Monthly Archives: October 2009

La Virgen De La Taza

I realize that my fans – all three of you, plus my mom – might be concerned for my safety out here in suburbia. After all, you never know when you’re going to have to duck out of the way of a rogue weed whacker, slow down so abruptly to avoid scraping the underside of your car on one of those mega speed bumps, or consume too many calories at the Starbucks drive-thru.

Well, stop preocupando chilangabachos, for I have been blessed with the presence of  steaming holiness – it’s just too bad my boss made me wash her off.

Believe it or not (BELIEVE IT),  I was minding my own business at the coffee shop, jammin’ out to some Mercedes Sosa and dusting the espresso machine when … no manches! Si, una Mancha! Holy mother of Macchiatos! La Virgen de Guadalupe in a coffee stain on a giant orange coffee mug.  Well, send me up a hill and call me Juanita Diego. I never thought such a thing could happen to little old Chilangabacha! Don’t those things only appear on tortillas for old ladies with 10 kids in Guadalajara? Apparently not, güeyes.


Scroll Down for a close-up.

Of course, I left my camera at home that day. So I prayed for a miracle and showed off my new little friend to many confused gabacho customers. I was about to give up when one of those coffee hounds inturrupted me mid-drip and said, “Um, I think a priest just walked in.”

Indeed, I had not noticed the white collar sported by a George Carlin-looking fellow who had ordered a tuna sandwich. He turned out to be Episcopalian, but he did have an iPhone and a sense of adventure. (He told me his favorite place to visit in  Mexico is the Zócalo).

Thanks to my new be-frocked friend, I have these pictures to share. Believe me, if I had it my way, I would have built a shrine and installed kneel-friendly carpeting, but I thought it was best not to push it.

So, what does this all mean? I know some of you are probably thinking that it looks more like a blob, but you’re missing the point! The point is, that something within my being has unequivocally changed. I’m now the kind of chica who finds small miracles in everyday accidents. Thank you, Mexico.




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Tijuana Blues


Why do you think I had to take the trolley home? The transmission dropped out of the Ghostang right at the border.

Immona let you in on little secret, Chilangabachos. When I came back from Tijuana last weekend I straight up started crying like a heavyweight boxing loser on the trolley to San Diego. And no, it wasn’t because I was missing a kidney.

My 48-hour jaunt across the border contained all of my favorite Mexican elements – nudey art, lady cops pointing semi-automatics out of patrol trucks, and free cantina food.

It’s one thing to get on a plane, pass out from the free Tecates and wake up in another country, but its a whole other thing to watch a country shrink into the horizon in front of your very prescription sunglasses you “borrowed” from the lost and found. The  sniffling that started in San Ysidro and turned into a full-on “boo-hoo-hoo” around Barrio Logan had nothing to do with my opinion that Petco Park is the worst name in baseball. I realized I miss living in Mexico like America Ferrera misses her  traveling pants.

But then, faster than you could say “Rancho Cucamonga,” I was back home thinking how awesome it was that  I could  be in both Mexico and California in one day without having to worry about duct taping my checked luggage shut.

Check out the gallery for more reasons I got all misty-eyed.

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Piglet Chuleta

Piglet Chuletas

I always thought Piglet was a bit of a masochist.


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Hola Chilangabachos.

Due to this crazy thing called life and these beings called humans, I’ve put my hobo stick over my shoulder and moved back to So-Cal. Chilangabacha lives. I just go on more freeways, eat Del Taco whenever I want, and have access to the latest cases on The People’s Court.

Does that make me La Gabachilanga now? Mmm, creo que no. In case you wanna fight about it, check the carefully worded definition of “Chilangabacha.” Like the piece of chicle you stepped on in the metro, Mexico City sticks with you – for life! The first week I was back in So-Cal I ran into Hello Seahorse at a dive bar in Anaheim. I was like, “Shouldn’t you guys be at the dos por uno Sushi across from Superama tonight?” Vanilla Face was all, “No dude, I’m from Van Nuys.”

You should see what I’ve done to the coffeehouse where I’m currently working part time. Every morning I turn off all the David Grey and freaking Jack Johnson “Bubbly Toes” nonsense  and turn on the Lila Downs Pandora station. It makes me feel empowered when I’m grinding beans. I’m also trying to convince my boss to put Molletes and Horchata Lattes on the menu. You know La Chilangabacha, always trying to bridge cultural gaps with frijoles and rice drinks.

I’m still going to continue to write regular travel pieces in Mexico, so stop giving me that “tu me has abandonada” stare. I’m going to TJ this weekend and back to DF the last weekend in March, so you can stop singing Paloma Negra, ok? Jeeze.

Stay tuned.


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