How delightful to get out for an evening! Visiting with Egor’s old professor at La Posta refreshed us all. Mom and Dad were there too, dress-up in their most elegant 1992-ish attire.
Nostalgia washed over me as we stepped into La Posta. Our family’s birthdays, graduations, and weddings have been celebrated here for decades. As we strolled through the main lobby, SUV-sized bird cages greeted us. When I was a child, these cages housed parrots the size of toddlers, manic bobbing cockatoos, and other chattering tropical birds, including an enormous toucan. I don’t know how legal the menagerie would be now, but in the seventies, forty miles from Juarez, you could have featured bald eagles, condors, and passenger pigeons, and no one would blink.
During a lean time, the cages contained Inca doves. While the doves were cheerful and sweet, they were also nondescript and odiferous. The Incas had a long turn in the cage since it is relatively difficult to kill them. They are the cactus plant of the bird world. Tonight, a mangy blue parrot squawked, while two other parrots dropped feathers in the corner. Very sad.
I sought the aquarium exhibit I remembered from childhood. Impressive arrays of exotic fish once dwelled in a maze of a dozen aquariums, but all that remained was the centerpiece–a piranha tank. At its finest, it held a mini-school of robust pugnacious piranha fish. The owner fed them raw hamburger and, on special occasions, feeder goldfish. Sometimes I would see these harried feeders gasping in the corner of the bare tank since there was nowhere for them to hide. Once, after seeing the show, I heard stories about how they would bite the owner’s fingers. Stitches and gore were suggested. I can’t recall if the stories came from the owner or a family friend who liked to alarm little girls. My adoration for the sharp-toothed big piranhas is probably why I loved my dear oscars so much.
Today, the behemoth tank still stood, about six feet long, two feet deep and three feet tall. Few fish remained. Three blind and decrepit piranhas drifted corpse-like in dim water while two plump goldfish bobbled beneath them. I wished the piranhas luck, as the feeders fish looked quite confident.
At La Posta, the food quality goes up and down, depending on the manager and market. We avoided the Ragu-like red enchiladas (it is blasphemous to mix tomatoes with red chile to make red enchilada sauce) and stuck with the Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Green Chile enchiladas. Not a bad meal. The appeal was sitting in the dining room amidst mood lighting, scraggly rubber plants, and gee-whizz giant lava rocks. Quaint like a mid-century Tiki lounge, the construction of the Lava Room suggests that the builders got together over beer, tequila, and tortilla chips to cement stones into place.
After dinner, the jewel of our meal, sopapillas, arrived fresh and fragrant. I doused mine in so much honey (and a dash of salt!) that I drooled long syrupy strings onto my blouse as I ate. Have you ever enjoyed such camaraderie that mistakes are overlooked or even embraced? Such was the conviviality that bathed us all. Lucky me!