How to Speak Like a Mexicano: Nicknames

I touched on this subject in a previous post, but it’s so hilarious to me that I had to delve a little deeper. And so, I present you with another installment in the How to Speak Like a Mexicano series.

Living in Mexico, I have never managed to get over some of the customs and cultural differents. One of my favorites is the apodos (nicknames). In Mexico, NOBODY goes by their real name. That would be absolutely ridiculous… right?

Many simply shorten their full names (“Viri” for Viridiana, “Fani” for Estefania, “Tom” for Tomas, etc). Normal!

Most, however, take things to a whole new level. For example, in the States everyone calls me “Laura”. That’s it.

Here, that’s too easy. My nicknames include Lau, Lauris, Lauritz, Loritz, Laurita, Lorita, Wera (“white girl”), Werita (“little white girl”), Flaca (skinny… can’t complain about that one!), Gringa, Grinks, Gringation, Rorita (the Japanese pronunciation of Lorita), Chuchis, Virginia and “Zyeahn” (trying to pronounce my middle name… Jean).

With some people (especially boys) it gets to the point where people no longer know what their real name is. Here are a few examples of some friends/acquaintances (I don’t know at least half of these people’s real names. Sad.) I have placed explanations when possible.

El Gordo (the fat one) (my future brother-in-law)

El Flaco (the skinny one)/George (my fiance)

George/Giorgio (my future father-in-law)

Chela (“beer” or “blonde”) (my future mother-in-law)

El Borracho (the drunk)

El Negro

Chombo

Ponchis

El PG

Wow

Jimmy (not his name)

Chela (“beer”… a girl I knew in college)

El Perro (“the dog”)

Flash

Choco

Coyi (named after some anime character, I think)

Chicharrin (a deritive of “pea”)

La Popo (“the poop”… sadly, she is a girl)

Co (short for the Mexican word for “screwed”)

Pedos (“farts”)

Flacuchis (derivitive of “Flaca”)/Flaus/Mimi

Chino (“Chinese boy”)

Fish (???)

When my mom found out that my fiance’s mother calls her sons “El Gordo” and “El Flaco”, she freaked out a little bit. I had to tell her it was a cultural thing and that it’s out of endearment here. She kind of understood. Kind of.

Also, I’m excited today! I get to watch the new season of America’s Next Top Model! Hurray!

Electrocardiowhat?

I’m freaking out a bit this week. Ok… a lot.

My suegra recently found out that she suffers from a heart condition that she’s had since birth. I don’t understand 100% what it is, but it has to do with blood not flowing correctly between certain parts of her heart. She’s going to have to have surgery at some point in the near future. I love my suegra, and the idea is pretty scary. What would I do without this woman? Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be imminently serious.

My fiancé and his brothers also had to get tests done. My future brothers in law seem fine, but the doctor detected an irregularity in my fiance’s heartbeat. Today, he had to go get an electrocardiogram. Results come in Friday.

Again, there doesn’t appear to be any immediate danger, but it could mean surgery if he has the same thing my suegra has. Fiance seems unphased! Wish I could be that calm.

*sigh*

Please pray.

Gran Dubai

Last Saturday night, I was forced from the usual comfort of movies and sushi into heels, makeup and a dress so that I could go to the most “fashion” place in downtown Cancun: Gran Dubai.

For those who are unfamiliar, Gran Dubai used to be just Dubai, a small karaoke bar in Plaza las Avenidas that was, quite frankly, “un huevo“.

They recently moved to a much larger venue that’s supposedly still dedicated to karaoke… even though I only heard two karaoke songs in the 5 hours I was there. Bulldog Cafe magically disappeared off of Cancun’s social map, and Gran Dubai is now the place to see and be seen (or in my case try to fade into the background and maybe take a nap) on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

We had reservations with our group and got there early (10:30). We ended up waiting only 15 minutes outside before realizing that the bouncers tend to let in more girls… soooo all the girls in our group slyly moved up to the red rope. We were let in immediately.

We paid no cover with reservations, and were led upstairs to one of the tackiest places I’ve ever seen, covered in ugly red curtains everywhere you turn.

Sadly, our waiter was fired while we were there, but before he left he was able to bring us this:

Some of our group’s galpals also came along. Thank goodness, because if it were just two of us girls I dunno when they would have let us in the door! (2 girls + 4 boys = inconvenient odds for the bouncer)

The night ended in a photo session with some of my bffs (my roomie and bridesmaid showed up! Hurray!):

Ashanti and me

Me and Fiance

Viri (bridesmaid), Me, Cyndi (roomie), Jorge (hidden) and Juan

Overall, I’d have to sum it up with bad service and great music.

We only spent $200 pesos per person!

Still, to tear me away from sushi and movies on a Saturday, it’s gotta be a little better than that in the future.

Weekend in Merida: Hacienda Teya at Night

The real reason we went to Merida last weekend, in addition to sightseeing, was to have a cake-tasting and to see the wedding reception area lit up at night to get an idea of any extra  illumination we might need.

First thing in Merida, we traveled the streets in search of Lavalle’s bakery, our potential cake-maker. Merida’s streets are ridiculous to navigate without clear directions because, against all logic, many streets have the same numbers (ex: there are multiple streets called “Calle 7”).

Finally we stumbled onto the bakery by chance.

Upon arrival, the lady I had an appointment with asked me when my appointment was for. I said, “Today at 12”, to which she replied,  “Oh… Sorry, I thought today was Sunday!” Needless to say, I’m a bit concerned. In the end, we decided on chocolate cake with nut-flavored filling. YUM!

After long naps at the hotel, Montejo Palace, we drove out to the wedding venue, Hacienda Teya. This 400-year-old hacienda is absolutely GORGEOUS. When we first saw it last October, we fell in love immediately.

We all arrived at about 8, since there was going to be another wedding all set up at that time for us to see. The organizer who was supposed to show us around wasn’t there, so the waiters informed us that we could pretty much just wander around on our own. Suh-WEET!

Let me tell you… wandering around a 1600’s hacienda by yourself in the dark is friggin AWESOME!  and frankly pretty scary. Everyone but me seems pretty convinced that the hacienda is haunted.

Here are some of the pics I took:

The setup for the wedding that night (our reception is going to be in another event room bc I don't trust anyone around alcohol, a pool and mirrored columns)

the outside of the other event room

big trees in the drive-up area

scary hallway #1

scary hallway #2

main stairs leading up to our reception area

scary hallway #3

entrance to the reception hall

our reception hall, set on dim lighting

Why, Cancun?: Taylor Lautner Wants Me Fired

Well… crap.

All hopes of job security one year from now are out the window.

Apparently, Taylor Lautner of werewolf Twilight fame has decided to royally screw me over.

The good news: Taylor Lautner is set to star in a new action movie entitled “Cancun”. Sounds awesome, right? He should start shooting in June, meaning that he may still be around for my wedding week in July. (in case any of my sisters/cousins are interested in some stalking! Might make for an interesting bachelorette party…)

The bad news: The movie is about a group of spring breakers that get kidnapped while in Cancun.

Um… what?

Normally I would be all over this. It sounds like great publicity for Cancun! However, I think Summit Entertainment has failed to take into account two important points:

1. Cancun is safe and spring breakers never get kidnapped here.
2. We just got through a rough year where tourists essentially stopped coming to Cancun due to the swine flu scare (which never even made it to Cancun) and due to rumors of drug wars (even though the drug wars were taking place on the other side of the country… thanks, media).

If this movie were to be made two years ago or five years from now, I would say “great!” However, a movie about kidnapping in Cancun (however hot the star may be) right in the wake of a horrible recession caused by a false bad rep is NOT good for Cancun.

I’ve already seen many friends lose jobs over Cancun’s bad rep caused by a paranoid media scare. This is the last thing we need right now.

Still, I’m hoping that I’m proven wrong. If we can keep up a good rep until this movie comes out in a year or so (and everyone has forgotten all the lies), then maybe it just might have a positive effect and draw in more spring breakers in search of some “vacation relation” who looks like Taylor Lautner.

Extremely hot? or extremely EVIL?

 

Who do you think will win… college hormones or mass paranoia?

Weekend in Merida: Montejo Palace

During our trip to Merida, we stayed at a great hotel called Montejo Palace located on the famous Paseo Montejo. This street is filled with colonial mansions and the best nightlife in the city. We were right in the middle of it!

The hotel is pretty run-down, but the great location, pretty garden, and gorgeous views more than made up for the shabby carpet in the hallways and the general lack of hot water.

It was very clean and the service was so attentive! It was only $420 pesos for the night, and even after a few minor inconveniences, we felt that it was well worth the money.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, they had closed off our side of the street for the weekly Family Day. We went out for a walk along Paseo Montejo, surrounded by families of bikers, dog-walkers and skaters. The big trees made for relaxing shade from the sunny skies. It was a perfect morning.

Our room was on the sixth floor, so our views were amazing!

Here are some pics:

The girls' room!

the living room (couch/bed not pictured)

daytime view from our balcony

looking down onto the garden from the 6th floor

Me in the garden area! (note the wind-blowing-through-hair look!)

nighttime view from the balcony

Paseo Montejo from the back seat

Weekend in Merida: Valladolid

On a weekend trip to Merida this past weekend, we stopped by a large town in the state of Yucatan called Valladolid (Vie-ah-doh-LEED), which is about an hour and a half from Cancun, somewhat close to the ruins at Chichen Itza.

We stopped on the way there to get breakfast at a local market near the main square:

the mercado where we ate, filled with small restaurant stands and shops

Jorge (far right) buying breakfast

That entire table of food cost us about $12 USD total.

On the way back from Merida the next day, we stopped in Valladolid again to stretch our legs and look around the main square, which just happens to be one of my favorite places in the world!

sunset by Valladolid's main square

Viri and Juan in front of the gorgeous colonial cathedral

Me and Jorge!!

central fountain

Valladolid's main square at twilight

Facebook Tries to Save the "Green Bellybutton"

Hello, all! I just got back from a productive weekend of wedding planning in Merida. I’ll be sure to put up some pics and updates over the next few days.

Having heard some positive rumors on the situation with the Ombligo Verde in downtown Cancun, I did some research this morning. I couldn’t confirm much, but here’s what I HAVE learned:

Cancun continues to battle with the local government (especially Mayor Greg Sanchez) over the “Plaza Bicentenario” that’s planned to be built in the “Ombligo Verde”, one of downtown Cancun’s last green areas that still remains standing. Many Facebook groups made up of thousands of concerned citizens have been set up, organizing numerous protests and “adopt a tree” programs. The voices are definitely being heard, and various politicians have attempted to join in to aid the cause.

The protesters, however, are very suspicious of the out-of-the-blue political aid. Worried that these politicians may just be trying to jump onto the bandwagon to earn future voters, Cancunenses continue to politely insist that this movement is to be done only by the citizens.

One senator from the Green Party has been demanding info from SEMARNAT (Secretary of Environmental and Natural Resources) on the origin of the suspicious sudden change in the use of terrain in the Ombligo Verde, since it supposedly is affecting seven protected species. (GRRRR!)

I have heard rumors that the new Plaza Bicentenario will no longer include the government offices and will be turned into a park, but I haven’t found information to confirm that. If anyone knows anything, let me know!!

They've been leaving a ring of trees around the perimeter along with a covered fence, to hide the deforestation in the center area.

The sign reads, "We don't want the City Hall in the Ombligo Verde. Say 'no' to changes in terrain use laws. We do want a protected natural area for the city."