A Binder Full of Crackling

Marry me…

Mini enchiladas, pork crackling, guacamole, seafood spicy broth, dried shrimps, chilli-coated grasshoppers, pico de gallo, green or red salsas, ceviche  or refried beans (Wow, the best opening on any of my posts so far); all these can be found in a botanero. “Botanero” means the place where appetizers (or entrees) are served, something in between a cantina and a restaurant.

In places like my hometown, for every round you order you get one entrée, the more rounds the better the botana. In other places, you just order to the centre of the table and go for it. This type of service was inherited from the Spanish colony, you know them as  Spanish tapas (cured ham, patatas bravas, chipiroles, Spanish tortilla, etc).

Remember to leave the stones in it

La botana is an essential part of Mexican culture, as our ‘get togethers’  and family reunions are events that have food as their basic and most important element. At the kitchen, around the grill or by the oven is where the actual conversations take place, where the gossips are told and the family bonding strengthen.

Peruvians claim this is theirs… nonsense

If you want to have a real Mexican experience, get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich, just kidding, get in the kitchen and listen, smell and taste the flavours that are being created there. While the main dish is prepared, the botanas are served, and with them, stories, anecdotes and juicy information (that will never be shared on the main table).

Ps1. I don’t own the rights of any of the pictures posted here, just saying.

Ps2. The leader of the Mexican Teachers Union (SNTE) Elba Esther Gordillo (If ugly had a face, it will be hers) said that the reason of the deterioration of the individual and Mexican society is due to a (new) shared responsibility for the family income of the mother and her abandonment of the house to go to work. Oh well.

Ps3. This “Binders full of women” thing is funny as hell, just remember, that’s not the most important part of the presidential debate. Neither the ability of Obama of reminding the audience, the Republican Candidate and himself that he is the President. He got his balls back, but still needs to “finish him” on the next debate.

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Top 10 Things to do While unemployed

Ten things to do while unemployed:

Update your freaking CV. Really, many people have horrible CVs, I used to be in that category. Just send your CV to a couple of professional friends and ask them for free feedback.

Read. I just found myself in a place filled with amazing books; my parents have an awesome book collection. My goal is to read at least a couple of books per week (no, I won’t even get close to the Twilight series, 50 Shades, nor any of Paulo Coelho’s works).

Exercise. That will keep your body and mind active. It is said, somewhere, that an active body fosters an active mind. Go for walks, run, join a gym, train yourself in the dark arts of yoga.

Learn a hobby. Like bad ass gardening bro! Or something less intense like cooking, carpentering, writing, languages, fucking knitting mate! You won’t regret it.

Copyright Creators Syndicate

Yeps, pretty much

Write your memoirs. It’s like a ‘classier’ diary, give it a try, you don’t have to start with a “when I was born”, start whenever you want to. This is great therapy, putting your life in retrospective and, somehow, finding where you succeeded and failed.

Reconnect with people. What happened to those friends from highschool? Where are your old mates from your bad ass yoga club from college? Try finding them and reconnecting with them (I said reconnect, don’t stalk your ex’s, that’s just creepy).

Let your elders tell you about “those days”. There’s nothing like listening to your parents, aunties or uncles reminiscing about the good old days. But remember, there are some things you don’t need to know, (like how many guys your 60 year old auntie has screwed).

Clear and clean your environment. It’s like that Fungi religion says, get rid of old things in order to let new things in. Clean your room/garage/living-room, etc, let that good energy flow freely through your unemployed premises.

Hippie-travel. Plan a low budget trip to wherever you want to go, in or outside your country.

But let´s be honest, you can´t

Remember, being unemployed isn’t bad at all, it means you now have time to enjoy the ‘wonders of the free world’, so go and freaking enjoy the shit out of them bro!

Smile. Unemployment isn’t the end of your career, it’s just a wee pause. Smile for all the good things that you do have. You might be a bankrupt-heartbroken-unfit son of a bitch, but hey, at least you have internet access and a laptop to read this awesome post, don’t you? I even bet you are having some Starbucks with one of those 2×1 sweet/soft muffins, right?

Ps1. Thanks to all my friends and relatives who make me smile every single day and keep supporting me with their inspiring words like “find a job you lazy arse” or “it’s 11 am and you are still in bed you bum!”.

Ps2. Oh, to all my readers, honestly, I posted about human rights and peace and I get the lowest amount of visitors in the history of this blog; but I post about pork fat, poutine and 50 Shakes of Grey and I get the highest numbers, really?

Kia Ora Bro!

Rangitoto Island / Photo by Luis Perez

It was a long time ago, on September of 2009 when I decided to visit New Zealand for the first time. I took the 11pm Air New Zealand flight to Auckland from LAX. If you are ever going to the Oceania (at least a 12 hour flight), fly Air New Zealand, they have an amazing service. A sign welcomed me at Auckland’s International Airport: “Kia Ora, Haere mai Aoteaora” – Hi, Welcome to New Zealand.

There’s so much to write about this Lord of the Rings paradise. If you happen to be there, just go with the flow, I rented a car at A2B Rentals, and drove all around the North Island. It took me 30 minutes to get used to drive on the other side of the road, thankfully I had the Auckland Southern Motorway for a test drive. After that, it was all “sweet as bro”, I drove pass Hamilton (I’m sure it’s a great place, but life’s too short to get to know the Tron) and headed to New Plymouth, Ohakune, Taupo, Rotorua (which is a must, regardless of the awful sulfuric scent) and ended up at Whitianga.

I also learnt who the All Blacks are… and you should too

I made it to the Coromandel Peninsula, and I had a blast there, hung out with some Germans and went to the Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, The Coromandel, etc. New Zealand is a scenic country, no matter where you are, the view will be amazing. This was a fast 15 days trip, I didn’t mind going anywhere else, I knew I’ll have more time when I finally move to this “Far out” country.

New Zealand taught me to “give myself a try”, to experience new things, to go on an adventure, to eat mussels, kumaras, pies, to meet new friends, to adapt my ears to the NZelanders’ funky accent and to listen and read Maorifor the first time.

Well, she never stopped fighting… right?

The land of the hobbits, the Flight of the Conchords, Rugby, 100% pure land  and Feminism is like my second home. Give yourself a try and explore New Zealand, and if you are lucky enough, you might get the chance to meet Lucy Lawless or Bret and Jemaine.

Ps: “Mean as”, “sweet as”, “kia ora bro”, “Far out”, “dodgy”, “give your ferret a run”, are some kiwi expressions I heard while I was there (nah, I never heard the last one, but sounds mean doesn’t it?)

Ps2. Never tease a Kiwi telling her/him that Pavlova is Aussie… never.

Up, Down, Centre and Mezcal!

Don’t panic and drink Mezcal. I recently read that in a friend’s facebook status. This brought me here, to write about Mezcal and what it means to me. We all know that tequila is Mexico’s national drink. We all love/hate tequila, but regardless how we feel towards it, we always end up drinking it somehow, somewhere during a night out. We shall not forget that Mezcal is all around, waiting for us to give it a try.

Photograph by Naren Young and Susanna Blavarg at La Casa del Mezcal

But Mezcal is something else, even though tequila is more popular (Tequila is a mezcal made specifically from the blue agave in a few regions of the country), Mezcal is increasing its demand among locals nowadays. Mezcal is a nahuatl world which means ‘oven cooked agave’, and its flavour depends on where the heart of the maguey is from (called piña or pineapple), the spices added, the aging process, etc. It turns out as a wonderful spirituous drink, but be careful, mezcal is stronger than tequila.

If you want to try great mezcal for the first time, combined with a wonderful place, visit Oaxaca City, located in the Soutwestern state of Oaxaca in Mexico. I drank it there for the first time during the Guelaguetza Festival in 2009, and I was delighted. Mezcal isn’t just a drink, it is an excuse to get together with friends, to abandon stress and celebrate life.

Ps. You can also find Mezcal at many supermarkets in Mexico and the US (mostly Walmart).

Ps2. Try it with wedges of a bitter variety of an orange (called “naranjita”).

Ps3. I know what you are thinking: What about the worm? The worm is optional, more like a decorative addition for tourists.