Tacos and earthquakes are the great levelers in Mexico. (Sorry for my US focused examples. I don’t have any other international analogs readily available.) In the US, the subway is often that vehicle (my pun game is strong). With the obvious exception of CEOs or other high level folks, even Wall Street guys take the subway. The poor, the rich, business folks, trash collectors, white, black, pink, blue. Everyone takes the subway.
Another example of the social equalizer is in tragic moments, such as 9/11. This was a moment where everyone needed to help everyone, including my favorite video in which ferry operators and everyday folks would literally pick up and pass executives onto boats sailing to safety. In these moments, we are all equal.
So onto tacos and earthquakes. Earthquakes you can imagine, too, in the same light as 9/11. In the recent earthquake in September 2017, it turned out that everyone needed to help everyone. Bring water, food, labor, a hug, anything.
There has been a gap between millennials and previous generations (Gen X, Baby Boomers) for basically…ever. One of the perceptions, both in the US and in Mexico, is that Millennials are lazy and don’t care about volunteerism. Millennials are selfish caring solely about their own causes, but like many issues that have been enveloped by the internet, this is probably sorely misunderstood by older generations.
Immediately after the earthquake, millennials were out in spades helping, and quickly the image of them changed. Once again, the generations were united, and society was equalized.
The other of these equalizers: the contents both wrapped inside and inclusive of a corn tortilla. The world doesn’t need another gringo explaining how tacos in Mexico are vastly inferior to US equivalents. So I’ll refrain beyond that sentence. But what is universally understood is sinking your teeth into a taco is transcendentally joyous. You are experiencing technological history spanning centuries. Mexico food is a designated UNESCO Cultural Heritage treasure. The Aztecs overcame caloric barriers to be able to feed a thriving metropolis. (And then savagely sacrifice them.)
Sauntering along a street market in Mexico City, you see all walks of life delving into the pleasures of a taco. You can see the exact moment of ecstasy in a person’s eyes as a blue corn tortilla envelopes carnitas and cilantro and lime juice and oregano and cumin and garlic and tomatoes. (Or literally whatever you want.) It’s an equalizer as the wealthy and destitute alike can partake in a pastime the previous peoples of the land had invented. Time and money are equalized alike.
These are truly the treasures of society. At a time when there seems to be more forces pulling us apart than pushing us together, it’s great the joy of biting into a taco with equal parts acidity and savory or sweating profusely on a NYC subway platform can make us whole again as humanity.
Have you been to Mexico and/or heard this? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Like what you’re reading on Mexico? Check out some other related articles in: The Mexico Chronicles!