Today, on the day of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts to the baby Jesus, much celebrated especially in Latin America, I received a present. In my shoe.
You see the tradition is, to leave your shoe by the door. Inside your shoe, the following day you find your present, from the Three Wise Men. Despite having grown up with a lovely Mexican father, I had never received a gift from these fella’s. It was a wonderful surprise! Especially as my Uncle and Aunt, (most generously) left me some money. Much much needed!
What has this gal been doing these days? You may wonder. Well. A whirlwind of events have occurred. First, there was Christmas. In which the main events included drinking, eating, laughing, and opening presents. In that very order. I was not accustomed to starting the meal at 11pm. I admit, at first I was a bit hesitant about this idea. A meal at 11! Heavens! The nightmares that will ensue! The cure? Drinking ridiculous amounts of champagne, eating like a pig (eating pig…quite bizarre, so lets say like a rhinocerous. Although I doubt they eat pig. You get the jist..) and staying up until 6 in the morning. By then, all the food has been digested, aided by the laughs that were had at the dinner table. Before the delicious meal commenced, there were presents. Oh glorious presents! I was very moved to receive presents from absolutely all of my Uncle and Aunts friends, and lovely presents at that! Beautiful scarves, books, painting (from my Uncle, who is a truly wonderful artist!) and much much more. Everyone was merry as can be, and despite their not being a Christmas tree, the presents seemed very much at home tucked under a beautiful painting my uncle made of the Virgin Mary, a horse, cow, and Joseph. It is such a beautiful painting that I cried when I saw it. I am, I admit a sentimental person, but it truly is lovely. Here is a picture of it, which of course does not do it justice.
The meal on the 24th consisted of a scrumptious salmon, sort of peppered, with warm baguettes, then pork, wild rice, vegetables combined with jamon Serrano (win win situation there), and a tasty gravy. Desert? Pie, cake, cookies, chocolates, coffee. Ligero, as we say here, light. Combine all of this with gallons of champagne? Happy people. All, night, long!
The next day, we all went to my Aunts, Aunts house. As in the Aunt of my Aunt (in case you didn’t get that). There we had sopa de habas (broad bean soup, delish!!) and then we ate bacalao, a traditional dish here, which consists of shredded dried cod in a wonderful tomato based sauce. This is accompanied by romeritos, which is a Mexican dish consisting of patties of dried shrimp, sprigs of a wild plant called Romerito, that resembles rosemary, and potatoes served in a mole sauce. In short, it’s pretty damn good. Then there is rice, not any rice mind you, this rice has been sort of spiced with tomatoes, onion, and all sorts of good things. Then there was a bowl of frijoles (hot refried beans), that you stuff into a bolio, an incredibly delicious Mexican bun, and then you stuff that, into your mouth. The whole concept of a moment on your lips, an eternity on your hips, goes...down...the drain. But wait! Dessert! Traditional Mexican cookies, ice cream, and cake. Then coffee. Then chocolates. Luckily the meal lasted about six hours. Gives you time to eat like mad, have a snooze, then eat some more.
Hold on to your trousers friends, more eating and joviality ensues….The next day, that is the 27th, we, my Uncle, Aunt and cousin, ( only one as my other darling cousin was off to a teeny Island off the coast of Colombia, well Nicaragua actually called Providencia. How idyllic is that? ‘I am off to Providence, aka, Utopia’), woke up at a reasonable hour and journeyed to the lovely Tepoztlán for a delicious meal with another glorious branch of our family. Freshly made pasta and pesto, was eaten sitting under a beautiful arch composed of flowers and green lush branches, with a view of the Tepozteco, with its Temple resting peacefully on top. Surrounded by orange trees, chayote plants (an edible plant that belongs to the gourd family Cucurbitaceae along with melons, cucumbers and squash), Hens, Rodigan Ridgebacks, flowers blushing with pride, and a sun that saluted us holding up her blazing hand as if to say “Enjoy! Enjoy the fruits of my doing, and be content in all that life bears!” I know, a tad dramatic, but the scene must be set, and believe me my description does no justice to how exhilarated I felt, how ecstatic I was and how happy I was to be there, eating with my family.
Nevertheless, I miss my parents terribly. They are, however, always present, in my thoughts, in my prayers, and everything I see, I share with them. My eyes record what is before me, my senses, acute as can be attempt to memorize all I feel, taste, and smell, so that I may pass on these new discoveries to them, and to you, through this blog. I miss my brothers, my sister in Law’s, my nephews and nieces. I also miss my friends. You know who you are, and I miss you. Very much. I have decided, however, to stay in Mexico. It seems, (and fingers crossed now!) I may have an opportunity to dive into the world of production. Cinema production. This is a dream come true, and I am holding my breath. Let’s see what comes of this. It feels right. I don’t know where I am going, but as a wise man said, “No importa donde vas, sino de donde vienes”. It doesn’t matter where you are going, as long as you know where you are coming from. This rings so true right now. I stand ready, armed with all I have learnt from everybody in my life, and the beautiful beast life itself, with arms wide open to receive all the good and bad things that life deals you. However, unlike a game of poker, I don’t hold my cards too close to my heart, and feel no need to bluff. I am who I am, and I am so excited to live. To live the life I have imagined. Thoreau said: ‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined”. I know this because my mother gave me a card once, with this quote, in bold letters.
I think of these words often, and am doing just so. “Onwards Excelsior!”, “Agarrense los pantalones!” …..
Hasta pronto amigos! I will keep you posted on adventures, and news.
All my love,