I went to Cuba today.
Al and Felipe have regaled us with their respective adventures on the Caribbean island that houses one of the artifacts in the dustbin of history. A zombie regime that does not yet realize it is dead.
But I did not have to leave the confines of Morelia to experience a far happier time than either of theirs.
As I told you last week in sunday in the street with steve, Morelia shuts down its main street to traffic for a few hours on Sunday to let the citizens enjoy biking, walking, running, skating, and skateboarding. And because the state capitol is spiffing itself up for Independence Day this weekend, Morelia looks extra special.
Today's constitutional had some new attractions.
First, a foot race has just ended when I arrived. With great crowds. And plenty of prizes.
And super heroes galore. I have no idea why they were there in their odd mélange. It looked as if they had missed the extras bus when it pulled out of town.
I have no idea why Mexicans love these costumed hucksters. But they do. I guess it is not much different than Americans going ga-ga over Disney characters. After all, is there much difference between Goofy and Thor?
But the darker side of celebrity was out their flogging nutrient drinks along with attractive models.
I am curious, though, just what product would you buy from Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Boba Fett? Maybe the drink turns you into an attractive Mexican model.
A little further up the street, I thought I had wandered into a bit of street theater.
It turned out to be a CPR demonstration by the local Red Cross. But it was rather disconcerting to see these figures just feet from where Mexicans died in a hand grenade attack during Independence Day celebrations four years ago.
The capoeira performers -- a stylized Brazilian martial arts -- are not new. But I missed them last week. The combination of music and artful moves is interesting enough to spend an hour watching them.
But it was time to head off to Cuba. Or, at least, Morelia's version.
For me, Cuba is food. (Cubans living in Cuba wish they could say the same thing.) And Morelia has a very good Cuban restaurant -- La Plazuela del Bosque.
All of the icons are there. A classic automobile on the wall. And a very evocative portrait of José Martí -- perfectly catching the sadness in his eyes and his Castro-diminished mouth.
The menu contains breakfast and lunch/dinner options. Cuban. Mexican. International.
Ropa viaja -- shredded meat in a mild tomato sauce -- is one of my favorite Cuban dishes. Right after tongue.
This version was tender with a sauce that complemented the meat rather than hiding its taste. With two side dishes of rice and beans, it is only a valiant soul who could eat it all.
And I had the thrill of breaking the American blockade by downing a bottle of Cuban mineral water.
If I lived in Morelia, this is would be a perfect place to stop on Sunday mornings after church -- or spending the morning with villains who are turned into beautiful people with just one sip.