Public Service Announcements

[1] I figured out why I have gotten sick of Mexican food so quickly as of late. Its the corn tortillas. I lucked into another cooking class in Oaxaca (Thanks Travis, commenter extraordinaire!) and my teacher told me that in the US and on Baja they mostly use flour tortillas which to me don’t have much of a taste at all so you can actually enjoy the ingredients. Most of Mexico and certainly in the south they LURVE corn tortillas. To me the corn tortillas have a very distinct, maize-y/grainy taste and makes everything taste the same whether you are eating pollo (chicken) or carne (meat). A fellow traveler recently told me that I could ask for flour tortillas as some places will have both especially around Oaxaca where some of the more traditional dishes go better with the flour. Who knew??

[2] Spanish is a fascinating and dangerous language. It is so close to english at times that you get sucked into thinking that you can subsitute or intuit words that should be the same in both languages. Unfortunately that isn’t that case.

Exhibit A: I should warn you that if you are standing in your pajamas with your towel across your shoulders asking the hostel office lady for “Sopa, por favor?” “Hay Sopa Senora?” that when she looks at you quizzically and points you to the restaurant across the street, you might want to go check your spanish dictionary and come back and ask for “Jabon Por Favor?” (Soap please?) because “Sopa” isn’t soap at all, its “soup” actually its “Zupa” but you get my point. I’m just trying to help yall out here.

Exhibit B: After making various jokes and inspiring much laughter in both english and spanish with a mix of international travelers, you might not want to exclaim that you are “muy embarazada!” to illustrate your embarasement, because you’ll suffer some self-esteem lowering moments when you figure out that “embarazado” is the word for “pregnant” not “embarassed” and that people were trying to look at your belly to determine if you were joking (and just very fond of pasta and beer) or if you really were pregnant. ooops, no wonder people kept trying to keep me from drinking that mezcal! and no, despite the drive-by, dry-humping, I am not pregnant.

*graphic courtesy of

9 thoughts on “Public Service Announcements”

  1. it is nice to see that you are as crazy as ever. i miss you so much man, but in your honor i’ve tried consume as much tequilla as possible. i’ve decided not to come down there this summer, just not the right time. i know, if not now than when? but after my little trip over the border for spring break i thought hmmm not so much! possibly it was my entry point (near DEL RIO) but i’m not ready. i’ve enjoyed your veiw of the country however, keep it comin’. be safe and hurry home so we can do something embarrassing and eat muy soup.

  2. Fantastic – I can think of no better way to close off an evening of drinking with people than telling everyone how “pregnant you are” followed by a self deprecating laugh and ordering another round. I can’t wait to use this one next time we have the formal family dinner!

  3. See, I prefer the corn tortillas because they have more flavor. But then I don’t eat Mexican food with such frequency.

    I get confused when trying to say that “I’m bored” (Estoy aburrida) because I’m not sure that I’m not saying “I’m boring.”

  4. Haha. Quit calling me that, Dia! You’re too funny. I just knew they had good cooking schools in Oaxaca when you were debating whether or not to go there. Funny, too, I know a woman who experienced the EXACT same embarrassed/pregnant language fiasco with a taxi driver in Mexico City! Maybe if enough gringas make the same mistake down south, it will become part of the local slang! Cheers.

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