Heading South of the Border

In January, I headed south of the border for my fake travel trip—not to the South Carolina attraction, but to my own fake Mexico experience at home. I had a nice, enjoyable trip to start the calendar year off right.

My Choices

Meal: There is no shortage of Mexican restaurants near me from which to choose. I had my heart set on fried ice cream as a dessert, however, so I started with the dessert menus. Luckily, my second choice had what I was looking for, and I called them just to be sure about it, as it is the winter and ice cream isn’t the biggest seller in this climate. I have eaten at another location of this restaurant annually after an event with friends, but there’s one just a few minutes from my house that I’ve never visited. I’ve never been one for Mexican food, because it’s either too spicy or too full of beans that my tummy doesn’t handle well. But I was happy to be able to give my close-to-home location of this restaurant some business. I went with the safe option—the thing I like and know I can eat: a cheese quesadilla, though I got it with added onions. I also got a side serving of mixed vegetables to enjoy with it.

Dessert: When I called to order, the gentleman on the phone remembered my earlier phone call when I mentioned wanting fried ice cream. I forgot to ask for it with strawberry sauce, so it came with chocolate sauce. It was still every bit as delicious (and just a little bit chewy) as I had hoped. As much as I enjoy key lime pie, I’m glad I stuck with my instincts and went with the fried ice cream. Delicious!

Music: As is typical, I listened to some music on YouTube while working out. This time, however, I didn’t do a dance workout. I just walked along with the traditional music and did various cardio moves from jumping jacks to lunges in time to the beats.

Book: The book I chose is the reason this post is coming so late. I had to put it on hold at the library. And with snow and limited library hours due to COVID, it took a while to get it. It has also taken me a while to make it through the book because I’m working from home and driving less. Mexico City Noir is a collection of a dozen short stories written by various writers and translated into English. There are times that the translation seems to not completely convey the essence, and there are some elements of the culture that I didn’t know that seemed essential to getting the full context of a story. The description of the collection reads as follows: The main characters range from victim to suspect to perpetrator, and the police are untrustworthy — or worse. Dark, intensely violent, often with macabre humour, they make for an excellent introduction to Mexican crime fiction. I agree with this entirely, and it was definitely the characters that shone the brightest in this collection. However, just as I was getting into one story, it was over and time to move on to the next. And, on audio, I had no warning for when stories abruptly ended. Some ended in most shocking ways! They were indeed dark and violent, but the hardest thing for me was the repeated use of the f**/f***** slur a number of times. As with many short story collections, there were some stories I enjoyed more than others. They all definitely made me glad that I was not in Mexico City while reading the book, despite the introduction emphatically stating that it’s the best city in the world.

Movie: I watched Tell Me When on Netflix. It was a romance that maybe bordered on romantic comedy at times, though it also revolved around a significant death in the main character’s life, and I didn’t laugh much. The description: After his grandpa’s passing, Mexican-American Will decides to go ahead with the plans he’d made to help him discover his roots in Mexico. What Will discovers, however, is love. Though it takes him the whole movie to realize it. The cast is fun and quirky, but there’s a certain spark missing from the whole thing. I found it to be good but not great.