I have been visiting Mexico since I was seven years old. On that trip, I threw a temper tantrum when my parents stopped for dinner because I refused to try fresh lobster with my parents in Rosarito. On my next trip I was probably a year or two older and I remember with distinction my first bite of refried beans. They were salty, creamy, fatty: delicious. A couple of years later my dad took me to San Miguel de Allende. I remember the thrill of strawberry ice cream and getting terribly sick from mole enchiladas. As a teenager I spent a week at a homestay in Ensenada learning Spanish and ate fresh baked conchas (sweet breakfast bread) every day at our midday snack. After college my dad and I drove from Newport Beach to Puerta Vallarta and I experienced Mexican fine dining in Guadalajara. The chiles en nogada blew my mind.
Even with all my trips and Carlos´childhood summers spent in Guadalajara, Mexico takes a little bit to get used to. There are comfort things like notoriously terrible beds and loud noises (everything is louder hear, I can´t explain it). But waking up to the traffic and neighborhood construction and the bread man are part of the deal. In exchange, we get to eat street food like it´s our job. Tacos, tlyaduas, tamales, frutas, jugo, paletas, pan, chapulines… you name it we can find it in Oaxaca in a stone´s throw.
As this is an eating trip, Carlos and I went out strong. Our first few days were an eating frenzy. That was followed by boodily reactions and discomfort. No sickness, just a need for some green juice. Stat. I think we have found a balance though. Today started with some fruit, a simple avocado and cheese sandwich, something exotic (my first grasshopper) and tonight we have mezcal on the agenda. Mexico is chaotic. It´s vibrant, it´s smelly in both good (chocolate and mole) and bad (our bathroom) ways. It is everything that Tasmania wasn´t and I guess that´s what we came here for.