Surreal moment of the weekend in Puebla: a freakishly aggressive local bus driver with a compilation of Bee Gees’ love songs playing in the background like a mocking soundtrack. He cut people off (“…how deep is your love, I really mean to learn…”), honked like a madman (“…how can you mend a broken heart…”), and voiced an epithet or two to his fellow drivers (“…you don’t know what it’s like to love somebody the way I love you…”)
Puebla is 120km ESE from Mexico City and a big city of over two million people, but the historic center is nice and low-rise. It reminded me of Sucre, Bolivia. Puebla is arguably most famous for mole poblano (“poblano” meaning “of Puebla”). Mole (pronounced “moh-lay”) is a complicated sauce that has everything but the kitchen sink: chocolate, banana, garlic, tomato, several different kinds of chile, plus dozens more ingredients and dozens more variations.
In America I’m not crazy about mole because I find it to be too hit or miss. It never tastes the same way twice, which is OK, but usually it has a bitter chocolate aftertaste or the balance simply isn’t pleasing to my tongue. Puebla and Oaxaca are the two ancestral homes of mole in Mexico and I will be experimenting to the point that I expect to become a blowhard foodie, so look forward to that.
Hey, who’s in town next Saturday? There is a winnable hamburger eating contest. It is only one hamburger: 500g of beef plus everything else that adds up to 1.2kg. You pay what the “bomba” normally costs, 98 pesos, and then if you eat it the fastest, you get 500 pesos. The guys behind the grill said that 6 minutes 20 seconds is the present record. That sounds very beatable.
I would do it but I won’t be in town not to mention I don’t have a gall bladder and can’t get into competitive eating—unless we are talking about mole poblano tortas. On the other hand, if they gave the winner a huge championship belt like they do for boxing and I can return to defend my title, then I might reconsider.
Just another free money-making idea from The Dromomaniac! I am so selfless.
Video of the Month
By now has everyone seen this viral 1970’s Turkish movie clip of the worst death scene ever? If not, it is definitely worth 65 seconds of your life. In fact, it might be the best-spent 65 seconds of your life.
A pinch of practical information:
Mexico City-Puebla by bus is about 114 pesos. I offend Mexicans when I rave about the airport and the two main bus stations in Mexico City. They don’t say it, but they want to say, “Thanks, but why wouldn’t we have a nice airport and bus stations?” Given the amount of hustle on the streets, at the bus stations I expect a free-for-all where twenty touts forcefully try to guide you to their bus, but it is as boring as checking in for a flight.
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