Paving the road to nowhere, one word at a time.

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Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

American born, living in Mexico since 1992.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ostensibly Nebulous

I am pretty sure that I could construct a fully functional nuclear bomb. In other words, if I had the means to procure some enriched uranium (I'm not enriching it myself, I don't have the room here), along with other necessary materials (you know, shiny reflective metal like beryllium, suitable trigger devices, and so on), and enough time, I could do it. Assuming that I would survive any setbacks during the assembly process, I have a lot of confidence in my ability to accomplish this. Don't get me wrong, I have no intention on actually doing it, but I bet that I could.

View this as a positive revelation, because if I had any doubts then I would almost certainly have to try it.

I remember the first time that I had sopes, the lovely and wonderful soul food of Mexico. The next time that Rocio's mother cooked them, I watched. I asked her questions concerning every step. It looked so impossible. Obviously, within a month, I had to try to make sopes.

* * * *

Last night, I walked with Anna to the convenience store after dinner, after we ate sopes. These walks really are some of the most wonderful moments of my life. For one thing, never did I ever imagine that my sixteen-year-old daughter would ever really understand me in any relevant way. And she does. Also, she's delightful company most of the time.

The night before last, I got a bit upset with her. She was on the phone for over an hour when I finally came out of my office, it was too much. It was also the second time that I had to tell her. All of my kids know, there is no such thing as a third time.

"Get off the phone, now," I ordered.

She hung up, she wasn't happy.

"Look, I give you a lot more latitude in these things that I gave the other two," I told her.

"I'm not the other two," she said angrily and began heading up the stairs to bed.

"No, you're not," was the only thing I could manage to say.

Anna stomped off to bed. She was right, even though the other two are fine children, she really isn't like them at all. Juan is an amazing kid - well, young man I suppose, and Sharon, even though she inherited her mother's resolute stubbornness, seems to have straightened up. But Anna is different.

Last night, I asked her how she liked the sopes.

"I didn't like the chorizo very much. I mean, it's okay I guess, but it was different," she said.

"The fruiteria was out of the stuff I normally buy. I went to Calimax and bought what was ostensibly pork chorizo. When I got home I discovered that it was made from soy," I confessed.

"What does ostensibly mean?" Anna asked.

"It's what something seems like in appearance or perception, but not necessarily true. I get words stuck in my head and use them too much. Like ostensibly, and nebulous. I was just confessing that to someone the other day."

She pointed at me and said, "I know what nebulous means."

"And don't forget my favorite phrase these days, it applies to any situation, even something like accidentaly buying the wrong chorizo," I said.

And then we said it together, "This is what happens."

* * * *

It's funny how cooking sopes to me now is so simple. The first few times that I tried it, it scared the crap out of me, but I had to do it. Anna is like that. She decides that she wants to do something and she does it. If it is less than successful, it doesn't detour her, she does it again. She loves to bake, and she's getting good at it. If she wants to do something she just does it.

Good for her.

She attempted to make sopes a couple of times while I was making them, she wanted to try it. Her first couple of attempts, less than perfect, reminded me of what my first attempts were like. I told her that practice would enable her to get it right. I think that the next time I make sopes, I'm going to have her do most of it. And she will. And I'm sure that she'll do fine.

"How many gringos do you think know how to make sopes?" I asked Anna.

"Probably not many," she said. "None that I know of, except for you."

And then, as we came back to the house last night, I only thought it, I didn't have to say it, because perhaps Anna was thinking the same thing. Ostensibly, there are more Mexicans that know how to prepare grits than there are gringos who know how to make sopes. And that distinction, at best, is nebulous. This is what happens.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hay dave just got off work.ireadthis one the food looks good you and anna remind me of charles and me even though im not married to dianne we are stillvery close not to dianne to charles.we like hot wings we use texaspete for the base and add real butter with other types of hot sauce last superbowl we got them to hot wellim going to bed ill keep on reading when i have time john

9:56 PM, April 13, 2009  

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