Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Christmas in OAXACA, MEXICO

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- Hello, Tangerinies, from Oaxaca City, Mexico.

- Where it is Nochebuena, AKA Christmas Eve.

("We Wish You a Merry Christmas")

- [Jordan] We're in one of my favorite parts

of Oaxaca right now.

It's this walking street that goes right to Centro,

where there's always vendors lined up,

people walking, of course, and lots of great restaurants.

- [Maddie] Yeah, tons of people out right now,

selling food and their handicrafts and everything.

It's very filled with color.

I would expect there to be more Christmas decorations

around this time of year,

but with COVID it's a bit different. (laughs)

- [Jordan] Yeah, and by the way, masks are required here,

like they have been in most places

that we've been traveling to in Mexico,

but it seems like it's not really enforced,

because a lot of people aren't wearing them.

- [Maddie] We will be, though.

("We Wish You a Merry Christmas")

- Unlike in the US, where Christmas is celebrated

on Christmas Day, in Mexico,

their celebrations are on Christmas Eve,

and then on Christmas day, everything's back to normal.

We made a reservation for this evening,

and we're heading there now.

(blower buzzes)

Hello, we have a reservation at 4 but if there's a table available now...

We have a table (for you).

- Okay.

(upbeat music)

- We decided to make a reservation at this place

called Zandunga Sabor Istmeno,

Which is one of our personal favorites in Oaxaca City.

It's isthmus food, which is the tiny part of Mexico

between the two oceans where it kind of curves.

It's a different style than Oaxaca, or Yucatan,

or really anywhere else in Mexico, and it's so, so good.

So we can not pass up an opportunity to have

Christmas Eve dinner here. (dog barks)

To start off the meal, they bring out an appetizer,

which is this very traditional isthmus concoction

of fish and spices and-

- [Jordan] It's really tasty.

- [Maddie] It's very good,

and then they bring out these giant totopos.

This is only half of one, but off to a good start.

- And then I got a drink for 85 pesos. Mmm.

- [Maddie] Does it make you want to cry?

- No. It is called la llorona, though.

(Maddie laughs)

With hibiscus, ginger, and pineapple, and mezcal, of course.

This is our third visit to Oaxaca.

And it wasn't until this time that we discovered

this amazing appetizer called garnachas,

and nowhere has better garnachas

than here at Zandunga-

- I had to go out of the shot,

'cause I'd had too much in my mouth.

(both laugh)

But these can be made with various types of meat.

I believe this is pork, and it's kind of like

cooked up, and mixed (dog barks)

with spices with this crumbly cheese on top and a red salsa.

You can put this pickled mixture

of cabbage and carrot on top and just, oh, it's so good.

- It is really good. - Mmm.

- It's just another one of those things, though,

that kind of looks like a sope with a different name.

- Yeah, I mean, we were just talking about this

on our live stream,

how there's sopes, panuchos, salbutes...

- The list goes on. Picaditas-

- Huaraches, picaditas-

- Picadas-

- Memelas, oh they're all basically the same thing.

However, these are tinier than sopes,

crunchier on the bottom, and lots of meat stacked on top.

And much more expensive.

(Jordan laughs)

Everywhere we go they're way more expensive (laughs).

- They really are.

- What are these-

- That's one of the biggest differences.

- 160 pesos for five of them. Can you believe that?

But they're worth it.

It's just, it's like, wow.

- I got the dish called chileajo.

I chose it with fish, and it's like fish and red mole,

so I'm really excited for this, because I love Oaxacan mole.

(fork clinks)

- And I got this plato fuerte called Pollo Zandunga,

so Zandunga chicken,

and I don't know what type of spices and stuff

that they put on here, but I tried this one other time

and it blew my mind.

It was the most tender, fall-apart chicken

that I've ever had.

And then on the side, it comes with garnachas

and a salad, which I will be giving to Jordan

because unfortunately they garnished it with sesame seeds

even though that's not how they did it last time.

And I don't understand why people have to do that.

Why do you have to put sesame seeds on everything?

Like, some people are allergic in this world.

Check out this chicken. Just...

(dog barks)

Oh, just all falling apart.

Mm, the flavor (laughs).

And then I decided to order a mezcal.

This is Tobala, one of my favorites.

And it's actually my first drink in like a month.

I'm not gonna get too much into it,

but it's Christmas time.

I wanted a treat.

And when in mezcal, you drink Oaxaca.

No, flip that around (laughs).

But yeah, so the one thing I've kind of wanted

to be a little bit healthier,

go down a healthier path, start some more meditation,

make sure that I'm not actually dependent on alcohol

to get through 2020, you know, the having access

to too much wine during quarantine thing,

that was getting a little iffy there,

but (laughs) since it is Christmas Eve,

I'm gonna give this a try.

That is smooth.

- [Jordan] Alrighty. So that was a good dinner.

We each got an entree.

We got an appetizer, four drinks total for the table.

And it was about 50 US dollars.

("The First Noel")

(woman laughs)

You know what, Maddie?

Considering it's Christmas Eve here,

I was expecting to see a lot more Christmasy stuff.

Like we were just in Orizaba, Veracruz.

Christmas stuff all over the place. Here, hardly any.

- Yeah. That was a winter wonderland, Orizaba.

It ignited my Christmas joy deep within. My inner child

loved it. And I do love Oaxaca,

but instead of a lot of Christmas decorations,

I see a lot of vendors.

In fact, of the two times we've come to Oaxaca before this,

I've never seen so many vendors as there are right now.

There's so many. - There really are a lot.

- For Christmas Eve.

I guess everyone's trying to make a little extra dinero.

(gentle music)

(church bells chime)

All right, well, I'd be lying if I said

I wasn't disappointed in Christmas in Oaxaca,

but I know this is pandemic time,

so I probably shouldn't have had my expectations

quite so high.

I really do hope wherever you are this year

you are having an amazing holiday season,

however you're celebrating, wherever you're celebrating,

even if it's at home with family or even by yourself.

Make it a great time.

- Today's vlog is a little bit shorter than normal,

because we want to take some time off for the holidays.

- I hope you'll subscribe to see our travels

and our adventures next year.

One more thing.

(fist crashes) (bell gongs)

Gong that bell so you'll be notified

when we release our next video.

- And we will see you in 2021.

(upbeat music) Do do do do do do do

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