A Note Re: Aguas Frescas


I was walking in the metro last week when I saw a Third World Fail: A man’s bag of juice had unadvertenly been punctured by the straw, causing the ambrosial agua to trickle out in spurts. By the time I decided to avert him of the asunto (not out of kindness but annoyance a.k.a when juice splashed onto my boots and affected my life), he had naught more than a tablespoon left.

“Gracias,” he said, dejectedly, staring wistfully at the evaporating Hansel and Gretel-esque trail that had led to sadness and unquenched thirst.

“De nada,” I responded sympathetically, and continúes on my way.

When you’re living in a different country, life becomes different. For me, it’s not the huge, over-arching problems that I find difficult and shocking; for example, I was fully aware before moving to Mexico that the national language is Spanish, which Is not obvious to all foreigners. I also figured there would be a lot of Mexicans, also disturbing to the average extranjero.

What I didn’t know were the minute details of everyday life: No one has small change, for example. The neck brace thing (no, after almost a year, I’m still not over it). And that juice comes in plastic bags with straws sticking out. I don’t want to project the image of a Mexico huffing juice as though it were gasoline, guzzling out of Food Emporium bags. The whole shindig is quite tidy, the bags are ostensibly single-use-only, and the portion just right for that post-work pick me up to carry you through the commute. In theory, juice bags are A-OK.

In practice, unfortunately, they are upsetting. Let’s ignore the high possibility of spillage and breakage and concentrate our analysis on physical appearance of the product. I have selected four popular flavors and dissected the resulting juice drama.

  • Agua de Limón. This was the juice I saw spilling out from the harried hombre that day. Just perusing down pathways with a constant stream of yellow pulsating behind me like a broken catheter gone psycho on Benzedrine. Awkward.
  • Agua de Tamarindo. There’s only one thing in DF more terrifying than Tepito and that’s stomach problems. Why should we want to amble across avenues, holding a mini-colostomy bag to our lips, a constant metaphorical reminder of that THING that could attack us at any given moment? Yes, I said it: the brownish-reddish color of tamarind juice looks like diarrhea, especially the kind begotten by a torts cubana gone wrong. Sickening.
  • Agua de Jamaica. Though I’m not into Twilight, I understand the attraction to Robert Patterson and thus can comprehend the intrigue with vampire culture as of late. This doesn’t mean I want to be seen with a bag of blood dangling from my succulent lips. Yet no one else seems to mind. They want to suck your blood. Creepy.
  • Agua de Horchata. This translucent, milky white cinnamon rice water slides down your throat and leads to ultimate pleasure. Unfortunately, it bares a striking resemblance to the other liquid with the same appearance and effect. I’m open minded, but even I wouldn’t walk around with…yeah. Simply perverted.

In conclusion, this  has been a blog sponsored by Boing! Juice boxes now on sale at the nearest OXXO. Solo hoy!

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