I was visiting my friends Maria and Isidro in their little village called Tepehuaje, right on the Lago Chapala and the first morning they asked if I wanted to join them for a pajarete. I had no idea what they were talking about but I wanted to be a good guest. We drove to a small glen where we were greeted by a lot of their friends. About 20 cows were eating and being milked. The women all had little kits with mugs and mysterious bottles. Everyone waited and gossiped but I still wasn’t clear on the concept.
At one point, the man tending the cows gestured to Isidro. Isidro grabbed the mugs from Maria and held them while she dutifully placed a spoonful of instant coffee, a spoonful of sugar and a shot of tequila in each mug. Then Isidro when over to the cow and then finally it dawned on me why everyone was so happy and why my friends start out the day this way. The drink is warm and frothy and I don’t think you need much of an imagination to guess how good it was or what I did for breakfast everyday while I stayed with them.
Aside from the drink, it was a chance for all the neighbors to get together and swap stories. It wasn’t too much different than a café. Only this one smelled like cow turds and there was no attitude or tip jar.