Sunday, August 5, 2007

Driving the Jeep to Mexico - Part 7

What a comedy of errors it turned out to be getting Jaimie from the island to Matamoras. Prior to my leaving, we had purchased an airline ticket for him on Aero Mexico. He was supposed to arrive in Matamoras at 5pm Wednesday night. He sat on the plane in Cancun for an hour before they offloaded them due to mechanical problems . He then had to wait to be put on a different flight for Mexico City. Of course, he missed his connecting flight to Matamoras. He would have had to wait until the next day to get a flight. He opted to take a flight to Monterrey and then a bus from there to Matamoras. Since I had paid him to make this journey with me, he thankfully had money on him. He finally arrived at the hotel at 6am the day after he left Cancun! This would have been Thursday morning, April 22. True to his Mexican nature, he refused to go to bed or to try to get some rest. He knew I had been waiting two days for him and was anxious to get on the road. So, after a shower and change of clothes, we were off to breakfast before heading out.

Our room included a free breakfast at the restaurant across the street. At first glance, it was a fancy spread. Closer inspection revealed it to be not of my liking. There were five warming trays filled with wonderful Mexican breakfast items. Scrambled eggs with green peppers. (gag!) Except the eggs were swimming in water and were definitely not totally cooked. Next was a tray full of refried beans. (gag) I could only hope that Jaimie stayed away from these. The Jeep is a small vehicle! There were several trays of unknown foods but mostly what looked like chopped and shredded meats in some kind of sauce.* The last entrĂ©e was a tray full of chopped hot dog pieces floating in what looked like tomato soup. I decided to go Continental and just have a breakfast roll from the huge assortment that filled a basket. I chose carefully and picked one that I thought might have some kind of taste to it. As usual, when it comes to choosing Mexican baked goods, I was wrong. To me, all Mexican pastry tastes the same. Doesn’t matter the shape, color or what they decorate it with. To give you some idea of how it tastes to me, do this: let a hamburger bun get as stale as you can and then take a big, delicious bite out of it. Yummy. Feel your mouth sticking together and all your saliva drying up? Enough said. The orange juice was the best I ever had down here though. Freshly squeezed and ice cold.

So off to the car park to rescue the now filthy, city dust covered Jeep and repack everything. I was loaded to the gills inside and needed to move stuff to the back carrier to make room for my co-pilot. This was accomplished and Jaimie performed his first navigational duty and asked the car park attendant (in Spanish of course!) how to get to Mexico 180, our main road all the way to Cancun. I was relieved to discover it was the street only two blocks away from the hotel. I had been walking quite frequently on it during my trips to the pedestrian zone and park. Driving out of Matamoras was not as horrendous as driving into it had been and I was glad to see the last of it in my rearview mirror!

Our goal that day was to get to Tampico.

* what a newborn fool to Mexico I was. Confronted with those same items today, I would load my plate with some of everything. I have learned not to judge a book by its’ cover when it comes to food.


Brenda said...

I felt the same way, some of the food doesn't look very appetizing; but sure tastes good. Just need to try it; although I can honestly say that I have never tried menudo and never intend to. LOL

Hollito said...

IMHO most of the mexican food is really fine (which shows up on the "life belts" when I come back from mx...).
When I came to MX the first time, my wife Ixhel and her friend Claudia ordered ant eggs and maguey worms for me. The looked forward to see me jump off the table - but it did not work. I ate with pleasure and did not run away or get green in the face. ;-)
As it was in a fancy restaurant in the DF (something like an old ranch), this was a costly , but not working joke my wife and her friend had to pay. :-)

Only thing I will never ever try again is "barbacoa". What a horrible food... :-(