Saturday, July 30, 2005

25 years today

Gracias por siempre mirarme. Te extraño todos los dias.

Enough said.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fun on the avenida

So this morning Janet called and wanted to know if I wanted to go to the pool, I said "yes" because I am so white and Joe came and got me and off we went. Laid out for a little bit, it's hotter than anything outside, and then Joe was going to get Raul so he told me he would drop me off. Joe, Joey, Paul, Raul and Andy were going to the bullfight today at 3:30 but needed to be there a little after 3 so that Paul might get to play soccer beforehand (it's a thing they do, play soccer with a younger bull before the actual fight).

Joe and I set off to get Raul and were driving down Palenque toward La Costa, we pass Avenida Xcaret and a taxista on our right is trying to turn left (but we were going straight) - so it became a matter of principle. Joe wouldn't let him in and he wouldn't let Joe not let him in so next thing you know we are getting swiped. Joe throws the car into park on the spot, and gets out asking him what the fuck he thought he was doing. I sat in the car like a good little white girl and watched. The taxista took the left turn and waited at the light and Joe approached him, the taxista motioning that he was gonna pull over on the other side. I don't think Joe believed him though as he just kept on walking after him (I think the taxista would have driven off if Joe hadn't followed him).

Meanwhile, back in the car, I am facing the straight way direction on Palenque in the middle of the intersection of Xcaret, with about 5 lanes of traffic (some buses mind you) coming right at me. When you get in a wreck here you don't move the car or it's like admitting fault.

Back on the side of the road Joe and the taxista are having major words (you can tell what with the flying of the hands and how whenever the taxista would try to get back in the car, Joe would PULL him back out). I swear I thought they were gonna come to blows. Joe is making hand signals to me that I cannot interpret because a) he is far away and b) I have only known him for about 6 months so how am I supposed to know this stuff? I guess he wanted the phone.

So I called Raul and Joe came back to the van just as a transito cop came up, I am frantically pointing to the gringo. Handed the phone to Joe and Joe told Raul to cab over to us, which he did.

A bunch of transito guys came and a tow truck and blah blah and I ended up walking home (it's not far). Never seen Joe so animatedly pissed before. It was kinda cool in a frightening way...
Needless to say Joe and Raul didn't make it to the bull fights - Andy came and picked the boys up so we'll know later how that worked out.

That's my story for the day. Kinda tan but not really. More than this morning let's say. Working sola tonight for the first time, that should be a pisser.

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Nothing to say

Last night a bunch of people came to the club and it was fun and we got home late and I went to bed around 2:30 or closer to 2:45. I didn't drink but 3 beers because Janet and I sort of split the shift (not really though because I only worked for like 7 minutes...). So I slept in today (way) and haven't done crap all day. Working tonight though as it is Tuesday.

When I hang out all day at home I have nothing really to report. Unless I have a good cockroach story to share and thankfully I haven't had one (great, now since I brought it up...). Plus I had water for a shower today at 3:30pm!! Can you believe it? It's almost like living like a normal person.

In my boredom and oversurfing I found a message board for Beaverton on OregonLive and I read it and was just disgusted by the people posting on it and frankly, I hope anyone who doesn't live there never makes an assessment of that town based on stuff like that. I really dislike ignorant bigots.

See? I have nothing to say.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Monday is much different here

I was emailing with my friend Vic today in Hillsboro and told her I had to go, I was leaving to go to Playa del Carmen for the day with the familia Cerutti. I told her when I was signing off that it was the same as any other Monday when I worked up there - you couldn't talk to me anyway. When I worked in the escrow biz I was a major, full blown bitch most of the time, and Mondays, seriously, I just didn't want to talk to anyone. I took phone calls and stuff like that, and faked it, but I was always in a crappy mood and most of my coworkers knew it and dealt with it. It isn't like that here but sometimes I find myself in a shitty mood on a Monday and kinda laugh about it. To myself though because I am usually not in the mood to be social.

Today we went to a cenote, Chaak Tun, in Playa del Carmen. It was fun, lots of bats, I didn't swim but the familia did. After that we had some lunch at El Oasis and took a little walk around, then came home. Fun day. Going to the bar tonight to split the shift with Janet, there are some friends joining us and Janet never gets to be the one that sits and chit chats, so I will take over so she can.

Not much else. Water for a second shower today, what a luxury.

Blah. Mondays are still Mondays, I guess.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Weekend haps

Nancy got home from NY on Friday, and phoned me first thing Saturday morning to say hello. I did all of my errands and saw Andy at the Walmart, he asked if I was coming over later. I said I would. Got home, posted about the hell that is the CFE paying situation, and around 6pm I went over to the Myers residence (SM 15, Calle Pedernal). Boring cab ride. Laura and Ruben were there - they work for Nancy in her office - Nancy and Andy have a dental office in Mercado 28 though Andy is not licensed to do dental work in Mexico. Laura is Nancy's right hand gal. I joined the four of them on the front patio, where Andy and Ruben were sipping 1800 Añejo. Well, I guess maybe I'll have just one....

Janet had called earlier to see if I wanted to have dinner at Perico's with them. I thought about it at first and then decided not to go, I have been twice and the second time was not as fun as the first (not that it was NOT fun), but I told her to phone me when they were done with dinner as they were taking the boys to Over 30 in the ZH to meet Karisma and then dropping them at Corona Bar. They had gone to the pool and beach at the Sunset too, but since I had so much to do I did not go.

Anyway their reservations were at 8:30 so they swung by the Myers' place to introduce the boys. We finished one bottle and were making a nice dent in the second when they got there. The Ceruttis were in several different shades of burnt but they looked good and vacation-y. After a drink they were off, and shortly after 9:30 Andy dropped me off at my apartment - Laura, Ruben and he wanted tacos.

Later Janet called and they came and got me and we went to Over 30 (again!) but didn't stay long as the sun burn was killing the boys and I imagine the food made them tired. Back home we went, got home around I don't know, 1:30 or something, and OF COURSE, for the 2nd night in a row Cablemas let me down, no tv, no internet. God that is irritating. Couple that with the fact that I just went to wash some dishes and no water. Nancy actually said this was normal though, and she has been here 7 years, I just don't know what to think anymore.

Today I lounged. Did nothing. Tomorrow I think we are all going down to Playa to see a cenote at Chaak Tun maybe (?) and check things out, then a bunch of folks - Nancy and Andy, maybe Carmen and Chris - are going to - GUESS WHERE?! - Over 30!! I think Janet and I will split the shift just so both can have some social time.

I don't have a crush on Big Guns anymore, by the way, he was busted making out with some random white chick customer over by the men's room Friday night, which I take to mean he is a hound and typical resort-city waiter. Which really never bothered me when you are only out for one thing, but frankly it's a wide world out there and odds are good she was skanky.

Now I am back to needing some scenery at the local ~ !

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What a frustrating discovery!

So when I moved here I was told there were different places to pay different bills. Like you can pay your Cablemas bill at the Oxxo, which I have 2 buildings away from me, if you don't set it up on autopay. You pay your CFE (electric) at the YZA farmacia, you can also pay some bills at the bank. Oxxo is also where you get your phone cards for your land line (if you prepay minutes like I do) and your cel phone (which are mostly all prepaid minutes). Love the Oxxo.

The CFE bill comes every two months. It comes about a week and a half before the due date so it gives you plenty of time to get to the YZA to pay. If you don't pay it on or before the due date, no grace period, boom, your electric is shut off.

There are plenty of YZAs in town, walking distance even, if you don't mind walking in the scorching heat and walking in there looking like Ted Striker while he was landing the plane... I've done it, it's not that far, past Walmart in Plaza Las Avenidas, took me about 15 minutes to walk there, maybe 20. But seriously I was freaking soaking wet when I walked in and the girl kept looking at me like she was wondering where the pool was that I just got out of. I always seem to wear a shirt that shows the sweat on you just as plain as day. Trust me I am not getting any dates on these trips.

One time I was so late (can't remember why - oh yeah, I had just come back from Califas and the bill came the day I left here so I was cutting it close) I had Laura drive me to the CFE offices.

So this month I get my bill, and it's due on the 24th, and I have it with me and then we get this hurricane, and then I have bigger fish to fry what with no electric, water, internet (I know, I'll shut up about it already), and I meant to get out and pay it yesterday but I didn't, and so today I have a bunch of things to do and no cash. The dilemma is this - I need stuff at the supermarket, and I can get cash there, and I need to go to YZA and pay my electric, and I want to do this without having to walk all over hell and gone because walking into the Walmart looking like Swamp Thing is an even worse experience than walking into the YZA that way. Since its 90+ degrees out and all that.

After some pondering (and a telephone survey totally in Spanish that, thank you very much, I managed to complete en todo, just to see if I could), I decided to a) walk to the Carrefour which is now a Chedraui, take money out at the machine there, then b) grab a taxi to the YZA and pay my bill, then c) take another taxi to Walmart so I wouldn't be so sweaty when I got there, d) shop and then take a taxi back home.

I did a) and b), but omitted c) because when I walked out of paying my bill (NOT at the YZA by the way - keep reading, I know you're mesmerized) I saw that really I was only a true block and a half from Walmart (but the blocks can be pretty big you know) and just decided, Screw it I'll walk, rather than hear the taxista laugh at me the whole drive over. I got to Walmart and of course had on a round neck tee (God I hate those, but all my clothes are at the lavandaria, as stated earlier today), and I looked like I had just come off the court after a rousing afternoon of one on one with LeBron James. Lovely! Then I moved on to d).

So my "frustrating revelation" is this: I got to the YZA, and the girl behind the counter tells me, No, you can't pay your CFE here on the weekend. And I said, Crap, do you know where I can pay it today? Because once again I was cutting it close... so she said, The Oxxo will take it, and pointed to me where the nearest Oxxo was (around the corner). I am looking at her like she is nuts because why wouldn't I know about being able to pay at the Oxxo? I live right next door to the Oxxo. My standard line when going home in a taxi is "Avenida La Costa, al lado del Oxxo". I am the Oxxo queen - I'm in there all the time!

So I walk over to the Oxxo, also in Plaza Las Avenidas, and ask the girl if I can pay this at all the Oxxos - her turn to look at me like I'm nuts. Yes. Yes you can.

I could have paid at the Oxxo?? I have been to the Oxxo probably 9 times since the freaking CFE bill came. What a way to find something out...

Random thoughts

The apartment is a mess. I have lacked all motivation. I need some serious intellectual stimulation, gosh darn it.

Wednesday and Thursday night were spent at the Over 30 club - son number 2, Paul, came in on Thursday so he and Joey and I went to work with Janet and Joe. It was fun, more tables thank goodness, and Paul made Adrian happier than I have ever seen him before. Afterward we went to Jorge's bar, Corona Bar, and I don't mind going there now and again so that I can be reminded of how OLD I AM. Mother of God, how does he work there?? I was so happy to NOT go out on Friday I couldn't believe it. Got a pedicure and eyebrow wax with Janet at noon and that took care of my day, just lounged around and pretended to pick up some and toyed with the idea of going to get my CFE paid and bring my laundry in - but did I do it?? Of course not! It MUST be done today.

Laundry is over at the lavandaria now, and won't be ready til Sunday morning, but that's okay. Later I will shower and head out. I better have some water... I went to wash dishes last night (ran out of forks and needed to eat my Hong Kong-home-delivered-chow-mein-mixto), and found that HEY, I had no water... AGAIN. This is truly the saga, man, I am telling you. I had it this morning (thankfully) but how long will that last??

Good news - I heard the Cristal guy for the first time in a week (well I heard him the other day but I was in my jammies and you gotta run outside and flag him down and there just wasn't any time). I could tell he missed me after lugging that thing up my three flights of stairs...

Eder phoned last night wanting to bring Julio (from the Royal Caribbean gift shop) and Nora (the beach waitress at VCI) over but I begged off, told him I was sick (yeah, sick from the disaster of an apartment I have) and let's do it tomorrow night (which is tonight, so get moving, sister). I texted Eder the day after the hurricane to see if he was okay and he responded that he was, so I am glad he called. Gotta practice that Spanish, he has very little English but he sure tries harder than I do!

Victoria's unit came in at VCI for the last week of October, villa B1424, a fabulous location, that will be nice to get back there and see the kiddies. Maybe I'll slip her some cash and spend a couple nights there, you know, since I'm rolling in it already.

Okay, this is just boring. Good thing it appears nobody is reading this, if they were, I AM SURE THEY WOULD POST A COMMENT NOW AND THEN.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Just a quick observation

while I wait to go over tothe Ceruttis and then on to Over 30 (again!). It's pouring rain out in the back of the apartment, but dry as a bone out front. I waited for a few minutes to see if it passed over the building but, nope. It just stopped out back. That's why if you want to go to the beach and its pouring rain in your 'hood, you really can chance it and go because the odds are good it's sunny in the ZH. Nice having a webcam available too.

Back in business

Soooo... Sunday night I moved to the Ceruttis apartment in SM 17 - their building is new and though I know mine is stable and all that I just felt better not being alone. They moved their mattress into the living room and we sat around and watched TV into the evening. I fell asleep as did they but with the TV on (I need that to help me sleep anyway). We had some power flickers but didn't lose any. In the middle of the night (okay maybe around midnight or so) the power flickered enough to turn the TV off but I didn't turn it back on, just went back to sleep on the couch.

I pretty much slept through it. I would wake up to the sound of the rain and the wind, which was louder than anything, and sort of pulled the blanket over my leg and nearer my face when I thought the window might blow, but nothing like that happened. Lots of wind battering things around but I was able to fall back to sleep each time with little problem.

Woke up around 6:30 and cleaned up a little. One thing was that the Ceruttis never lost power completely, and so therefore they had water and air and ceiling fans and all that good stuff. Joe got up and we got dressed and decided to take a little trip to the Zona Hotelera and check out Over 30. Janet declined. Joe is a little bit like Bob Bailey, wants to get into the thick of things when you probably shouldn't.

So when we ran into the police road block going into the ZH we lied and told the guy Joe owned the building and they let us through. The ZH was littered with tree limbs and water and debris but no major damage. The club doors were wide open and another door on the side had blown down, holes in the roof and water all over, but for the most part just required cleanup. We stayed for awhile and then went back to centro, drove by my apartment (I forgot my keys at Janet's) and saw that my a/c unit was still in the window and nothing had blown out.

I stayed at the Ceruttis Monday night as well (mid day Monday we went back to my apartment, which we now call The Mirage. Credit to Janet - basically you think it has water but its an illusion... and there was water, rain water that is, all over my entry area that came in thru the front door. Mopped that up and got some clean clothes and went back to SM17, or as I like to call it, the Emerald City). Then came back home on Tuesday morning - the power was back but no cable so no TV or internet. But power is good.

Power ended up being not so good as about 9:30pm Tuesday night the lights went out for about 30 seconds, and then they came back on, but dim. So this is what a brown out is... I just went to bed.

I sat here playing solitaire and reading until about 3. Janet was going to Walmart (one of her sons is in town, the other is actually probably here today now too) and would come pick me up so that I could shower (no power = no water for me) and go on to Over 30 which was opening last night for the first time since the storm. At 3 the power went out again, completely. My refridgerator was already leaking melting ice all over the kitchen so I just packed a bag and left it to its own...

Went to the bar with them - they were working - had some beers, talked a goodly amount to that fox of a bartender, you know the one, you think I could do a whole post and NOT mention him at least once?? The place was a morgue, but so was the rest of the ZH - people about but not like normal. Things will be back to total normal today or tomorrow, I am sure.

Survived. It wasn't so bad in Cancun but I cannot say the same for points south. The worst is that these folks can't work when the hotels are closed and they do everything they can to get things opened up for the tourists that keep them in business.

Sick of typing.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Waiting and wondering

Well it's a Category 5 as of 4:45pm today. Sure it's in Jamaica right now but they say by tomorrow night it should hit. The authorities have finalized their plans for tourist evacuation to shelters in centro. My internet was down from like 12n today til 5:15pm (not Emily related) but with no TV and no internet it's horrible. It's like just waiting for the inevitable but we have no idea what the inevitable is. Category 5 for the love of God? That is what Gilbert was in 1988 and what a nightmare that was... I'll find a link somewhere to that.
Here it is:

They cutoff sales of alcohol here at 4pm today which makes a lot of sense, no need to have a bunch of drunks trying to run for cover... so I went to the Oxxo to pick up a couple things and there were two guys there buying out the beer case (hurricane party I am sure). I don't see that being a factor for me, don't see much to party about. But I guess if you have been through one before you might get comfortable.

I just wonder what it's going to be like, that is the hard part right now. This is an all new experience for me and it's hard to know what to expect. I mean, how long without electric, internet, water, that kind of stuff? Will it be really loud? Will trees come flying through the windows? Lots of rain? Who freaking knows... Knowing about it so far in advance is good, but it's also a curse in a way. You spend 5 days anticipating it and by the end of it you are kind of a wreck. Glad I am going to Joe and Janet's - safety in numbers and all that.

Well time to sign off for now and continue surfing sites like and all that. Nothing like a good night of obsessing.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Just got back from the supermercado

Thousands upon thousands of us!


Well, it wasn't THAT bad. Of course I didn't get tape. I had to wrestle a man in an Acapulco t-shirt to the ground for the last can of Mazatun tuna (in oil no less) - not for me because some who know me know that I can't stomach tuna anymore, but for Raul whose only request was that we get him 5 boxes of LaLa Lite and 5 cans of Mazatun in water. Sorry, babe, the tuna aisle and the bread aisle were the hardest hit by Emily so far.

Its sunny and hot and I got my electric bill and its not that bad but its also not indicative of how much a/c I used this last week, so the a/c is on today as I dry off and contemplate retiring to the hamaca for some relaxation. I am exhausted.

But I told Janet I would be more than happy to work for her tonight, I am sure you all know why by now...

** Picture courtesy of Irasali's Domain - gotta give credit where it is due

Mr. Olympia

Big Guns was not fired, at least not yet anyway. I worked for Janet who worked for Joe last night, a very late night, but not without its rewards. Big Guns asked if I was staying in his country forever and I answered, I don't know, depends on the offer...

And later, he flexed for me. Wow. I am telling you, that is one well-maintained Mexicano. I would work all six nights just for the scenery.

Today Janet and I will join the throngs at the Walmart (the OTHER Walmart, not the one on Xcaret and, what is it, Yaxchillan?). Guess I should be making a list right now. There are many different theories on Emily and frankly I guess the only thing I can do is see what happens. Why get all worked up over it. What is most important is that I just killed a bee in my apartment. I have seen like 4 bees since I moved to centro (not including the hundreds of them at the VCI swimup bar in December, or the one that Mark smashed into my back there), and of course one of them has to be in my house. Good thing the Raid cockroach spray does double duty. I can't believe that I am doing some of the shit that I am doing. Best not to think about it.

Best to think about those Big Guns.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

You are like a hurricane, there's calm in your eyes...

Thanks, Neil. So it looks like the path is coming right at me, of course. According to Raul I really shouldn't worry, but just make sure we have food and water and candles/flashlights, and tape for the windows. Also he said to be prepared for being without electric and/or water for a couple days, but since I am a pro at the no water thing that should be a snap. This should be an experience anyway.

The good news is I have water right NOW in my apartment and was able to take not one, but TWO showers today (I am working tonight for Janet, who is working for Joe, which means the two gals that don't want to talk and announce singers and be all Karaoke Joe-y get to run the show - should be fun!). The better news is that as of last night anyway Big Guns is still employed so perhaps I will have something at least to look at for a little bit. That is unless they fired him today.

Not much else going on. Really. Laid in the sun today. Hung out at Janet's. Washed some dishes. I lead a really exciting life.

Here is the path as of right now (just to throw in a picture):

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Praying to Ah Kumix Uinicob

Only because they are the only gods of water that I could find on such short notice... The Aguakan truck came tonight and filled up our sistern (I guess). Now we wait for the pump (I guess). This living without water for four days is craziness. Not sure if this fixes the problem (because what happens tomorrow when we have all flushed and done our dishes and showered?). Who knows. Am I glad for Joe and Janet and their fabulous apartment with running water and sealed windows and walls... plus, you know, they are really good friends.

I am sweating (because it's hotter than heck) and wondering about Emily. What the heck do I do then? Keep watching this, I guess.

I was looking for new experiences, I cannot say that I am not getting them....

Taking a break from the break

So Kim came last Wednesday and just left this morning at like 5:15am (so I went back to bed til about 10:45am). We hung out here in Cancun Wednesday and Thursday (La Taberna Wednesday and Over 30 Thursday) and then Friday we went to Playa del Carmen for the weekend. It rained Friday in the day but never fear, we were greeted almost immediately by a well-versed and charismatic Utah-ian named Kie, who had a few bottles of tequila laying around his swim-up room (next door to ours) so we imbibed a little (cough cough) and b.s.'d alot. Fun. Later that afternoon we met Rhonda and Melanie from Houston, Texas, two girls who were on a short vacation from their lives and, it appears, accomplished everything they set out to do ~ great gals, truly, it was alot of fun chewing the fat with them. Met some other fun folks at the hotel bar - that Egyptian kid from LA and the couple from Arlington VA who competed with me on the '80s music. Sometimes you meet people and just know you would be friends with them if you lived nearby.

Saturday and Sunday and Monday were beach days, and that is what vacation is about, relaxing in the sun and having a cocktail here and there. We ate at some good restaurants and just pretty much hung out. I like Playa alot for vacations but not sure I could ever live there.

Came home on Monday and I got sick... stomach and digestive... pretty and oh so fun for having a guest! Oh, and to nail down that whole I-live-in-Mexico mystique I got going, the building is out of water. Happened Sunday night, still going on today. So like, no water but in the morning. So no shower, no flushing, no running water in the afternoon. Then "it" sort of fills up at night (I guess, hell I don't know) and by morning you can flush. Good day to be sick. I won't go into details. My friend Raul, who has lived here a long time, and actually now lives in my 'hood (the SM-three-one) (just kidding) has never had this problem. My building had this problem the first month (week?) I moved here. Martha (the landlord) phones and tells me she is all over Aguakan about it but what the heck do I know? Raul says it has something to do with someone not paying their bill but I just can't see that having to do with Martha.

Ummmmm, what else? Not much going on. They may have gotten rid of Big Guns McQueen from Over 30 which bums me greatly. Hi ~ I need a little stimulation if I am going to be sitting at that bar from time to time... is it SO much to ask? I don't know if I have explained BG at all, but in a nutshell he was a well-made and maintained specimen of a Mexicano bartender with just enough English to get my attention and really big arms (get it? Guns?). Janet and I started calling him Big Guns just for fun (and for the fact that we couldn't remember his name. It's Edgar and he is 27 - found that out Thursday night). But I guess he got into it with Adrian (Chaparro) behind the bar and then as a waiter he sucked too. You know, he didn't do much behind the bar, come to think about it. But I still didn't mind so much.

Okay that's enough for today. I had a great week with my visitor and hope she did as well. One nice thing about travelling is the folks that you meet. That is always good.

Everyone who reads this, how about a silent positive thought toward Cancun to get that water going again... and thanks to Joe and Janet for letting us shower two nights in a row!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Company's a-comin'

My friend is coming in from Portland today, her flight arrives at 12:16 and that Janet is going to drive me to the airport. That Janet is a keeper. I went in to make the guest bed up and saw (to my dismay) an unwanted (and assuredly upside down) visitor. Crap. Well after much deliberation I decided that part of the entertainment of this trip of Kim's would be that she gets to pick up her first bug...

Edited July 7, 2005 8:56am: She didn't have to. Joe came by to get me shortly after finishing the post and came upstairs and got the little bugger (2.5 inches, not so little). We got her at the airport, came home, made the bed and found another smaller one under the bedspread (great..). I love my apartment!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Quit screwing around and get started already!

Last night as I sat here in the rain with the TV on in the background while I surfed the net, I noticed that the flourescent bulb in the breakfast bar area of my kitchen

was doing some sort of weird wavey thing - by the end of the evening (I go to bed promptly at 11) it was completely out. Great. My neighbor, with the same kind of apartment situation, once spent like 3 or 4 days trying to find her replacement bulb, and she has a car. I can't remember where she got it. And plus then I have to take the gross yellowing plastic cover thing off of it to change it if/when I do find it. Then this morning when I got up I turned on the overhead light in the kitchen and POP out it went. I have changed that bulb 3 times since I have been here. So it was totally dark because of TD 3 (raining like a crazy mofo out there) and I kept thinking (like I always do) about what is in the cupboard where the lightbulbs are (nothing, and actually this time not even lightbulbs, lucky there were two in the bathroom cupboard), then what is in the glass lamp globe cover thingy (nothing again but I wore rubber gloves just in case) and then what might be on the floor/in the sink once I can actually see again (nothing, nothing). I won't get too comfortable.

I have to clean this freaking apartment, right now. I have put it off all morning. I have been up now for over 2 hours! It's not too hot outside/inside, I have had some coffee (Starbucks), so let's get to it.

No pictures of the rain from yesterday in the online Novedades by the way. Maybe it will let up enough for me to bring my laundry across the street... I'll do that later....

Edited 12:47 pm.: So I changed the bed, hung up all of my laundry that was on the sofa and draped over my desk in my room, cleaned my bedroom and scoped out the 2nd bedroom, then took over 9 kilos of laundry to the lavandaria across the street (not ready til mañana en la TARDE!), did some dishes and scoped out the situation. Then I called Martha (my landlord). Sandra the cleaning woman is coming over tomorrow around 12:30 to clean my apartment. She just does it so much better than I could and frankly I just have too much to do. For $130 MN, I am going with the professional.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Oh yeah

I learned how to link in the middle of a paragraph. I think I'm cool.

And I can only find root beer at the Soriana (and refuse to cross Ave Kabah on foot as I will be hit by a car, no question about it) so I never get root beer here but I found my replacement for root beer in the form of Cristal Negra, it is sort of a cream soda-y kinda flavor and it rocks and comes in a huge bottle (2.6 liters). The slogan on it is "Tu onda actual". Isn't "onda" wave? I don't get it. But it's good stuff.

Things that make you go hmmmmm

Why is it that every surface here that is not sidewalk, asphalt or bare ground is made of high-gloss tile? The stairs in my building are a prime example of this, and on a day like today, when it has been raining hard off and on, soaking every nook and cranny (and perhaps flooding? Maybe I will see pictures in tomorrow's Novedades), you're just asking for trouble. Just a little bit of moisture on these high-gloss tiles turns the whole staircase into an ice skating rink. Luckily I have plastic shoes (in navy AND green!) and they provide a little bit of traction. Just a little bit though. Seriously with the number of old people and little kids around here, you would think we would have more head injuries.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Meeting new people

Transportation around Cancun, for those of us with no automobile, consists of buses and taxis. The bus costs $6.5 MN (like $.61 US) (less actually if you are truly a Cancunense which really I am not), and the taxis around centro, for the most part, are $15 MN (or $1.40 US). Plus things around my neighborhood and that fit my need are mostly walkable. I used to walk two blocks (good sized blocks, mind you) to the bus stop on Xcaret on the other side of Plaza las Palmas, and catch the bus to the beach, when I went to Playa Langosta (no matter where you go on that bus it's $6.5 MN). Every now and again if I felt like getting home faster or if there were 90 people at the bus stop I would hail a cab back to my apartment (even the bus stop dropping you off on Coba and La Costa is like 3 buildings from my building, ridiculously close, practically curbside). It would cost either $40 MN or $50 MN, depending on the taxista - one told me one day that it would be $50 and I said, "Pero ayer era $40!" And he said to me, in English, "Yes, but you are white." So I sat back in my seat and said, "Well, okay, since you're honest."

I don't think I have taken a bus now since like March. After mid-March I had had so much beach and sun that I was actually getting sick of laying out. I was tan - oh my hell I was tan! Which is a huge deal to me because my entire life I have wanted to be tan and seriously never was until I met the tropical sun - Ft Lauderdale for Spring Break in 1985 (who can forget the classic Lovey Howell fainting episode at the Wendy's?). I went to Playa del Carmen for two nights with Laura and her mom who was in town visiting, and we would just get up each morning and go to the beach, and lay there all day. One day I was half and half under an umbrella, but for the most part, direct intense tropical sun from 9:30am to 4:30pm. By the time we got home from that, I was sort of sunned-out and needed a break. Turns out that break lasted until like last week.

I met Nancy on April 1 and a couple days later she phoned me and asked if I wanted to drive around with her on Fashion Show business - I did and we had fun and I agreed to be Raffle Girl and the rest is history. Anyway we were out and about nearly every day. Now and again I would spend an afternoon at Carisma with Liz or some time with Nancy at Marbella, but I so did not have the dedication that I had had since December (not to mention the month of power-tanning at Bally's in Aloha, five days a week, which is the standard pre-vacations prep work). So my tan slowly faded away and I really didn't care that much until the one afternoon about a week before the show when I looked down at my ringless middle finger on my left hand and realized I no longer had a tan line there.

Since the show I have been a bit more dedicated. My arms are tan, the ring lines are coming back, people go "Oh did you go to the beach today?" again. So that makes me feel better.

MY POINT WAS, I don't take the bus anymore. Instead I have started taking a taxi to the beach. How lazy is this? Well, it's between $80-100 MN lazy per day. I guess I can justify it because I don't really go out that much, and also it offers me a great opportunity to practice my Spanish. The ride to the beach is much longer, and I generally get a good conversation going about any number of topics, and plus there is the whole trying to explain to the taxista where exactly to turn right after the retorno by Playa Langosta and VCI... so I am learning my directions and stuff.

Taxis to Janet's and Nancy's, though much shorter trips, and dramatically less expensive, ALWAYS yield the same conversation. I get in and let them know I am going to SM 17, Xpu-Hil y Contoy (sometimes they argue that Xpu-Hil isn't in SM 17 but it is). Then they say Where are you from and I always joke, Cancun, and then they laugh and say No where are you FROM? And I say Estados Unidos, Oregon, and they say Oh Oregon. And then they ask Do you live here now? And I say Yes, and they say How many years have you lived here? And I say 7 months and they say Oh well your Spanish is not bad and I laugh and say It's not good at all (and of course throw in my famous "Lo entiendo pero no puedo hablar lo!") and they tell me Well my English isn't very good and I say I'm sure it's fine but it is more important for me to have Spanish than it is for you to have English and they say True, but I need it for my job and I say True but I need it because I live here, and then we all laugh and by this time we are usually on Avenida Contoy by Janet's condos or on Calle Pedernal in front of Nancy's gate, and they say What is your name and I say Joyce, and they try that on for a while (it's never been easy) and then I ask What is your name and they tell me and I say Well ____________, mil gracias, hasta proximo y que tenga un buen dia, and I give them my $15 MN.

I have had taxistas ask for my telephone number, ask me if I want to go to the beach, ask me if I want to be their girlfriend (because of the Where do you work question that is often thrown in there too, and my answer of I don't, I'm writing a book - they think I am rich), ask me if we can teach each others' respective languages, ask me if I am going to need a cab the same time the next day. I enjoy the chit chat. So many people give the taxistas shit and on some message boards you read people saying Don't get in a taxi, they will rip you off (okay, maybe that is the case in the ZH but even when I have had to take a taxi home from Over 30 to the tune of $150 MN - reprehensible! - I have had great drivers - one guy even waited with me in the parking lot while my neighbor threw up in the bushes - we sort of lost track of her though and turned to find her passed out on the pavement beside us - woops - and then helped carry her up the three flights of stairs, into her apartment, into her bedroom, and then into MY apartment for a quick bug check as I had had some problems recently and what the heck, he was right there and happy and gentlemanly enough to do it - I see him sometimes at the taxi stand by Over 30, nice guy). For my money, and up to this point, I have had pleasant experiences and will continue to utilize them for my transportation and educational needs. It's all a part of the experience.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Holiday weekend? What month is this??

So I sent my mom a flowering plant for her birthday, which was yesterday. I got home at like 6pm on Wednesday and tried to order for the next day on, but they told me I was too late to have them deliver it the next day. So I went to the Beaverton Florist's webpage ( and ordered this flowering plant and of course there was no issue. All my info (address, phone and stuff like that) is to Rhonda in Beaverton, so I paid for it and went on my merry way. Spent the day at the Sunset in the ZH with the Ceruttis and their guests and even phoned my mom to wish her a happy birthday (the Ceruttis have a NY cell still with unlimited minutes - so like its like calling from NY to Oregon, very handy, not like having to do an internet call from dialpad or paying thru the nose direct).

Got home at like 6 (again) and found a bunch of emails from Rhonda. Well, I saw one email from Rhonda (there were others but I didn't notice them yet) - this one was entitled "Mom's flowers" or something like that. So I pulled it up and she said BF had called and they didn't have that kind of flowering plant, what do I want instead, let her know by 1pm (it was 4pm her time at this point). In a panic I typed back, "I'm here! Is it too late??", grabbed my headset and dialed her office off dialpad in a panic. Got her voicemail - "Hi you've reached the voicemail of Rhonda Mount, our office is closing at 3pm for the holiday weekend, please dial blah blah blah for immediate assistance.." - and I go, "Holiday weekend?" WTF?

I know my mom's birthday is June 30 and that was in my head but the whole "it's the 4th of July" thing has been lost on me. I have not driven by parking lot firework stands nor watched Waterfront Park slowly build itself up for the Blues festival. I have not had the day off secretly in the back of my mind, the way you do when you know you have a 4 day week coming soon. I don't work. It's sunny and hot every day. One day melts into the other (literally at times). Summer is Fall is Winter is Spring. So it sort of threw everything into a tailspin to me I guess. It's the little things like that that make me realize where I live. As much as I don't really need the Spanish and I can get Oscar Meyer hotdogs and Aquafresh Whitening toothpaste at the Walmarts, every now and then something interrupts my everyday non-thoughts and pushes me back into the reality that I don't live in the US anymore. At least for now.

Anyway back to the flowers, the other emails Rhonda sent me basically indicated that though she was giving me the chance, she gave me a deadline and then made an executive decision to choose another flowering plant - so that worked out fine and Sandy at the Beaverton Florist got the goods delivered for a fabulous 78th birthday. Crisis averted, and a good plug for them.

Back to my regular life of every day being pretty much just like the day before.