Bimbo, Lala, and Fud A Mexican Culture Trilogy
Bimbo, Lala, and Fud are not Eugene Field’s “Wyken, Blyken, and Nod,” sailing through your noggin in a wooden shoe. Those of you who have visited Mexico might recognize the brand names: Bimbo, the U.S. version of Wonder’s white bread; Lala, packager of dairy products; and Fud, producer of mostly, meat products. Either separately or together, it’s not something I would dream about when there’s an amazing array of Mexican and International cuisine to choose from.
Mexico is so much more than this trio of amusingly named brands.
There’s the culture of hospitality and family, where people care for others. Considering that the majority of the population is impoverished, going that extra mile for a fellow person says a lot about the people’s character. The Arts are respected. Whether it be music, painting, or crafts. Mexicans love to share their music though at times, the decibel level can be deafening. Color is an important part of the Mexican heritage and you can see this influence in their murals, paintings, and clothing. And if you follow films, you’ll recognize these famous
directors‒González, Cuarón, and del Toro, to name a few.
Although the country is overwhelming Catholic, the influence of the Church has waned, in recent years. People live a secular life and, in the more urban areas, open communities where gender, color, and creed, as varied as the sands on the beautiful beaches, flourish and are welcomed. Nowhere in the country is this truer than here, in Puerto Vallarta.
Mexico, in itself, is a multicultural country: Mestizos, those of mixed heritage; Indigenous, such as Mayan and Aztec; and people of Afro, European, Arabic, and yes, even of Asian descents. This little note to you, is not mean to be a travelogue. Rather, it is an introduction to a country I discovered, years ago, and which some people misunderstand. For example, Puerto Vallarta is not hotter in the summer than my hometown, Washington, DC. I call the summer months, here, the glistening season, meaning perspiration dribbles down your chin and the most you’ve done is sit in the shade. Humidity hovers around seventy-percent and nears a hundred-percent when our cooling torrents fall. This excess humidity gives way to the M&M’s. Not those little crunchy, chocolate covered almonds with legs which eat other, but white mold, green mildew, and creepy crawly maggots. Dry storage and refrigeration are a must. Sometimes, I think everything I own is inside my mammoth GE side-by-side!
Mexico’s climate is subtropical. The winter season here is glorious‒ low humidity and the temperatures hover in the mid-80’sF‒great weather for the beach, hundreds of sightseeing options, and watching spectacular sunsets. And in Banderas Bay where I stay, winter brings the grey humpback whales, thousands of them, who come to calf and feed.
Nor is the country crime-ridden. This is another misunderstanding. Obviously, there are drug cartels though urban crime is considerably less than most major North American cities. Like most places, the traveler needs to be vigilant and not stupid.
Finally, although Mexico has not done a great job in containing Covid-19, the people here are vigilant about masks and social distancing. The infection statistics here are far better than the U.S. and other countries.
Is this note an invitation to visit? Yes. Frankly, tourism dollars are essential to the Mexican economy and arrivals are down. Most everything here in Puerto Vallarta is open and we say to you‒ Bienvenidos, Welcome!
A native of Washington, DC, Christie Selph winters in Puerto Vallarta and often travels the rest of the time. The author of The Mermaid Trilogy, you can preview her work on her website https://christieselph.com/