Thursday, July 18, 2013

soggy is my baguette

I am an air conditioning snob. 

Whenever anyone acts surprised that I do not have air conditioning in my bedroom, my response is usually a haughty: "Who needs air conditioning in Melaque?  I have a fan."

Well, as the old saying goes -- "the wages of hubris is mirth."  Or is it "pride goeth before 'e' except after 'c'?"  I forget.  But I am getting my comeuppance.

Despite all of my bravado, I do not care for the heat.  Any heat.  If the temperature stayed 55 degrees all year someplace on earth, I would declare it Eden and move in.

But that would not be Melaque.  And I like the other things more than I dislike the heat.  Or so I thought.

I was in Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday night to pick up a friend at the airport on Wednesday.  Everywhere I went, I was surrounded by air conditioning.  Shopping at Auto Zone, Office Depot, Walmart, and Costco.  Watching a movie at the Liverpool mall.  And sleeping in a motel room with the temperature cranked down to 65 -- where I still had to sleep on top of the covers.

Oh, yeah.  The rest of the time I was entombed in the cool refuge of my car.

I could never live in Puerto Vallarta.  The city traffic alone would be enough to dissuade me.  Other than some great shopping, the place is devoid of much interest.  It is the type of place that goes to Oakland just to find some fresh there.

But the air conditioning tricked me.  For almost two days I had been living under the illusion that Pacific Mexico's weather was practically perfect in every way.

That is, until I got back to Melaque and started carting my Costco erasures into the house.  By the second trip, my forehead had reached Niagara level and was going for Victoria Falls.

Not surprising, given the fact the temperature was 91 degrees with humidity in excess of 70%.

But the best evidence was provided by one of the treats I had bought for dinner.  I found some single serving tubs of tzatziki -- if done well, one of my favorite treats in the world.

I am not a purist when it comes to tzatziki.  There are those who say nothing but grilled pita should be used to scoop up the ambrosia.  I favor baguettes.

And Costco was selling baguettes fresh from the oven.  The outside was as crisp as an ostrich egg.  I had dreams of eating its crusty shell and doughy center while typing up this essay.

Well, I got two out of three.  The tzatziki is good.  Probably a C plus.  And the bread was soft in the center.

But crisp on the outside?  Make your own judgment.  The crisp crust turned into something of a humidity sponge.

That leaves me wondering whether my war against air conditioning is simply posturing.  After all, last night I had the first full night of restful sleep in months.

I am going to have to give that some thought.  In my advanced years, I would rather think of myself as crusty -- rather than as a soggy baguette. 

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