I Moved To Oaxaca

Friday, October 22, 2004

One week to go. We've been saying goodbye to our classes; sometimes their responses have been quite touching.

At home, the fruit tree -- ask me about that in a minute -- is dumping fruit like mad. Only now the fruit is rotten, so it really splats when it hits the bricks. We have to scoop it up several times a day and throw it in holes I dig in the garden to keep the bugs at bay. The other morning I counted: 154 pieces of fruit mushed onto the patio. Ugh.

So, our landlord Juan Carlos and my students say it's a ciruela tree. Ciruela means "plum," but the fruits are about as plumlike as apricots. Less, even, because these fruits aren't stone fruits. Oh, there's a pit, a big ropy thing, maybe 80 percent of the fruit's volume is pit. And they make good cat toys, or so Vivani says. So maybe ciruela means plum like miel means honey. Now, honey is miel. But so is pancake syrup, corn syrup, molassas, fructose sweetener. If it's sweet and syrupy, it's miel. Maybe if it's tasty and leafy-tree-grown, it's ciruela.

G-man found another lunch venue. It's across the street from Santo Domingo, next to the Oaxaqueño ice cream parlor. It's all take-out; the entire operation is, oh, about 6 feet across at the most. But she makes great comidas, and $20 pesos, just like Donut Lady's. But we feel guilty when we get comida at the new place, and try to scoot past Donut Lady without her seeing!

Today, though, on our way here to internet, I took a peek inside Donut Lady's trunk and saw she had pechuga and macaroni salad today, so we stopped and got two. She announced to her small crowd of family helpers, Hey! Guera wants two comidas! Donut Lady's daughter, sitting in the back seat on tortilla detail, said, Her name's Suzanne, remember? So Donut Lady says, Susi! Just like my daughter's name.

So there you have it: only two people in the world are allowed to call me Susi, my mom ... and Donut Lady.

Plus, lunch was only $35 today. The I-know-your-name discount?


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