The other day I was lamenting the fact that there are no fresh tortillas in Marion. I never learned to make tortillas in Mexico because you can run down to the corner 7-11 (and there is a 7-11 or Oxxo on ever corner) and pick up a package of fresh hot tortillas. Here in Marion the best tortillas I can find are at only one Hy Vee (Iowa's version of HEB) which come uncooked and I put them on the comal (a flat rimless pan). They're OK but I still would like to buy a package of the hot and fresh stuff. Asi es. Don't get me started on the nearly nonexistent jalapeño section at the store. And if I every buy anything exotic like tomatillos or serrano peppers, I bet 10-1 the clerk will ask me what they are. Anyway, back to my tortilla story. As I said I was lamenting the fact that I can't find good tortillas so I asked one of my Saturday adult students if his wife could show me how to make them. As I related the desire to make tortillas to Will (he's another story for another time, but I will tell you he's from Reynosa, Mexico), he interrupted me to give me some very important information. Apparently one should not say, "Quiero hacer tortillas con la esposa de Florencio" which translates to "I want to make tortillas with the wife of Florencio". It's a perfectly good sentence but it has another meaning in Mexico. When two women are making tortillas (hacen tortillas) it means they're in a lesbian relationship... not that there is anything wrong with that. Basically I told Florencio that I want to get lovey-dovey with his wife and somehow he kept a straight face. I won't make that mistake again. Just like I won't order "camarones sin ano" - shrimp without assholes - again.
I taught 5th grade for 2 years in Mexico near the border of Texas. Unfortunately, gun battles, grenades, narco-blockades, and thieves ran me out of town. Then, by a twist of fate, I became the guardian to my orphaned nephews and moved to the safer, saner, and much colder state of Iowa.