Hogar Dulce Hogar

Friday, February 25, 2011 - Posted by Amanda Bast
I returned from Mexico on Monday night. You might be expecting a long heartfelt post, but nope sorry. They might slip out sometime in the future. Let me sum up the trip by saying this: it was wonderful. It ripped my heart apart, pieced it back together, and ripped it apart again. I miss those kiddies like you wouldn't believe. And it will be a long time before I eat that many corn tortillas again.

Instead, I present you with a list of things that I've observed over my past four trips that are unique to Mexico. Or at least my version of Mexico. I love this place with a passion, and these things are only some of the reasons I love it in all it's quirky and awesome glory. Here goes:

Weird Brand Names
Bimbo: bread, cookies, cakes...basically anything baked. Bimbo also sponsors a soccer team, so people wearing Bimbo jerseys are a common sight. At the beginning of the trip, one of the guys didn't believe me when I told him this fact. Guess who ended up looking like a true Bimbo.

Boing - delicious, delicious juice

Dolores Tuna - if you don't get why that's funny, then you don't watch Seinfeld.

Scented Toilet Paper
In Mexico you can't flush toilet paper. The pipes are too small. Now I know you're thinking "but sometimes my....larger than toilet paper....how...?" Yes. Exactly. It doesn't make sense to me either. So there is a wastebasket* for your used toilet paper. You can imagine that it doesn't smell the nicest. The solution: scented toilet paper. Now the washroom smells like used toilet paper and potpourri. An interesting combination. Reminds me of those times in high school when the dog food factory in town used to fling open its windows and the smell mingled with the manure from the Menno fields nearby. Just a note: 1 bad odor plus 1 passable odor does not equal a good odor.

Pedal Flush Toilets
Seriously now. This is a stroke of brilliance. No one likes flushing public toilets. I use my foot when possible. I bet you do too. So why not make the flusher a pedal FOR YOUR FOOT? I can't believe we haven't all caught onto this by now.

Delightful Beverages
Dear Coca-Cola Canada,

Why don't you carry Manzana Lift?

It is the best of the best of soda pops. Why does Mexico get this delight and Canada does not? I'll have you know that Canada is rather fond of apples. We have cider and butter and many different varieties of the fruit in our grocery stores. So why not give us the pop, too? I don't drink pop while I'm in Canada, but while in Mexico, my beverage of choice is Manzana. Think of the business you would gain!

Also, since you're kind of a big deal, could you pass along a message for me? Can you just let the Mexico City airport know that I don't appreciate their security measures? After I've gone through security checks and spent 8 bucks on pop at the duty free store, can you please tell the nice people to not take away my Manzana? I waited until I was through security and spent more money just so I could take it on the plane with me, but they confiscated it. I was angered and outraged and saddened that I didn't get to share the goodness of Manzana with my friends back home. So just pass that along for me, mmmkay? Thanks.

Spicy Bland Food
I love Mexican food more than any other food, I think. I love tacos. I love quesadillas. I love taquitos. I love enchaladas. I love sopes. I love gorditas. I love that weird rice juice stuff. I love cactus. I love jicima. I love jalapenos. I love cilantro. I love guacamole. I love mole. I love it all. Mexican food tends to be spicy, but here is the funny thing. The food, pre-spicy goodness is very bland. Corn tortillas are very literally made from corn flour and water. Bland. They add the spice afterward. If you hand a Mexican a piece of fruit covered in chilies, they will enjoy it, while we would turn up our noses. However, if you put black pepper on a dish, someone from Mexico would tell you that it's much too spicy. Black pepper. Too spicy. Mexican food is more about intense heat rather than intense taste.

I hope this has given you a tiny glimpse into the little parts of Mexico that only someone like me notices. The next time I go to Mexico, upon return I'm filling my suitcase with fifty pounds of apple pop.

*I think that's the first time I've ever used this word