Friday, January 27, 2012

Dos Mas, Por Favor

Look, it's not exactly the Rosetta Stone over here, but I'm trying. 

This morning I got completely sucked into the Australian Open semi-final between Murray and Djokovic on TV and got a late start out of the room. 

....Hang on, I have to move to another lounge chair, my legs are getting a little toasted.... typing pool-side again. 

So after watching Andy Murray lose/choke for the zillionth time (I used to root for him because he's British and I fancy myself a bit of an Anglophile, but enough is enough with that guy), I went to get the hotel shuttle into town for more tacos. Before I left, I had a nice chat with S_ who is one of the concierges here. I had talked to her Wednesday too, she's American, just graduated from college in Chicago, and came to Puerta Vallarta to work in a hotel because, in her words, "why not?" S_ and I had already had some lengthy discussions about where to get the best street tacos and today she asked if I wanted to meet her when she finished work and she'd help me find some primo street food; this couldn't have been a more brilliant idea as far as I was concerned so we made a plan to meet that evening. On my afternoon jaunt into town, I found a different taco cart than I'd bought from before and was able to get out "dos carnitas tacos, por favor" thinking that would be a sufficient amount since I had dinner plans. My big problem of the day was that I really so much prefer flour tortillas to corn, but corn torillas are way more prevalent in general, and flour ones are non-existent at the taco carts. So after I got my dos tacos, I went in search of flour tortillas. I only had about 15 minutes before I needed to get the shuttle back to the hotel, and even though S_ had tried to tell me how to get the local bus back to the hotel if I needed to, I just didn't trust my sense of direction (the bus victory in Iceland had worn off). 

The first thing I had done when I got off the shuttle was to take a photo of the tortilla factory on the corner. I had noticed this place on Wednesday but hadn't taken a photo. I was mesmerized by the machinery and the tortillas flipping off the belt, and also by the steady stream of customers buying their fresh tortillas for the day. There was a sign on the wall that said "100% maize" which I knew meant corn (the picture of an ear of corn next to to the sign didn't hurt, but I like to think I would have figured it out regardless) so I didn't think they made flour tortillas. However, when I stopped at another taco cart to ask "?tortillas de harina" (S_ had coached me before I left the hotel) on the off chance that she might have some, the lady said no, and then followed up with something I didn't understand and pointed  around the corner. The only thing I caught was "tortillaria" which I took to mean, "that place where they make all the tortillas," and when I questioned, "?maize" she insisted "harina." So this was an excellent bit of language exchange and I trotted back to the tortillaria and got in line. Eight pesos (62 cents) for a package of flour tortillas. I was psyched. That accomplished, I realized I needed a few more tacos because even though I'm going out with S_ for dinner tonight, I might as well get something for Saturday (I really like this hotel, and I haven't eaten enough at the restaurants to criticize, but I didn't want to risk another C- meal like I had the first night) so I ran back to the first taco cart and said in my best Spanish, "dos mas, por favor." I know those dudes were totally impressed with my command of their language. Twenty pesos later I had two more carnitas tacos to go and met the shuttle driver to head back to the hotel and the pool, which is where I am now. 
today's shot of the pool