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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Home Deliveries

It is incredible what is delivered to your door in Mexico. It ranges from really helpful items like bottled drinking water or bottled gas, to door to door sales people flogging anything from cable TV to furniture. People also knock on the door offering their services for sale to clean your gutters, tar your roof or sharpen your knives.

An interesting and sometimes annoying feature of some of the vendors is their call sign or theme music that blares from their loud speaker to announce their presence in your street. The gas one is the most annoying as they roam the streets from about 7am until 8pm and their music is like the theme song from an old Western American sitcom (the name of which escapes me right now).

Until today, one of the most unique or Mexican of these vendors that I had seen was the milk man, who brings fresh milk to your door in large vats from which he will dispense milk to you into the pot or jug or other vessel that you have for him to use. This milk has not been pasteurised or separated, so you can separate the milk from the cream as if it had come straight from the cow. Yum!

Today however a vendor came to our door that I had never encountered before. She called out offering to sell soil for pot plants and when I opened the door I was greeted by this village lady, with her son and their donkey which was carrying the soil for sale. We didn't need any soil, but I gave her a few pesos in return for her letting me take these photos.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Clubbing in Puebla

Mexicans know about dancing!! Going to a club in Mexico is a real treat. It would be great if we had clubs like theirs in Australia. Maybe they do and I just haven't been there.

At midnight they "open" the dance floor with sometime of show involving music of course plus an awesome light show or performers or video all three. Once the floor is opened people flock to the floor.

This club is called Rumba and it is a salsa club which featured a 12 piece latin band who played two sets of well over an hour each. The floor was full of people dancing, some really good, some quite average, but all having a great time.

Besides Latin music, when the live band wasn't playing the place turned into a "normal" night club with a great mix of dance music - a lot of which was in English. A few times through the night they also have shows, some involving performers, some the audience and some the staff and these a mix of great talent and just plain funny.

Also, a couple of times during the evening they will hand out a whole lot of balloons or neon glow sticks and immediately the dance floor becomes a sea of waving colour. It is quit a sight and lots of fun when you are one of those dancing and waving in the midst of it all.

The other thing to love about Mexico's clubs is the table service. If you are happy to buy at least a bottle of alcohol between your group, you will be given a table and be waited on all night for drinks and food. Soooo much better that having to fight to and from a busy bar to get a drink.

Oh and if you don't like queuing to get in, don't worry because money talks here. So just "speak" to someone on the door to ensure you are whisked to the front of the queue, to the best table and enjoy your night.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Mexican Fiestas

It has been a while since my last post, but a month of Spanish language school took a little of my free time away for things including blogging. In true Mexican style however, I still managed to fit in a swag of fiestas for a range of events including birthdays, first communions and labour day. while all slightly different, they all share some common characteristics:
  1. The fiesta will not be ready for guests at the published start time for the fiesta
  2. Guests shouldn't arrive on time and if you are hosting the fiesta, don't expect most of your to guests to arrive for at least an hour after the published start time of the fiesta
  3. Providing you arrive approximately an hour after the published fiesta start time, you can be assured of being served a hot 3 course meal, regardless of what time you arrive ... complete with tortillas and frijoles of course
  4. Everyone dances, from the youngest babe being nursed by a relative to the grandparents and the music can vary from Danzon (a little like a waltz) to Salsa to pop. Any wonder most Latin people seem to be born with rhythm!
  5. As well as varied the music will be LOUD, but everyone still manages to chat and have a good time and young babies manage to sleep in spite of the music, dancing and lots of kids running around
  6. Did I mention children? There will be a lot of them, in addition to people of all ages, so the fiesta will probably take place in a salon (fiesta venue) with a play area for children to stay amused whilst the adults eat, drink, dance and generally be merry
  7. If you are the host you need to prepare a lot of food because you will never be really sure how many guests will attend because your sister might invite her sister in law's family and the next door neighbours
  8. Arising from the uncertainty of item 5 above, typically at the end of the evening there will be a lot of food left over, so if you stay to the end you may end up helping to pack up and be served up with a second meal
  9. The fiesta (which officially started at 1pm) will extend from approximately 3pm to somewhere around midnight
  10. There will probably be a cake and it will be ENORMOUS. It will probably also be a Mexican tres leches (3 milks) cake containing carnation milk, cream and condensed milk - very tasty indeed!
  11. Presents aren't opened when people receive them, rather they are typically displayed on a table near the cake and opened as an event during the evening
Essentially, Mexican fiestas are filled with family, food, music and dancing and are a key form of social interaction in Mexico. They are lots of fun and there are lots of fiestas to be had.