Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gas costs how much??!! That's obscene!

I am only writing this post because I am safely in Mexico City, and since in the course of a year none of you have come to visit me, I don't even think wanting to kill me will get you guys down here. Why would you want to kill me, your dear friend?

The latest news out of the capital:



A couple notes on the whole gas thing in Mexico, which is the world's 10th largest producer of oil. There is only one kind of gas station in Mexico - Pemex, so that means wherever you go, gas costs exactly the same. There's none of that going to the gas station in the sketchy part of town because gas costs 3 cents less a gallon. It is state-owned, heavily subsidized and in the news as of late because heavy investment is needed to find new oil reserves. There are calls for privatization and of course, counter-marches in favor of keeping gas in the hands of the people led by everyone's favorite never-say-die frustrated presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AKA el Peje).

However, even Mexico's heavily subsidized gasoline is not immune to rises in the price of gas. With the 6 centavo hike, gas in Mexico now costs...ready yourself...

$2.77 a gallon.

Please don't kill me. And don't mind my maniacal cackling.

Mexico - #1 in tacos, tequila and REALLY creepy mannequins

First of all, this image is just a taste. You ain't seen nothing yet. Mannequins are liberally used and abused here in Mexico. A common display technique is for half of the store to be comprised entirely of huge windows chock full of mannequins, usually decked out in enormous Quinceanera dresses or men in suits and guayaberas. Many of these stores are jammed into enormous market floors so you find yourself walking through a sort of forest of partygoers. Really creepy partygoers with huge eyes and outrageously long eyelashes.
This metrosexual mannequin was no exception. He had the unfortunate luck to be the mannequin for a store selling crutches, slings and all manner of post-accident wear. I'm still unclear on what trauma resulted in him wearing the beige man-diaper. The poor guy also had a neck brace, a sling and a finger cast. Talk about a bad day.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Would you like chipotle with your California roll?

Eating tacos is a unique cultural experience in Mexico. So is eating sushi.

Just as in the States, sushi is now ubiquitous in Mexico with the two major chains, Sushi Itto and Mr. Sushi, vying for space in every food court across the country. Every menu has the standards: miso soup, fried rice, yakisoba noodles, and, of course, nigiri rolls of eel, tuna, salmon... However, the highlight of the menu is the specialty rolls.
As the Sushi Itto corporate video puts it, "We incorporated new flavors based on suggestions from customers." And thus were born the Si se puede Roll, CuauhtemItto and Tlapan especial. Not to mention the chain's signature soy sauce which apparently has over 40 ingredients and tastes like soy sauce and orange juice. Did I mention that 80% of the menu includes cream cheese?
Other top additions include fruit (mango, fried banana and pineapple), chiles toreados, chipotle mixed with mayonnaise, and salsa Tampico (crab surimi, mayonnaise and green chile).
So how is it? Hmmmm...I'll put it this way, all my Mexican friends love it. I'm down with the chipotle and mango, but the fish is iffy quality and it's smothered in cream cheese. But you don't have to take my word for it because, that's right, Sushi Itto has expanded into the States, one of the only Mexican franchises ever to do so.
“Right now, Alberto and I are experimenting in the States,” commented the founder in this article. “For example, we notice people in the States don't like cream cheese.”

Sushi Itto San Diego