Updated: Jan 14, 2019
Ocotlan, Oaxaca Diaries August 2018
Six months ago, I saw a documentary about a woman who dressed like Frida Kahlo. She had a small restaurant she had inherited and loved to cook. I was amazed by her and posted on FB about how I wanted to meet her. (Click on the link to see her documentary). https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156822975849015&id=840644014
One week ago, Xochilt's sister, Isabel reposted it. I felt like the universe was reminding me and I all of a sudden felt the urge to go and seek her. Isabel did some research for us and found out she lived in Ocotlán, just an hour outside of Oaxaca City. I felt I was destined to meet her. So we rented a taxi and Victor, the driver, knew exactly where she had her restaurant. The stars were aligned and we were excited beyond belief!
We arrived into this quaint little town, bustling with people in an open-air market. As we walked into a building that reminded me of Los Angeles' Grand Central Market, Mexican style, I felt my excitement was building. I saw her from a distance, and our eyes latched up together as we both broke into a big smile. We introduced ourselves, and I found her (Beatrice) to be humble and gracious. She looked remarkably like Frida, and she carried herself as such. She sent us a sample plate with different sauces so we could try them out and then decided what we would like to order. They were delicious! After we had finished, we said our goodbyes. Her affectionate hospitality touched me.
As we left, we saw a man outside selling gusanos… worms! I looked at Xochilt, and I knew it was the moment I had been waiting for...I would have my very first worm with Beatrice/Frida! How apropos! An event I would never forget and worthy of a celebration. Xochitl smiled and could feel my excitement. She purchased several worms with worm salt and off we went to see our Frida!
The moment finally arrived! I was about to conquer my fear of eating a gusano. But before you totally freak out, it was toasted, not raw! Ha!
As I returned, I saw Beatrice/Frida and asked her to partake in my celebration. I explained my nervousness of eating a worm. She smiled and said they were delicious and that she would be delighted to partake and we both sat down. I looked into her eyes and I knew she would give me the courage. So she ate one so I could watch, and we laughed. It was my turn, so she rubbed it into the tasty worm salt and hand fed it to me. Of course I was giggly. (There is video to actually see this on this post! ) It was utterly surreal, and we all laughed at the joy of my big accomplishment. I got the next worm and did the same and fed it to her. It was a thrilling moment of kindness on her part. She had taken her home-made brewed mezcal and gave me and Xochilt some. It was a perfect scenario I will never forget.
At the end, it wasn't bad at all. I laughed at my ignorance. We all eat what we know and sometimes make conclusions of what others eat. If you lived in parts of India, you might think it's unholy to eat beef. I often think what if I was too afraid to eat sushi, oysters, escargot, carpaccio....I would have missed so much pleasurable food. It's all about our relationship with food. Would I eat it again? You betcha! Especially with Xochilt and Frida! It was an adventure!
Thank you Xochilt for helping me have a very challenging dream come true. It was great fun, full of joy and laughter, and I will always cherish our journey together!
Dreams do come true, even if they come with worms and mezcal! 😎