estoy pariendo chayotes!

Hello Everyone.! Still moving, still cleaning….It seems endless, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel 🙂 I promise next week, I will come back fresh with new exciting posts. Until then, let’s revisit one of my favorite sayings in Mexico.! See you for Tecate this weekend.!

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

courtesy of blogs.commercialappeal.com courtesy of blogs.commercialappeal.com

I have to admit I am not in a good mood today. Since my return from Mexico, I have had to deal with several pressing issues with no clear direction, answers or outcome. I feel like I am behind the eight ball to use a lovely cliché. Or to use a wonderful Mexican saying estoy pariendo chayotes!

Chayotes are a light green, pear shaped fruit with a single, large pit and edible flesh and skin (see picture above). They are similar to summer squash. Chayotes are native to Mexico and used in many types of salads and salsas. They have prickly skin similar to small thorns.

courtesy of deviantart.com courtesy of deviantart.com

The verb a parir means to calve. So pariendo translates into calving. Therefore, literally, estoy pariendo chayotes translates as I am calving a prickly squash! The term con espinas, or with thorns, is implied. The non-literal translation…

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“’ To Flush or Not to Flush’, that is the Question!”… Bathroom etiquette in Mexico!

I am still packing, unpacking, moving and cleaning.! It’s never ending this moving thing.! In the meantime, I would like to reblog a post from Mexico: Live it, Love it. It’s a conundrum I felt many times over while living in Playa del Carmen. Enjoy.!!!

MĂ©xico: Live it, Love it

TP

Traveling in México, well shoot, even at Mexican restaurants, bars, discos in the United States you will notice thetrash can!  Toilet paper is NOT flushed because of clogging drains, filtering water, and the lack of modern sewage systems.

You see, in Mexico, in most places you don’t flush toilet paper; it must be neatly thrown away in the trash can in the stall.  At first, I was repulsed by the notion, but after living in Morelia, Michoacán for some time, I came back to the states and the first week or so my hand after well, wiping naturally reached over to throw the t.p. in the can.  It took some time to break the habit, a bit of reverse culture shock.

You might also notice that some toilets don’t have seats.  It is not because they have broken, but rather because in Mexico, toilets and toilet seats are sold…

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Tecate take 43

courtesy of tecate.com.mx

courtesy of tecate.com.mx

Dear fellow readers and bloggers – moving is bleep…bleep…hard.! I apologize for my tardiness in posting my Tecate blog. But I haven’t even had time to think about having a beer with all the moving.! Thank goodness I had some great friends to help me with the move.!

Tonight I want to revisit one of my favorite Tecate commercials. It’s called Tecate Novia or Tecate Bride. The plot goes something like this – When they were young, Jorge promised to marry this girl Valeria when they got older. Since then they both have changed and grown…up. Valeria finds Jorge in a bar and reminds him of his promise to marry her. He tells her that was so long ago and they were young. Valeria begins to cry…and the rest is Tecate history..!! Let’s drink to all the men who keep their promises.! Enjoy. Y salud 🙂

things that make you go hmmm…

Dear readers and fellow bloggers.! I am in the process of moving and my life is in chaos.!! Albeit the good kind 🙂 Unfortunately, I have not had time to write a fresh blog for today.! Fortunately, I think it’s time to revisit one of my earlier blogs.!! Enjoy 🙂 See you for Tecate this weekend. I surely think I will need one after moving day.! jajaja

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

courtesy of empowernetwork.com courtesy of empowernetwork.com

I haven’t discussed languages recently, so I thought today would be a good day to revisit language differences. Learning a new language is fun and exciting..!! But, it can also be challenging and confusing..!! For starters, there are all those new words to learn. Then, there are all the cultural nuances. How people speak in real life is never like a language textbook. For example, most Mexicans do not use the complete por favor for please in casual company. They use the term porfa. They also don’t always say si for yes. In casual conversation, Mexicans use the terms simon and sip; similar to Americans usage of yep and yup for yes.

Then of course, there is the issue of speaking another language. It has been documented that if a person speaks two languages, it will be easier for them to learn another. In my case…

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return of the prodigal daughter…

chicago

chicago

I cannot believe a whole year has passed since I left Playa del Carmen.!! One year ago on February 17th, 2013, I left Mexico and returned to my home in Chicago. The funny thing is that after almost three years living and working in Mexico, Mexico had become my home. In fact, those first few months back in Chicago, I felt like a foreigner in my own country.! I wasn’t familiar with any of the new tv shows. There was a plethora of new restaurants and bars in the city to make me feel like a social outcast.!! And I am always in the know about what’s cool and hip.!

I also felt out of step with the tenor and feel of America in general. Everyone moved faster, talked faster, and was busy with a million and one obligations. The laid back lifestyle I had enjoyed in Mexico dissolved as quickly as the newly fallen snow on my boots when I walked into my heated apartment. It was gone baby gone.!! In the beginning, I resisted. I pined for Mexico. I wept for Mexico. I was homesick for Mexico. Hence, dear reader, the creation of this blog. I needed to write about Mexico if for no other reason than to keep it’s memory alive in my heart and mind and soul. The blog was my catharsis, my anodyne, and my friend.

view from my window

view from my airplane window

And it needed to be all those things because so many changes had occured during my absence. For starters, many people disapproved or did not understand the reasons I moved to Mexico. Some people thought I was going to get killed by the Zapatistas, others by drug kingpins. Other people thought I was moving down there for a boy. And while there was a man, if I had not had the prospect of a job, I would not have gone. Still others didn’t care for my reasons, they just thought it was downright stupid and reckless. Don’t get me wrong, there were many friends who supported me, but they were in the minority.

According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there are two main definitions for the word prodigal. The first definition refers to a person who “carelessly and foolishly spends money, time, etc.” The second definition is biblical in nature and references “one who has returned after a long absence.” I am sure depending on who you ask both definitions apply to me. However, I don’t agree. I believe only the latter one describes me albeit minus the regretful part which is included in the British version of the definition.

sun setting over chicago

sun setting over chicago from my airplane window

In the beginning, there were days I wished I had never returned. Usually, that was any day it snowed or it was below thirty degrees.!! Which when I arrived in February was a few too many days.! I also wished I had never returned when interview after interview failed to yield me a job let alone a career.! Job prospect after job prospect amounted to the same possibility as a marriage proposal after a spin at one of those 5 minute speed dating events.! Not gonna happen.! I turned to my blog even more furiously to not only stay sane, but to reconnect with my old pal playa 🙂

Of course, there were also days, I bemoaned that I had ever moved to Mexico in the first place.! Maybe if I hadn’t gone, I would have already found a job. Then I reminded myself, it was my inability to find a job in Chicago in the first place after graduation that prompted my move to Mexico. I was only picking up where I left off, drudgingly and painstakingly applying for salvation. I also lamented over my pillaged belongings at the storage facility. I thought, if I had never left, my possessions would never have been stolen. But there is no good to be found in second guessing yourself. So I reminded myself of several very important learnings and blessings.

chicago's coastline

chicago’s coastline from my airplane window

For one, belongings are only possessions. They’re nice, but they don’t make you the person you are. I am not defined by my toaster, or my dishes, or even my shoes. Yes, not even my shoes.! I am not defined by my home. Even though several times I have referred to myself as a glorious hobo because I live out of suitcases with no space to call my own. I am also not defined by my job even though I need money to pay my way through this existence. I am still me without those luxuries. Even Tony Stark agrees with me: “You can take away my suits, you can take away my home, but there’s one thing you can never take away from me: I am Iron Man.” Ahuevo

What I am defined by is my willingness to change and grow and take risks. And I believe that I accomplished just that by moving to a foreign country by myself, getting a resident visa, and working there. I also learned the language, at least conversationally and enough to be understood. It’s amazing to me how many times I use Spanish here in Chicago in my current position. Learning a new language is a useful trait for life. And it’s a piece of Mexico that I will always retain especially since my Spanish is beautifully syntaxed Mexican Spanish.!

almost home

almost home from my airplane window

I am also defined by the experiences I had. I have seen the ruins at Palenque, Tulum, and Cobá.! I have swam with turtles in Akumal. I have seen the sunrise over the Caribbean several times.!! I have lived through Hurricane Ernesto.! I have visited small coffee farms in the hills of San CristĂłbal de las Casas. I have dipped my feet into the waters at Agua Azul. I have seen the Angel of Independence in Mexico City.! I have learned some Mayan words – ko’ ox otoch (let’s go home).! I have sailed and sailed on the clear waters of the Caribe. I have seen the face of the moon shine so brightly on me that I called out to her to say hello – “hola luna, soy rosa“.

I am also blessed and defined by all the wonderful people I met.! So many good friends have crossed my path and still reside in my heart. We cried together. We laughed together. We worked together. We celebrated holidays together so far from home. We most definitely drank together.! We shared meals, stories, and heartbreak with each other. How could I now say Mexico was not worth it and that I should never have gone. How could I unmark my heart from these amazing souls I have come to know. I have a whole wonderful group of friends in Mexico whom I am sure will forever be part of my life.! Ojala.!

courtesy of chicagohoody.spreadshirt.com

courtesy of chicagohoody.spreadshirt.com

And finally, let’s not forget my blog. My blog which sustained me when I had no hope. My blog which gave me purpose when I had no job. My blog which gave me Mexico while I sat at my counter in Chicago. My blog which brought me so many other opportunities to write. My blog which reconnected me to friends from my past.! My blog which brought so many new people into my existence. How could I have survived without your love and support fellow bloggers.?! Without Mexico, there would have been no blog. No manches.!

So at the end of the day, dear reader, you be the judge. Am I the prodigal daughter as in careless and foolish.? Or the prodigal daughter as in returned from a long absence.? Whichever one I am, Chicago is currently my home. After a year of residing here, I am becoming more comfortable. I am still not thrilled with the snow or the traffic. But there are many more blessings and opportunities that have occured to make the living here possible. But Mexico, and playa specifically, will always be a siren song away from me. Siempre

Tecate take 42

courtesy of cakechooser.com

courtesy of cakechooser.com

Feliz el fin de semana.!! Happy weekend.!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend.!! I know I did. I spent quality time with my lovely friends both on the phone and in person. Plus, today at work a lovely co-worker gave me a giant candy decorated caramel apple.! Hello yummy.!!

Now to the question, did all of my Valentine’s Day wishes come true.? Unfortunately, no. Sometimes love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Our lovely Tecate mujer discovers that in this week’s Tecate commercial. It’s called Tecate PĂ©talos de Rosas or Tecate Rose Petals. Our lovely protagonist thinks she is in for a romantic evening.! And of course she is, but Tecate style.!! jajaja… Wishing everyone a great week.! Enjoy.! Y salud.!!

amor y amistad

courtesy of bestday.com.mx

courtesy of bestday.com.mx

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” – The Notebook

courtesy of fanpop.com

courtesy of fanpop.com

Ah amor… que hermoso amor… It is Valentine’s Day here in the United States. And married couples, non married couples, and lovers will all be partaking in some ritualistic behavior and time honored traditions to prove that their love really is true 🙂 In fact, there will probably be many proposals as well because it is truly romantic to get engaged on Valentine’s Day, no.? tee-hee…

courtesy of bancodeimagenesgratis.com

courtesy of bancodeimagenesgratis.com

I have to admit, I have always preferred the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Mexico.! In Mexico, Valentine’s Day or DĂ­a de San ValentĂ­n is more commonly referred to as El DĂ­a del Amor y la Amistad or the Day of Love and Friendship. Couples celebrate with romantic dinners, candy and flowers just as in the U.S. However, it is also a day to show appreciation for your friends.! Therefore, everyone can take part in the day, it’s not just for lovers 🙂

courtesy of sindisplay.com

courtesy of sindisplay.com

So, on this, my first Valentine’s Day back in the states, I would like to celebrate Mexican style. My friends have been a vital component of my time in Mexico and my return to the U.S. They warrant and deserve all the appreciation I can muster. As well as, all of you, my fellow readers and bloggers, deserve the same consideration for your continued loyalty and support.! So it is in that spirit, I wish all of you a “Feliz DĂ­a del Amor y la Amistad.!!” Vaya con amor.!!