There is nothing like traveling to a third world country to realize how spoiled one has become!
The first time I came to realize this I was parked on the side of the street in Navojoa. Having noticed a truck selling corn, I congratulated myself f on my lucky find, thinking of the excellent corn on the cob dinner I would have that night. I approached the back of the truck, picked an ear of corn and started peeling the husk. The top was grainy and “wormy” I found. Well I thought, normal they don’t use pesticides the way we do, but I can get past that. I kept on peeling until I saw the curled up body of what I thought was a snake because of the way it was curled and its stripes! I screamed! Instantly the young man came and plucked the bug with 2 fingers making me realize that it probably was just a fat caterpillar! But the harm was done! I turned around in shame for my stupid reaction, and missing my Monsanto GMO corn so much!
Then I was surprised to remember that grapes actually do have seeds!
Grocery shopping is also quite the eye opener, especially in small towns. The limitation of fresh vegetables and fruit is very surprising. I would have thought that poorer countries would have more fresh produce and less canned goods, but I was wrong. A typical grocery store would have a few and sometimes not so great looking selection of greens. Some carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans are surprisingly popular here, but no lettuce, no dark leafy greens of any kind. You might find limp looking broccoli, or perhaps a cauliflower. You quickly learn to get what you can get. No 10 varieties of bell peppers to choose from here! No need to ponder if you want to steam kale over spinach for dinner! I have to say though that the lack of lettuce, which to me is one of the easier things to grow, is surprising. The only kind you seem to find here is the disgusting (in my spoiled opinion) iceberg lettuce and it comes from California! What? They can’t grow lettuce in Mexico that they have to import American ones?
I thought that being vegetarian (pescatarian is more accurate) would be a breeze here, but tofu is unheard of, even at Walmart. Frozen fish is hard to find and I have yet to find frozen shrimp.
The comfort foods that one has become accustomed to find in Canada are nowhere to be found and you are left wondering what you will munch on for tea or a snack? You try to adapt by buying local deserts, pastries and such and find them extremely lacking in taste, texture and sometimes hygiene. I can understand why people who travel for a long time would sometimes stop at a MacDonald’s for a taste of home!
Ah, the pleasures of traveling and sampling the local food. It is to me a big part of experiencing a country. Until one morning while making coffee you are overcome with an unfamiliar feeling… What just happened? OMG I think I just shat my pants!
Until next time my new road amigos!
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Au plaisir de la route!