Now that I've been in Mexico for a little over two weeks, my initial peckishness has departed, and a serious bout of HUNGRY has set in. That's how I know I'm definitely starting to feel at home here: my yaad appetite has returned. I regularly feel famished and meal intake frequency has increased.
Friends and coworkers know that 'hungry' is not a word I take lightly. They also know that my declarations of hunger have nothing to do with the insufficiency of food provided at my last meal. My body just has a very high metabolic turnover. So fifteen to twenty minutes after the last meal, I'm hungry again. Jamaicans would call it 'long-belly' or 'wanga gut'.
My housemate chalks it up to a lack of water. She says I haven't been drinking much water. She's right. I hadn't noticed, but my water intake has decreased significantly since my arrival here. I think it may have been a subconscious reaction to the cold. You know how that goes. In cold weather, water in, water out. Like a straight pipe.
Don't get me wrong, though. I am enjoying the delectable culinary offerings of this beautiful country. Oh yes I am. I have become fast friends with dishes such as mole, molletes, quesadillas, posole rojo (lip-licking goodness right there!), moros versus cristianos ... hey, even the Mexican KFC a gwaan wid more tings than the KFCs I have tried in other countries.
But be warned, serving sizes are not like the Jamaican bellyful. The meals are not as starch-heavy as ours. We thrive on loads of rice and peas, yam, cocoa, dasheen, pumpkin and banana, generously slathered in gravy, accompanied by large hunks of meat. And everyday, we eat these large and heavy meals that sit on our hips, waists, thighs, butts and bellies and contribute to the obesity/hypertension/diabetes problem most Caribbean countries face. In Mexico, trim is in. And they have the serving sizes to prove it.
They have a light breakfast, heavy lunch, and then a light supper afterwards. Quite healthy. Admirable, really.
Some of my favourite indulgences are lonches - basically medium-sized subs made with mollete bread. They are tasty, filling, and most importantly, dirt-cheap. I was telling someone here the other day that if I were in Jamaica, I would be paying a good $800 for a sub the size of a lonche. And I probably wouldn't get as many condiment options. Here, it's only 17 pesos total for a lonche with cooked ham, tomatoes, onions, pepper, ketchup, mayo, mustard, and relish when it's available. Seventeen pesos is the equivalent of one US dollar, which equals about 120 Jamaican dollars. See the difference? It's major.
So of course I'm enjoying it here. Cheap meals mean that even if I'm hungry, I can afford to eat well - and often. I highly recommend a visit if and when you can. Mexico is definitely a country worth getting to know.