Monthly Archives: March 2013

How to celebrate Passover the day before Easter in a Catholic country.

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1. Go to a café.
2. Order a salad (thinking “this will be my one meal without bread in honor of Passover”)
3. Order clericot (which is wine mixed with sprite and apples, telling yourself 1 out of 4 cups serves the symbolic purpose)
4. Receive said salad.
5. Eat 3 pieces of bread that come on top.
6. Eat cheese on top of salad.
7. Realize it is goat cheese.
8. Remove cheese from salad.
9. Finish eating.

Today I went walking around the center in search of crazy Easter fiascoes. I found everything to be relatively tranquil. I stepped into the cathedral momentarily for the experience, and I saw a bunch of people walking around inside the sanctuary. I noticed that people in church were dressed in everything from Sunday best to Sunday just-rolled-out-of-bed. I also walked through the park where you can borrow bikes for free and ride them around town in a blocked off lane. I was surprised to see how many businesses were open, and I wondered if those that were closed aren’t normally closed on Sundays. I don’t know if it’s because Xalapa is a student town with a lot of young people, or whether Mexico is becoming less actually religious and more symbolically religious, or if it just happens to be a coincidence, but I was surprised at how subtle Easter is here.

Below is a picture of the cathedral in the center from a week ago, when there were about 50 vendors selling palms for Palm Sunday.
Also there is a picture of some crazy attack turkeys I saw in the Yucatan.
Also, I am getting so technologically advanced, that I have now figured out how to insert my own videos into posts.

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This shall hencetoforth be known as the time Miriam packed for a one week trip in one backpack (and a small purse, not pictured, but really it’s small).

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Tonight I leave for the Yucatan Peninsula! It’s the Semana Santa, which is I think something to do with Easter and holiness, but we are going to party it up in Cancun, baby. Actually, we’re not going to Cancun. We’re going to Merida and a bunch of other places on the peninsula. We’re going there by bus. Which means 20 hours on a bus. I knew I saved those trashy audiobooks for something. I won’t be blogging probably from the Yucatan, but I promise lots of lovely pictures when I get back. Think happy thoughts for no traffic, winding roads, or crying babies. Image

Cookin cookies.

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Today I made cookies with my host sister and my host step sister, because in Mexico, it’s not as common to make cookies. We decided to go for classic chocolate chip, and in addition to that, I somehow decided it would be a good idea to cook white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. This morning, I went to go buy the ingredients at the supermarket that is near my house. I spent about 1 hour in the market. They had butter. They had sugar. They did not have brown sugar. They had eggs, but only by the dozen, and seeing that I was only going to need 4, I decided to go for fresh eggs somewhere else. They did not have macadamia nuts. They did not have white chocolate. So far, this is going really well, right?

Then I went to a nearby merchant market to buy the eggs. I bought four eggs in a bag. Then I went to a bakery to ask if they knew where I could get brown sugar. They didn’t. HOW DO YOU WORK IN A BAKERY AND NOT KNOW WHERE TO GET BROWN SUGAR? Ok. Then I went to a café to see if they could tell me where to get brown sugar. They told me in Costco. They asked me if I knew where Costco is. I said yes, even though I have no idea where it is, and the only thing I know is it’s too far away to walk. Then I went to a health foods store. They had macadamia nuts, but no brown sugar. I asked where I could buy brown sugar. They said to go to the semillero (a seed store). I realized I had literally just walked down a giant hill at the top of which there was a semillero. Not wanting to walk up the hill again, I recalled that one of my favorite cafes nearby has brown sugar. I went to ask them if they knew where I could buy brown sugar, hoping that they would offer me a cup. They did not. They told me to go to Walmart. Which is also far away. I then outright asked if I could buy brown sugar from them. They said no. Then I went to the restaurant that is in front of my house. I asked the chef if she had brown sugar. She did not. Somewhere in there, I stopped at a fasti (which is like 7-11) to look for white chocolate. The only white chocolate they had was individually packaged little bars. I bought 5 and the woman at the checkout looked at me like “classic gringa.”

After going home and feeling dejected, I went back into the center of town to a place where my host dad said they would have brown sugar. On the way, I stopped at a health foods store. I asked them if they had brown sugar. After giving me a hopeful look, they did not. I stopped at another health foods store. They had brown sugar. It was super expensive. I went to the semillero. They had brown sugar. It was cheap. And they had tons of amazing spices and powders and curries and maybe it was fate that it took me so long to find this place, because it was really a gem.

Then we were ready to cook the cookies. After a long hunt for the vanilla and then another long hunt for the baking soda, everything went well. And here are the cookies.

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If you happen to be in the mood to cook cookies here are the recipes we used:

http://www.kitchentreaty.com/soft-chewy-white-chocolate-chunk-macadamia-nut-cookies/

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-chocolate-chip-cookies/?scale=24&ismetric=0

Also today in my class we learned how to make badass guacamole. In the market this morning, I spent about 10 minutes feeling up avocados, and still didn’t pick ripe ones.

How a crosswalk can brighten your day (they did this overnight or I’ve just been terribly unobservant)

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Today over a nice conversation with a friend at dinner, I realized the hardest things for me to express in Spanish:
1. What a liberal arts college is
2. What a bagel is
3. How to tell a story that has a lot of “he told me” and “I told her” and “she told us” and blah blah
4. How to express the intricacies of something that really matters to you.

Also I sneezed in class today, and my teacher told me that I should make more noise when I sneeze so I don’t damage my heart. 🙂
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Kung Fu Yoga and Where to Buy Police Boots.

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Those are both things I saw on adventure Monday. I also found a new yarn store, a new Pentecostal church just in case, a place that sells just cupcakes, a meat store, a froyo place (which I actually saw last week), and a strike against the privatization of Pemex. Today is a day off of school / work, which is in awareness of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_oil_expropriation and Benito Juarez’s birthday, which is March 21st. My host sister is making mini pies in a Barbie mini-oven. I think one cake (which is the size of the top of a peanut butter jar) could feed 50 Barbies. 

Also here is a picture of my new haircut, which today I am getting along with very well.

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