Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Which roughly translates as appliances or gadgets. Life in Chinique is, in many ways, relatively rustic. My house has no closets, no towel rack in the bathroom, no bathroom mirror, no fridge, no kitchen cabinets. All of these are things that a tenant would be expected to provide for him or herself. I am still not sure about what happens with garbage (probably gets dumped somewhere outside the city) -- my landlord told me to put out my bags of garbage (I generate very, very little) and he would deal with it (by "deal with it", he probably means dumping it somewhere; I hesitate to ask).

So, to make my life a bit easier (I am under no illusions that I am somehow going to experience life as a rural peasant: my language, nationality, skin color and ethnicity pretty much guarantee that I won't), I've invested in some household goods (I will give most of them to friends when I leave; the more expensive ones I may sell for a very reduced price). Last week I bought a 2-burner electric range (better than a wood-burning stove for heating small quantities of things or making oatmeal if I don't have a lot else to cook), and I just purchased a blender and an electric cappuccino maker. While the latter is relatively expensive (about $60) it was less than twice the price of a good (i.e. Italian and not Chinese-made) non-electric espresso pot, or a Bodum French press pot. I had earlier purchased the less expensive stove top espresso pot and it worked all of two times. 

I joked with friends in Chinique that once I had the electric cappuccino maker, we could open Chinique's first espresso café... I doubt we will, but at least I can enjoy a stronger morning brew (I've been making do with an enamel pot and just adding the ground coffee to boiling water and then straining with a small mesh strainer -- this does not produce a bad cup of coffee at all).

Now that I have the blender (many of my friends in Chinique have them; this is not some absurdly exotic item that only foreigners have) I can start making some chile sauce with chiles Coban, and also some pepián de pollo.

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