Mexico vs. USA: Dinner

At my college graduation party a few months ago, I won the class award for “biggest glutton”. (My parents were so proud!) I have never considered myself to be a big eater (ok… maybe a weekly sushi binge), so what happened?

Here’s a quick run-down of typical meal times for both countries, so that we can all understand each other a little better:

Mexico:

12 pm: Breakfast (on Mondays in the Yucatan peninsula, this consists of marinated shredded pork and Coca-Cola)

3 pm: Lunch (Supposedly the biggest meal of the day)

11 pm: Dinner (Leftover pork, soup, pizza, coffee, etc)

USA:

Whenever you wake up: Breakfast (coffee while driving to work)

12 pm: Lunch (sandwich, some snack items)

6 pm: Dinner (some sort of meat with bread and veggies… at least at my house. Thanks, Mommy!)

In my last 2 years of college, my class schedule was from 4 pm until 10 pm. When 6 pm rolled around, my stomach would be saying, “DINNERTIME! YAY!” So between classes I would mozy on down to the cafe (short for “cafeteria” in Mexican) and buy me some dinner. Tired of Mexican food, I would usually get a hot dog, a sandwich, a burger, etc. (Not my favorites, but better than anything with refried beans or rice)

Seeing me eat full meals of hot dogs and hamburgers every day (when everyone else was eating a small bag of potato chips) caused my classmates to believe that I had no self control and ate 4 or 5 full meals a day… when really I was just eating a normal (albeit unhealthy) dinner! Crazy gringa.

My other American friends living in Cancun have the same issues: even after years of living here, we just can’t get our bodies used to eating lunch at 3 and dinner at 11.

Ni modo, I guess I’m destined to eat dinner alone.

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: ¡Huevos!

As a half American/half Mexican, I feel it’s my duty to educate all of my friends about what’s going on across the border (whatever side you may be on). For my gringo friends, here’s a quick-and-easy Mexican language lesson…

When I first took Spanish classes in middle school, I quickly learned that “huevo” means “egg”. Easy, right? WRONG! Ten years down the road, I have learned the hard way that “huevo” (pronounced “WEH-voh”) actually has a wide variety of meanings in the Mexican culture. Here’s a list of “huevo” terms that I have learned in my past 4 years in Mexico:

Huevo(s): testicle(s)

Huevo: a small room, usually in reference to a crowded nightclub… like being inside an eggshell

(Ex: “Este antro es un huevo!” = “This nightclub is too small and overcrowded!”

¡Huevos!: “I disagree with what you are saying.” The term actually has a more vulgar meaning, but let’s keep this site family-friendly. The expression is typically combined with a hand gesture in which the speaker holds his hand palm-forward in front of the chest area and curls in all 5 fingers.

¡A huevo!: “Heck, yeah!”

Estar de huevos: to be awesome.

(Ex: “Esta fiesta está de huevos.” = “This party is off the hook.”)

¡Qué hueva!: “I don’t feel like doing this. How boring!”

Echar la hueva: to lie about in a lazy manner, to chill out

Me da hueva: “I’m too lazy to…”

Huevón: (literally, a big egg) a very lazy individual

It took me four years to sort all of these out, usually surviving on context alone.

There is also a Mexican movie dedicated entirely to hidden “huevo” jokes, entitled “Una Película de Huevos”. The title literally means “A Movie about Eggs”, but in subtext it actually means “A Friggin´ Awesome Movie”. It’s about the adventures of a young egg who goes out into the world to learn to become a chicken… or something like that.

The sequel came out last year.

Sorry, gringos… everything you learned in high school Spanish was wrong.

In conclusion, here’s a trailer for “Una Película de Huevos”. Enjoy”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv6XcnvTmxk

Wedding Plans, Mexico-Style

Back again, after a long hiatus! (e-hem… newbie writer’s block)

This week, I have been moving forward with plans for the wedding (yay!). On the to-do list were bridesmaids dresses and begin invitations.

The bridesmaids dress issue is tough for me. I am trying to decide between fuschia (bright pink) dresses and black dresses. Both get weird looks when I mention them, but actually look pretty cool when combined with the other colors (bone and champagne… I kind of made those names up). A few bridesmaids have mentioned concerns about not looking good in pink (too bad), while others insist that black is for funerals. I just have to accept that with bridesmaids of all skintones/body types/personalities, somebody’s going to have to give in. A long afternoon online has proven to me that bridesmaids dresses are not sold online. This leaves me with two options:

1. Try to find a store selling regular dresses that I could use, ranging from size 2 through 14 and everything in between.

2. Hire a seamstress.

*sigh* I was hoping to just buy something.

Working on a Mexican guest list has been much harder than I originally anticipated. Mexicans always have 2 last names (their father’s last name and their mother’s last name). However, when it’s a family, the last names of both parents are combined. Soooo, if I have a married couple named Juan Perez Sanchez and Maria Rodriguez Lopez, with kids, the invitation would read “La Familia Perez Rodriguez”.

Our guestlist limit is 250 (what we paid for at the venue), but right now we’re at 350, and trying to narrow it down. Each of my in-laws comes from a family of 8 children (all with spouses and children of their own, some with grandkids), and a Mexican wedding just wouldn’t be complete without all of the second cousins.

On the groom’s side, we also have all of his friends. Being Cancun, none of them appears to have an actual name, as nicknames are used 100% of the time. The final part of my guestlist is as follows: Bencha, el Negro, Borracho (“Drunk One”), Jimmy (whose real name is Joel, but is nicknamed after Jimmy Neutron for his intelligence and his large head), Jhonny, Chaparro (“Shorty”), Tom, Guau (pronounced “wow”), Burelo, Paco (took some convincing to make my boyfriend believe that Paco is not an actual name), Camel, San, Chente, and Fish. We’re working on finding out their full names, since apparently Mexicans don’t like to use their real/full names on Facebook, either.

The AMAZING part of Mexican weddings are the “padrinos”, or godparents. Family friends, uncles, grandparents, etc all step up and offer to pay for part of the wedding. At the moment, I already have “padrinos” sponsoring the cake, the beer, the champagne and the music!

We’re also saving money on some do-it-yourself projects. My mother-in-law-to-be is teaching my to make candles (to replace flowers), and my awesome mom is in the States working on my dress and the invitations.

We also managed to cut the price in half by holding the wedding in Merida (4 hours away), instead of Cancun. This works out perfect for us, since most of Jorge’s family is in Merida and they have BEAUTIFUL centuries-old haciendas.

So far, it’s been an adventure, involving the combination and clashing of two very different cultures.