Guadalajara, Guadalajara!

This is not the first time I write about Guadalajara, however, I spent a weekend there just last year, and felt in love with this city, again.

Getting there from Mexico City is pretty simple, you either take a 50 minutes flight (around USD$70 to $100 return), or a 7 hours bus from “Central Poniente” (USD$75 return). I chose the second option, because either I’m still an adventurous man or apparently I haven’t learnt to buy my trips on advance, go figure.

I arrived to Guadalajara’s bus terminal on a Saturday, around 7 am, and decided to hop on the public transportation to get to the city centre. As, due to some previous reading, public transportation routes are easy to follow. Once you get to downtown, moving around by foot isn’t that bad at all, or at least for me, as I really enjoy long walks.                

As you can see, the day was beautiful, and as I walked from “Templo de Nuestra Señora de Aranzazú” to Guadalajara’s Plaza de Armas (its main square) stores and restaurants were getting ready to serve the peasants.

The Cathedral is incredible. Its construction began on 1561 and was finished by 1716, finally completed on 1854. To one of its side you will find the “Hombres Ilustres” (distinguished men) roundabout with all those men who contributed to either found Guadalajara or stood out for their achievements in culture, science, politics or leadership.

I continued walking through Jose Maria Morelos street and passed by Teatro Degollado. This Theatre was built during the XIX Century. Its facade is beautifully balanced by 16 Corinthian styled columns, a reminder of Guadalajara’s constant focus in culture and arts.

Just a 20 minutes walk away, in that direction, you’ll find the Hospicio Cabañas. This is a World Heritage Site, and one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in the Americas. I’ve been there before, and I do recommend you to spend at least a couple of hours exploring it.

You might be wondering, “Luis, why did you go to Guadalajara out of the sudden?”, glad you ask. As you know, I’m from Tampico, gorgeous town on the Northeast coast of Mexico. My local soccer team was playing against the Universidad of Guadalajara’s team that Sunday, so, I packed my jersey and lots of sunscreen and just went for it.

Estado Jalisco – Leones Negros vs Tampico Madero

On Saturday evening I hung out around the Chapultepec Avenue zone, it has plenty of hipster-ish pubs, restaurants, local gastronomy, and a colourful flea market. Later that night, a good friend of mine invited me over to a party in that same neighborhood, the “Colonia Americana”.  Guadalajara and Merida have that in common, huge 19th and 20th century houses, which are part of the local heritage, some of them became restaurants or venues for fancy events. She took me to “Patán Ale House“, wonderful beer place, with local brews, great ambiance and good food, perfect for a relaxed Saturday night.

On Sunday I went to the football match, to the Estadio Jalisco, aye, you are right, my team won 2-0 and I couldn’t be happier. The funny thing is that around 400+ fans from my town traveled all the way from East coast to Guadalajara to support our team. That afternoon I made two more food stops. One at “El Negro”, a seafood joint. That was freaking heaven, fresh seafood everywhere, fish and shrimp tacos, grilled octopus, and beer as cold as my ex’s heart, amazing.

The second one, and a great reminder that I need to come back soon to keep on exploring this great city, was “La Res Publica“. Here we ordered one of the most heavenly “Bife de Chorizo” I ever had. Medium rare, solid salted crust, juicy meat and an outstanding explosion of flavours in my mouth with each bite.

That was Guadalajara for me, great weekend, and a must needed break from Mexico City. I highly recommend it, not only as a place to go for a couple of days. Guadalajara seems like the right place where to go if you want to experience Mexico in peaceful and calm way.

Ps. But of course I had a Torta Ahogada. This is a local dish made with hard short baguette stuffed with pork carnitas, and covered on hot or mild red sauce (hence the word “ahogadas” which means drowned). However, I had the seafood version, with shrimps, outstanding.

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Pork chops: the groundbreaking meal 

Pork chops are so easy to cook you will choose them as your emergency meal whenever having people over.

I sure do, as they are a cheap cut, with a beautiful external layer of fat, and, when properly cooked, they capture all the scents and flavours of the spices you rub on them.

First, find your pork chops, I usually go to the local supermarket and they come in packs of two. Now, pay for those bastards and bring them home. No sweat, hombre.

 

This is the secret, use a paper towel to dry them off, however leave them slightly moist. In a bowl, mix flour, paprika, pepper, sea salt, dried thyme and garlic powder. Now throw those chops in the bowl, don’t sprinkle the mix, you are better than that. Be thorough and cover them entirely, until they feel soft and tender (like the way I imagine true love).

Let’s turn up the heat

Use a frying pan or a cast iron pan, nothing else, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves, and a wee branch of fresh thyme. Look at the garlic cloves, as soon as they start sizzling, put the chops on the pan. Remember not to overcrowd the pan, make sure that the area covered by the meat is 2/3 of the pan’s surface.

Now, on medium heat, cook each cut for 3-4 minutes on one side, then 2-3 minutes on the other side. On the second turn add a little square of butter, that’s right, you heard me right. Let the butter melt and use a spoon to pour on the meat. This techniques helps you to distribute the flavours and keeps your chops juicy and moist.

Put the pork chops aside, let them rest and serve on some mashed potatoes or mashed kumaras. Don’t hesitate to pour some veggie or chicken stock on the pan on low heat, and deglaze the pan, getting all the rich burnt things you got from cooking the meat, add some flour and stir until desired consistency.

So there you go, pair with a a Pinot Blanc or a Pale Ale.

Trump’s Era – The Ministry of Truth

The Trump Era began last Friday the 20th of January, with a nationalistic, protectionist, agitated speech given by Donald (most likely written by Putin’s team). How are we supposed to feel about Trump becoming the most powerful man on earth (after Putin, obviously)? Until Friday the answer to this question was uncertain. Today, we have sort of an idea, but first, let me tell you a story.

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About a couple of weeks ago I visited the Memory and Tolerance Museum, in the heart of Mexico City. This museum presents the Jewish genocide under the Nazi regime during World War II. It chronologically informs the visitor the series of events that unfolded into one of the rawest and most violent periods in human modern history: the concentration camps, part of the final solution. Six million Jewish men, women, and children were killed during the Holocaust—two-thirds of the Jews living in Europe before World War II.

The museum also includes a recap of the genocides perpetrated in Rwanda, Armenia, Yugoslavia, Guatemala, Camboya and Darfur. According to the official museum’s website, rescuing memories and data is fundamental for a call against violence. “Never again” (“Nunca más”) can be read in the walls of its rooms, as a call to action. Its premise states that the study and comprehension of genocides like the ones showed is the starting point to develop strategies that will prevent things like the “final solution” to happen ever again.
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“Walking through the horrors of the past is a way to praise the memory of its victims, but also a way to prevent their suffering from being forgotten and that similar episodes hurt human kind again. Look back to learn, learn to never repeat again”.

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Why am I talking about genocide, history and dictatorial regimes when referring to Trump? Because of his speech, the regurgitation of threats thrown at anybody willing to question his stamina as national leader (or the number of people who attended his Inauguration). His words reminded me of those praised by authoritarian tyrants from our recent past. Now, as president of the USA, his executive orders are coming out of the White House one after the other, which set the path to a potential suppression of liberties and rights for the American people, as well as the cracking of an international diplomacy that has been carefully built for decades since the creation of the United Nations.

trump6Trump combines an authoritarian political communication strategy that emulates that of the Ministry of Truth (G Orwell, 1984) , Goebbels propaganda (based on the ‘creation’ of foreign enemies, that derived into a xenophobe national sentiment) and the Monroe Doctrine (“America for the Americans”, justification for the American intervention in developing countries). Him and his team lie, profusely, without hesitation, deliberately, blatantly about anything. Well, they don’t lie, they present “alternative facts”.  Why do they lie?

As Bloomberg’s article written by  Tyler Cowen, Trump’s team lie as a sort of loyalty test: “the leader wishes to mislead the public, and wants to have subordinates doing so, in part because many citizens won’t pursue fact-checking. But that’s the obvious explanation, and the truth runs much deeper” the article reads. trump5

Nationalism as the core of your rhetoric is applauded when coming from developing countries’ leaders willing to fight back globalization and neo-liberalism. Nationalism isn’t a good sign coming from a Great Power like the US (Russia, USA, Japan and China considered the four great powers in the current international arena). Nationalism leads to protectionism, which leads to economic sanctions, then to anger, finally, to the dark side.

Trump’s first steps are focused on closing economic borders, bully the private sector, discredit the media and, surrounded by white supremacists men, make “America Great Again”, no matter what.

Conclusion:

There are still many things Trump has up his sleeve, things that the American Congress will not be able to stop. China seems to be his main concern, and collaborating with Russia appears (as indoctrinated by the Kremlin) to be the only way to fight back Xi Jinping’s position in Asia, where China has the geopolitical balance in its favor. The not-so-dormant dragon has shown little patience to Trump’s not so tacit disobedience of the “One China” policy, and looks ready to fight back (at least on free trade) the American bully.

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I have a bad feeling about this.

Ps- Recommended readings:

 

New York – New York

My last stop in the USA was New York City. The bus drive from DC to NYC was roughly 4 hours. As a cliché as it sounds, my first glance of the city was its skyline. As we crossed through Jersey into the Lincoln Tunnel I got a perfect view of the its skyscrapers.

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NYC view from the Rockefeller Centre

I got to the city around 4pm on Thursday, so as soon as I got off the bus I walked my way up to Harlem (where my Airbnb hosts were waiting for me).

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On my way through Central Park I passed by Broadway, Times Square, the Museum of Modern Art and a lot of tourists. After leaving my bag at my room, I decided that I’d get to know the city just by walking around it. My hostess told me to buy a one week subway pass, around USD 32, super helpful in order to hop on and off the subway if needed.

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Harlem, near Central Park, my temporary ‘Hood’

 

Little China and Little Italy were obliged spots to visit. Little Italy had all these restaurants and grocery stores that would drive any cooking enthusiast like me crazy. I sat down at Sofia’s Little Italy and had a glass of white wine and a wee plate of seafood, as if trying to “blend in” with the locals. Well, the Italians know how to interact with the peasants, it was funny and creepy at the same time how this middle age restaurant host talked to a group of tourists trying to convince them to have a bite at his establishment.

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However, Little China was something else, it was crowded and louder, full of aromas and colours, with produce, meat, fish and other goods literally protruding from their stores into the streets. After almost four years, I finally had a steamed bun with lamb just like the ones I had in Auckland, NZ, soft, tender and full of flavour (as you can tell, food is always the highlight of my trips). Go to Grand St and Chrystie St, and just get in the Ken Hing Food Market or Nam Son, that’s a good taste of China Town’s foundations of its cuisine.

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On Friday night I met up with my friend Patricio (another Mexican abroad) at East Village. We had dinner at Cafe Katja, lots of food, great prices and lounge-ish ambiance. Right after we went to the Il Laboratorio del Gelato where I had an amazing vanilla-cinamon-lavender something gelato, glorious.

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Little Italy

 

Of course, as an International Relations enthusiast (and that’s saying little, I’m passionate about human rights and international relations), I had to got the United Nations building, Ground Zero, Trump Tour (aye, you bet your arse I said “Hi” to the orange dude), the Natural History Museum, among other historical places.

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New York City indeed amazed me, it is bright, loud, flamboyant, liberal, multicultural, epic. In times of Trump and desperation (Aye, those words do go together), NYC, just like San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, DC, serves as a beacon of solidarity, diversity, tolerance and freedom.

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Aye, go to Joe’s pizza, it is famous for a reason.

Ps. Trump finally became the 45th president of the USA… I have a bad feeling about this.

 

 

Washington D.C, Burgers and Mezcal

After my cousin’s wedding I decided that crossing the border into the “US and A” could be a great idea. And it was.

So I took the bus from Toronto to DC (and it was a hell of a long drive),  where I’ll spend at least a day, and then I’ll find my way to New York City by bus or train. Sure thing, greyhound seemed like a good option, but Megabus was far much cheaper, reliable and had more runs, so that’s my recommendation.

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I got to DC on a Wednesday morning at its beautiful Union Station, my first impression about DC is that it was built by and for giants. Must confess that I’ve never been fond of my American neighbours and their nationalistic love for overwhelming monuments and beacons of their glorious history; however, DC is a gorgeous example of grand architecture devoted to enhance the past.

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My good old Mexican friend from University, Sergio, picked me up from the Station and took me to one of Obama’s favourite burger places in DC, Good Stuff Eatery. I helped myself with a “Hillary”, because at that time, mid October, the elections were still on. Beautiful burger, you should definitely try the Prez Obama Burger or their Good Stuff Melt. Serious stuff.

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After that “breakfast” I was on my own, Sergio told me to walk down from The Capitol all the way to the Lincoln Memorial, going around the Tidal Basin by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

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Jefferson Memorial at Tidal Basin

This is such a great path if you don’t have enough time in DC, as no matter where you are at the National Mall, literally you get to enjoy a great view of everything!

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The Lincoln Memorial is magnificent, as it crowns the National Mall bringing a sublime balance to the whole landscape, overwhelming Capitol Hill as it aligns in perfection to the Washington Monument. It was at the stairs of the Memorial where  I sat down to rest, while hundreds of tourists like me were doing their best to capture a picture of Lincoln’s statue, trying not to hit each other with their selfie-sticks. After a while, I headed to the White House, choosing to walk by the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.

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I look so full of freedom and democracy

That afternoon I had beers and burgers (DC loves its burgers) with a great friend of mine. She is a smart-ass good looking journalist, one of the few people who appreciate my nerdy sense of humour and laughs at pretty much most of my jokes. That was the night of the last debate, mezcal was mandatory in order to hear Trump’s now famous quotes of “Bad Hombres” and “Nasty Woman” (which we all agree are great names for rock bands). Spoiler alert: Trump won the election.

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Or a great Eau de Toilette brand name

Washington DC showed me a different and refreshing face of the “US and A”. Even though I’m a Mexican used to the American “culture”, experiencing something different from LA, Minnesota, or Texas, was needed.

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On Thursday morning I had this wee piece of heaven at the Pretzel Bakery – gorgeous

All that happened in one day. On Thursday morning I was again at Union Station, ready for NYC, and that’s for another post.

Canada, Poutine and Gay Marriage

I have such a bad memory, but my German aunt doesn’t, so she clearly reminded me that it’s been almost 10 years since the last time I set foot on the Great North. So there I was, on the 14th of October, arriving to Toronto Airport, where my cousin Karen and her fiance, Cheyenne, were waiting for me.

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Niagara Falls – Far out, bro! 

Karen and Cheyenne are two wonderful girls, and the most important reason for me being there was their wedding… and eating poutine again! (Poutine is a Canadian dish, originated in the province of Québec, made with French fries and cheese curds topped with a light brown gravy.)

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Lake Ontario 

So there I was, at this beautiful chapel, while Cheyenne was standing there by the atrium, waiting for my uncle to walk my cousin down the aisle. Suddenly, all the attendees stood up, turned to the entrance and there she was, holding my uncle´s arm with a shy smile on her face. My uncle looked proud, happy and, honestly, he brought it, wearing that pretty awesome suit.

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Anyway, where was I? Right, #LoveIsLove and poutine is awesome. So, the ceremony was fantastic and I couldn’t be happier that I got the chance to be there with them.

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Going back to my Canadian experience, well, my neighbours have taken their love for poutine to the next level. While I was there I had pizza topped with poutine, regular poutine, poutine and eggs and I reckon somewhere in Toronto they were selling poutine icecream (this last one might not be real at all).

So, that was part of my abroad experience this 2016. After my cousin’s wedding I crossed the border into the USA, headed to Washington D.C, then to NYC. But that’s for a different post.

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PS: Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, certainly is a beacon of hope for the Americas and the Western countries, as he understands how a global civil society should work together towards development, tolerance, and respect. In times where racist and authoritarian leaders rise in the horizon, we should be suspicious of behaviors that equal to those seen in fascist, nationalist and tyrannical regimes from our recent history.

“The Cloud” vs Mexican Corruption

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Digital economy is literally how we use the internet, globalization and connectivity to boost the exchange of goods and services worldwide. The gate to accomplish this came in the shape (or not really) of “The Cloud”. This imaginary universe where several online tools are available pretty much “on demand”, helps organizations to focus on their core business instead of investing on high cost IT infrastructure.

As my always reliable source says (aye, Wikipedia BRO!), The Cloud has its advantages: high-computing power, cheap cost of services, high performance, scalability, accessibility as well as availability. Therefore, it makes sense that governments shall use this to improve their finances, accounting services, budget planning, projects development and general management. Right?

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It makes sense, however, underdeveloped countries see The Cloud as “risky” and “unreliable” for matters that should (as they say) be managed under internal scrutiny. Arguing that confidential information shouldn’t be put on a “hackeable” platform, countries such as Mexico pretty much underline their biggest fears: transparency and accountability.

According to http://www.transparency.org/, Mexico is ranked 95 out of 168 countries in terms of Corruption Perception, where it scores 35/100 in its Corruption Index (Scores range from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean)). As well, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention claims that Mexico does very little to enforce or combat bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions.

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Javier Duarte, still governor of Veracruz, allegedly committed fraud for MX 60 million in misappropriation of public funds

In terms of controlling corruption, Transparency International published that Mexico ranked bellow average (with a -0.35%, where point estimates range from about -2.5 to 2.5. Higher values correspond to better governance outcomes), meaning that the extent to which public power is exercise for private gain is high.

If Mexico were to adopt the trends that digital economy brings, the availability of public information, budget and infrastructure expenses (as well as public officials salaries and benefits) through The Cloud will clearly reduce Mexico’s perception of being a very corrupt country.

Don’t forget that other technologies such as Data Mining, Mobile Applications and Forensic Tools are helping the international community to fight corruption. To simplify this let me quote a paragraph from a fantastic article written by Lauren Silveira (Weforum, April 18th of 2016):

“Technology is being used to create transparency across organizations by increasing automation, accuracy and frequency across processes. International organizations are at the forefront of this revolution developing innovative software to detect and deter fraud and collusion. As identified by the United Nations, more accessible and better quality data will lead to improved policy decisions and greater accountability and several of their recent reports outline how the data revolution will be incorporated into sustainable development commitments.” – L Silveira 2016

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When The Economist published its article “The Mexican Morass” criticizing Peña Nieto’s administration, its high corruption levels and lack of accountability, they add this incredible statement: They don’t get that they don’t get it. Since then (January 2015), Peña Nieto has done nothing to move public budget, expenses and judicial information into open tools such as The Cloud or Big Data. The solution to fight corruption and federal fraud is right there. It seems that Peña’s resilience to move into that direction implies several conflicts of interests, frauds and lack of federal budget management.

Underdevelopment is a condition most countries experience not due to poor international competitiveness or unfair regional trade agreements, some countries struggle because of greedy and shortsighted leaders, and Mexico is an example of this.

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Charro Beans (Or Mexican Soup)

I was born and raised in the North of Mexico, Tampico is my hometown and I’ll will always cherish my childhood and youth spent there. However, right when I turned 19 I moved to Monterrey, Mexico. So from 10 good years I studied, lived, worked and ate grilled meat (“carnes asadas”) at the City of Mountains and hard working Mexicans.

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While there I learnt to cook “Frijoles Charros” or as I later called it in NZ “Mexican spicy bean soup”. So, don’t be shy, grab pen and paper and write down the following recipe for some kick ass spicy bean soup that will definitely be the final entrée at your home made BBQ this summer (or Fall… screw it, you know I went on holidays, so this is great for Winter too, ok? just be cool with it). Remember, this is not “Chilli”, this is a Mexican spicy bean soup, alright?

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of Cannellini or Red Kidney beans in brine
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic, chopped
  • 3 stripes of smoked bacon (the real deal, you know what I mean)
  • 1 piece of Spanish chorizo in squares
  • Red, yellow and green capsicums squared (1 each)
  • 1 bratwurst roughly sliced (I do prefer either Argentinian sausage or Polish burst)
  • Fresh cilantro (just a handful)
  • 1 smoked chipotle chilli
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
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These are chipotles 

What to do? 

Use a large and deep pot, add the bacon and chorizo, stir around, let those juices cover the wall of the pot, add the onions, garlic and capsicums, stir-fry. Throw in the bratwurst (no pun intended), stir around again, oh yeah, that’s it, you know it. Finally, add the tomatoes, and after a couple minutes put in the beans, brine and all.

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Finally, put the chipotle and the cilantro in. The idea of using the whole chipotle, without chopping it or slicing it is because you don’t want to make this a hot soup, you just want the flavour of this smoked chilli, that’s it.

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Let all the ingredients mix in the pot, now pour in 3 cups of water, let it boil. Salt and pepper to taste.

This my friends, is a great confort food. You can even not put any extra water in it and it is a great side dish for a roast (like pork or lamb).

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In Mexico we can also just buy these and everybody will be ok with that. Kidding, we are not ok with this, go for the real deal

Ps. The year is almost over and we are soon to know who is going to become president of the USA. Aren’t we all excited? Not really, nor of the two options are great for my neighbours, but that shouldn’t be of my business, right? Now, if you excuse me, I have a wall to build.

 

Five Reasons Tinder isn’t for Me

Regardless of how easy we have it nowadays, with great technology, innovative products, and super fast internet connection, we are still (well, at least the Western civilization) prisoners of one concern: How to find true love out there.

(Bare in mind that I’m writing this post while listening to the “new” Adele’s Album, and you should be listening to it too while you read this)

I’ve been single for a while now, and still not ready to mingle if you ask me, but one thing I’ve noticed, I suck at  online dating. Even though I consider myself a decent catch, friends of mine have recommended me one “great” option to “not date” but to have some fun in the meantime: Tinder.

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So Tinder comes as the top of mind suggestion from these friends, and I hear things like “Well, try it for fun, what do you have to lose?”, “Just for the giggles, maybe the one is right there, just a swipe right away from you”, “Everybody is using it right now” … Or, as a girl I used to date once said to me “Something that’s good for poke while the telly is broken”).

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So, after not that much thought, these are the 5 reasons why I’m still reluctant to use Tinder as “the other way” to find love:

Serendipity

I still believe in causality and faith, in magic and love at first sight, in being jinxed as a cursed that only “the one” can lift. Aye, just like in that movie, with John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale, remember? The one with the black glove, and the 5 dollar bill, and the book?

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Remember? One of the greatest films about love ever?

Effort

Love deserves your commitment and entire disposition to make it last. So, when love is just “one swipe right away from you”, well, as easy as it comes means how much effort are you willing to give to that relationship.  I don’t think that I’ll take as much care for a relationship I find on Tinder that one that was the result of real life interactions.

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Rejection is good

The main principle of Tinder is that you can discard or like people while swiping right or left. However, this diminishes the effects of rejection. We hate being dislike by others, and even more, being dislike by those we like, particularly if we are looking for their romantic affection. So, on Tinder, if we don’t have a “match” with someone else, we don’t mind, as we carry on with our swiping.

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                                 When even the ocean swipes you to the left…

Real life is different, it takes guts to show someone that you are interest in her on a romantic level, and that excitement of being liked back is amazing, because it includes the fear of being rejected by her, and the wee burden to move on and accept rejection if this happens.

Fast-Track everything

Tinder makes us feel that everything needs to happen immediately. So, the expectations for both are high, either one is looking for her/his long time partner, or the other is only keen for a one night stand (which is fine, mates, I’m not a prude). Hence, most first Tinder dates are based on this premise “I need to know where this is going right now”. Remember the “Lemon Law” by Barney Stinson in #HIMYM? Pretty much that.

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Romance 

Goes with Serendipity, romance isn’t dead, I mean, the flirting, the chivalry, the “I reckon I have feelings for her, darn it!”, or “Well… she is cute, wonder if I’ll see her again” or “Try not to look too creepy, you’ll freak her out”, all those are there, and they feel great. Call me old-fashioned (I mean, I know you did from the start of this post), but let love flow.

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And don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you for using Tinder for either finding the love of your life or just a good shag, I’m saying love is love and when it hits you it shakes your whole existence. The way you find love defines the way that relationship will develop.

Some do see relationships as disposable experiences. Just for fun. I don’t, I’m looking for an intelligent, smart, fun, easy going, dorky cute girl… the butter of my bread, the breath of my life

The “right one” I have in mind is out there, in the real world, not the web.

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Spanish Tortilla, Bro!

Usually when I’m bored I go for a cooking sprint, and it gets pretty nasty. How nasty does it get? You might be wondering. Well, I go to my local supermarket and simply “go for it”. A bunch of dishes starts to appear in my head, hence, an imaginary list of ingredients types itself in my mind.

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This is just a wee example of my cooking sprints.

Spanish Tortilla

Pick 3 to 5 good size potatoes, the yellow kind, half an onion, slice thinly these vegetables. In a medium size pot, put a lot of water to boil, add 1 spoon of salt and put the potatoes there. Let them cook until soft but still firm. Drizzle a large size non-stick pan with some extra virgin olive oil, stir-fry the onions and a garlic clove (already cut in brunoise), until soft, don’t let them caramelize, don’t add any salt, just pepper to taste. Get those tatoes out of the water, and put them in the pan, stir gently until brown.

In a metal bowl, crack four or five eggs, whisk, add salt, pepper, 2 spoons of water, 2 spoons of sour cream, a pinch of dried parsley, and keep on whisking, who told you to stop? Now, let the potatoes and onions to cool down a little, integrate to the egg mix.

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Now the fun part, use a much smaller pan, like half the size of the one you used previously, drizzle more olive oil, put the stove to medium heat, ready? Add the mix into the pan. Why are we using a much smaller pan? Simple, this will make a thicker tortilla, easier to handle while cooking, and it’ll look great when plating.

Where was I? Right! Let the mix cook in the smaller pan, you’ll notice when it’s ready to turn when the top isn’t runny anymore. I usually put a lid on to get a firmer tortilla. Now grab a plate larger than the pan, put it on top, and flip it, put the pan back on the stove and carefully return the tortilla from the plate to the pan. Let it cook for 4 to 5 five more minutes in medium-low heat.

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Now plate!

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You can double or triple this recipe in order to make more Spanish tortillas, this dish is a great entrée and will not disappoint.

Ps. Mexico City is currently experiencing its worst environmental crisis in 15 years. The local authorities determined that limiting the amount of cars on the streets seemed the logical first step to solve the problem. I reckon that the pollution comes from the industrial zones located in the states of Puebla, Estado de México and Hidalgo. The authorities have done nothing to regulate these zones; in the meantime, Mexico City’s administration still hasn’t presented a public transport improvement plan, just saying.

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This is where I “live”…