Showing posts from December, 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
Cancun Christmas
Snowfall Cancun (someone actually searched this?)
Gambling Cancun
Virgin of Guadelupe
Boss doesn't like me…

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…

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 …

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 w…

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......)

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&q…

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......

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 aroun…

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, h…

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 highli…

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.....


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 …

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 director…

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.

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 mys…

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.

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…

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 gaw…

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 th…

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!

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 …

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, su…

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…

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 di…

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 p…

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…

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" f…

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…

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. …

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!