I’m on the slow bus back to Morelia. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but getting from Morelia to Guanajuato is tricky. There are no direct busses. Even the Primera Plus luxury bus had about 3 stops on the way, and they are usually direct One of my language instructors commented on how silly this was, given how close the cities are to each other. On Friday, we boarded the bus at 3:15 in the afternoon, and got to GTO at around 7:00. On the way, we were shown two movies: one starring Cedric the Entertainer (something about a family vacation) and then x-Men 3 (Of course we missed the very end, arriving in GTO about 10 minutes before it finished.) Wheat said that someone should set up a bootleg stand selling the videos shown on the bus so that people can see the ending.
BTW, YES, we have already seen X-Men 3, but it’s the principal of the thing!
We took a taxi through the hills and catacombs of GuanaJuato to arrive at the back of our hotel, the Posada Santa Fe. It is a very impressive structure, with huge painting theh size of murals in the lobby and the dining room. The tilework is fabulous – tiles are laid on most of the walls up to the window line. Our room was modest with a huge and very firm king sized bed taking up most of the space. There was no air conditioning, of course, but there was a ceiling fan and a portable fan by the window. Our little “balcony” looked out over the taxi entrance to the hotel.
The first thing we did was to eat. We decided on the hotel restaurant, as it was right on the plaza. In fact, the plaza almost overlapped into the restaurant. Lining the negligible iron fence barrier to the restaurant was a row of iron benches, overburdened with teenagers. This was a very interesting plaza. Instead of being a pretty large open space like the one in Patzcuaro, this one was 1/4 the size and dominated by a canopy of carefully trimmed dense trees that hid the center of the plaza and indeed the other side of the street from view.
At the restaurant, I decided to order flautas as an appetizer and the regional pozole as my meal. Wheat ordered something called enchiladas mineras, which were filled with cheese and vegetables. As usual, I over-ordered. There were four flautas, with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, guacamole and crema – enough to make a meal. I ended up eating the ends, anyway. The problem with flautas is that the chicken inside tends to be dry and overcooked. They were still great.
Okay, about the pozole. A few years ago, my students made dishes for an international lunch and one of my students from Guanajuato made pozole with all of the trimmings: radishes, fried tortillas, onions,lettuce, and lime. When I mentioned to one of my language teachers that I planned on having pozole, even though I had read it came from Guadalajara, she corrected me. Pozole originated in Michoacan. Of course. This version had a red-colored broth, probably from achiote, and was filled with cubes of pork. It was awesome, but way too big for one person to eat (after eating flauta ends.). I changed my order of tamales to sweet tamales, but I couldn’t even finish one of the order of two. I gave my other one, still wrapped in its husk, to a beggar.
We then decided to check our e-mail. Friday was my mother’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!), and we thought of maybe using Skype to call her. As usual when entering a new wireless environment, we had to work out the system. Although the bar was supposed to be part of the wireless environment, with computers for the guests to use, this was not entirely true. There was a computer (maybe two) but I could not access the wireless network. We finally found out that this would work only if we were very near the front desk, and also let into the network via a password. I know, we computer users are a pain.
I realized that I knew very little about Guanajuato, but apparently a lot of other people did. There were tons of tourists – most of them American. Our hotel was host to a large group of college students, apparently bent on savoring the nightlife. As we arrived, one of the girls was trying out her Spanish by telling the front desk lady that there was no light or electricity in her room and the neighboring rooms, occupied by her friends. Later on, the verdict came down: the girls were not going to be able to use their hair dryers in their rooms! I wondered how they coped.