"Any contact with the Mexican people, however brief, reveals that the ancient beliefs and customs are still in existence beneath Western forms." --Octavio Paz
I was standing in a parking lot between a Walgreen's and Lev's Pawn Shop listening to Mexican hip-hop sporadically blaring out of the speakers of a shabby car. But the couple picnicking on the trunk of that car looked happier than millionaires. When I bit into the first course of what would become a long, but very fun, two days of munching from taco trucks, I felt rich, too.
The simple assemblage of seared meat held in the warm embrace of a corn tortilla was absolutely delicious and, upon further consideration, not far removed from the exact same kind of thing eaten long ago in Mesoamerica. In other words, the taco spoke Nahuatl. And for a moment, the camera of my eye tripped around the whirling wheel of that famous Aztec calendar, and the centuries spun away. As my brain began paraphrasing the towering Mexican poet--and Nobel Laureate--Octavio Paz, I thought about something he wrote in "The Labyrinth of Solitude" (a collection of searing essays on "Mexicanness") and it is the quote that opens this post.
Expect more musings on taco trucks and the tremendous service the wonderful people from TacoTrucksColumbus are providing for adventurous Columbusites in an upcoming Alive.