Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mexico Preview (pix!)...

Thanks for dropping by.

We're just about to drive off to our digs in Mexico -- and since I don't know how to post pix on the blog while we're down there, here are a few from visits past, to give you a sense of it all...

For instance, here's a photo from the early days when we camped in the (ripe) mango grove.  A mix of villagers and Durangotans pose (Robert on the left).  The surfin' waves are in the background, but first we have to cross the river wherein this crocodile was found!  He swam too close to the salty water mixed in with river water and so died.  We always cross where the salty water mixes heavily with the river water....

The year after the crocodile surprise, we bought our little village casita and melted right in with the folks who live in the village -- and of course, particularly the kids.  Every spring is kite season, and the kids often gather on our porch to make their own unique kite creations out of sticks and old plastic bags.  And these kites FLYYYYYyyyyyy!!A rare view of our porch, with nothing on it.  We had just newly plastered and painted it.  It will fill up with hammocks, a hand-made (beautiful) table and bench made by Robert, and whatever projects we might be onto at the time.  It's a busy place, this porch.  The rooms serve mostly as storage -- but they too are finished and painted cheerful colors.  It's just so nice to be outside on the porch!
This photo, oh THIS photo---this photo reminds us of all the work awaiting us.  Hopefully the yellow flowering vine ("copa de oro") that we planted last spring will have climbed up that wall...  But we have to install that big water tank you see there on the back of our trusty-dusty car--which means we also have to get electricity wired over to us, too.  And our back porch (we extended that roof over it earlier) needs to have its floor cemented (by us).  You can see the pile of rubble/rocks that will go at the bottom as we hand-mix and pour the cement into the mold we'll have to build.  Our visit ain't all surfin'!  But it's livin', and we do love it.  To the right of the casita is one of the four (4!) mango trees on our property that will be dropping big ripe mangos every day while we're there this time.
So....  the next post will be from our digs in Mexico (well, the nearest rent-a-computer place).  In between the hard work, we'll be melting in with our friends in the village, playing with the kids,  sharing meals with friends, and singing with the traditional guitarist down the road at night...  Oh, and surfing (Robert),  and boogie-boarding (that would be me).    Our experience here is not a vacation...  It's a slice of life that we treasure.  Peace!  Sara y Roverto

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Whimsy! A Slovak Menu Decoded

A friend of mine is now living in Slovakia with her husband.  She is busily studying Slovakian -- but apparently even being a native speaker of English does not help her navigate the restaurant menu situation.  She recently sent out a list of actual menu items -- which were in ENGLISH! --  and challenged us to figure out what the hey!  HER words are in blue.  MY responses are in black.

The person with the most creative translations  wins a prize, viz:  a trip to Trnava, Slovakia at your expense!

Feel free to outguess me in a return email!!  Maybe YOU will be the one to go to Trnava!

======THE  MENU  QUIZ======================

Make an educated guess what you think these menu items are: 

1. Hen tea ---- HERB TEA!

2. Fried zander steak --- (a euphemism for food made from political invaders, fried.  The term "zander" is referring to Alexander the Great, none too popular in history)

3. Fritted Inkpot --- (black coffee, and I mean with the grounds still in it, and I mean you can EAT it with a spoon!)

4. Grilled slices of pork maiden slopped with Gipsy sauce --- (Every year on the Pisces New Moon, the gypsies kidnap, grill, and serve a comely, rounded (porky) maid, all done up with the finest herbs and flavors poured liberally over slices of ...her!)

5. Wild boar on hip wine sauce --- (Boar is misspelled;  it's wild BORE,  and this is someone like a deadly dull professor, or politician who, like the portly (pork) maiden above, has been kidnapped and well-cooked,.  The wild bore is then  laid out on a grand, deep tray where he soaks in the finest of home-made wines;  very hip these days)

6. Baked smoked knee for two persons --   (who KNEW that Slovaks were such cannibals!  Yet ANOTHER meal made of human parts!  These are the tenderized knees of religious renunciates whose knees have been knelt on for what to US would be a lifetime -- the bone swells and the cartilege fills with juicy tender bone tendrils which have a great crunch to them once baked.  Smoking the knees gives them a nice wild flavor, like a renunciate who lived alone on some mountaintop (a delicacy).  It's for TWO persons because there are actually two knees per renunciate. )

7. Pickled Rams Horns --- (just what it says it is -- but they are hell on your teeth!)

8. Home tray of chef for two persons ---  (this keeps the various chefs in line, for there IS  a constant turnover of chefs owing to complaints from diners;  in actuality, there is no chef diced and soaked in a secret home-made wine sauce;  this is a tray of soaked wild mushrooms.  Go figure)

9. American potatoes ---  (just what it says it is, only raw, unsliced  and unwashed...  simply placed upon a plate, from which they might roll off if the waiter is clumsy.) 

10. Fried champions --- (alas, another euphemism -- this is obviously what becomes of the LOSERS in the Slovak Olympics;  boiled, actually, in oil)

11. Fried ermine in beer batter --- (on a stick!  honest to God, I've had one!  crispy little ermine, feet and all, with the tail still furry, with white fur, for effect)

12. Cup of ice with cream (this isn't as obvious as it looks) --- (nothing like it says here,  it's merely ice cubes with clotted cream poured over it;  costs more if you add creme de menthe.)