The Most Yucatecan Picture Ever

I’m off to Merida to check out wedding cakes this weekend (hurrah! more on that next week), so in the meantime I’ll leave you with this image:

Fiance’s little cousins, who live in my Suegra’s hometown of Chabihau, Yucatan, have adopted a wild iguana named Melody. Melody comes to visit these little girls every day around lunchtime.

Guess what her favorite food is?

I'm Learning to Cook!

Yay!

Last night I made:

Guacamole

Mushroom Quesadillas

Fish Filet marinated in orange, lime and garlic

Pasta with red peppers, mushrooms, orange, lime and soy sauce

And I did it all with only two gas burners! For four people! And it didn’t suck! How do ya like them apples, Rachael Ray? (Now if I could just get an oven so I could make those awesome tomatoes stuffed with mac & cheese that she does…)

*Please note that this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m getting married and I want to be a good little wifey. It’s because I have tons of free time after 6 pm. And I need to stop eating so much sushi.

Life is good. I am even better.

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: ¡Madre!

You thought “madre” just meant “mother”, didn’t you?

Here in Mexico, “madre” can be used in quite a few different ways. Some of these I learned the hard way.

Madre: mother

Qué Poca Madre: (lit: how little mother) How uncool of you! Jerk!

Estar Poca Madre: (lit: to be a little bit of mother) to be awesome

                “Wey, esta fiesta está poca madre!”

A Toda Madre: (lit: full mother) very, very, very awesome

Hasta la Madre (1): (lit: up to the mother) completely full

                  “Ya vámonos… este bar está hasta la madre de gente.”

Hasta la Madre (2): fed up

                  “Ya me tienes hasta la madre con tus sermones.”

Hasta la Madre (3): extremely drunk

                  “Wey, anoche me puse hasta la madre en la fiesta de Jorge!”

Me Vale Madres: (lit: it’s worth mothers to me) I don’t give a sh**

Madrazo: (lit: a hit by a mother) a very strong punch, hit, fall, etc.

Esa Madre: (lit: that mother) that thing over there

               “Qué es esa madre?”

Dar en la Madre/Romper la Madre: (lit: to give in the mother/to break the mother) to punch very very hard

Ni Madres: (lit: not even mother) zip, zero, squat, heck no!

A Madres: (lit: of mothers) something that is unappealing to the senses

                   “Estos tacos asquerosos saben a madres.”

                   “Tu perfume chafa huele a madres.”

Puta Madre: (lit: prostitute mother) a very bad phrase expressing alarm, like “sh*t!”

Hope this will help you avoid some of the mistakes I made!

Suki the Mexican Poodle: My Dog Pees Funny!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am the (usually) proud owner of a French poodle named Suki.

I recently moved into a new house, and I have noticed some new, odd behavior from Sukita.

First of all, since she has been walking, she has always lifted up her right leg to pee.  I thought just boy dogs did this! Am I wrong?

She also does what all dogs do… something my Suegro calls “El Baile del Popo”, in which she sniffs around in about 15 circles which gradually get smaller and smaller before squatting to make number 2.

Lately, some unforeseen turn of events has led her to continue sticking her leg up a good 20 seconds after she finishes peeing.

Basically, she pees for 10 seconds, then just holds the position for another 20 seconds. This just started happening last week. WHY??? Plus, she recently began insisting on waking me up at 5 am every morning to go out. I don’t think she pees at 5 am, though, since when I walk her at 8 am she has to pee in the front yard. Can anyone explain this to me? Hope she’s ok…

Suki the dog at one month

Miercoles de Ceniza

Today is Miercoles de Ceniza in Mexico! (Ash Wednesday, for all you who live in gringolandia).

I’m not Catholic, so I don’t know a whole lot about Miercoles de Ceniza. I do know that it marks the beginning of the Cuaresma (Lent), and that today, every school/office building/church in Cancun will have special ceremonies in which a priest will mark a cross of ash on the foreheads of the Catholics. (What would happen if you tried to hold a religious ceremony in an American office building?) It symbolizes the concept that “you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

It’s days like this when I (almost) wish I were Catholic, because crosses made of ash look pretty cool. (There is always some poor soul whose “cross” looks more like a large dot. Maybe the priest had shaky hands? Large thumbs?)

Mexican Catholics follow a special calendar during the 40 days of Lent, where they can’t eat certain meats on certain days, and other days have special ceremonies and masses. There are also special prayers to be said.

Sometimes, I wish that we had this type of religious unity in the States… that nearly everybody practiced the same religion and held the same beliefs. It’s very calming.

Still, there’s something to be said for a country like the good ole US of A, where different cultures and beliefs provide for fascinating discussion and great diversity. There are pros and cons to both cultures in this aspect, and it’s so cool to find out about our differences and similarities.

**UPDATE: My wise fiance informs me that this ceremony is not held in every school. I had forgotten that my university (which was Catholic) had a chapel on campus. They did have it at my office building, though. My apologies for jumping to conclusions.

Where's Miss Manners When You Need Her?

At times like this, I wish Cancun had a Miss Manners column.

What do I do when someone “self invites” themselves to my wedding?

The other night, I ran into an acquaintance from college. We had a conversation that went something like this:

Pedro: So, when are you getting married?

Me: This July.

Pedro: Oh, great! Could you tell me exactly what day, so I can ask for time off of work?

Me: (panicking) July 22. But it’s a Thursday, so it may be difficult for you to go since it’s not on the weekend.

Pedro: Don’t worry! If I ask in advance, I can get the time off.

Me: Ok! Sounds great!

What have I done? I know, I’ve already screwed this up.

I have tons of friends that I would love to invite to the wedding, and I’m sure at least a few of them already assume they’re invited. My problem is, my fiance’s parents both come from families of 8 kids… so you can imagine the massive amounts of cousins, aunts, uncles, etc on our list, in addition to close friends and family friends.

My brilliant plan for the moment is to hope I don’t run into him and hope he forgets.

Anyone have any better ideas? How does one handle these situations?

Why, Cancun?: "Apostrophe's"

I just don’t get it. For some reason, some Mexicans who don’t speak English just love to pretend that they do. It sounds more “fresa” (Mexican term for a snob, elitist, rich person).

The main thing that bugs me about this is the frequent misuse of apostrophes. Many businesses and human beings just throw an apostrophe in there whenever there’s an “s” at the end of a word.

For example, I know a girl named “Christian’s”. I swear. NO JOKE. I have also seen menus reading “2 for the price of 1 beer’s”.

This isn’t to say that Mexicans can’t speak English. I know quite a few who speak very impressive English.

If you want to look cool and speak like a fresa, at least do it right, for the love of God. Bad grammar is never fashionable. (Another one of my pet peeves is the common Mexican misuse of  “fashion” as an adjective… but that’s a post for another day.)

Snapped this while in Bershka at Plaza Las Americas last weekend