How I love literary references and those epic titles from those no longer readable novels from those grimly tragic Russians bastards of times past. Crime and Punishment, War and Peace and other novels that I read when I was a teenager but no longer have the stamina to stick with anymore. Stories of such depth and historically sweeping panoramas that if they do nothing more but expose our tiny selfish and inwardly focused lives and in the doing belittle the shallowly electronic internet times that we live in today  then so be it.

My post’s title should read ‘The Belly of Mexico’; but that would be taking too much from Emile Zola. So to be fair I will call some future posts ‘Notes from the Belly of Mexico’; stealing equally from both Dostoyevsky and Zola.

Zola’s ‘The Belly of Paris’ got me thinking about food; a subject that is truly never far away. And while in the Mercado this morning I bought 3 very fresh, as in never been refrigerated, chicken livers that I am going to lightly sauté but leave pink in the middle and serve with a little salt on toast as an appetizer this evening. It is truly poor man’s foie gras. The chicken here is so incrediable; the skins are so yellow that they’re almost orange. Contrast that with the anemically white birds back in the states. And they are so fresh; they were clucking at 6 am and plucked and stacked on tables by 7 am. And to pay them the highest compliment – to borrow words from an early 20th century chef, ‘They taste of what they are’.

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And ‘Notes from the Underground’ got me thinking about my alien-ness, tented here as I am among the inscrutably mysterious Mexicans. And didn’t I mention that the Santiago Apostol Fiesta started on the 16th and runs until August 4th? And didn’t I also write how that immense procession of glorious costumes and headdresses dancing down my street from 5 pm until 1 am on the 25th was the climax? Well, as exciting and climactic as it was, it turns out to not necessarily be true. I learned this morning that there is a similar event happening tomorrow on the 28th.   . Another grand parade, only luckily for me the closest it gets is one street over to the north on Calle Tepeyac. And then there is another procession on the 30th – this one is one street over to the south on Calle Niño’s Heroes. It is a complete relief that neither of these go all night. That honor is reserved for the closing blow-out on August 4th which does go all night and is said to be the mother of all parties – for the entire year. And the guy relaying this information in the hardware store this morning said ‘no one sleeps’. Great.

My neighbors were all very pleased that I stayed up and partied with them till the very end. They especially were very proud that I had a really good time and called it the best party in the world. Saul’s 80 year old mother was sweeping up across the street when I got home at 1:30 am. So you’re certainly not the partying stud animal if old women are still up and doing work at that time of the morning. And she had been serving drinks and botanas all night too. Maybe I can take a little comfort in the fact that she wasn’t drinking beer and tequila from 5 pm on.

I had eggs, beans and fresh tortillas at Gaby’s this morning. I’ve taken to the local custom of creating Mexican style crepes scooping some fresh red salsa into a tortilla and rolling it up like a crepe. It’s another flavor vector as the salsa Gaby smothers your eggs with is green. I pick up a 16 oz. fresh squeezed juice from my neighbor for the walk down the hill; I like carrot juice and orange juice mixed together.

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I read the papers online first thing after getting out of bed. I make a cup of coffee that is 33% dark roast mixed with 66% medium roast beans from Chiapas. I think it is about the best cup of coffee this side of Vienna.

The town is quiet. There are maybe a few roosters crowing here and there but that’s it. I open the 3rd floor terrace door and watch the sunrise.

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