return of the prodigal daughter…

I guess February 17th is a special day in my existence. Three years ago yesterday, I returned from Mexico. And one year ago yesterday, I started my awesome job.!! Please take a moment to stroll down memory lane with me 🙂

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

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…

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sometimes paradise is cloudy…

playa cloudy

Beautiful picture of Cozumel from my beautiful friend P., the photographer.!! It’s cloudy (nublado) here in Chicago too, so I feel closer to everyone in Playa today.! Enjoy the weekend 🙂

sometimes paradise is sunny…

playa sunny

Sometimes after a storm, paradise is sunny. Sometimes after the full moon, the sun comes out in paradise.

What a beautiful, sunny, bright morning in Playa del Carmen.!! My friend P., the photographer, took this photo the other day. Glorious 🙂

Can you believe P. takes all these photos on her phone.?!? She does such a fabulous job, I think I (and many likes on her Facebook page) have convinced her to buy a camera.!! Which means more wonderful photos of Playa are in our future.!!

Dos Equis treinta y cinco

courtesy of dosequis.com

courtesy of dosequis.com

Feliz lunes.!! Happy Monday.!! What an amazing week and weekend it has been 🙂 For starters, one of my very bestest friends came into town for Christmas.!! I was able to spend two lovely days with her. One evening, I met up with her and her husband and a group of friends. We had lovely Belgian beer and played the game Cards Against Humanity. Honestly, until that day I had never heard of the game, but I think I would like to play it again.! It’s very naughty…or very not politically correct. I also managed to have a lovely lunch with my bestie before she left and we exchanged Christmas presents 🙂 I also spent a lovely holiday at my father’s house. And when I returned a few days later, one of my godmother’s had left delicious Croatian cookies for us to nibble on. I have to admit, I left my dad a few and ran off with the rest.!! See the picture below and you will understand why 😀 jajaja

Croatian cookies

Croatian cookies

Of course, my neighbor stopped by one day and we noshed on pumpkin pie and caught up on the latest gossip.! I also exchanged presents and spent some quality time with boy wonder 🙂 On Sunday, I enjoyed some really authentic Mexican cuisine with one of my oldest (in terms of time not age) friends complete with Mexican music.!! It was almost like being in playa.! And just in case you all think I’ve fallen off the wagon.! Fear not, I also managed to get in all of my workouts.!! Did I mention that I went to work too.?!? It has been an intense week, but most assuredly a good one.!! I’m looking forward to this week because I have two more friends coming in from out of town.! And it is the New Year 2015. I am so wishing for a spectacular new year for me, for my family, for my friends, and for you my dear readers and fellow bloggers. I leave you with a colorful Dos Equis holiday commercial.!! Enjoy.!! Y salud.!!

Dos Equis veintisiete

courtesy of dosequis.com

courtesy of dosequis.com

I had the MOST amazing week and weekend.!! For starters, I returned to work at my former job.! Yay me 🙂 It was great to be back in the office; as well as, being back in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago.!! In the office, many people welcomed me back and greeted me warmly.!! It was wonderful.! My master’s degree being utilized once again gave me warm fuzzies 🙂

Also, one of my really good friends was in town from D.C. this weekend. So, it was a non-stop roller coaster ride of activity. We talked, we walked, we dined, we drank, we saw, and we conquered Chicago.!! The men in this town didn’t stand a chance.! jajaja…. It was nice to have my wing girl back in town. I can’t wait till she returns for good.! In this week’s Dos Equis’ commercial, the Most Interesting Man in the World talks about wingmen.! Apparently, el jefe doesn’t seem to need one.! But does that come as a surprise to anyone.?! No.! jajaja… Have a great week everyone.!! Enjoy.!! Y salud.!!

enough said…

courtesy of keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

courtesy of keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

ay pinche playa.!!! siempre en mi corazon, mi mente, y mi alma.!! te extraño muchooooooooo…….

translation –

ah damn playa.!!! always in my heart, my mind, and my soul.!! I miss you sooooooo much…….

sweet torture…

Zenzi Beach

Zenzi Beach

It’s 51 degrees Fahrenheit (or 11 degrees Celsius) here in Chicago today.! Unseasonably cool.!! Actually, pretty much this entire summer has been rather cool. For a girl who got used to scorching heat, it’s been almost freezing.! Today, I woke up to find the above photo from my friend P. (miss photographer) on my Facebook page with the following comment –

Rose Boras Guess where I am!: 😉

At which point the following exchange took place –

me: “Zenzi Beach.!!!!!”
P.: “Yes! You’re an expert!”
me: “I wish I was with you” 🙂
P.: “Me too dear!!”

And really I do. If this week in September is indicative of future winter weather to come.! Yikes.!! It’s not going to be pretty. And I apologize way in advance for all the crying and whining I will be doing. Deep sigh…

Zenzi Beach Bar is one of my favorite places to hang out in playa.! I’m sure I’ve talked about and reviewed the beach bar before in https://howdoyousaytacoinspanish.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/when-in-rome-i-mean-playa-have-a-drink-or-two/. I highly recommend it 🙂

Right now, both you and me dear reader only get to gaze upon the lovely photograph. But one day soon, we will be sitting at one of those lovely tables – drink in hand, toes in sand, and the wind in our hair. Te prometo. Promise.

what a difference a sign makes…

translation - pick up your dog's waste

translation – pick up your dog’s waste

When I lived in Mexico, the above sign was posted everywhere. But since I didn’t have a dog, I pretty much ignored the signage. Until one night, I was out drinking with two of my friends who were also my neighbors. On our walk home, we were laughing loudly and discussing the evening’s events when one of us noticed the picturesque quality of the curb your dog signage in our neighborhood.!

I took a picture there and then and posted it almost immediately on Facebook. My co-conspirators that evening even made the following comments because it had left such a lasting impression on us.!

My friend P.T.’s Facebook comment – “I mean, why does it have to be so graphic??”

My friend C.K.’s Facebook comment – “No shit!! Haha no pun intended”

And therein lies the question. Why did it have to be so graphic.? There are always so many interesting cultural differences between countries. But signs seem to take on an almost otherwordly dimension. I was reading one of my favorite expat bloggers today from Italy and she showcased a sign in Florence depicting a man and a woman peeing to indicate where the restrooms were located.! lol.. Wow.!

So I guess, a dog and his poop should not surprise me on a sign. But in comparison to the very mild and almost Mary Poppins’ signage from Chicago (see photo below), it was a little eye-opening to say the least. But at least we had a good laugh that evening. And now I would know exactly what to do about my dog and his poop if I had one in Mexico 🙂

courtesy of moongirlproductions.blogspot.com

courtesy of moongirlproductions.blogspot.com

arandano…sudando…valladolid

mango martinis

mango martinis

arandano…sudando…valladolid

arandano…sudando…valladolid

arandano…sudando…valladolid

translation:
cranberry…sweating…a city in the southeastern part of the Yucatán..!! What the what.!?!

I know, you are all thinking I have completely gone off the deep end. It’s possibly true. But that mantra above helped me remember where to stress the syllable (‘si-lə-bəl) rather than the syllable (si-‘lə-bəl) of those three very difficult (for me) to pronounce words. Well, of course, there was also lavanderia or laundromat.! I was always saying lavanderia with the stress on la. When the stress should have been on the der part.!

at La Sur

at La Sur

Luckily for me, putting the stress on the wrong syllable usually didn’t get me into too much trouble.! I don’t believe by changing the stress I incorrectly spouted obscene words.!! I’m sure I would remember that 🙂 jajaja.. But I did get corrected. A lot. No really, I mean a lot. And it didn’t help when I would study Spanish rules in my spare time (http://spanish.about.com) and it would tell me that “If a word without an accent mark ends in a vowel, n or s, the stress is on the penultimate (next to last) syllable.”

Who has time to remember that little tidbit in real life.!! When I’m talking to the grocer or the maintenance guy.! Um excuse me for a second while I reference my Spanish language rules.!! aargghhh.!! I finally realized the only way to get better was to practice. With everybody. Even when I annoyed them and they wanted me to go back to English.! jajaja

at La Azotea

at La Azotea

The above mantra happened one night during a concierge dine around in Playa del Carmen. I was with my fellow co-workers and we were going from restaurant to restaurant sampling the local food and drink.! Everyone was having a fantastic time. At some point in the evening, probably after too many beverages, one of my co-workers and good friends, K., came up with the following mantra to help me remember where the stresses were for each word.! We said it all night. And laughed all night. I’ve included photos from that evening’s festivities.!

You might wonder why these particular words were so important to me. Well arandano or cranberry is necessary to mix with vodka 🙂 As for sudando or sweating, I mean really. I was living close to the equator – it was pretty frickin’ hot.! And Valladolid is a city in the southeastern part of the Yucatán that I always wanted to visit. But never got around to seeing while I lived in Mexico.

at Clandestino

at Clandestino

Yesterday, I saw on facebook that my friend K., of above mantra fame, had gone to Valladolid with her boyfriend. She had posted beautiful pictures of her trip.! So I commented on her photo collage with the above mantra. She replied back “Jaja Rose…I do remember our spanish lessons..send you hugs.” Ahhh memories 🙂

four years ago…in a country far away…

courtesy of fifa.com

courtesy of fifa.com

Unfortunately, Croatia lost to Brazil yesterday 3 to 1. I could spend the rest of this blog talking about how bad the reffing was on the part of the FIFA referee, but I won’t. Sometimes, you win games and sometimes you lose. I think the most important aspect is that you are fully participating in the game and in life. I’m just super happy that Croatia made it back to the international soccer stage in such a big way.!! I can’t wait for the next few games.!! However, besides my excitement, this World Cup is bringing back memories of another World Cup.!

courtesy of fannation.com

courtesy of fannation.com

Four years ago, during World Cup 2010, I was lucky enough to be in Mexico. I had just graduated from my Master’s Program in June 2010. I also had an interview the following week lined up with Starbucks Mexico in Mexico City – which reminds me I still owe you a post for that trip.! On top of all that, my birthday was the week after the interview while I was hanging out in playa.! Also, one of my very good friends, J. aka my birthday buddy, was also celebrating her birthday a few days later.

watching World Cup 2010 at Tequila Barrel

watching World Cup 2010 at Tequila Barrel

So J. and our mutual friend, A., decided they would meet me in Playa del Carmen the week after my interview in D.F. We were going to celebrate all of our graduations plus mine and J.’s birthdays.!! All the while taking in the beach, sun, and of course some tours. Not to mention, eating, drinking, and watching as many of the World Cup 2010 games that we could catch.! And we did just that.!!

celebrating

celebrating J.’s birthday

And I have to tell you it was exhilarating.!! Everywhere in playa, people were watching the games.!! It didn’t matter what country was playing or what time of day, everyone was watching. When I would go to my boyfriend’s house to watch a game with his friends, all the houses had the games on. By the way, that’s when I first learned to curse – “chinga su madre.!” – at bad ref calls.!! Which by the way, I was also utilizing very strongly during yesterday’s opening game.!

more drinking and World Cup watching in playa

more drinking and World Cup watching in playa

Quinta Avenida was also on fire with all the bars packed with people drinking and watching the games.! And if Mexico was playing, well no one was really working. All the maseros would stop whatever they were doing when Mexico scored a goal.!! Everyone would be screaming, shouting, and high-fiving even the tourists.! Hell, even the tourists walking down Fifth Avenue would join in on the celebrating.! When in Mexico, you gotta cheer for Mexico.!! The excitement for the game was tangible.

courtesy of fifa.com

courtesy of fifa.com

And that’s what I miss about this year’s World Cup. Chicago is too big to have that electrically charged atmosphere. And unfortunately, not that many Americans watch World Cup. But I also think it’s different because the World Cups give me a timeframe, a barometer so to speak, to gauge my hopes, my dreams, and my realities. For starters, I’m no longer with that boyfriend or in Mexico for that matter. Heck, even our dream of going to World Cup Brazil 2014 didn’t materialize. But what I do have are different hopes, dreams, and realities. And, in the meantime, I have found a select, albeit small, group of soccer lovers who are going to help me cheer on the games.! But oh how I miss World Cup 2010 and all of it’s glorious memories. ¡Órale!