Monday, January 19, 2009

The scene in Tenancingo

When you compare Valle de Bravo with Tenancingo, this place is definitely a bit more sleepy. Less tourists, which makes Chad and Jim and I stand out a lot when we walk down the street. I haven't seen any other gringos here yet.

Another thing I've noticed is that paragliding is still new enough here that when you land and the kids run out to meet you, they haven't learned the art of folding a paraglider. So you still have to fold your paraglider yourself! It's rather nice though, as in Valle there are some popular LZ's that essentially require you to pay a kid to pack up, they expect it and get offended if you decline their offer.

Taxis are ubiquitous here. Not many people have their own vehicle, so taxis are the common way to get around. They are everywhere, as long as you land near a main road you are guaranteed a ride back to town within 5 minutes of waiting. There are some places you don't want to land; the town of San Antonio (the bailout LZ) is one since not many taxis make their way there, and you'll have to wait 30 minutes to see a taxi vs. 5 minutes if you land nearer the main road.

And because it's taxis that are the main vehicle on the road, road rules don't exist. There are a few places with actual lights at the intersections, but most of Tenancingo is light- or stop-sign free. What this means is cars come to an intersection, stick their nose out, and gun it if they think they can. It makes for lots of horns honking and close calls. I'm sure there are accidents all the time. And for pedestrians it's a hazard too...I don't think we have any right-of-way and it's cross at your own risk. Fortunately most of the streets are one-way so you only have to look one way for oncoming traffic.

When we went out for dinner last night, it was to Tenancingo's equivalent of Valle's Taco Alley. We went to one that apparently is the best of the row of stands in this alley. We showed up early and had to wait for the guy to show up. When that happens it's quite the production...he shows up in a old VW bug (down a narrow street that you normally couldn't fit a car down, it's so full of people) and empties out all his equipment. Crowds of people show up to watch the upcoming show.

From this ginormous bucket he starts scooping out random pieces of meat, steaming hot and I can't see how he doesn't burn his hands (no gloves). In amongst this random meat are several pig fetuses (with heads and snouts and tails and everything). Everything is scooped into a big tray, he gets the taco shells, cilantro, and onions ready, and starts. Grabs a hunk of meat from the tray, chops it up, tosses it into a shell, uses the same hand to grab some cilantro and onions, and offers it to the crowd watching. If it's a taco you want, you grab it. If not, you wait until you see a taco you like. I waited for a non-pig-fetus taco :)

He keeps doing this, just making tacos and handing them out to whichever hand is outstretched the most. Sometimes you have to be aggressive to grab the taco you want. It's totally on the honour system...when you are full you find his assistant and tell him how many tacos you had, and pay up. So informal! I'm sure in the USA or Canada there are so many rules he's breaking by making and serving food that way, but hey it's Mexico! And so far I've not gotten sick from any food yet :)

2 comments:

  1. pig fetus? is this against thevows of an american sect?

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  2. Love the pig fetus taco story! I had cow lips taco in Yelapa a few weeks ago!

    Good luck at the worlds Nicole!

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