Saturday, March 5, 2016

A beer beer!

If beer levels the vibes in Jamaica, it is the vibe in Mexico. One of the first Spanish words resurrected upon my arrival here? Cerveza.

I've come to realise that it is an important part of Mexican culture. The young and the old drink beer. It's like drinking soda or orange juice and fruit punch in Jamaica. Everybody has at some point. Every party host will offer it. And especially during holidays or when there is a guest, a bottle (or bottles, or cans) will be in the refrigerator. If you plan on going out at all in Mexico, you can bet on what your primary beverage option will be. It's all about the beer.

My first realisation of this was when a group of us 'foreigners' went out for a night. Silly me. I thought we were going to a nice, sit-down restaurant to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine. In my mind's eye, I thought we'd be in this semi-upscale place with maybe a little jazz music, or Mexican souls or Mariachi oozing out of a sound system overhead, or from a live band. And we would talk and laugh and sample strange new dishes.

Instead, we ended up at a restaurant of sorts - of sorts, except that it wasn't a restaurant at all. It was really more like a bar. We got a table in a far corner overlooking the streets below. The view was nice. I should have taken pictures. Our hosts ordered a bucket of beer; then came time to take the non-alcoholic orders. They had nothing else except lemonade. No water. No soft drinks. It was either beer or lemonade. That was it.

I thought to myself, it must be a full night; they've run out of everything except beer. And that might have been the case. But still, it is assumed that most guests will want beer, which is most definitely a mainstay on the Mexican menu.

The beer options are manifold: Corona seems to be the most popular, but there's Victoria, Sol, Minerva, Modelo, Bohemia, Tijuana, Leon ... so many.

I was trying to explain this to a relative in Jamaica. We were speaking in Jamaican patois. I exclaimed: "A beer beer deh yah!" (loosely translated "there is nothing but beer here!"). I laughed afterward about the duplication of sound: "A 'beer' (the Jamaican patois word, functioning as an adjective, translated 'solely' or 'only') beer (the beverage, noun)."

A 'beer beer'. Funny :)

2 comments:

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Haha, it's the same here with Guyanese Creolese.

Ruthibelle said...

Guyanese Creolese?? LOL.