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Escamoles on the Tasting Menu at Pitiona in Oaxaca
You are probably not expecting photos of the tasting menu at Pitiona in Oaxaca, and were hoping to see photographs of the butterflies in Mexico, but I need to work backward from our vacation to Mexico. Well, that and part of the problem is the rest of my photos have not yet been color corrected nor adjusted. For that I apologize. But trust you will enjoy this series of photos because it’s not every day you get to stare at a bowl of escamoles (ant larva), much less of me spooning escamoles into my mouth. Yummy, btw.
Ah, our last night in Oaxaca. During our 10-day whirlwind trip to Mexico, we dined at many top-rated restaurants in Mexico, yet no restaurants served escamoles. Oh, sure we had grasshoppers and the like, but no escalmoles. The other weird thing was I thought I knew how to order comida in Spanish. I was unprepared for the fact that many menus did not contain any words that we were familiar with because the dishes were not your ordinary pescado or pollo. The menus contained items we’ve never ordered like coliflor and espárragos.
At Biko Restaurante in Mexico City, most of the servers spoke limited English. We came to their restaurant, the attitude was, not the other way around, so if we couldn’t communicate in Spanish, they were not about to speak to us in English. However, as soon as I inquired about the escamoles, our waiter’s attitude softened, he grinned, and the ice broke. I guess the moral of this example is if you encounter a similar indifference, ask for the weirdest food you can think of.
And download a Spanish to English app to your cellphone. I used the SpanishDict app for individual words, and my husband utilized a Microsoft app that converted spoken English sentences into written Spanish. This allowed us to show our mobile screen to the person we hoped to communicate with and, vice versa, that person could talk to our phone’s speaker as the app converted their Spanish words into English.
Por supuesto, we saved ourselves all of that trouble by choosing the tasting menu at Pitiona. We were very clear, dos tasting menu and uno pairing. Our waiter repeated the order to us twice. Only uno pairing. It was a good thing I started our meal with a Mezcal gin and Fever Tree tonic because the waiter forgot about the pairing until half-way through. I asked for it again during course 2 and was promised it would appear during course 3, but we were so engaged in eating that we temporarily spaced it out, until we asked again for course 4. They comped the pairing on la cuenta . . . or they forgot.
Or, maybe we just threw our waiter for loop when he peered over my shoulder at the search criteria on my cellphone. That search query was: can you pee with your dick cut off? There was a perfectly good explanation as to why I searched for that term while enjoying the tasting menu at Pitiona. Earlier that day, we toured Monte Albán, a pre-Colombian archaeological site, where our guide presented physical evidence carved into the stones of the Danzantes, which contrary to previous theories that the male figures were dancing, actually instead represented emasculated conquests.
The answer to that particular question, btw, is yes.
Below are photographs of the tasting menu at Pitiona in Oaxaca (sin el postre).