Central America | Mexico | Yucatan Peninsula | Yucatan | Merida – La Comida (the Food)
You might be wondering about the food.
I’ll make it easy for you. Here is the standard menu to be found in every restaurant in every town:
–Yogurt with fruit, and granola if you’re lucky
–Eggs, either scrambled with peppers, or fried with tortillas and beans
–‘Hotcakes’ (probably with honey, not maple syrup).
There is orange juice, coffee and tea. You may not ask for iced coffee. There is coffee, and there is ice, but there is not iced coffee.
Pork, chicken or beef, with rice and beans. There are tacos and tortas (sandwiches) involving the preceding. There is soup – veggies in chicken broth and chicken in chicken broth. There are not burritos (gringo food!). Green salad can be ordered, but there will probably not be dressing. By the coast there is seafood.
Spaghetti has indeed conquered the world. You can usually get ‘spaguetty’ or ‘espageti’. And burgers and ‘french potato’.
Flan or ice cream. Sometimes there is cheese pay. (Which looks suspiciously like pie).
(Ahem! Requisite fairenss disclaimer at end of email.)
FUN WITH LANGUAGE
Another fun pastime is ‘spot the worst English translation’. I like this game, because I get a sense of what my Spanish must sound like to a native speaker.
My hands-down favorite so far was found in the bathroom of the Playa Del Carmen bus station. And these were no hand-lettered signs, they were professionally produced. Which means that someone had to approve this:
IN THE STALL
‘Dear Elimination User: Please, Not to Paint the Walls. And Put the Paper in the Boat.’
I translate for you: ‘Dear, uh, bathroom user: don’t graffiti, and throw toilet paper in the trash, not the toilet.’ (Though, I think a toilet more resembles a ‘boat’ than does a trashbin, so this particular sign may be leading people down the path to ruin and clogged toilets…)
AT THE SINK
Sinks have a handle below the faucet, to pull on for water. Signs at each sink instruct us, earnestly, to ‘Pull the Goatee’.
Giggling and eating my way through Mexico,
DISCLAIMER: Okay, I may have simplified things a bit. And there are some regional differences, such as Yucatecan versus Oaxacan cuisine, as well as quite wonderful dishes to be had anywhere from fancy restaurants to market stalls. Elimination user, not to forget the panaderias (bakeries), fresh juice stands, and farmers markets everywhere. You can eat well, if a bit monotonously, in Mehico.