Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Little Poet hits Mexico

Well, after time out in London to complete the second draft of my novel, I am now in Mexico. The plan is to go from here to Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina in the next four and a half months.

We arrived in Mexico City and headed for San Luis de la Paz, where a friend of Oscars' lives. From there we went to Queretaro, then Guanajuato (saw the smallest Mommy in the world - a six month old feotus). The first things to strike me were the colours. Red and yellow and pink and blue, orange and purple and green.... Literally, it's so colourful and magical and vibrant and full of life, and reflects the culture through colours: passion, love, laughter, tears, drama, music and pain. Because it's all here and by the tonne.

After a few days we came to Guadalajara, where I lived for a few months ten years ago, and where a friend of ours, Natalia, lives. On the fourth day of our trip we went to a beautiful artesanal town outside called Tlaquepaque, accompanied by Natalia and her boyfriend, who seemed to know everyone, and who was greeted in the street with hugs and kisses by the chef of the restaurant we were headed for (El Sope). I wondered what was going on. I thought they must be old family friends: all the staff in the restaurant spent the entire meal coming to the table and telling him how to eat everything and asking if he wanted more goat's head. Now I know that he is a well known public person in the state of Jalisco, so, while I thought he knew everyone, it was everyone that knew him. If I'd known, I would have dressed up.

We ate a dish called Birria, beef with lots of salsa and spices and lime and onion and tortillas. Tortillas go with everything. It was delicious, and, I believe, a dish to try when you're in Mexico. Afterwards, we visited a beautiful little hotel called La casa de las flores, charming and authentic. If my budget was higher I would love to stay there (60 euros per night which is great value - my budget's very low).

The next morning I woke up desperate for the loo. I mean desperate. I darted for the toilet, next door to the bedroom, but realised I didn't make it when I woke up on the floor with a pounding head and Oscar leaning over me, shouting my name. I told him to take me to the loo, and he carried me the metre or two, when I fainted again. Let's say it wasn't the highest point of Week One. It was quite the 'out of body' experience; aware of everything but not able to do a thing: speak, move, or see. The only thing that was moving was my tummy: violently expelling the offender.

In the hospital, the doctor didn't seem too interested in me, but gave me saline and antibiotics through a drip none the less. He wasn't impressed when I told him I was English (having thought I was Spanish) and when he spoke, it was to tell Oscar every city he'd been to in Spain, and where the best lamb is eaten. Oscar wasn't too impressed as he wanted to hear about me, and I wasn't impressed as I wanted him to talk about England.

Now, after a day of rest we're back on it. Yesterday went to Tequila, a lovely town where, guess what, Tequila comes from. Today we went to Tonala and ate a torta ahogada - drowned sandwich... so far so good...