Monday, January 17, 2011


Tonight I made chilaquiles. We also, after months of searching, found a new air filter for our car. Big news all around today. We clearly delight in the seemingly small things around here.

We can’t get tomatillos here, but a dear colleague went on TDY to Mexico for a month and brought me some canned (well, actually they were in a box) ones. They worked smashingly! Chilaquiles used to be a quick easy, tasty breakfast-for-dinner meal I would make relatively frequently back home. Here it is the stuff of dreams. Clearly, air filters for a 2005 Toyota are as well.

We have sporadically searched for a new air filter here for the past couple of months. I will make every effort to go to all future posts with things like air filters. It’s the challenge of living in a place where everything appears to be inefficiently imported.

When we first got here I used to go on these shopping scavenger hunts convinced if I just looked harder a favorite, much-needed cooking item would pop up. Now I have succumbed to the “si Dios quierre” attitude. I don’t know where such and such is and, well, they probably don’t have it anyway. One time, I kid you not, I went to buy new bras (sorry too much info, I’m sure) and all they had at Jumbo (our Super Wal-Mart like store) was hundreds and hundreds, rows and rows, hangers and hangers of size 32B.

I say all this out of love. It can be crazy, but you get used to it. And, I have it on good authority that some places are crazier. Here’s my new favorite statistic that I love to tell people when they say, “Madagascar?! That will be interesting,” The per capita GDP for the United States is $47,400 (which would buy you 1,436 twenty-pound bags of rice on Amazon). For the Dominican Republic it’s $8,600 (also known as 260 twenty-pound bags of rice). For Madagascar it’s $1000 (30, yes three zero, twenty-pound bags of rice). Of course, there’s this too.


  1. Wow!! I can't wait to hear about your adventures there. And I totally miss Chilaquiles...

  2. totally thought of you when I saw this!
    is it that poor? sad.

  3. Bryn - Chilaquiles! Yes! You can take the girl out of Texas : )

    BFIles - Yes, according to the CIA World Factbook it is indeed that poor. And, according to the NYTimes - it does indeed have good bread.

  4. Time for the Weekly State Department Round Up and you're on it. Please let me know if you would like to be removed, broken links etc.