Thursday, November 24, 2005

brown sugar... how come you're laced with worms?

It is Thanksgiving Day. This is the first I can remember being away from home. Of course, they don't celebrate here, but we did find a flyer in our gate inviting us to a Thanksgiving feast at the Camino Real hotel. I suppose they have a lot of American guests. This is the second notice I've found delivered to our house. The other was the electric bill( not even in an envelope) folded and tucked between the grates of our iron gate to the courtyard. I wonder if there is even mail service here, people just hand-deliver.

My internet installation was supposed to happen today but this is no-show Mexico. So I continue to wear the wheels off my pull-along laptop case with my daily trips to the hotel. I could drive, but then I'd miss the sights and smells. I keep eyeing the droppings left by Victor the Vacquero's horse and thinking I should be gathering them. I could prepare nice soil for a rose garden. I think too about our kitchen waste--could I compost? I need to ask around because it could be a bad idea for numerous reasons I'm unaware. Ants? Bees? Night creatures? Our biggest pest so far are teeny-tiny ants. Our neighbor advises we put out trays of sugar water outside the house. The idea is to lure them away from our interiors to the trays where they drown in a sweet bath.

Larry, Curly, and Darryl have returned to their guardians for good. Our kind neighbor explained that his wife already misses the dogs, but I suspect he is being polite since he realized we don't really want three lazy mutts who keep tearing through the fence. They are unaccustomed to detainment so it is useless to try.

Since San Andreas fixed my oven last night I thought I'd try it out today by baking cookies with Allison. Robert and I went to town for supplies leaving her with Zoila, our maid. I needed baking powder, chocolate chips, and brown sugar. I found what I translated to read: "dust of flour" and guessed it was the baking powder. There were no chocolate chips to be found so I bought Hershey's bars. No brown sugar, but something similar shaped into cones and blocks. I chose a block that happened to be wrapped in cellophane.

So Allison and I set to making our cookies. I asked Robert to break the block of sugar and when he did worms began emerging. This made me seriously doubt whether I can survive here. I took a deep breath and threw out the rancid block of sugar and bravely continued on.
The cookies were not even close to what we make back home; I think the flour is different here. Zoila thought they were good. I think she is empathetic to our culinary shortcomings. She offered to make us fish soup when she comes next. Fine with me. Now I have a cook too!

Allison has been such a trooper. She rarely complains even though she is being deprived of her usual comforts. At her age she just enjoys being with us. We look at everything as an adventure and re-live and laugh it over nightly. As far a school goes, we aren't having any. If she gets no proper learning this winter that's okay. I think she is learning far more interesting things. We may enroll her in the school here after the first of the year, but that is mainly for the opportunity to learn Spanish.

Tonight we go to our Thanksgiving feast with the other stray Americans. Even if it's turkey on a tortilla I promise to feel thankful.

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