Carl's Mexico Notebook
|20 December, 1999 |
Once upon a time, before cyberspace was discovered, information about Mexico was exchanged almost entirely by word-of-mouth, or in quaint collections of ink and paper known as guidebooks, newsletters, and magazines. In those prehistoric days, I used to complain about the difficulty of getting timely information about Mexico to our readers. Today, as information literally floods from our computers, I mutter darkly about the hazards of instant creative gratification, and the publics insatiable demand for even more Peoples Guide material. (Lorena: Ease off a little here. Insatiable may be a bit much. BTW, how's your supply of St. Johns Wort?)
As I was saying.... over the years weve accumulated a huge backlog of notes, reviews, clippings, articles, travel tips, letters, photographs, bus schedules, lottery tickets, handbills, scribbled maps, salsa labels and other priceless material about Mexico. Using a Macintosh Powerbook and a small Mallory flashlight, Lorena has now undertaken the task of burrowing into this archive and converting it to Peoples Guide web pages.
Oaxaca Street Music
About a year ago, Lorena and I were promoting the 25th anniversary edition of the Peoples Guide at bookstores in northern California. Wed put together an informal dog & pony show that included a few slides of Mexico and a reading from the book (see Parrot Fever), followed by an exchange of questions, personal experiences, and comments from the audience.
Oaxaca Cooking Video
In the meantime, P.G. consoles us with a tempting review of "Seasons of The Heart" featuring Susana Trilling -- a fine video cooking series on the foods of Oaxaca produced for PBS.
Joan drives Mad Max to Baja
Central America may be beyond your reach, but you can still find genuine adventure and bargain hide-outs as close as the Baja Peninsula. Joan's description of an extended snowbird-style ramble through Baja is one of my favorite articles from The Peoples Guide Travel Letter.
|(If youre interested in the gory technical details, please consult the photo to the right. The archive itself is said to be located deep within a Chihuahua salt mine.) |
What's the point? Why are we doing this? As someone once said, if you have to ask, you probably wouldnt understand the answer. I know we certainly dont....
Anyway, in this latest of my online Mexico Notebooks, I attempt to briefly describe new additions to The Peoples Guide website. Lorena has prepared a lot of material on a wide range of topics, however, so dont be surprised if Im actually not brief at times, or even if we wander and become a little confused....
Id pick chile rellenos as the all-around favorite dish of visitors to Mexico...and Flan
If I had to choose, Id pick chile rellenos as the all-around favorite dish of visitors to Mexico. However, making chile rellenos at home that taste like the real thing takes a certain sazon (cooks touch), so weve also added Steve's Chiles Rellenos to our Recipe section. Youll also find Amber Zavadas excellent Vegetarian Fusion recipes for enchiladas, bean soups and flan.
In her never-ending quest for the perfect bug dope, Lorena finds a human volunteer for a frightening no-see-um experiment on the coast of Nayarit.
David Eidell not only survives, but goes on to write a definitive two-part article on buying prescription medicines in Mexico. In part two, he answers the question, "Can I have prescription medicines mailed to me in the US?") David knows his stuff, but as usual, anything you read or use from the Peoples Guide Health Department is entirely at your own risk.
Mexico offers a mind-boggling selection of arts, crafts and eye-catching geegaws. If buying souvenirs and gifts isn't your favorite pastime, however, check out Lorenas one-stop-shopping technique, Doing The Dozens.
Live & Retire in Guatemala
Guatemala Lifestyles News Update is a free email newsletter published by Jim and Maria Hearne. A recent issue includes a list of exit taxes for every Latin American country, news blips, and a very interesting collection of tips and suggestions for those considering a move to Guatemala. Highly recommended! To subscribe, send email to: email@example.com
Louis Barton is another Travel Letter contributor who continues to keep in touch. In fact, his latest misadventures in Chiapas and hard-earned travel lessons threaten to typecast Louis as our do as I say, not as I do correspondent. At the very least, Louis deserves high points for outspoken honesty and gritty determination.