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By José Emilio Pacheco

Seven tales depict harsh realities of existence in city Mexico and the tragedies of adolescence innocence betrayed.

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Keh? There is (Is there . . ) ¿Hay (. . ) eye? What is there? ¿Qué hay? keh eye? Yesterday Ayer ah-yer Today Hoy oy Tomorrow Mañana mah-nyah-nah Chapter 2: Digging Deeper into the Yucatán 31 English Spanish Pronunciation Good Bueno bweh-noh Bad Malo mah-loh Better (best) (Lo) Mejor (loh) meh-hohr More Más mahs Less Menos meh-nohss No smoking Se prohibe fumar seh proh-ee-beh foo-mahr Postcard Tarjeta postal tar-heh-ta pohs-tahl Insect repellent Repelente contra insectos reh-peh-lehn-te cohn-trah eensehk-tos Do you speak English?

Can be served either warm — fried in a light batter — or cold, sans batter. Either way it is covered in walnut-and-cream sauce. Chiles rellenos Usually poblano peppers stuffed with cheese or spicy ground meat with raisins, rolled in a batter, and fried. Churro Tube-shaped, breadlike fritter, dipped in sugar and sometimes filled with cajeta (milk-based caramel) or chocolate. Cochinita pibil Pork wrapped in banana leaves, pit-baked in a pibil sauce of achiote, sour orange, and spices; common in the Yucatán.

Pulque A drink made of fermented juice of the maguey plant; best in the state of Hidalgo and around Mexico City. Chapter 2: Digging Deeper into the Yucatán 37 Menu Item Meaning Quesadilla Corn or flour tortillas stuffed with melted white cheese and lightly fried. Queso relleno Literally “stuffed cheese,” a mild yellow cheese stuffed with minced meat and spices; a Yucatecan specialty. Salsa verde An uncooked sauce using the green tomatillo and puréed with spicy or mild hot peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro; on tables countrywide.

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