A Rubbernecker In Cuernavaca
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A Rubbernecker In Cuernavaca

The first time I stepped foot in Cuernavaca, Mexico, I was a true rubbernecker. For those of you who don't know the word, a "rubbernecker" is someone who "gawks or stares, usually stupidly and slack-jawed, at something of interest." The word definitely pertained to me, the first time being in my husband's hometown in the heart of Mexico, located around one and a half hours from Mexico City.

Cuernavaca is called the "city of eternal spring" and it certainly is. The temperature is usually in the 70s (fahrenheit). The pleasant climate has attracted Aztec emperors and noble citizens. Many of the wealthiest citizens of Mexico City have second or vacation homes there. It's also a popular place to study Spanish, with many Spanish language and English schools.

My first dinner in the city was at the cousins home. Upon entering the gate you arrived into a big courtyard. The house was only what could be described as "rancher-style". And very very yellow. A huge archway led directly into the kitchen and dining room and the adjoining rooms of the home.

Everyone was there to meet the new "gringa". Although my Spanish wasn't fluent, I managed to get a few conversations in with the 20 or so family members around the table. And when the food came I felt pretty confident. Tacos. I know tacos. And so I dug right in, scooping up meat into the warm corn tortillas. I looked around at the toppings - the red, green and brownish color salsas and decided to go with the red. It looked a lot like tomato sauce and my hubby did tell me "it wasn't too spicy".

I was on the end of my first taco and headed for a second when I noticed everyone watching me. When I asked why I was told that they were surprised I liked the sauce since it was full of bugs. Yes bugs. Technically little bursts of protein ground up and put in the sauce. In Spanish called "jumiles".

But being the polite Canadian I always was, I swallowed and took a bit sip of beer. Kicked my husband hard under the table. Thought seriously about how to throw up politely.

Future visits to Cuernavaca showed me the beauty of the city, the sights and sounds of an interesting area suitable for any vacation. But I do have to admit, anytime I think of the place my first thought is of the sub-tropical "flavors". Guess I'll always associate Cuernavaca with bugs.


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