Published: October 26, 2011
So next week here in the United States of America it is Halloween, and no offense, but I am not observing it this year, on account of I am going to be enjoying a vacation in Mexico as a tourist, or turista, if you will, in the Spanish tongue of the Mexican.
I tried to learn some Español for the trip, and I can count to 100 and say the days of the week (most of ’em anyway), or días de la semana, if you please, en Español and stuff, but I can’t speak anything that works in the real el mundo because I’ve been trying it out at some of the Latin places around town and it’s not testing well.
Like, I will roll up and go, “Buenos días” on somebody, except if it’s two o’clock in the afternoon (around the time I like to enjoy a little bocado or maybe a bocadillo), maybe the somebody will correct me and go “Tardes, Buenas tardes, amigo,” which means “You meant to say ‘Good afternoon,’ pal, nice try, but just go ahead and order your tacos de carnitas in English, it’s OK.”
I bought a whole bunch of these Spanish phrase books and there seems to be some sorta obsession with trains, you know? I don’t wanna go on a train in Mexico, I just want to eat stuff and enjoy life and find el baño every once in a while, you know? I’m really glad the Mexican Spanish word for taco is taco.
There’s also the whole money thing, which is pretty simple, because a peso of the Mexican right now equals like .07 of a U.S. dollar, but if you flip that around, it’s like 13 pesos per dollar, which, now that I think about it, isn’t that easy to figure out, eh? But that’s kinda close to 10 for a dollar, right? I heard you can use your ATM card there (in Mexico) to get some money (also known as dinero) in Mexico (you don’t say the “x” like an “x,” you say it like an “h”), but you gotta tell your bank (which is el banco) in advance, otherwise I guess they think somebody stole your ATM card and went to Mexico.
Anyway, I got a passport and everything, man, so at least my suspicious, sweaty passport photo will match my suspicious, sweaty mug when the person from the border patrol or whatever starts asking me what is the nature of my visit to Old Mexico while looking from my passport shot to my Spanish-word-for-face. Even foreign cops make me nervous, I can’t help it. I’ve done questionable things.
I think I was supposed to get some other shots, of an immunization variety, but I don’t think you can get a shot to protect you from the amoebas or whatever that people who live there are supposed to be immune to in the water, right? Plus, basically, it’s a vacation, so I’m not really gonna drink a lotta water—or agua, if you will, in the Latinate tongue of the Conquistador—when I could be enjoying más cerveza por favor, comprende? ¡Si!
I’m totally gonna eat a fried grasshopper, though, which is on the cuisine of the part of Mexico I’m gonna be vacant in.
Yeah, Mexico is gonna be a blast, and like I was hablar-ing, right now in Mexico, they don’t really do All Hallows Eve, aka Halloween, but they do this thing called Día de los Muertos, which I have been told is like Fourth of July, Christmas, and New Year all rolled into one, so I am gonna be a good tourist and from a respectful cultural distance observe the indigenous people observing their thing with souls and saints, which apparently also involves a candy element like back in the U.S.A., and it’s gonna be totally cool, because this Halloween I’m not gonna be on the hook for a hundred little nosepickers coming to my door giving me a dirty look because I can’t afford to give out full-sized candy bars.
Seriously, I can’t afford it, I mean, last year my neighborhood got something like 300 kids, give or take, I’m not kidding—people drive their kids from other neighborhoods to trick-or-treat in mine—and I’m not built to drop a buck-fifty, $200 (2,600 Mexican pesos) on the full-size candy bar, you know? Really, man, I’m not gonna miss it one bit, no offense to any little mendicant brats out there, or their parents who push babies around and then come up and ask for some candy “for the baby.” Are you fucking kidding me? And look, if you’re gonna ask me for candy, at least dress up in a costume, and an oversized sports jersey does not count.
Anyway, Happy Halloween to those of you who will be observing it here in Los Estados Unidos. I will be further down the continent chupa-chup-ing on a candy skull, probably. You know, I also think, in terms of being in Mexico, maybe it makes sense to just go ahead and chug a glass of water as soon as you get there so then you sorta go ahead and get your innards acclimated to the environment? Go native, if you will? Is that a bad idea? I’ll let you know! ¡Ameba!
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