Monday, December 31, 2007

End of year blog stuff

I thought I would close off the year with a look back at my first two months of blogging. My first post was made on October 30th. I didn't plan on starting a blog but I needed to register for blogger to make a comment on a friend's post and I just started farting around with the platform y voila. Here we are two months and 75 posts later and I am loving it. Number one it's like free therapy, number two, I love to talk and this is a great way to not be interrupted and number three I have learned about a whole new world on the web and "met" some great bloggers.


My basic stats (from Google Analytics):

4344 visits
6,800 page views
1390 absolute unique visitors


Google searches that have brought people to my blog:


Cancun Canuck (and all its variations)
Geena Davis sawn in half
Ni modo
Iguana tattoo
Mayan paintings
Cat throwing up white foam
Aluxes
Cancun Christmas
Snowfall Cancun (someone actually searched this?)
Gambling Cancun
Virgin of Guadelupe
Aguinaldo
Boss doesn't like me pregnant (huh?)
Bus pirahna
Buying milk in Cancun
Cancun beaches
Writing group Mazatlan
Cats rule dogs are crap
Mexican posadas
Dengue
My finger is oozing
Pinche gato
Remedy for frozen car doors
Slang for nipple in Spanish
What to buy a Mexican woman for Christmas
Throwing up white foam after drinking alcohol

And the list goes on, but those ones either made total sense or no sense at all to me, some of them made me laugh out loud.

A big thanks to all of you reading, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and that we find lots to talk about in 2008. Salud!


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Damn I feel old!

My little adventure on Isla Mujeres of Friday has cost me a lot of mobility, what the heck was I thinking? Next time I decide to take Max on an adventure without Hubby, the dusty stroller is coming with us! I'm all bent over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, barely walking and actually nauseous from the pain in my back. I'm not THAT old, but if someone offered me a walker or a wheelchair, I would gladly accept it today (and a warm sponge bath from a cute nurse wouldn't be so bad either). I've tried stretching and some yoga positions, but I'm so far gone it's just too much. Hot packs, Advil, naproxene, some patchy type things that the pharmacist recommended, hot baths and Bailey's Irish Cream and I am still walking like a crone. I think I called Max "sonny dear" this morning, I'm taking on the personality of my posture. Next I'll be calling for my bingo cards and my Depends undergarments, I can feel it.

I recall once while I was in my 20's (oh youth, why hast thou forsaken me?) someone asked me where I saw myself in 10 years. I honestly told them "In a wheelchair, being fed bon bons by my gorgeous private duty nurse." I was joking, but sheesh, I guess I should choose my words more carefully, or find some wood to knock on while making jokes about my impending doom or I might just end up living a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Alright, off to find a massage therapist who makes house calls, have a lovely Sunday everyone!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Day on Isla Mujeres

Max and I decided to head over to Isla Mujeres yesterday, number one because we love it, number two for a change of scenery and number three to meet the famous Isla blogger Wayne. After waiting for what seemed like forever for the muchacha, we got out the door at 9:15 and managed to get ourselves on the 9:30 ferry to Isla.

For you tourist types, Isla Mujeres is a small island off the coast of Cancun, easily accessible by a couple of different ferry routes. We use the boat that leaves from the Gran Puerto in Puerto Juarez, 70 pesos round trip, service starts at 5 am and ends at midnight, boats running every half hour. There are ferries that leave from the hotel zone, but they are twice the price,only run four or five times a day and I believe their last boat back is at 5 pm, so far less freedom from there. Here's the ferry boats (sorry for pic quality, forgot to change camera settings, duh).


Anywho, we got over to the island and I started to walk the longest mile. I didn't want to take a taxi to Playa Norte, I always prefer walking through town, but I forgot that usually I have a daddy-type person with me to help carry the gigantic knapsack and other assorted "stuff" and a 13 kg squirming, lazy, "no walk, tu carry me" kid. Needless to say, my back is KILLING ME today, I think it may actually be broken. At the very least it's "out of order" for carrying anything for a while. I did manage to take a couple of pics of things that caught my eye (applause please, picture me trying to dig out a camera with a large knapsack on my back, my purse over my shoulder and Max riding "caballo" on my neck, see the lengths I go to for my readers?).




We finally got to Playa Norte (yay donkey mama!) and we collapsed on the sand. It was a gorgeous day and being high season, there were a lot of people. We lathered ourselves with sunblock and jumped into the water, built sand castles and generally horsed around. Now, I love Isla for many reasons, so what I am about to say is not a slag, nor a reason not to visit, just to be clear. The beach at Playa Norte is half of what it used to be. Where there used to be a huge stretch of sand, it's now ocean and sandbags. I dug through the archives and found some old pics of the beach for comparison. We always sit in the same spot, right behind Maria del Mar so these pics are pretty much all from the same position, look at the palm trees and their distance from the water.

April 2006, Playa Norte looking West(ish)
December 2007, Playa Norte looking West(ish)

February 2006, Playa Norte looking East(ish)

December 2007, Playa Norte looking East(ish)

Around 1:00 we met up with Wayne at Buho's for lunch. I immediately liked him and felt really comfortable with him, a great guy! He worked some magic on Max too, the kid took to him right away. He had come down on his moto and lugged along his boogie board for Max, now that is a cool guy! We had a nice chat and nibbled on food while Max played in the showers and basically caused trouble all over. I know we will see Wayne again, and we've got a secret plan in the works we will reveal in the new year. I've got a nice pic of the three of us, but I am waiting for Wayne's approval before posting. In the meantime, here's a pic of Max in Wayne's helmet on his moto.


We said our goodbyes to Wayne, packed up our crap and made the long walk back to the ferry dock. I do not want to play burro again for a while, owie, I sure hope Max appreciates the fact that I may never walk the same again, all for a fun day on the island with my amazing/terrible kid!

For anyone coming down to this area for vacation, I seriously recommend a day on Isla Mujeres. (Bring your own mule). Now I am off to find the number for a spine replacement service.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Irritated by the muchacha

So I am sitting and waiting. And waiting. And waiting for the pinche muchacha to come clean the house. This woman never, ever comes when she says she is going to or when we ask her to. It's actually supposed to be her daughter coming, but she never shows up either. The mom is a pretty lousy housekeeper which is why we changed to her daughter who at LEAST knows where the dishes go. With the mom I find dishes in the oven, in piles on the counter, in the cupboard that is designated "Max safe" meaning it is all plastic, she'll put the glass glasses and the china plates no matter how many times I ask her not to. Last week I found one of Hubby's t-shirts folded neatly on top of my clean clothes, but soaking wet and smelling of Fabuloso. She also used a pair of Max's underwear to clean the kitchen and left them on the floor. All the while she is hinting about her aguinaldo, telling us how the neighbour woman gave her 2000 pesos. Um, you show up once in a while, never when you are supposed to and you do a shitty job and I am going to give you 2000 pesos? I don't think so.

She phoned the house at 6:30 am this morning to say she was on her way. Number one, she is supposed to come tomorrow. Number two, phones ringing at 6:30 am cause heart attacks and wake sleeping two year olds. Number three, it's now more than TWO HOURS later and Max and I are dressed, packed and ready to go to Isla Mujeres and she is not here. Max is getting CRANKY and so is Mama, where the hell are you woman? We keep saying we are going to fire her, but at the very least, she doesn't steal, the thought of bringing someone new into the house is more frightening than dealing with an incompetent.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Road to Nowhere

Two of my favourite things, Max and the Talking Heads together in "Road to Nowhere: A Tricycle Adventure". This is what Max has been begging for for months. Ok, so he hasn't specifically asked for the Talking Heads and mom with a camera in his face, but it was a package deal with the Apache tricycle. Here we are taking a big spin around the hood.....


Poll results- If you could have ONE thing....

A dog- 2 (6%)
A TV- 1 (3%)
A car-
1 (3%)
A computer-
1 (3%)
A cel phone- 0
A dancing monkey- 3 (9%)
Cheese- 2 (6%)
A spouse/partner- 19 (61%)

So you, my readers, heavily support the idea of pairing up, now is that about love and companionship or does it just mean we all like to get a little nookie more than anything else? (Insert Groucho Marx eyebrow wiggle here......)


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12 Days of Christmas, Cancun style

We had an absolutely fabulous couple of days celebrating Christmas with family and friends, I'm all warm and fuzzy here. We had Christmas dinner with the Brit Family and Kansas and Kansas' daughter. It could not have been better! We had a little contest, splitting into two teams to come up with the "12 Days of Cancun Christmas" and here is a selection (edited to remove inside jokes or those lines that were just too irreverant). So, this is a combo of the two teams' efforts at a song (I won't subject you to the video of the actual singing, far too much wine was involved and therefore too much laughter to actually hear the song!)

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....

12 year old maids,

11 cops a'taking
10 cucarachas
9 timeshare sharks
8 maids a'stealing
7 dolphins jumping
6 geckos pooping
5 FM3's....
4 hurricane warnings
3 ex-mayors in jail
2 drunken tourists
And a world-class futbol team

Maybe this is a case of "You had to be there", but I wanted to get it down for posterity's sake, my stomach hurts from laughing so much yesterday, excellent exercise, who needs sit-ups? Hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas as we did!

Monday, December 24, 2007

And a beer, in a tree

It is NOT Christmas until I have listened to Bob and Doug McKenzie sing "12 Days of Christmas". This is essential for all Canadians. Those who do not enjoy Bob and Doug will be flogged and hung naked in the Eaton Center as a lesson to all. If you do not know Bob and Doug, you are not Canadian, but that doesn't mean it's too late to learn. Here you go, an education in Canadian Christmases......



Sunday, December 23, 2007

An Empty Mall at Christmas

I am not a huge shopper at all, in fact I quite despise the activity. I guess it's mostly because usually I have a two year old in tow who claims that everything is "MINE! MIO! DAMELO! GIMME!". Shopping is an exhausting task, a necessity y nada mas. Being forced to do some Christmas shopping, I have managed to get some mall time without Monster Max and I realized I can actually accomplish something without the extra 13 kgs on my arm. In the past week I have been to Plaza Las Americas, Gran Plaza, Walmart, Soriana and Paseo Cancun so I've had a fair sampling of the Christmas shopping season. What I have noticed is there are not many people out at all. Less than in years past for sure. When I mentioned it to Hubby, he just rubbed his fingers together and said "Nadie tiene lana", which means "Nobody has money". Is this just a phenomenon of Cancun's economy or is this happening everywhere?

We like going to Paseo Cancun just to walk around (er, run around when Max is with us). It's an outdoor promenade type mall in downtown Cancun, located behind Soriana. It's really quite beautiful and they always seem to have events of some kind going on, musical acts, dancers, clowns, etc., so we knew there would be a Santa there for Max. I've just realized that in all of our visits there we've never bought anything, for us it's just another "park". The only place we spend money there is the movie theater and the restaurants, usually Sirloin Stockade or Hooters. Max LOVES Hooters and the Hooters girls love Max.


Last night there were performances by singers and dancers in addition to the Santa and the Reindeer and Penguin. I was quite happy to see they had an art exhibition going on as well, though I was less than impressed with the art. Didn't matter, seeing anything cultural in Cancun is something good for the soul. With all this going on, just a few days before Christmas, the mall was practically empty. Beautiful, but empty.



I am not complaining about an empty mall at all, makes my life a whole lot happier, but I do worry about what it represents to the economy of the people of Cancun. The retailers in this beautiful mall are going to suffer big time and I just know that folks in Cancun are going to have less under their tree this year. The good thing is that most of them won't care, they'll be happy to be surrounded by their family. At least that's how I feel, we don't have much but we've got each other and I am feeling all warm and fuzzy thinking about how happy Max will be with his little stash from Santa and how happy I will be holding him in my arms on Noche Buena. Who wouldn't be happy with this cool dude?



Friday, December 21, 2007

The Other Side of Cancun

Not the seedy underbelly of crime and corruption silly, the other side of Cancun for beach day numero dos. Max woke up chanting repeatedly "go do da beach, go do da beach, go do da beach" so we did. Hey, the kid's cute, I can't resist that request no matter how much cleaning up I should be doing around the house. Oh the sacrifices I make as a mother, forced to go to the beach on a hot sunny day.

We took the bus to Playa Marlin on the east side of Cancun island. We were there just a few weeks ago you might recall. I like this beach because there are stores, food and bathrooms in Plaza Kukulkan and you can actually sit under the cement wall of Villas Marlin for some shade. I also like it because it's got a schizoid personality, this beach changes, you never know what you are going to see.

Here's how the sea looked on December 2, 2007....



Here is how it looked today, December 21, 2007 from the same spot


I love all the forms the Caribbean Sea takes, crashing, hardcore, bash your head in waves and the lapping at the feet little kissy waves. She (the sea) is a cure-all, a refresher, a re-energizer, a purifier, a punisher, and nurturer. I really really cannot imagine not being near enough to her to swim in her whenever I need to or want to. I wish I could explain how strong this feeling is to Hubby, it's really a form of love and I would be heartbroken to leave.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Beach day in Cancun

We had a fabulous time at the beach today! The weather was just great, about 85 F, a little breeze, fluffy white clouds, perfect. We went to Playa Langosta which is a favourite for a few reasons. Number one, it's on the north side of the island of Cancun so it's calm, shallow waters. Number two, there is a convenience store and clean bathrooms with showers. Number three, it's almost always deserted! Like having our own private beach. Kind of creepy really, I felt like I was missing some big important event that everyone else in town knew about. Here's a panoramic video of our private beachy spot.



Max decided to feed Fritos (salt and lemon flavoured) to the seagulls so we got up close and personal with the birdies.



We were alone for a few hours and then had a great surprise visit from the fabulous BritFamily. Max had been asking for LittleBrit for days so I was really pleased to send him off to play with his friend while I caught up with the Lady Brits. A highlight of my day was seeing a real living starfish in the water out by the boats, it's my first sighting of one off of a beach, big news in my life after having only seen them snorkeling. I almost stepped right on the poor thing (he might have become a lovely decoration at that point, eh Wayne?) I'm feeling all sunny, inside and out, refreshed and cleansed, so much so that I can say "Ni modo" about the whole aguinaldo thing.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Max- A Year in Review

Having a kid in the house with grandparents far away has made me into a camera junkie! I love taking pics of him and took thousands this year. Here is a small sampling of some of my favourite moments of 2007. (He loves watching this, keeps asking for it over and over, we have to have a talk about a new vocabulary word "vanity").


Pinche Aguinaldo

I just need a quick moment of.....

ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH

Thank you, sorry for yelling.

Every year at Christmas employees in Mexico receive what is known as the "aguinaldo" or Christmas bonus. It is the law that they receive 15 days pay before December 20th. In past years I have been on "honorarios" which means I am an independent contractor to the company and was not entitled to aguinaldos as I was not an employee. That said, every year in the past my company has given me 2000 or 2500 pesos anyway as a bit of a bonus. I changed to "nomina" this year and am an "official" employee of the company. I fully expected to at least get the 2000 I received in years past but though it would be my full two weeks pay (I'll be honest, about 3200 pesos). I went to take out money this morning and was told I had insufficient funds. I knew they were depositing the aguinaldos yesterday so I was confused. I checked the recent transactions in my account and found a deposit from yesterday for 500 pesos. Yep, 500 lousy freaking pesos, fifty bucks. I called our coordinator who said there must be a mistake, I should have received 15 days worth. She called the accountant who said "Nope, that's what she gets, the minimum". I am livid. I bawled my eyes out in the street. I'm hurt and disappointed and angry. I worked six days a week this year for a freaking bonus of 500 pesos??? Our muchacha cleans once a week for 200 pesos and we were planning on giving her 1000 pesos, the company I put all my energy into can't even match the aguinaldo of a day-a-week cleaning lady?

ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH

Yes, I am upset. Bah freaking humbug otra vez.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Poll results- What people are celebrating

Here's how you responded to the question, "What are you celebrating for the holidays?"....

Christmas- cultural- 21 (63%)
Christmas- religious- 12 (36%)
Hannukah- cultural- 1 (3%)
Hannukah- religious- 1 (3%)
Kwanzaa- 1 (3%)
None of the above- 3 (9%)
All of the above- 0 (0%)
Other (just covering my a$$)-1(3%)


A heavily Christmassy group responded. I'm curious about "other", anyone want to share? If you are an ex-pat do you stick to your "home" country's traditions or have you adapted to your present country's rituals or a mix? Anyone traveling "home" for the holidays? I know, this was supposed to be a post of answers and I gave you more questions, but the Canucka has to know, I'm super chismosa!

Bilingual Battle

As you might suspect, we've got a few language issues in our little family. Hubby speaks English very well, though I realize I use a lot of idioms that he doesn't understand. My Spanish is pretty passable, but Hubby's coworkers call him "El Rey del Albur" and he often uses it against me when he knows I won't understand. He loves a good laugh at the expense of my Spanish. We use a lot of Spanglish together, sometimes joking, sometimes because that's just how we communicate. I like to make up Spanish words like "pobrecitamos" and "arribate". He likes to put on his really bad American accent and try to talk like a tourist or "frijolero" as he likes to call anyone North of the border.

Raising a bilingual kid is a whole other adventure. I only speak English with Max. Hubby only speaks Spanish. School is primarily Spanish with a few hours of English a week. Next year he will begin French at the school as well, the directors are from Paris so I am hopeful for at least a little bit of the language. The woman who cleans our house (I still haven't figured out if "muchacha" is an insulting word) speaks Maya to Max. I'm encouraging her to do it, not hopeful of anything sticking but the exposure to yet another language can only be good.

With all this going on, this little kid sucks it all in. His teachers say he is one of the most verbal of all the kids in his class (all between two and three years old), speaks the most English (obviously) and he speaks the most clearly. He is also a pain in the ass who won't sit down or sit still for one freaking minute, but he's a smart pain in the ass.


While his English and Spanish up to this point have been pretty equal, he's suddenly on a Spanish roll. Lots of new vocabulary which he uses over and over. I repeat the English words to him and he just says "Yes!" like, "Good mommy, you knew what I meant when I spoke Spanish!". It's tough when he asks "Quieres tacos mami?" and I as his teacher reply with the correct English translation "Do you want tacos?" and he screams "Yes!!!" at which point I have to make the freaking tacos. Over and over all day I am repeating back to a two year old what they just said to me in Spanish. I'm wiped out! I feel like a Larousse parrot!

It's a lot of fun, having a multilingual family is really important to me so we better be able to laugh at each other. Whether it's Max saying "No manches!" over and over or me not understanding that the teacher meant "naranja" (orange) when she wrote "anaranjado" on Max's homework or hubby staring at me blankly when I say "water off a duck's back, eh?", we gotta laugh. I do go a little nuts with it sometimes, but it's totally worth it when Max says "I love you pretty mami, quiero a hug".

Monday, December 17, 2007

A New Friend with My Old Life

Manolo is a new blogger friend of mine, I can't remember how we found each other but I really enjoy reading his posts. He's a Guatemalan man living in Toronto. In fact, he's living my old life. Attending my old university and living in my old neighbourhood. So his most recent post is a post that I could have written oh some 17 or 18 years ago (GULP, I am old). Check out the pics and understand why I live in Cancun!

Honestly, it's 75 degrees Fahrenheit and I am shivering, does Hubby really think I can return to freezing temps and wind chill factors? I think not! I prefer my Christmas trees to be palms and the white stuff to be sand. Oh and lookie here, I just happened to take a picture of one on Saturday night!




Busy Weekend for the Canuck in Cancun

As busy as I was this weekend, I couldn't help but feel guilty about not blogging, how weird is that? I won't bore you with all the details, but here's a breakdown of what our pre-Christmas weekend was about.

Saturday

  • I taught my last class before going on vacation. Sang Christmas carols with the students and ate cookies.
  • I went to Plaza las Americas (without a two year old it was actually relaxing, even with a million holiday shoppers!). Noted that all clothes are made for women with no breasts.
  • We brought a very excited Max to the nanny's house for a slumber party with her son. He ran out the door with a "Bye Mami" and a big smile, no separation anxiety problems with this kid!
  • We thoroughly enjoyed my company posada (Christmas party) on board the Caribbean Carnaval booze cruise to Isla Mujeres. I entered the singing and dancing competition and was robbed of the win by an old man from New Jersey. I won a coffee maker in the employee draw and then kicked myself for picking the biggest box since we had plans to go out to the party center after the cruise.
  • We had one drink in the party center and realized that we are too damned old for that godawful music.
  • Came home at 1 am and went to sleep like the old farts that we apparently are. So much for our big plans to "Party all night dude!"
Sunday
  • We woke up far too early for not having Max in the house. Went for a peaceful kid-free breakfast at El Porton (mmm, cecina de res and chilaquiles, yum!)
  • We did our Santa shopping for Max, yes he is getting his Apache that he screams for everyday, plus a Buzz Lightyear and a Woody in their remote control car, a Spiderman in a zip car and socks and underwear. We also somehow managed to spend 3000 pesos on groceries, gulp!
  • I picked up Max from the nanny's house though he was reluctant to leave. She informed me that she didn't put his night-time Pull Ups on and he actually woke her in the night to go potty, whoohooo, we're FULLY potty trained! He's been day trained for months but I guess it took the nanny to push him over the edge to night control.
  • We went out to the Shrimp Bucket in the hotel zone with Hubby's family that is visiting from Ensenada, Baja California. I survived both meeting new family members and engaging in conversation exclusively in Spanish for almost six hours, yahoo!
  • We came home with an exhausted child and two exhausted parents and watched American Pie 1, 2 and 3 courtesy of Universal Channel, I must have been really loopy tired to sit through all of that, too lazy to get up for the remote.
This morning I had great plans to write a blog while Max was at school but oh the draw of my bed on the first day of my vacation. I slept until 11:30 for the first time in two years and eight months, it was delicious. I now have to plow through the 300 photos I took this weekend and see if I can find any decent pics. Here's one odd photo of me that Hubby took, at the beginning of the party, only two drinks in and I was a dancing fool.

Hope you all had a fab weekend!

Friday, December 14, 2007

An Inside Joke- Mercado Libre Vendo Beso

I guess this is really a post for those of us living in Mexico who have been forced to watch a certain Mercado Libre commercial over and over and over and over and over, well, you get the point. This commercial has been on the air for a couple of years now. At first I thought it was cute. Then slightly annoying. Now it makes me wish there was a dagger and some poison at the end of this Romeo and Juliet story. And really, buying a kiss off the internet? Doesn't she realize she'll probably wake up with a raging case of herpes?

Here's the original commercial. Boy sells kiss on Mexican version of eBay, girl buys kiss, boy delivers kiss, the end.





And here's the parody that is really quite silly but makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. Ok, it makes me snort like a crackhead, sorry, you won't ever get these two minutes of your life back.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My First Mexican Christmas

In Mexico Christmas is traditionally celebrated on Christmas Eve, December 24th. My first big family Christmas in Puebla was quite a surprise to me. In a house full of relatives I had just met, an 8 month old baby, and very limited Spanish, I was pretty overwhelmed by everything. On the evening of the 24th, I started to get ready to go to bed at around 9 o'clock. Where I come from, you go to bed early on the 24th and get up super early on the 25th to start the festivities. Of course Hubby had not explained anything to me. He asked what I was doing and I said I was going to bed in order to be rested for Christmas. He said, "Uh uh, take a shower, get dressed up, dinner is at midnight." Well thanks for the warning honey! I had already taken cold medicine and had a couple of glasses of wine and was not prepared to stay up any longer but I bit the bullet and got ready. I even tried to help in the kitchen but I was pretty useless and just got in everyone's way so I went back to playing with the gaggle of kids that were there. And had a little more wine.

Around 11ish, we divided the family into two groups to perform the posada song. Half of us went outside with candles to sing, the other half stayed in. The littlest niece was thrilled to be asked to carry the baby Jesus doll to put in the nativity. Once the song was over, there was some praying and lots of hugging and kissing and laughs and the ponche was brought out. I think it was at that point that mi suegro (father in law) finished his first bottle of tequila though he seemed quite sober,he is amazing!

At midnight all 30 of us (yep, big party!) gathered around the beautifully decorated table for dinner. Right when I was about to tuck into the salad, mi suegra (mother in law) said "Oh no, it's your first year with us, you must make a speech". Of course, she said it in Spanish and I only sort of understood. When it was made clear that I had to speak, I blanched and almost threw up! Now, I am a talker, I love to talk, I love to be the center of attention, but this was some serious pressure. Thirty family members whom I had just met, the big Christmas dinner and the white girl has to talk. I fumbled my way through a speech (in Spanish!) and received a round of applause before I collapsed in my seat. I don't know what I said, but apparently I made a favourable impression according to Hubby. We ate bacalao, turkey and all the fixings, some sort of wonderful soup, and a terrific dessert. Suegro tried to get me to eat his angulas (baby eels, an extremely expensive delicacy) but I was having none of that, though it was fun having him try to convince me. I was stuffed full and could only think about my bed, but of course, they weren't finished yet.

With after dinner aperitifs in hand we went to the living room to open presents. It's now after 1 am and I have no idea how anyone is still awake, let alone full of energy! It was pure chaos, paper flying, kids screaming, everyone going nuts over their gifts. Hubby pulled me aside and being the romantic that he is (haha), pulled a jewelry box out of his pocket and said "Here's what you wanted". Ok, I've heard better marriage proposals, but I accepted it. I did force him to actually say "Will you marry me" but there was no bended knee or anything like that. He was really shy about it, I had to get everyone's attention and announce our engagement, which meant more drinks, more kisses and hugs and cries of "welcome to the family". So, having got "what I wanted", I decided to hit the hay, though that was harder than it sounds.

The kids stayed up all night, someone must have slipped some ecstasy in their shirley temples or something. At 6 am I was awoken (ugh) for the pinata and breakfast. We went outside (it was CHILLY) and whacked away at the pinata til it spilled its goodies and we returned to the warmth of the house for a lovely breakfast.

It was a whirlwind Christmas, crazy family, lots of fun and a great introduction to my Mexican family. We were very sad to leave and are really disappointed that we can't go to Puebla this year. We will be having a much quieter Christmas, just the three of us on Christmas Eve and while I know it will be great, there is something wonderful about being with a plethora of loved ones and some chaos that I will miss.

We still aren't married, nor do we have any plans for it, but hey, there's a ring on the finger so we are really only partially living in sin, right?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Whistle a Happy Tune

From my rotten mood of last week, I have done a complete 180 and am feeling great about everything. So good that I have been singing this song all day, hope it reminds you to be happy! I think everyone needs to sing this song at least once a day.




No matter how bad life seems, at least you are not being crucified. If you are being crucified, please remember the words of Monty Python, it will help you hang in there, haha.

The Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe

As always, when it's a special day in Mexico, it's a special day on my blog! Today we are going to learn about the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, one of the most significant historical/religious events in Mexico.

The first time I witnessed this feast day was when I first arrived in Mexico and was living in Cozumel. I had decided to head out to the beach one day but could not get down the streets, everything was closed off and there were floods of people everywhere. The beach plan was abandoned and I decided to go with the flow and see what was happening. I discovered lines of cars decorated with altars to the Virgin of Guadalupe and a huge procession traveling slowly through the streets. Brightly coloured flowers bedecked every surface and people carried candles, statues of the virgin, rosaries, crosses and signs honouring Guadalupe. It was quite a serious affair and I wish I had known at the time exactly what was going on, perhaps I would have looked less like the gawking tourist I was.

Now that I have some years in Mexico under my belt, I have discovered just how very important this day is. For many, the Virgin of Guadalupe is the "mother of Mexico", the brown skinned version of the Virgin Mary. In the early 1500's, the Spanish conquered Mexico and brought with them their Catholic religion to start converting the indigenous people to Christianity. One of the first converts, Juan Diego was on his way to mass one morning when he was reportedly visited by an apparition on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico City. He saw a blinding light and heard music and saw a vision of a woman. The woman spoke to him in Nahuatl (the Aztec language) and told him she was the mother of Jesus. She told him of her desire to have a church built on the hill and instructed him to notify the Bishop. Convincing the Bishop was no easy task, he demanded proof of this visitation. On December 12, 1531 Juan Diego was crossing Tepeyac Hill and was once again visited by the apparition. She told him that he needed to gather flowers from the hill and deliver them to the Bishop as his proof. He gathered the roses into his cloak and returned to the Bishop. As he presented the flowers, a miraculous image of the Virgin appeared on his cloak. The Bishop was convinced and the church was built.

There is considerable controversy about the whole event and scientists are still trying to determine if indeed the cloak is legitimate (it still exists and has been dated to the 16th century, but they cannot determine if the image was created at that time or if it is a fake). There is a lot of discussion about whether this was a ploy by the Spanish to convert more indigenous people to Christianity. The hill where she was seen was the location of an Aztec temple that the church had destroyed, and it is often said that the vision called herself by the name of an Aztec goddess in addition to claiming to be the mother of Jesus. It has been surmised that it may also have been a response from the indigenous people to the Catholic church, a way for them to continue honouring their own gods in the guise of a Christian saint.

Regardless of the controversy, Guadelupe is still the adored saint of Mexico and is a symbol of Mexico's identity. She is considered by some to be the first "mestizo" (person born of Spanish and indigenous blood) and therefore representative of the first "real" Mexican. Today millions of people will be walking or crawling to the altars and churches to offer thanks to the Virgin for their blessings or to ask for blessings for the future.

Not surprisingly, Cancun will not see a huge celebration of the event as they will in Mexico City. I walked around this morning looking for something, anything dedicated to the Virgin and saw nothing, even the church I went by was almost empty. This city is sadly a place of lost traditions and faith. People come to Cancun from their small pueblos, leaving their families and often their rituals get left behind as well. This is a city of McDonald's and Walmart and the American way. While I am not religious in the least, I find it very sad to hear my students speak about losing their heritage, they realize it's happening but they just don't care. MTV has replaced the pope. My students know more about Britney Spears than they do about the Virgin.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas in Mexico- Posada Season

It's that time of year again, the season of the "posada". Around here that word has a couple of meanings. Number one, a "posada" is the traditional drunken office party, celebrating the season with co-workers at a restaurant we can't usually afford. The posadas for my place of work have been great, tonnes of fun every year. Last year we whooped it up at Pat O'Brien's on 80's night, nothing could have made me happier, I was born to drink piles of vodka and belt out Madonna tunes. This year we are headed out on a booze cruise to Isla Mujeres, sounds promising, pirates and booze and buffet, oh my! My Christmas spirit is rising!

The second meaning of "posada" is more serious and religious though it still ends in a party of sorts. For the nine days before Christmas, Mexican families enact Mary and Joseph's search for lodgings. People will walk down the streets with candles and a small baby Jesus doll, singing at the gates of the neighbours' houses until they reach the designated house for the evening. There the song of the "pilgrims" will be sung at the door until the people outside are finally invited in to the "inn". Once inside prayers are said, most often the rosary, and a small ceremony takes place where the baby Jesus is placed in the nativity scene. Food is served and everyone drinks the "ponche", a hot, spiced wine drink that I equate to mulled wine. While I am not a religious person at all, I find this ceremony to be quite beautiful and have been honoured with invitations to these events by the people in my neighbourhood.

If you are headed to Cancun for Christmas, be prepared for a quiet town on the 24th which is when the holiday is celebrated with family here. A few places will close early to allow staff to be with their loved ones, though in the hotel zone most things will remain open all night, the tourist trade comes first! No worries about anything being closed on Christmas day, everything will be up and running and open, most places will have special Christmas dinner events planned, pick your place and reserve early! For a fabulous, extra special meal, I highly recommend Puerto Madero or Laguna Grill, my two favourite places for a special occasion (read: expensive but delish!).

Feliz Navidad! (And please forgive me my bah humbug attitude of last week, it's passing). How can you not smile at this 1973 Jose Feliciano performance of "Feliz Navidad"?


Poll results- How Do you Caress Your Keyboard

Touch typer, go ahead, test my WPM- 22 votes 78%
Gotta see those keys but I use all my fingers- 5 votes, 17%
Two finger hunt n'peck- 1 vote, 3%

No one selected other, no big surprise but it's my first poll where I didn't leave anyone out. Glad to see everyone paid attention in typing class!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Traumatic Mexican Tradition

We were happy to be invited to the birthday party of our dear friends' daughter yesterday. A lovely afternoon at Carlos N Charlies with rambunctious preschoolers, a dancing chicken, a bouncy house, a piñata and some strawberry daiquiris (well, for this mami there were daiquiris). The kids and parents all had a great time, until cake time that is. Poor birthday girl! The tradition in Mexico is to smush the celebrants face in the cake after the requisite songs are sung. Our beautiful little three year old birthday girl didn't see it coming and got her whole face covered in frosting and promptly started to scream and cry. For a good twenty minutes, pobrecita princesa was traumatized! Before we left, her father asked her how she liked her party and she started to cry again saying "I don't like birthdays, no cake" and buried her sobbing face into her mother's shoulder. I think she'll be having dessert nightmares for a long time.

Max was not traumatized at all, he had a lovely time playing with all the girls and boys, and as you can see, there are no gender barriers about toys in our family, I'm pleased to introduce you to Princess Max of the Party....


Now we've got to start planning his party. It's not until April, but he's being very demanding about having "MI piñata y MI cake y MI pwessents" and he practices blowing out candles every chance he gets (we are not giving him fire or matches, really, he thinks crayons and pens and straws are candles and will sing Happy Birthday any chance he gets). Poor cat gets the worst of it around here though, he tries to practice his piñata whacking on her.

Cancun's Atlante Win the Soccer Championship!

So I'm not much of a soccer fan, doesn't matter, I couldn't help but get caught up in the excitement of Cancun's new soccer team Atlante winning the championship game. This is such positive news for Cancun, you can feel the excitement in the air. Last night's victory brought a much needed sense of community to Cancun, where lately all the news has been bad. The citizens reportedly behaved extremely well last night, thousands of people parading through the streets and gathering at the "ceviche" (a fountain of sea shells) and celebrating peacefully. Novedades reports zero incidents of violence, kudos Cancunenses!

I think this is also a good step in developing an identity as a city, a community. Cancun is a city filled with people from "somewhere else". It's a very young city and it's important for it to create a culture of unity in a place where everyone seems so separate. These past few months have seen a rise in crime and sadly, suicides have become a newsworthy problem. Something as light and fun as soccer has given Cancun that much needed push in the right direction. Soccer ain't going to save the world, but it brought a lot of smiles and laughter to this town last night.

Arriba Atlante! Viva Cancun! Arribe los Cancunenses!

Here are the highlights if you are a fan...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Who's visiting A Canuck in Cancun

Writing a blog is such an interactive experience, more so than I anticipated. I check out my stats every so often and I love seeing where all of you are reading from. Since I started this blog at the beginning of November, I've had visitors from 31 countries and 340 cities, how cool is that? Here's the top ten visiting countries......

1. United States
2. Mexico

3. Canada

4. France

5. United Kingdom

6. Dominican Republic

7. Germany

8. Guatemala

9. Jordan

10. Romania


I've had visitors from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Phillipines, Spain, Serbia and Montenegro, Israel, Honduras, Australia, India, Belize, Sweden, Argentina, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland and a few others.

My top ten visiting cities are....

1. Cancun
2. Cozumel

3. Franklin (where is Franklin?)

4. Paris

5. Bristol

6. Providence

7. Hopkins (umm, anyone wanna tell me where this is too?)

8. Beaverton

9. Savannah

10. Mexico City


So, where's all my Canadian friends? Not even in the top ten?? Bad Canucks, bad bad Canucks. Just kidding of course, read at your leisure! It makes me happy to see these lists, I love knowing I am connecting with all of you around the world. I can certainly remember a time without the internet, but I cannot imagine a future without it, I know far more about the world we live in than any high school Geography or History teacher could ever impart.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Canuck the Schmuck

Well, another day, another way to feel bad. I swear, this will not become the wah wah, poor Canuck blog, I'm just having a bad run. Today I am feeling really miserable about something I did not do yesterday. Max and I were playing counting games on the computer around 5 pm and I looked out the window and saw a suspicious kid on the neighbour's stairs. This is an apartment building that has been empty for years and it's only the last couple of months that people have moved in, so I don't know who should and shouldn't be there, but there was something funky about this kid. Where he was standing was totally hidden from the street and all other neighbours, he was in a perfect spot. He was looking around (for some reason he made me think of Snidely Whiplash), carrying a black knapsack and I just got a bad vibe. He jumped up onto a railing and looked inside one of the apartments, then ran up the stairs. I can't see the apartment doors from my place, but I did notice movement inside the apartment. Now it's starting to get dark and I realize if he really lived there he would have turned on the lights. I called Hubby and told him that I thought I might be watching a robbery, I still wasn't sure. I asked him how to call the cops (I know, four years and I can't remember if it's 066 or 060, I wish they had 911, that I could remember!). Hubby told me to stay out of it, not to call, the police wouldn't do anything anyway.

I tried to keep watching, without being seen, but I had to leave the window a couple of times and didn't actually see anyone come out. A half hour later, I saw people go into that apartment, turn on the lights and then the parade began of people going in and out, yelling on cel phones, the building owner running around and checking their security lights etc.. So, I KNOW they were robbed and I did nothing. NOTHING! My instinct was to call the cops, but I didn't follow it. Sadly, I was unsure of my ability to express to them in Spanish what was going on. If I had been in Canada I could have said "There's something funky going on next door, don't know for sure, but it's not right, there's a suspicious kid who I think might be robbing the place". For the life of me, I couldn't come up with the Spanish. Add to that my fear of the police here and I pushed my instincts aside and didn't call. I didn't call. I didn't call. I can't stop thinking about how I didn't call. I feel like a schmuck, an idiot, I didn't do what my gut told me to do. Picture me banging my head with my fist screaming "Idiot, doofus, loser, asshole, stupid", and you have some idea of how bad I am feeling.

In addition to the guilt, I am feeling paranoid about my own house! In reality, we are not the easiest target on the block, bars on all the windows, a dog in the yard, the only entrance is extremely visible to all the neighbours and a busy street. I am not about to install an alarm system for a tv, dvd and computer, all our valuables in the world cost less than the alarm. But. We have a motion sensor light that we bought years ago that I will have installed this weekend. I want to get the locksmith out to get an extra bolt on the door. I am having Hubby back up the thousands of photos on my computer (more valuable than the box itself). I am going to take pictures of the serial numbers on our tv and dvd and computer. I am carrying my camera with me, I couldn't bring myself to leave it in the house this morning. I don't know what else I can do to feel safer, but if I think of it, I will do it.

I am not a frightened person by nature, in fact, when people tell me that Cancun is not safe, I say "Ech, safer than most places I have lived, if you are going to be a victim, there's nothing you can do, it's not so bad here". But, today I am feeling insecure. Guilty. Paranoid. I know it will pass, it always does, and I am feeling better after a chat with Rivergirl. She put a good spin on things for me, telling me I should feel good because I have "good person" instincts, I wanted to do the right thing, I just froze and didn't. I've now talked to my other neighbours and we have agreed to watch out for each other and they agreed that I should not have called, that the cops wouldn't have done anything anyway. A student this morning told me a horrible story about three men breaking into her place recently while she and her dad were home and holding them at knife point while they stole everything. She said the police NEVER showed up! So, I am feeling a bit better after that too. I guess crime happens everywhere, I have just been pretty complacent about things here and a wake up call is a good thing. We'll do what we can to be as safe as we can and that's all we can do.

And this weekend has GOT to be better, right?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gambling in Cancun- PlayCity

Over the years many people have asked whether there is legalized gambling in Cancun. Up until now, there hasn't been, except for sports betting at Caliente. Last night while at Plaza Kukulkan, I noticed a new place called "PlayCity". Row upon row of video gaming machines. Not a soul in the place except for some tuxedoed attendants. I have no idea how long they've been open and not sure if they will last if they don't get anyone in the door.

I was very surprised to see this place, as far as I knew, gambling has been debated and dismissed many times in Cancun. If Max hadn't been with me, I may have even gone in and thrown a few pesos away down the abyss of the dinging flashing pretty poker machines. Heck, I play the lottery, why not a little video gambling? I'll be watching this place with great curiosity, see what kind of trouble or good things it brings to Cancun. I would be very unhappy to see this place downtown, sucking the money out of local pockets, but if it's just another way to grab a tourist buck, no problemo para mi!




Scrooge Canuck

I have never been a big holiday lover, usually Christmas brings me down. It's been better since having a kid, and I know this year will be the first time that Max understands the whole deal so I am hoping I can snap the holiday blues streak. But, I am feeling it right now. Max and I trekked out to the hotel zone yesterday to go to Kukulkids at Plaza Kukulkan, but unfortunately they were having a private party so I had to wander around the fancy schmancy mall for an hour with a kid who thinks everything is his. I was seriously ticked that Kukulkids closed for a private party, and to be honest they weren't very nice about telling me nor did they do anything to make me want to go back there.

Being in a mall at Christmas when you don't have money is capital D Depressing! I couldn't even walk into a single store because I knew it would be trouble. Even in a "regular" mall this would be true, but Plaza Kukulkan is the "rich folk" (read: tourist) mall, Hugo Boss, Sergio Bustamante, Versace, all those fancy names that mean prices beyond my yearly salary for a hand bag. The only stores I might have been able to afford were the touristy t-shirt and souvenir shops, and I don't think Hubby is really looking for a "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor" tee for Xmas. I was "bah humbugging" all over that place. Luckily Max was "woooooowing" over all the Christmas decorations and Santas and poinsettias so I didn't end up in the fetal position on the marble floors, though he did a few times when I didn't respond to his constant demands at store windows of "MINE! MIO, MINE!" I made one (stupid) purchase, a 17 peso wooden flute for Max, what the hell was I thinking???? He serenaded the whole place for the next twenty minutes til I was able to distract him with chocolate milk, get the flute out of his hands and hidden away in his mochilla.

I know I am going to be stressed about the holidays until the actual Christmas event, I really can't wait to see Max's face when he opens his stocking and finds his lump of coal. I mean, ahem, oranges and rice cakes. Okay, okay, he'll get some candy and some treats, I'll drop the bah humbug crap and do it for him, it will probably be worth it. It would all be so much better if my lottery ticket would hit this weekend! Until then, deck your own freaking halls, fa la la la blah.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Preschool throwdown

I'm not sure if I am angry, sad or if I should be laughing. I picked Max up from school this afternoon and as soon as he walked out I noticed a red cut on his face. Then I noticed both Max's teacher and the school director coming out to talk to me. Apparently, Max had a knock down, drag out fight with Andres. They had been having recreation time and when it was time to go back to class, they both decided they wanted the same chair. That's when the fur started to fly. I don't know how many licks Max got in, but Andres sure did a number on Max's face. I was assured that they were both at fault and both were made to hug, kiss and apologize to the other as well as being punished (though knowing Max, being forced to say "sorry" was enough punishment, he hates to say it!) This is perhaps one of my worst fears!! I am so intent on raising a child without violence and here he is 2 1/2 years old and already scrapping. I guess it's "normal" for the age, but it's still distressing.

I read his horoscope when he was born and I knew this day would come. It said that babies born on his birthday would be the "Rambos of the playgroup". Now I know what they meant! Time for ballet class, ASAP, get some culture, class and discipline in this boy! (Yeah right, more like Rambo terrorizing the little ballerinas!)

Here's my little Muhammed Ali.....


Monday, December 3, 2007

Big Surf in Cancun

Enjoy two minutes and seven seconds of crashing waves and the dulcet tones of Mr. Christopher Cross. This is Playa Marlin, behind Plaza Kukulcan.


My Magic Fingers

No no, not the magic fingers as in "pay a quarter for the bed to shake", more like the magic fingers I have that seem to put the local kids into shock and awe. I was taking a break at work on Saturday and headed to the computer lab. I started typing in my usual manner (yes, touch typing) and two little kids came up to me and told me to stop playing and to really type. I said "I am really typing". They said "Nooooooo you're not, you're just hitting keys really fast." I said "Ok, tell me what to type, I will close my eyes and you can check to see if I got it all." They didn't believe me but I closed my eyes and got my fingers on "home row" and said "Ok, do it". They started talking to me and I just started typing whatever they were saying. They were laughing their little bums off because they thought I was playing and they were blown away when I showed them that I had indeed typed everything they said. They called their friends over and I put on a little typing show for these kids who have only ever seen people hunt n peck in the cyber cafes, they had no idea that it was possible to type so fast. I told them they could do it too but they said they were too little and that they don't have magic fingers.

So, blessings upon that little short bald miserable teacher of grade nine typing class, Mr. Gee, you are a gem, not only can I type a blog in a minute flat, but I can entertain children for hours with my magic. Who knew that you screaming "F F F space, J J J space, sit UP, feet FLAT, back STRAIGHT, F space, J space, F space, J space" would be the most useful tool I gained in my high school education.

So, check out my latest poll, touch typer or hunt n peck! I'm still amazed that Hubby spends his LIFE on the computer and is a hunt n pecker! If you have some other funky method I should learn about, drop me a comment! Oh, and test your WPM here. I am down in my speed from my temp days, my last "official" test was 98 WPM, the online tests now are giving me about 80. Must be getting old.




Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lost Weekend in Cancun

So, JJ called me out for not posting all weekend, I do apologize, I've been covered in sand and nowhere near a keyboard (thank the goddess!). As mentioned in Friday morning's post, Max and I met up with our lovely Brit friends for una dia a la playa. It was just perfect! We snuck across the Pok ta Pok golf course onto the beach behind the multi-million dollar beach homes and headed south. We ended up on a gorgeous stretch of beach behind the Ambiance Villas, it's easily one of the widest beaches I've seen in Cancun with the old school beautiful, powdery white sand. LittleBrit's best friend happens to live there (lucky kid!) and his brother just happened to be having a birthday party so we were invited in for pizza, cake and a swim in the pool. I was surprised by just how nice the place was, it's not one of the more expensive hotels in Cancun and it was far lovelier than I expected.

Saturday I had to work in the morning but we headed out in the afternoon. We took Max to see "The Bee Movie" at Paseo Cancun then went for dinner at Sirloin Stockade (yeeehaw, meat!). "The Bee Movie" was good, the kids loved it, I just can't wait to see it in English! My Spanish is good enough that I get the story and the conversations, but the jokes go right over my head. In the evening we watched the semi-final soccer game between Chivas and Atlante. I'm not a huge soccer fan, but it's fun to support the new hometown team and they WON! They'll be headed to the finals and Cancun is going to go soccer crazy.

We got up super early this morning and had a leisurely coffee and breakfast before heading out to the beach again. We grabbed the bus and made our way to the hotel zone. We stopped in Plaza Kukulcan for supplies (beach essentials? Gatorade, Fritos, Coca Cola, cigarettes and two ham and cheese bagels) and then moseyed down to Playa Marlin with Max singing "Vamos a la Playa" at the top of his lungs.

It was a FIERCE red flag day, huge waves! The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold and the wind was up but not so much that it stung your eyes. Being Sunday it was family day, lots of locals out and about. I love watching the whole fam damily come down to the beach with their chairs, umbrellas, three coolers, Oxxo bags full of beer, pots full of tamales or tacos, babes in arms and grandparents in socks and sandals. It takes them forever to set up, they chow down, play in the surf in their underwear then leave an hour later. I'm never sure if it was quite worth it for them! We were hoping Ceviche Man would come around, but all we saw was Fruit Lady, Donut Boy and Kibi Man. We had a blast making sand castles and then destroying them, burying Max and Hubby in the sand and playing a little futbol.

We saw some clouds rolling in and combined that with our hunger to come to the conclusion it was time to head over to Fish Fritanga for some lunch. This is a great little restaurant in the hotel zone, located outdoors on the lagoon. As their name suggests, they sell fish (and other seafood). I had the shrimp in a creamy garlic sauce and hubby and Max split a big fried fish that looked great (except for his big teeth, Max kept poking at them and screaming "dinosaur!"). Max played on the slide and swings they have there and had a wonderful time with some other youngsters tearing up the joint. We also treated ourselves to one alcoholic beverage each (I know, shocking!), I had a chelada and Hubby had a michelada, both with the very yummy Pacifico beer. Mmmmmm, chelada.......

And that's why I didn't post all weekend long, forgive me? Please? I've got a million more pics, these are but a few, don't want to bore you with the overload. Well, not today anyway, but soon, bwahahahahahahaha.

Poll results- The Flavour of Your Vacations

Here's the results of our vacation poll......

Swank all inclusive resorts on the beach. Pamper me baby.- 5 votes, 27%

Non AI Luxury Resorts, I'd rather experience food outside the resort.- 4 votes, 22%

Condo rentals, I like my home away from home.- 4 votes, 22%

Cheap but cheerful hotels off the main tourist area. I can travel more often if I do it cheap.- 7 votes, 38%

Eco lodgings in a more remote area make mine quiet please!- 2 votes, 11%

Back pack and a map, let me explore. I can always pop a tent if I can't find a room.- 2 votes, 11%

I just fly to my private island where I don't have to mingle with the turistas.- 0, zip, zero, nada

So, an interesting mix but about what I expected. I must say I am disappointed to learn that none of you have a private island, I was going to wrangle myself an invitation!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Vamos a la Playa

Since I am planning to go to the beach today, I figured I would leave you with my beach theme song. Presenting to you a very cheesy video from the Righeira, the 80's pop group from Italy, singing in Spanish, with a song produced in Germany. I play this every beach day to get my guys up out of bed screaming "Bajale! Turn it down! Ya voy! I'm coming!". And then I keep playing it until we actually get out the door to the beach. So "Vamos a la Playa, oooh ooh ooooooooh ooooh". (You've got to dance with them, it's the rule, they are uber-bien and you are too, now DANCE).




And JJ, if that doesn't get the bells out of your head, I don't know what will!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

There's an iguana on my back!

Max and I have a big thing for iguanas. Sometimes I think he more than I but it's a close competition. He wakes up in the morning pointing out the window and saying "Take pictures iguanas mommy?". We leave his school and he says "Walk this way, iguanas there". Driving in the taxi he is constantly pointing out "iguanas" (though for the life of me I can't see them in the midday traffic). All day long "Where's iguana mommy?", followed by pulling up my shirt and finding the iguana tattoo on my back. Yesterday he cracked me up. I asked him for a change "Where's the iguana Max?" and he calmly turned around, lifted up his shirt and said "On my back mommy." Ok, makes sense to me. Mommy has an iguana tattoo on her back, I MUST have an iguana tattoo on my back. Love the logic of the two year old.

And for your viewing pleasure......iguanas! (I know, you are so shocked, you were expecting pictures of pirates perhaps?) This is a small selection of my favourite iguana pics over the years here.



I think my next tattoo has to be a monkey. (Get it? A monkey on my back? Ok, ok, too many years listening to bad amateur comics, I won't a give up my day job).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stop sign, schmop sign- Playing Frogger in Cancun

Everyday I am forced to cross a very busy intersection as I am walking to pick up Max from school. Everyday I take my life in my hands in said crossing. The intersection is an enormous "glorieta" (traffic circle, roundabout, whatever you call it) with stop signs. Unfortunately, no one pays attention to the stop signs and they just seem to play Russian roulette with their cars and fly through the intersection. Of course, I do my best to RUN in my 20 peso raggedy old flip flops and dodge and weave but I still manage to get honked at, sworn at and I am pretty sure the gestures I see drivers send my way do not mean "have a nice day".

Here's the poor, abused little stop sign.....


And here's the video evidence that no one pays attention to the poor little stop sign. (Can you see the sign under the tree?) How many cars can you count that don't stop? Any bets on the day I get a "Game Over" and end up squashed like our old froggie friend from the 80's?


D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...