A few assorted things I’ve gathered while living in PDC:
First, let’s address the water situation. It’s pretty much common accepted fact that NOBODY DRINKS TAP WATER IN MEXICO. Accepted wisdom goes that if you happen to get a bit of the tap water in your body, you will be reenacting scenes from the exorcist within moments.
What I’ve gleaned while living here:
- According to the head of the Spanish school, the reason not to drink the water here is because of the heavy minerals in the water that over time (6+ months) will severely tax your kidneys. He asserts it has nothing to do with unsafe bacteria or parasites, and taking an occasional drink from the tap won’t harm you. Mexico has earned a bad rap for water and will never live it down, though.
- All locals drink bottled water. They purchase water in giant refillable bottles that can be bought from guys that cart them up and down the streets in carts attached to their bikes. You can hear them coming as they yell “AAAAAAGGGUUUAAAAAA”. It’s like the ice cream man coming, but a little less festive.
- I’ve brushed my teeth with tap water every day. No sickness yet. Your mileage may vary.
So, I have attempted to make my clothes last as long as possible. Being a bachelor, I’m already well used to picking a shirt off the floor, giving a quick sniff test, and if I don’t pass out then on it goes and I’m out the door. However, over time, and after gallons of sweat, eventually one needs clean clothes. turns out this is super simple:
- Locate your local Lavenderia. It won’t be hard, there’s nearly as many here as Starbucks in Seattle.
- Plop your clothes in the scale as you will be charged by the Kilo.
- Return the next day to pick up your packet of cleaned, dried, folded, and neatly-packaged clothes.
Cost for 6 t-shirts, 4 shorts, swim trunks, 4 button-up shirts, assorted underwear, socks and one Meebus: 37 pesos. About 3 bucks. Question: would you ever own a washer and dryer again? Oh I’m being silly, of course you wouldn’t.
Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that eventually you got tired of tacos. No no, stay with me here, I realize this is about as silly as the above rhetorical question, but just IMAGINE. Do you have other options?
Turns out: yes.
If you ever get to PDC and are looking for an amazing breakfast, I can’t assert heavily enough that you must go to Cuava Del Chango (translation: Monkey Cave, Meebus was pleased with this). For example: crepes stuffed with chaya and panela cheese with a green poblano chili sauce smothering them, a pot of black beans on the side, and some ridiculous locally made breads to sop it all up with.
In addition, the restaurant is basically like eating in the middle of a jungle. Here’s a picture of the Elder looking less than pleased because is not stuffing his face with the above breakfast at that very moment.
Their lunch and dinner is pretty good too, but that breakfast pretty much ruined me for other dishes for quite a while. There are many other restaurants to recommend, but for the moment let me just leave it at that one, as I think it’s deserves it’s own little place.
But wait! What if I’m watching my girlish figure? Well, as luck would have it, there are several good options. There is a natural foods store that sells organic and unprocessed foods. I picked up a dozen eggs and some yogurt for breakfasts (’cause I can’t do Chango every darn day). Also, there’s a great made-to-order salad stand right by my school:
On a more random note, this is not the first time I’ve seen this, but its the first time I documented it. Dogs seem to frequently hang out on 2nd story places, arms over the side, watching the teeming masses go by.
I occurs to me that this is one of my favorite past times as well. If I could find a dog like this, the two of us could share a beer each afternoon out on the deck, judging people harshly as they pass beneath us. I’m not sure I could want much more out of life.
The moral of the story: drink lots of water, keep your clothes clean, eat well, and find a friend to hang out with.