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What gringas say…

Today’s post may be a little mortifying to watch… I suspect everyone who has done some traveling in Mexico has done or said what is portrayed – at least once. Those of us who live in Mexico, have had more time, so we’ve probably said and done it all.

But, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, we should learn to do so – right?

If you could stand that video, here’s a second one for your viewing pleasure:

Give credit where credit is due… I took these videos from a site called: Alex and Jane. Here’s the address:





sweating 2

Rain, rain – another day of rain!

Rainfall is important everywhere in the world. And in places like Yucatan, where farmers depend almost exclusively on it to water the fields, a year with lots, is a blessing. However, we’ve had so much water pouring from the sky this summer that by now, we have surely reached double our annual average. The bumper crops must be ready to harvest, and in good conscience we can pray for the tap to be turned off!

The rain in Yucatan is not like it is in other parts of the world. Here, going outside during a downpour is like stepping into a high-pressure shower

It is like that episode of the sitcom, Seinfeld, where Kramer wants to buy a really powerful shower head. He locates some that are designed for bathing elephants. Of course George wants one too:

Kramer gets home with his prize, installs it and gets more than he bargained for:

shower 03

After the rain, of course the water cannot be absorbed right away. Puddles of it start evaporating the second the sun comes out again, and then stepping outside is like opening the door to a sauna.


My consolation is that in a couple more months, it will cool down. And then, when much of the world is freezing, Yucatan will be in its glory. November can’t come soon enough!


Frida & Diego

When I was 15, my art teacher took our class to see a collective exhibition that included several of Frida Kahlo’s canvases. I had never seen such pure bold color, strength and fragility in any other paintings.

Ten years later, I moved to Mexico and I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to live “Fridaland.” But to my surprise, in the 70s, she was not well known by the majority of people in this country. They knew Diego Rivera’s work much better than hers.

I did not mind that, and I considered her my favorite “secret artist.” However, it wasn’t too long before the rest of the world took more interest in Frida, and since that time, her name has become even more illustrious than her husband’s.

In fact, Frida has become so famous that she is considered by many to be a commercialized cult figure. And yes, hundreds of books have been written about her, movies have been made, and songs have been composed about her life. Reproductions of her self-portraits, her jewelry and her clothing are for sale in boutiques all over the country. But I don’t care. In fact, I love Frida memorabilia.

Jorge is just as keen as I am, and on August 28th – Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s wedding anniversary – we prepare Chiles en Nogada to commemorate the day.

It is our favorite Mexican fiesta of the year.

As I mentioned in a recent post, they are a lot of work, and during the process, they don’t look too special.

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But the end result is wonderful to the eye and the taste buds.



Regular readers of this blog know that I am a strong advocate of buying locally. I think it is so important that we support the Merida owned businesses, artists and other initiatives.

But today, I had an encounter that almost made me change my tune!

Jorge and I got in our car, nice and early, for our weekly trek to the Santiago Market. We like to buy fruits and vegetables, flowers and sometimes, a tasty torta de cochinita or some tacos de mariscos. However, today, I bought my flowers and we hightailed out of there as fast as we could… When my vendor complained that sales are way down, I couldn’t resist telling her: “The truth is… no one can stand being here. They prefer to shop in clean places.”

Her face fell. “Es verdad,” she said.

The meat section was so foul smelling that Jorge actually gagged. The smell of the bathrooms – located across the aisle – was equally putrid. Where are the health department inspectors? They are so fussy about some small things – like restaurant liquor licenses – but then they completely ignore BIG things – like sanitation!

Markets are a big tourism attraction and an important resource for the community.

The city administration is giving their big annual report tomorrow, followed by a gala. I have attended before and will be going again… Some years they hand out “evaluation forms.” One is supposed to write a nice comment about the great job the city is doing, but I am going to mention my latest market experiences and I hope someone will take note, and do something to improve the situation.


Where we grow up…

I’m thinking about childhood today.

When I was 3
In North Vancouver when I was 3

I spent mine in North Vancouver when the place was not much more than a village. We kids wandered all over the neighborhood and I know “security” was never a concern. For 5 cents, we could go to the matinee at the Tomahawk Theater. The seasons changed, but rain or shine, snow or sleet, we kids played outdoors. Of course, our favorite time of year was summer, when we could swim at the Mahon Public Pool and play outside until late – without coats.

Maggie and Carlos at the beach in winter-time
Maggie and Carlos at the beach in winter-time

My son and daughter grew up in tropical Merida, where it is hot and humid almost all the time. The first movie theater they remember was the Cine Fantasio, where they saw all the Disney movies – over and over again – and I enjoyed the AC. I thought swimming at the beach in January should amaze them, but they grew up with a year-round beach, and couldn’t understand why I thought it was such a big deal. However, the year we spent Christmas in Canada and they got to play in the snow – WOW – that they loved!

Emma in August
Emma in the Arctic in August

Now I have a granddaughter. She spent 6 months in sunny Merida but now she lives in the Arctic, where it sometimes snows in August. I wonder what her childhood outdoor play and entertainment memories will be?

Writing and Intercultural Living…


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