Showing posts from January, 2008

Aluxes' House

A while ago I posted the story of the local "leprechauns", the Aluxes. I love these tales and have been desperate to get a picture of the house built under the overpass (under the over?) near the airport. Since we finally have a car and we finally went for a drive, I also finally have a pic of the elusive house of the Aluxes! (If you read the original post, it's got the whole story). It's not a first class piece of photography as we were zooming down the highway, but here you go.....

Poll results- Your internet news sources

This was a tough poll to put together as there are so many resources out there, I know I left many out. I bow my head in shame. So tell me, what did you vote for and why? Looks like a lot of you keep it at home with your local newspaper.

CNN- 6 (19%)
AP/news wire services- 3 (9%)
CBC- 2 (6%)
MSNBC- 7 (22%)
Fox- 5 (16%)
Canoe- 1 (3%)
Google News- 12 (38%)
BBC- 10 (32%)
My local newspaper site- 14 (45%)
Esmas- 0
Other- 11 (35%)
I don't read the news- 1 (3%)

Should I have added TMZ or X17? National Enquirer perhaps? Por Esto?

Sorry, No Exploding Gas Trucks Today

Unlike Mexico Way, we actually did get some prompt service today and will not need to blow up any gas trucks. After giving up on Zeta Gas with their no-show yesterday, we called Kungas and they were here within a couple of hours.

Dang, guess I have to cook tonight. And do laundry. Sigh....should have told them to come back tomorrow.

Just another wasted day of waiting

So, I am taking a page out of Mexico Way's life and sitting here waiting for gas. And waiting and waiting. Of course, we weren't on top of our game and the gas actually ran out so we got nothin'. I can't cook (ok, the microwave still works but shhhhh, I want to order tacos tonight), can't wash anything with hot water, well you know what you need gas for, can't do any of that. Zeta Gas told us they would be here today. No more specific than that, just "today". I really didn't have high expectations so am not freaking out yet, just bored and annoyed with Hubby asking me every five minutes if they were here yet.

I had a much more frustrating waiting experience this morning at the fabric store in Plaza Galerias. I've bought a few things there before (I guess "mama" also means "seamstress" as I have to continually find costumes for some event or another at Max's school) but this was the worst experience. Normally you …

Day tripping to Puerto Morelos

Thanks to our new status as car owners, we decided to take a little road trip to Puerto Morelos today for a little fun in the sun. Puerto Morelos is a small fishing village about 45 minutes away from Cancun, a little more than halfway to Playa del Carmen. The coral reef is a very short distance off the beach so it's a popular day trip destination for snorkeling, there were boats going out every few minutes and lots of satisfied snorkelers coming back after their couple of hours cruising with barracuda. We started our morning with a little brekkie at Pelicanos, a great restaurant right on the beach, off the main square in town. Here was our view while dining......

After stuffing our faces (the fresh fruit that came before the meal was fantastic, the pineapple was so fresh I could almost taste the tree) we took a quick spin around the main square, mostly so I could check out the uber famous bookstore, Alma Libre. It's owned by a Canadian couple who live half the year in Puerto…

Max in the Driver's Seat

Of our new (used) car! Finally, after a month of nonsense, glitches, screw ups, bad service, no service and headaches, we have a car in our driveway. We ended up saying eff it all and went to the tianguis (car market) on Sunday and found ourselves a 2002 Tracker in great condition with only 46 000 kms on it. Max gave it his stamp of approval with a "My car! Mi coche!". Not all the cars that we looked at passed his inspection though, when asked if he liked a couple of models he responded "Eso no, esta es feo". ("This one no, this one is ugly/bad".) Hubby brought our new baby home last night, we went for a little spin around the hood then set to work trying to decipher the car seat instructions. We then stopped looking at the instructions and just put the seat in the car, much easier to do it than read out it, all those little arrows and drawings made it seem so much harder than it actually was.

So, we have wheels. Safe wheels for Max in his new Sup…

Visiting Our Cancun Veterinarian

I stopped into the vet's office this morning to pay a visit to little Lola and see how her recovery was going. The surgery was yesterday at noon and when I spoke to the vet he had said she would come home on Thursday if she would drink water on her own. I dropped in this morning to see how she was doing and she was much more mobile than I thought she would be. She jumped right up when she saw me and wagged her tail like a maniac. I gave her some love and talked to her through the cage, she looked fabulous. I was sad to say good bye, she was crying and barking as I walked away.

The clinic is called Pet's Veterinaria and we have had only good experiences with them. I really like their pick up and drop off service, certainly helpful for folks without cars, taking a taxi with a pet can be troublesome. They offer full veterinary service as well as boarding and grooming, and their lab is on site. They have 24 hour emergency care. I've been told they are more expensive th…

My Valentine's Gift

I was walking downtown today and was stopped in my tracks. There is a really tiny little area near the bus station that is used as a market. I usually walk by quickly lest I be pestered by the vendors though they have figured out that "guerra" (nick name for "white girl") wears a uniform and they don't bug me so much anymore since I am not a tourist. Today I had to stop. Instead of the usual souvenir tourist crap, there were two areas of art. Real live art. I have been desperate to find something to put on our walls and this particular piece really caught my eye. The vendor was not pushy and was very helpful in telling me that all his artists are local, this particular piece was done by someone in Merida. He had quite a few paintings that I really liked but this one stood out for me. I stopped to look and just fell in love with it. For me it has such a positive, hopeful energy, the reaching out to nature, the finding of nature and the peace that it bri…

A Canuck in Cancun Gets Press

Big thanks to Liz at Mexico "Way" for bringing this to my attention. A local English newspaper in Guadalajara, Mexico included my blog in a feature on ex-pats blogging in Mexico. How cool is that? Thanks to Meridith Veto for reading my whole blog, teehee, much appreciated!

Here's the link and the whole story copied below, just cause, well, you know how the internet is here, things disappear really fast.

Story by : MEREDITH VETO Forget Lonely Planet and Fodors. Because at this moment, hundreds of English-speaking expatriates are not only enjoying new lives south of the border, but recording their ups and downs, travels and home life, good eats and unusual finds through digital journaling and photography posted on web logs for the world to browse. After a bit of web sifting, I’ve caught on to a few that really shine: the chosen expatriate blogs are easy on the eye, informative, and fun to read.
Ed Fladung lives and breathes surfing in Bucerias (just …

Spreading the Doggie Love

Miss Lola, our crazy rescued doggie is currently at the local vets for a shave and a haircut and a snip snip snip of her female parts. It was about time, she's just a year old but she went into heat last week and I realized we had been really remiss in getting her fixed. At first it was "she's too young", then it was "it's too expensive", then it was "oh yeah, spaying, forgot all about that". There is a local vet in town who does pick ups and dropoffs as part of the deal, and for me, the still car-less wonder, that's a real blessing. They came and got her today and will bring her back in a couple of days.

Poor Max is distraught! He keeps asking for her, then saying "I doctor!" when I tell him where she went. He pulls out his doctor kit and tries to head outside saying "I fix Lola". Well, that would be a lot cheaper, but I really don't think he could handle all that blood and I am pretty sure I left the veteri…

Fire Up La Parilla

We brought our visiting friends out for dinner last night to La Parilla on Yaxchilan Ave. downtown. We always have fun at this restaurant, decent food, good service and a whack o' mariachis. The menu has a nice mix of Mexican favourites, some Yucatan specialties and a good ole grill. The tableside flambee is a good show (and from my friend's report, quite delicious). We drank plenty of margaritas and had a good giggle all night long. It was great for me to be able to introduce Hubby to my old friends and even better to see them get along and enjoy each others company. Here's a few pics from our night.

Mariachi Love

Dinner on fire and a pineapple with a zucchini for a nose

Mmm, flaming Mayan coffee

Finally I figure out how to get a picture of the pouring flame,
I've been trying for years!


A Beautiful Morning

I am up and out the door at 6:30 every morning, sometimes it's dark, usually the sun is starting to peek through. This morning I was treated to a beautiful sky, made it easy to put a smile on my face (well, a lovely sky and a giant thermos full of hot coffee!). Luckily I had the camera with me and snapped a couple of shots for you. So the scenery ain't what you usually get in Cancun, I don't live on the beach (boooooooo), but at least you can see some pretty clouds.

Bonus pic! Max with a mouth full of pretzels, shot through the hole of a pretzel he was holding up to the camera. I was pretty pleased with the way this one came out!

We're off with our tourist friends for dinner, hope everyone is having a lovely day.

Poll results- How many kids have you got?

Zero- Who needs'em? I AM a kid or have a partner who acts like one- 6 votes, 13%
Zero- One day I will reproduce- 9 votes, 20%
One- 13 votes, 29%
Two- 7 votes, 15%
Three- 6 votes, 13%
Four- 2 votes, 4%
Nine- 1 vote, 2%

Ok, so I didn't include 5, 6, 7 or 8, sorry if I left anyone out. Kudos to Jennifer for rocking with the 9 kids, supermom! I used to be of the "Who needs'em" camp for sure, some days I still can't believe that little monster running around here speaking Spanglish is mine. Glad hubby talked me into it though, he's a fabulous little monster.

B.A.T. Syndrome

Ok, I just witnessed this exchange in Walmart:

Tall American man (I could tell he was American by the US flag bandana on his head, the U.S.A.! tank top and the bleached blonde, silicone enhanced cheerleader beside him) is at the checkout line.

Man: Can I get my change in American dollars? I gave you US.
Cashier: No sir, I'm sorry, I don't have it.
Man: I don't want no Mexican dollars, what is this? This looks fake, give me US!
Cashier: Sorry sir, I can't.
Man: Don't you speak American!? I don't want no Mexican dollars, no monopoly money, I want
American dollars!
Busty McTexas: Honey, she can't do it, let's go.
Man (to Busty): Be quiet, shut your mouth, I want my money.

Does this conversation sound familiar? Do you travel to foreign countries in search of Budweiser and Domino's? Do you speak louder when someone doesn't understand "American"? Perhaps you or someone you love is suffering from Bad American Tourist Syndrome (B.A.T.S.). …

The Loss of a Lovely Lady

I know many of you may already know, but I am going to share some sad news with you. I recently discovered the blog "My Life in Chacala", written by a wonderful woman named Andee. Sadly, Andee passed away on Sunday in Chacala, Mexico. Her son is traveling to Mexico and has asked me to help him in administering a Google group in her memory. I know it would be a comfort to him to read all of your thoughts and wishes there, if you have not received an invitation and would like one, please send me your email address or put it in a comment.

Andee was a great contributor to the Mexican blogosphere, with her real life tales and beautiful photos, she will be missed. My condolences to all her family and friends.

Visitors from my old life

Wow, I have been away from the computer for DAYS! Feels very strange. And good. And bad. Catching up on emails has been a mix of good and bad news. Catching up on forums seems to be taking forever. I think I need to run away again, back to the life of a tourist!

Since I have been in Mexico, I have only been back to Canada once and did not see any friends as I just went to show my parents that I did indeed have a baby in my belly. Brice came to Cancun a few years ago and we got together for a couple of drinks. Other than that I haven't seen anyone from "home", no old friends, no one other than immediate family. That all changed on Saturday when one of my very dearest friends arrived in Cancun for a visit. It's been five years since I have seen him and his wife, the time leading up to their visit was really emotional and stressful. Will we still like each other? Will we still have things to talk about? Will they think I've completely lost my mind?

When I…

Weltschmertz/World Weary

I decided to take a computer break for a day, I just needed to get away from the news. Yesterday I read about a cat being cooked in a microwave by evil teenagers, puppies being thrown down the hole of an outhouse and a father throwing his kids off a bridge. Sometimes you just need a break from the world, eh? And since the world comes to me via the internet, I took a break from that too. (Except for this five minutes to tell y'all why I am not online).

I think I had better go to the beach tomorrow, refresh and recharge with the ocean goddess. Nothing better than some sun and salt water to cleanse yourself of the nastiness of the greater world.

What the hell is wrong with people????

A Canuck in Mexican Jail

I've recently been reading about the case of Brenda Martin, a 51 year old Canadian woman who has been in prison in Guadalajara for almost two years. She has been accused of participating in an investment scheme that was orchestrated by her former boss, Canadian Alyn Waage who was convicted of bilking 15,000 people out of 60 million USD.

When I first read the Canadian press about this incident, I was skeptical, I have met enough ex-pats here who ARE dishonest and downright criminal that I didn't find it hard to believe that she would be involved in the scam. After reading more about what happened, I am not so sure, it does sound like she is an innocent woman who got herself in a sticky situation. Ms. Martin had been working for Mr. Waage as his cook in his mansion in Puerto Vallarta in the year 2000. He fired her (apparently she offended his mother) but gave her a year's salary as compensation. She took $10,000 USD and invested in his business, apparently not knowing t…

Things I Didn't Do in Canada

Here's a short list of things I do in Mexico that I did not do in Canada:
Wear flip flops everyday year roundRun out of running water
Check the National Hurricane Center site dailyDo a critter check of every room before I walk inSpeak SpanishCarry toilet paper in my purseGo to the beach every weekWear a uniform to workPay for health careDrink tequilaAsk for a local's discountBuy more tortillas than breadWatch all cartoons dubbed into Spanish (Homer just isn't Homer!)
Watch out for falling geckosHave a housekeeperSurvive the Big Mama of All Hurricanes, Miss Wilma
Know all the words and actions to "The Electric Slide"Check the sea lice situationGet pneumonia in 70 degree weatherLive without electricity for weeks at a time
Get deported....twiceCheck my shoes for scorpionsCarry another human being inside my body then have them pulled out by alien abductorsAny locals want to add to the list of things they do here that they didn't do at home?

Opera and Elmo

When I was pregnant with Max I would strap headphones on my belly everyday and let him listen to music. Ok, perhaps "forced" is a better word since he didn't really have a choice. When I would put salsa on, I swear he would dance, though I suppose it could have been him banging on the walls telling me to "turn that crap down!". I would play classical music to calm him down if he was kicking up a storm. My favourite thing to play for him was opera, it just "felt right" and I felt like he enjoyed it (how I knew that I will never know, the mysteries of the pregnant woman).

Now I have a little opera lover on my hands! He will ask me to turn on music and I will start flipping through the music channels on the tv. He says " this one....stop! stop! this one this one! opra!". We dance to opera everyday. Heavy duty operas mean "dinosaur moves", light operas mean "float like a bird" and we really…

Random Cancun Pics

I took over 1000 photos in the month of December, obviously most of them did not end up here on the blog. I guess I went a bit camera crazy, Hubby is complaining about the huge pic files eating up memory. Here's some random shots in various places in Cancun, December 2007 that didn't make the cut to a first round post. (You know you can click on the pics to enlarge them, right?)

The lighthouse at El Gran Puerto
Ferry Dock for Isla Mujeres

Max on Isla Mujeres

Sunset over the parking lot at Paseo Cancun

Surfers at Playa Marlin

Pwetty fwowers

Can you guess what this is?

Lola the flying wonder dog

The kid is a pro at the finer things in life

Keep running boys

The Big Announcement......

Though I have only just begun blogging, I have encountered so many great people in the blogosphere and recently met fellow area blogger Wayne. We had such a great time, we thought it would be fun to meet more bloggers. And thus......

Announcing the first ever Latin America Blogger Meeting!

My friend and fellow blogger, Wayne (Gringo in Paradise), and I invite all of you bloggers in Latin America to join us for a weekend of fun and chat on Isla Mujeres! This is for anyone blogging with a Latin American connection, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, heck anywhere you blog with a Latin American twist!

We are in the beginning planning stages but right now we think there will be a meet and greet reception on Friday, sightseeing, time at the beach, dinner and drinks (and maybe dancing!) on Saturday. There would be a farewell breakfast on Sunday for those of you that can bear to leave the island!

The proposed dates are April 17 - 19, 2008.

If anybody needs help with booking hotel rooms, just let us know…

Cranky Car Shopping Canuck

We are shopping for a car. Well, trying to shop for a car. It is freaking unbelievable to me how terrible the service is at every dealership we walk into. I am not accustomed to having to chase down a salesperson, usually when you walk onto a lot in Canada you'll have a "new bestest friend" in a matter of seconds, keys in hand saying "try this one, you'll look great behind the wheel". Here we literally had to go searching everywhere for someone to help us, there were more security guards on the lots than sales people.

Last Saturday we visited five or six dealers. To my amazement we had to make appointments to test drive cars. Huh? What do you mean I can't just try it right now? You don't WANT to sell me this car? Fine, we make the appointments. One was for last Sunday at 11:00 am. We showed up at the lot and couldn't find anyone. We finally found someone who said "I don't know anything about this." Ummm, ok, could you f…

The New Parque las Palapas

We went for a long walk sometime last week (I lose track of the days on vacation) crossing through the "new" Parque las Palapas. It had been a bit of an eyesore for a while, probably since Wilma. There used to be a big palapa, thus the name of the park, but it was pretty much shredded in the hurricane. There were always food vendors selling out of carts or tents or old wooden shelters. The ground was dirt or broken up concrete.

Here's a look at the "new" Park:

The Stage (note the lack of a palapa)

New palms, benches and cement

Cement tables and chairs (again, no palapas)

Nice, clean children's play area

The new "restaurant row"
and Police station

Police officers were working these kids hard

And they loved it

I've heard different opinions about the transformation, some say it's lost its charm, others say they better rename the park since there are no palapas. Overall I think it is a big improvement over what we have had the last few years, safe…

Poll results- How you spent the New Year

Well, your predictions on how your New Year would be spent, who knows how it really turned out. Hopefully it was all good.

In answer to the question "How will you bring in the New Year?", you responded:

Alone with my friend Jose Cuervo 3 (10%)
At home with my precious family 11 (37%)
At an all night rave 1 (3%)
At a house party 10 (34%)
Serving food at a soup kitchen 0 (0%)
El manera puro Mexicano con 12 uvas y chones rojos 5 (17%)
Working 0 (0%)
Other 3 (10%)

Welcome to 2008 everyone!

Wicked Weather

We went to Dolphin Discovery on Isla Mujeres today and it was lovely, hot even. Towards the end of the afternoon the clouds started really rolling in and I knew we were going to see some rain. What I didn't expect was the wicked wind that came with it. And the bitter cold of it all wearing a wet bathing suit and tank top and giving all our towels, wraps and shirts to Max.

The boat ride back was adventurous, the MC kept referring to our brave captain and assuring us that there were at least two life vests on the boat somewhere. My teeth were chattering uncontrollably, I had goose bumps and couldn't stop shivering. When we docked at Playa Langosta the captain received a huge round of applause, it was no small feat in that wind and rain. We ran with all our crap and luck was on our side as a cab appeared immediately.

Driving back downtown there seemed to be an inordinate amount of traffic and we soon saw why. The big pirate ship had blown up against the bridge going over …