cola, with a color just like blood. We chatted about many things, including how Jorge Luis fell on the floor and badly bruised his head and this caused Ana Luisa to be accused for child abuse! The authorities asked Jorge Luis repeatedly to confirm the facts that it was not abuse. This is because child abuse is quite rampant in the area, and as standard procedure, any injured child that enters emergency room pre-supposedly are abused. Luckily Ana Luisa escaped jail examination because Jorge Luis managed to present the truth of the accident.

She continued to say that recently there has been a very bad case of child abuse. A father hit a three months old baby causing twenty-four head fracture, just because the baby cries inconsolably. Crazy, because it is perfectly normal that babies cry! At the end the baby dies and the father went into mental institution.

For lunch, we ate grilled arracherra with corn tortilla and pickled jalapeno and sprinkled with dried chili salsa. It was totally delicious!

We then drove back to Celaya, where Noe and me took a siesta, while Indi and Yodhi went to visit Mexican friends who were student exchange in the 90s.

 

Hector Marquez Dinner

At 10pm, the dinner began. Hector is indeed a good cook! He made grilled arracherra, stir-fried potato with green chili and onion, and red bean cooked with really hot chili pepper. All of those are served with corn and wheat tortilla.

(siapa lagi yang datang ke makan malam?)

We had a long chat about many things. One interesting thing that we talked was about exchange student. It turned out that one Indonesian student in Celaya did not take a bath for two months when staying at Carlos’s mom’s house. He was really smelly and greasy all over! Carlos mom was so afraid that this one is Indonesian culture, so she called Carlos and asked him to take a bath at least one a day. Little did she know that Indi’s family loves to take a bath, even three times a day, and typical Indonesian people takes a bath two times a day. Many things are tried to make the Indonesian student take a bath, but nothing works. Hector also told us that this student even went to Acapulco fully dressed in leather jacket, because he didn’t want to have darker skin due to the sunshine. That must have been really hot and sweaty inside the leather, and still, he did not take a shower. He was so smelly that his smell would linger in the corridor while he passed by. At the end, Carlos mom can’t take it anymore and ask Rotary club to relocate the student to other host parents.

 

Hector also told us that the French students rarely took a shower too (although not as bad as the Indonesian student), and they do not shave their armpit as well (they were girls).

Hector also showed the photo of the photo of his late brother that has a ghostly reflection.

Indi showed the video of his youtube masterpiece.

At the end we were having a very nice capucino ice cream cake

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