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Como México no hay dos.

If I can’t find it, I probably don’t need it anyway.

My philosophy is that my life is about what I can have, not what I have to do without. It makes living in a foreign country easier on an emotional level. While I daydream about all the stuff that I would buy, shoes that fit, exotic spices and electronic gadgets. The truth is that I don’t really need that stuff, or even want it that badly. Either I find a substitute for something, for example, it’s amazing what you can do with a blender or I do without. For example, when I prepare a new Indian dish, I look at recipes until I find one that both sounds interesting and uses ingredients that I have on hand. Seriously, why be sad because you can’t buy asafoetida, which I rarely use, when I live in a country where tamarind and fresh coconut are widely available? Rita of I must be crazy to live in Mexico most recent post is entitled Shopping ...

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Where do we go from here?

My very first blog post Great Plans and Ambitions was written on October 22, 2007. I think my style hasn’t changed much but I like to believe that my writing has improved. Checking my stats I find that I have had 77,076 visits, and 25,564 visitors! I find that amazing especially since more than 66% of my visitors come back! I knew that I had a big family but even they don’t account for all of you out there. I have to thank those of you who have me on your blog roll, because most of my visitors come from a referring site, the top two are Same Life–New Location and Blah, Blah, Blah Ginger. Only10% find me due to a search, the top fives search phrases are mostly variations of Theresa in Mérida except #3 which is Albrook Mall in Panamá. I mull over having a blog about Panamá and putting lots of ads on it because there apparently ...

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Putting it all in black and white

I am a big fan of support groups, there is something about sharing similar problems with other people that makes things easier. Not all groups are created equal and I am not just talking about 12 step programs. I’m not really a joiner but because I already have enough half finished projects, I joined a writer’s group. I am so glad that I did, it’s fun. The people involved are so talented, it’s something that would never have occurred to me to do before I moved here. I didn’t join because of writing this blog, nor do I harbor a secret desire to write a novel, I joined because #1 daughter mentioned “the Griselda stories” that I used to tell my son and expressed a desire to have a copy of them to read to her daughters, especially NFN. To be honest, I don’t really remember the stories exactly, I remember the premise, a little witch who has seven sisters ...

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Some flotsam, no jetsam…..

This rain has been incredible. Never having experienced a monsoon, I can only imagine one, but if a monsoon is worse than this, then I am glad that we didn’t retire to Thailand! After being outside for less than a minute, I was completely and totally drenched. Poor Mr. Dog had followed me outside, rain makes him anxious, so he either hides in darkest corner he can find, often under one of our desks, or he sticks like glue to us. I almost tripped over him as I stood stunned in the downpour. If I could get him to heel as closely, he would definitely win a championship in obedience! Sand snakes, are not the answer, at least not in these little flash floods we’ve been having lately. They certainly help, we have actually gotten less water inside than we normally do. They were great for the back door, and really the water that came in was driven in by ...

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Floating down the Nile like Cleopatra

We went camping last night. I slept in a tent on an air mattress with all the comforts of home. The sweetly scented smoke drifted up and curled lazily in the draft created by the ceiling fan. It was more like Arabian Nights than Hopalong Cassidy . A co-worker once told me that she had been fascinated by this camping, Americans always talked about doing, but the more she knew about it, the more she thought it was just like the way, they lived back home, in India. That statement made quite an impression on me, because I still remember it, years later. Now, I am living that way too. It was too hot to sleep inside Monday, a/c is not an option for us, unless we rent a hotel room, so I went outside to read on the terraza, where I fell asleep in the rather cramped love seat. It was really uncomfortable so after I regained feeling in ...

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Is it a coincidence that a plateau is also called a mesa?

I have plateaued on weight loss. It is making me grumpy. I keep saying that I am not really on a diet, that I merely doing healthier eating and as a side effect, I will lose weight. Today, I am not buying the party line. The other slogan that I am sick of, no matter how true is, I didn’t put it on over night. If you eat 20 extra calories a day, you will put on 2 pounds a year. The cards are stacked against me. It isn’t that I don’t understand the mechanism involved.For untold millenniums humans lived a feast or famine existence and putting on weight was a survival mechanism. Simply put, the human body doesn’t like weight loss. My normal routine seems to be to lose a pound, regain it, lose it, until it seems to accept that it’s unwelcome and goes to reside on someone else’s hips. This has not been happening, my scale is ...

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The humidity of it all.

When will it rain? Sometimes I feel like a human barometer, every day since Sunday, I have awakened with, and gone to bed with, a headache. Today, while my head didn’t hurt, the humidity is probably 100%, my neighbors say rain is on the way, but my personal prognosticator seems broken. Not that I really want to have a sinus headache whenever the barometer plunges, and I certainly am glad that I managed to avoid the sinus infection that seemed to be threatening. The humidity here really is the worst thing about living in the Yucatán. Husband and Son are both “allergic to humidity” according to the ENT and the respiratory specialist. This explanation makes no sense to me, because humidity is basically water, and we are composed of something like 80% water,right? I’ve reconciled myself to this by deciding that it means the high humidity contains allergens like dust mites and pollen (Husband disagrees. He says that humidity is ...

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Dead batteries, recharged.

Wow, I must of jinxed myself by doing two blog posts in one day. My creative batteries were totally drained. The only way to recharge them is by using them.First I have to say “GOOD MORNING PATTY!!”, Husband and I ran into friend and faithful reader, Patty, at Pancho’s the other evening. Talking to her served as a reminder that real people do read my blog, I am not just writing in a vacuum.Ah, Pancho’s. Husband and I want to hate Pancho’s, but we can’t. It’s the waiters and their Mexican revolutionary costumes. It’s a tourist place, but the food is so good and the service is excellent. More on that later.Husband got to experience the legendary Yucatecan customer indifference for himself that day. This is something that tourists and frequenters of the big stores like Chedraui or even Radio Shack don’t know about. We were looking for something called a bobina (don’t fret, you don’t need one, you don’t ...

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Mexican Math

Maybe I am influenced by Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland, but I often have what I call Through the Looking Glass moments. The Mexican week has 7 days just like ours but it’s counted different, so if an appointment is in week’s time, it is 8 days from now. Two weeks is fifteen days. I’ve gotten used to that, in fact, it makes sense to me. Now comes along an entirely different sort of math, sale math. Husband was in our favorite pharmacy, Farmacias Similares. In order to force him to speak Spanish give him more opportunity to speak Spanish, I waited in the car. Due to poor planning on our part, we hadn’t gone on Monday during the peak discount times, but since Husband has an INAPAM card, he still gets a 10% discount. This is a routine interaction, so I was surprised when Husband asked me for help. The clerk explained that Husband was buying three boxes and ...

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The benefits of bi-linguality

People always ask “Do I need to speak Spanish if I am moving to (insert name of Mexican town here)?”The other day I can honestly say that speaking Spanish really made a difference to us. I usually listen just enough to phone solicitors to tell them “no thanks” and then hang up. I have to admit that I am a bit rude about it, I don’t wait for them to ask me a question or even to take a breath, I just say no and hang up immediately afterward. In my imagination, they are still talking even though they hear a dial tone. Most of the phone calls seem to be from banks offering us credit cards but Telmex likes to get us to agree to deals too.Coincidentally, I had just opened our phone bill and was musing over the fact that the amount seemed to be more than usual, when Telmex called. The opening gambit got my attention. The ...

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