1.) Fried food, empanadas, tuequenos, donuts, fries. Basically any and all kinds of dough. Stuffed with ham and cheese even better. This is pretty hard if you have no gallbladder and have just finished reading “The End of Overeating”. Thankfully Lonely Planet was right about one thing, Merida has a great veggie restaurant called appropriately “el vegetariano”. It sells the best whole wheat baked empanadas. I highly recommended the soy ones. Plus great daily sop dishes. Has been my place of choice, to try and cure this cold I have had all week.
2.) Chevys. There are so many beaten up old chevys around its incredible. I think they are shipped here to die or driven down and sold by hippy travellers to the locals has hot American cars. That, or they have made it the national car because it sounds kind of like Chavez.
3.) Whip cream and strawberries. Can say anything against. I love it too.
4.) Sauces. On everything. Keep a close eye if you order a ham and cheese sandwich because when you aren’t looking they will put every sauce imaginable on it. Mayonnaise, mustard, salsa verde (green), salsa rojo (red), you won’t even be able to taste the ham or cheese. As for the perros calientes (hot dogs), no mustard, ketchup and relish here. Instead we all the above mentioned on the sandwich along with chopped up hard boiled eggs and fries. Blugh!
5.) Sweets. There are stands everywhere selling large slices of rich, creamy cakes. No ones seems to mind the million wasps buzzing around and sitting on the cakes either.
6.) Whistling. Men of all ages love to whistle at you and mumble something unintelligible under their breaths as you pass. Usually something like, “Are you for real?”, “My God,” or the only classic, “Sexy.”
7.) When you have a cold they love to tell you to go to the river to cure it. A cold jump in the river cures a cold apparently. I have tried it. I just don’t buy it.
8.) Blumers underwear shop. These stores are more frequent then Tim Hortons or Starbucks. I don’t know why. I don’t think they even wear underwear under those tight jeans.
9.) Asking for directions. I have been asked by everyone, everything from, where’s the washroom, to cathedral, bus station, bank machine etc… I guess they think the foriegner must know where these things all are.
10.) Standing in line hours on end for bus tickets. I have wasted my entire last day in Merida getting a bus ticket back to Caracas. But I wasn’t alone in the confusion which is comforting.