What we really need this time of year is a bit of a shake up. A refreshing zing of lime, a kick from a chilli and the heady punch of coriander. In other words, we need some Mexico in our lives.
Last year I spent a month volunteering in San Miguel de Allende, a Mexican town nestled between the rippling peaks of the Sierra de Guanajuato. The town holds an air of European charm to it, with its winding cobbled streets and grandiose cathedral; its roof rising into the steel blue sky with as much grace as Gaudi’s own Sagrada Familia. However, it takes this Old World charisma and injects it with a Mexican zing. Each building is painted in tones of terracotta, auburn and flaming reds. They capture and repel the sun’s ever changing shadows with as much energy as one would expect from a child of Mexico.
…the women joking and chatting as they sell fresh coconut from a cart…
However, what screams ‘Latin America’ most in San Miguel is the food. From every street corner one can buy ears of corn, seasoned with a dash of chilli and a twist of lime. Or for those who have danced the night away, there’s always a taquería to sedate that unexplainable late-night desire for carbs and cheese. The taco really is quite an epiphany at 4:30 in the morning: grilled meat, freshly made corn tortilla, salsa, and coriander, all topped off with that obligatory squeeze of lime. Heaven.
Mexico is a country of poverty and controversy, but despite this– or perhaps because of it – it is a place brought to life with nothing but life itself. From the women joking and chatting as they sell fresh coconut from a cart, to the parades and fiestas that lighten up the streets on an almost daily basis, my experience of Mexico was the stark opposite to these lethargic days at home before life kick starts again.
Put aside the tub of Pringles and make some fajitas…
So why not grab hold of some of that Mexican spice yourself. Put aside the tub of Pringles and make some fajitas, enchiladas or if you’re feeling adventurous how about tomales? Or, even better, just take that essence of Mexican charisma and simply throw yourself at life, shouting ‘¡Viva La Vida!’ as you go.
Although failing that, a mojito and a packet of Doritos isn’t a bad way to hail in the New Year either.