I went to Oaxaca, Mexico for two weeks. Since, I have been daydreaming of returning next winter to eat corn based snacks, wander amongst the bright coloured stone buildings and drink mezcal with strangers, (or friends –same thing in Mexico). We spent a week in Oaxaca City, two days in the mountains and a week on the coast in Puerto Escondido. It. Was. INCREDIBLE. I'm working on posts for Mexico so I won't go into too much detail. But I will tell you about the day I saw some people vomit. You may be thinking, “Wow, what a great intro for a food post!". Yes. I only aim for the best here on my blog. I could write about something else like how delicious this meal is, but that seems cheap and repetitive sometimes. Because of course I wouldn't post something on here that tastes bad, so let's all assume I'm making good food for me and you. Also, this story is much more interesting than listening to more food words like mouthfeel, paleo, or tasty. Don't even get me started on short form words or exact-same-length words like delish, yummers, or 'za. Only moms in the suburbs use these words because they heard them from a fellow suburban mom who only hangs out with her children, mom, and grandma (who is the most confused that we changed perfectly good words into slight variations that sound worse). I feel you g-ma. (The short form “g-ma" is okay because it sounds gangster and every granny is/was gangster in some way). Birthed nine children vaginally?! Gangster. Sipping on a bottle of sherry all day?! Gangster. Saying whatever the f*$k you want all the time because you're 93 and don't give a sh*t?! Gangster. No no, this story has more adventure, mystery, and self reflection than food words. It also has vomit. You are welcome gentle human. (note: All badass grandma qualities are based on real life grannies I've known. Also, I love all my suburban mom friends! I was kidding. Kind of.)
We spent a night in the small town San Jose Del Pacifico in the Oaxacan mountains. Our next destination was Puerto Escondido and we were ready for the salty ocean breezes and beachside cocktails. The only way to get from this little town to the coast is by colectivo, large vans that operate all over Mexico. They are cheap and efficient and if you're lucky, they have tvs that play movies.
The van pulled up and the driver told us it would be 200 pesos each ($14 CAD) for the four hour ride to Puerto Escondido. Within a minute of being in the van we noticed a very robust smell. Like fresh sliced garlic mixed with overripe onions. “Wow. That. Is. Pungent." I whispered. For some reason, I couldn't get used to the smell. It stung my nostrils on each breath. It became so intense that I dug out a long sleeve shirt from my bag and tied it around my nose and mouth. I imagined myself a bandito. The driver looked at me through the rearview mirror and made gestures like, “are you okay?". I gave him a thumbs up and he smiled. This long drive has over 200 turns, many of them 180°, while teetering on the brink of high cliffs. People began feeling sick and one guy asked them to pull over so he could throw up but instead they handed him a plastic bag without even slowing down. A woman started vomiting, sweat rolling down her face. People had told us this was a bad bus ride, but I assumed they were being dramatic or prone to motion sickness. I love fast bumpy rides so I figured we'd be just fine. Turns out, they were correct. I wouldn't wish the ride upon my worst enemy. Well maybe I would. But only because it's mostly harmless.
Without being there, you can't fully comprehend the amount of severe turns. So here are a few Google map images of the ride itself with drawings on top from Paint (yes, it's still around) of my feelings/thoughts along the way. (more food photos + recipe at the end)