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Viva Mexico

Guadalajara, Mazamitla, a dying puppy, and a fake wedding

After the amazing thunder and lightning show, I was expecting great things from Mexico. My first taste of my new country was when the immigration officer gave me his phone number and face book details so that he could show me around his country personally! I had to laugh at how easy it was to enter a country for a year; especially after all of the dramas I always have entering the United States. I came through the gates to find my good friend Adrian waiting for me, as promised. He took me straight out for dinner, where we had quesadillas and sopes, pozole and agua de orchata. I really love Agua de orchata, it is like rice water but it tastes like some kind of spicy milk. He then took me to my friend Dirce’s house, who I have been staying with since my arrival in Mexico. Dirce has been one of my very favourite people since I first met her 18 months ago on her first day in New Zealand. When I arrived, it was in the middle of her sister’s birthday party, so I was immediately given tequila and cake – making me realise, I was going to be eating like a King during my time in this country!

Over the next couple of days we went to Zapopan, a border city to Guadalajara. It used to be an individual city, but now they have merged together – like Auckland and Manukau. Again, we ate delicious food, wandered around the church and the beautiful little buildings, and had a couple of beers. I went to a party at her Aunties, for which we had previously helped make the most delicious cakes for. The party served all traditional food – more sopes (like arepas/ corn cakes topped with delicious ingredients), quesadillas, pozole (a type of corn and usually meat soup), taquitos (mini tacos), and home grown elotes (corn on the cob, but not as I have ever known it, served with fresh lime and lots of chilli rubbed all over it or sour cream if you are that way inclined). There were even mini pavlovas, which of course everyone then learned are a New Zealand dessert! I fell in love with Cari, the tiny Chihuahua of Dirce’s Aunt.
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Over the weekend of Mexican Independence Day, I went with a group of 10 of Dirce’s friends to a small town called Mazamitla. They are the loveliest group of people, the entire time I felt so loved and included. They were so patient with my Spanish, and helped me to understand when I couldn't. I really enjoyed their company, and felt like I had know all of them for forever.IMG_20313391163654.jpegIMG_28857230693962.jpeg
On the way, we stopped at a small town, where there was a huge line of people queuing in the rain for something. I didn’t understand what they were waiting for, but quickly realised we too were going to be waiting in this same long wet line. My friends explained we were going to be buying Vampiros, an amazing drink that this town is famous for. Apparently people drive from Guadalajara just to buy them and then return home. They are made in front of you and are a mixture of tomato juice, lemonade, orange juice, salt, chilli (I think) and of course – a lot of Tequila! They are made, and served, in a plastic bag with a straw. You can even choose which type of tequila you would like! You then pile back into your car and drive on with your vampiro in hand – Vampiro means vampire, and the drink is called this because it is bright red like blood. And omg is it delicious!
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We got to Mazamitla, which is a beautiful town, absolutely magical, sitting up on top of some mountains. The entire town is painted white with a burnt red around the bottom fifth of the buildings. The cobbled streets, the magnificent church in the centre, and the surrounding woods make it feel like paradise.
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We went out for breakfast, we cooked the most amazing food at home, we stayed up all night dancing salsa and bachata, and there was a guitar just for me to play until the wee hours of the morning. The funniest part was when everyone loved the song Dom and I had written for a very disliked boy I used to see. When I had first said I would play the song, Paulo was worried I would cry. When he heard the lyrics, everyone laughed and laughed. I must have played this same song 30 times, each time the others learning more and more of the words!
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On the night of el grito de Mexico – the cry of indepence, we went into the town and looked around the markets, we met some dancers called the viejos, who do the dance of the old people.
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Everyone laughed when I told them I wanted to find my Mexican husband, and then when we found a giant tequila bottle - well, it was love at first sight and there he was - MY HUSBAND!
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We tried all sorts of different candy and sweets in the village, and then came back for a nap/ rest to prepare for the Independence Day party that evening. Brissa and I dressed up for the party, her as a beautiful Frida Kahlo, and me in traditional Mexican attire. Sandy helped do my hair, and we were set to go!
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In the town there were fire cracker towers, music, dancing, and lots of tequila! At one point I remember some random guy just pouring tequila from a bottle straight into my mouth, and the mouths of everyone around him. Everyone was having a great time – maybe not so much the guy who was in the ‘bullring.’ Completely different to those of Spain, this involved a bull made from fire crackers and the man having to run away from it – much to the delighted screams of everyone who watched!
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I was into it, screaming Viva Mexico along with everyone else, but it did feel really strange to be celebrating Mexico after celebrating Colombia so whole heartedly during the world cup. I almost felt like I was betraying my own country – even though Colombia isn’t my own! I must admit though, from what I have seen so far of Latinoamerica, the people are so patriotic and they love their countries. They know how to throw an amazing party, and they all pull together to celebrate their love for their land. I wish New Zealand knew how to party like this in celebration of our land.
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The following day we had to leave our little home in the woods, and as we headed back to Guadalajara, I had a pretty serious hangover. But thankfully, by the time we made it back to the town with the massive line – this time in the sunshine, I was ready for another vampiro to see me home! I learned to ask for one without salt, and found it was much easier to drink. It certainly took the edge off the headache! When we got home, it was straight to bed for about 18 hours!
I guess I need to mention about my baby… As Dad says, in true Katy style, I went to Mexico to find a rich husband, and instead found myself a poor, street dog. But in my defence, Taquito is the most adorable little puppy I have ever seen!
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Dirce and I found him when we had gone to buy fruit. He was sitting in a cage, without any food or water and was the skinniest, sickliest looking dog I had ever seen. I told Dirce how we had to save it, to take it home and look after it. She agreed but was worried as she already had 7 un-homed dogs she had rescued. We worked out a plot to steal the dog from the cage, and then I suggested,
‘Well, why don’t we just ask it’s owner?’
She looked at me as if I was crazy, but decided to give it a try. She located the owner, who said how this was the runt and no one wanted him, that he was skinny because his brothers and sisters had eaten all it’s food etc. We knew he was lying, but we went along with him. She told the man how I was from NZ and that I really wanted to have a Mexican dog, and he basically threw the dog at us, grateful to be rid of it. I have never held such a tiny, bony, smelly, sickly puppy in all my life. We took him straight home and fed him some water. He must have drunk nearly a litre of water, in huge gulps, and to the point where he would throw up and then keep drinking. The dog was hugely dehydrated, and it was heart breaking to see.
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Thankfully now, after nearly a week and a half with us, Taquito is no longer flajito (skinny), rather a real tubster! He walks around like the boss, comes for walks with the rest of the 7 dogs, and sleeps like a little angel. Oh, and Taquito is a she not a he, but I think Dirce and I have forever given her gender issues because we refuse to change her name! We are trying to find her a new home, hopefully one will come up that will love her forever and treat her like a little princess.
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My days in Guadalajara have been pretty lazy, involving a bit of sightseeing with Dirce, some salsa and bachata dancing, and a couple of parties with Adrian.
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One of the things I really loved, was how they had a massive square which was surrounded by sculptures who helped within the revolution of Mexico. I loved how amongst the sculputres stood artists and poets, alongside the fighters and the war heroes. It made me realise how Mexico values the importance that the arts have in society, or at least it did at one point..
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I finally tried tortas ahogadas, the food that every single person from Guadalajara had told me about. It was pretty delcious, amazing bread, avocado and prawns drowned in delicious sauce. It was virtually impossible to eat without being a giant mess, but somehow I made it through!
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I tried to sort out my visa to live here but the immigration centre tried to rip me off and recharge me the money I had already paid in Wellington. To get my visa approved will mean spending a further 2 months here in the city, and I already have my plane to the Yutucan peninsula booked for next week. I fell in love with a pair of python cowboy boots, that unfortunately were the only pair over $100 in the shop (of course, they were the only $300 pair there).
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I sadly had to leave them behind me, as I knew $300 is the price of the sailing trip (San Blas adventures) from Colombia to Panama that I want to do before flying to the Dominican Republic. I was only able to completely cheer up at leaving my boots behind when we decided to enter a bridal shop and dress up in thousands of dollars worth of lace and tulle! I had always wanted to do this, but never had the courage or the opportunity. I think I make a pretty sexy bride, now I just need to find the rich husband!
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Only prolem is, if I don't stop eating all of this delicious food that Mexico has to offer, I will never find the rich man!

Posted by chasingsummer 15:02 Archived in Mexico Tagged food guadalajara tequila delicious mexican_food comida mazamitla cowboy_boots

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