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Como México no hay dos.

A Wee Spot of Rain

Nate dropped quite a bit of water on us last night, it’s almost noon and there is still water in the street. Even after draining about four inches of water out of the pool yesterday, today we have an infinity pool. Fortunately, the pool guys came so the water level is once again down below the edge. The weather forecast is for more rain and stronger winds so maybe we’ll drain more out.Our plants look wonderful, the air feels clean and it’s reasonably cool outside.I made some covers for two of our skylights, the ones with ventilation holes. Normally, a few drops of rain make their way into the air tubes but the tubes have mosquito screen and slant towards the outside which keeps most of the water on the roof. I don’t mind the occasional drop or two, yesterday, there was a bit more. So using an old shower curtain I made a cover very similar to the ones ...

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Yearly Rituals

Glancing at our FM2 cards for some reason, I realized that our renewal date was upon us. Applications for renewal are supposed to be done 30 days before expiration. For the last seven years we’ve dutifully done so, and as a result our visas have gone from expiring in November to mid-September.  September is a bit problematic since El Grito is in the middle of the month, but we aren’t planning on going away again this year, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the process goes. I did everything the same as last year. Showing up at 8:45 we were number 36 in line to speak to the reception desk. We were issued number 27 and sent inside to wait our turn in the air conditioned lounge.Reasoning that most people arrive prior to 9 am and very few afterwards, next year we are going to try arriving at ten and see what happens. Choosing the option to use  ...

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rational human being

I read once that the reason people gamble is not because they win, but rather because they only win sometimes. Intermittent rewards are valued more than consistent ones. Which is how I justify my current lackadaisical attitude towards blogging. I have been blogging in my sleep, I wake up with these feelings of having written a brilliant and compelling blog post. I can just remember it, tantalizing me with wisps of memory, then like the scent of a distant flor de mayo, it’s gone.  Assuming that I really have been creating nocturnal blog posts in my sleep,a notebook and pen kept by my bedside would help me greatly.  However, I’m not sure that I really want to know what my subconscious is up to. I have a lot going on these days, a lot on my plate as they say.Having several unfinished projects competing for my attention is normal for me. I tend to start things, work with unbrindled enthusiasm ...

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Fungus among us

Itching ears drove me to uncharacteristic behavior. I willingly went to the doctor. It was that or drive a knitting needle into my eardrum, which even in my distracted state, I knew wouldn’t really solve the problem. I thought that I had a sinus infection and the pressure was bothering my ears.Generally, we go directly to specialists, but yesterday I wanted just a general practitioner. Having had good luck with the BEST clinic next to Farmacias Similares in San Cristóbal de las Casas, I decided to use them instead of urgencias  (emergency room ) at Clínica Yucatán. Since we were already heading downtown to catch the bus to Costco, we chose the clinic on La Plaza de la Independencia.It worked out perfectly, we had breakfast, took the bus to Costco and back returning  at 10:00 am just half an hour after the clinic opened.The doctor was immediately available. He took my information and glanced into my ears. “Tienes hongos” he ...

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now what?

Doing my habitual morning surfing, I often run across articles with titles like 5 easy ways to lose 5 pounds. However we already seem to be doing those things.  Here is a list of the most common tips and what we’re doing. There do seem to be more than five. They always advise cutting out extra sugar, which we’ve done. Stevia or rather sweeteners with stevia have pretty much replaced sugar in our household. Substituting whole grains for refined grains is often touted. Speaking of grains, quinoa (which you can find at Pacsadeli for three times what it costs in Ecuador), amaranth, chia seed,and other ancient grains are being rediscovered. While I haven’t found amaranth flour or raw grains here, the puffed version is readily available. Bulgar wheat, whole wheat flour, brown rice and even corn meal can be found here. Using smaller plates can reduce your calorie consumption by 10%. That was one of the first things I did. ...

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Who buys this stuff anyway?

Unaccountable shortages happen here. When we first came here, for about two weeks, baking soda was unavailable. No one, anywhere,had any  bicarbonato to sell. None of the supers, the mercado nor the pharmacies. Then suddenly, it appeared on the shelves again. Doing a big grocery shopping today at Chedraui, I couldn’t find garbanzo beans (chick peas). Having lived here close to a decade I know to look for canned garbanzos next to the canned corn. I found chestnuts (the real kind, not water chestnuts) and escargo in cans but no garbanzos. I’m still scratching my head over that, this is Chedraui Itzaes not Chedraui Norte, who in my neighborhood buys those items? Furthermore, how long have they been on the shelf? When I paid for my food, I asked the clerk about the garbanzos. She informed me that they had been out of them for a month! Is there a big Lebanese festival going on that I don’t know about? ...

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Posting while sleep deprived

Groggy from lack of sleep, a coherent post seems to lurk in the back of my brain unwilling to flow through my fingertips, never reaching the keyboard. It isn’t the fireworks that keep me awake, I sleep like the dead, very few things disturb my rest. Only crying babies and whining dogs have the power to penetrate my subconscious. After almost seven years, Mr. Dog is as prosaic about the loud pops as any Mérida street dog, but unfortunately, our guest, Miss Z, whines and cries when she hears fire crackers.  The annual celebration of the Feast of the Ascension (of the Virgin Mary into heaven) is winding down. Living between two churches, we are accustomed to parades, fireworks and little street carnivals. We watch the nightly fireworks displays from our roof; we even wandered down to check out the carnival.  We go mostly to people watch and meander among booths offering salchipapas, marquesitas, churros and plantains in various forms. ...

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Just when I thought it couldn’t get better

Servicio a domicilio (home delivery) is one of my favorite things. It’s not just pizza and chicken, everyone delivers. Cafico not only has great coffee,they deliver for free if you order a kilo. The drug store will deliver, heck, Mr. Dog had a sonogram in our living room, and the lab will send a technician to do a blood draw if you want to pay extra. Today, I ordered my groceries online. Thanks to Yucatango’s post Superama delivers, I learned that Superama on Montejo has a website which I bookmarked and then forgot about. I forgot about it until today. Husband and I want to make some Sangria. Unfortunately, you can’t buy booze until after 10 am. So our normal practice of grocery shopping in the cool of the morning wasn’t going to work. Besides, I had a manicure and pedicure this morning (on my terraza, La Manicurista also offers servicio a domicilio). One thing lead to another and it ...

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Lessons in taxi and bus riding

Since the tragic demise of the Volvo, we’ve been either walking or taking public transportation. We’ve learned a few things. If it rains, taxis will become scarcer than storm drains. 4:30 to 5:30 pm is shift change for taxi drivers,plan accordingly. Buses are very full between 5pm and 7pm, plan accordingly. If the exchange tells you fifteen minutes and no taxi arrives, call again, don’t wait (see #s 5 & 6). Sometimes taxi drivers will pick up another fare instead on their way to pick you up. Taxi drivers will tell dispatch that you weren’t there waiting for them,so they left. Have more than one taxi company’s phone number in your cell phone. The bus map is not accurate. The air conditioner will often drip on the occupants of the rear seats of the bus but won’t cool you down. The clima on the bus is best at least two seats up from the rear of the bus. Young Yucatecans ...

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Meanwhile back in Merida

I’m not sure which one is irking me more, Skype, our new bank or Verified by Visa.Our wonderful Credit Union merged with another one. They have a new name, for a company with Tech in their name, they sure don’t have a good handle on technology. This is only the latest in a set of glitches. Skype accepts payments with Visa and Pay pal.  I’m more than a little wary of pay pal, so I choose to use my credit card. Wanting their customers to feel safe, Skype uses a service called Verified by Visa. Every year when I renew our subscriptions, I have issues with the VbyV. Most of them are because the only time I ever deal with them is when I renew the Skype. Usually I am prepared and more or less resigned to the run around. When I tried to pay, VbyV referred me to the bank. The reason for the referral? It had been more ...

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