We're (Almost) Legal!

Guess what? Tomorrow morning Jorge and I will be legally married!

I know, I know… we already had the wedding, but we haven’t signed the marriage certificate yet (in Mexico these concepts are a bit more separate than in the US, or so I understand)

After way too much money and paperwork given to immigration and civil registry, we were finally approved! $500 – $800 pesos handed over to civil registry can get the process done a bit faster, in case you were wondering. I’m not sure if that’s an “official” payment or something more under-the-table… but it worked!

The bad news is that today, Jorge, Viri (my witness) and myself seem to have all come down with something simultaneously. I started off the morning with stomach pains, which turned into nausea in the afternoon, and has now translated into an achy body. I reeeaaally hope this gets better by tomorrow.

So it looks like tonight I’ll watch an hour of House Hunters International, then sleep for 2 hours, then give myself a mini pedicure, then iron the dress I’m going to wear for tomorrow. I hope Jorge’s feeling better so he can be my nurse for the evening.

Wish me luck!

The Cancun Hilton Golf Course

On Saturday I went with Juan, Viri and Jorge to play some golf at the Hilton. We’re too poor to actually play the course, but for $150 pesos a person (about $12) we got unlimited balls for the driving range and putting green. Just for the opportunity to be at that beautiful course was worth every peso!

I’ve played a few times before, but I’ve never been very good. Saturday was Jorge’s first time playing and he did pretty well, considering nobody has taught him how to swing.

The driving range

We ended up playing for over 3 hours! The weather was perfect… sunny with a breeze. Hopefully we’ll get back there soon.

Can't Argue With This Solid Logic

For those of you who don’t already know, my job is to write, edit and translate web content for a travel agency here in Cancun. I’m proud to say our content is original and well-written.

However, a coworker recently came across our website’s original frontpage text in our archives… from the year 2000. Enjoy!

 

 

Cancun is an island.

A very unusual island, with a whimsical silhouette that conforms perfectly to the classical geographic definition or what an island should be: solid land surrounded by water.

This is the case of Cancun, a section of solid land, firmly anchored to the earth’s crust and forever surrounded by salty seas. That’s exactly where all similarities among Cancun and all the other islands of the world end.

 

 

So Cancun is, in fact, an island… just in case you didn’t catch that.

 


Just Thursday

Outside my window.. it’s sunny with some clouds at 79 degrees.
Today I feel.. productive (let’s hope that feeling lasts until 5:30)
I am thinking.. that I’m hungry! Gonna crack open a strawberry yoghurt as soon as I finish this post.
I am thankful.. for the bouquet of chocolate roses I got for Valentine’s Day!
Tomorrow I am going.. to the gym, and after that I have no idea.
I am wearing.. my work uniform.
I wish.. my entire family would come visit me in Cancun again! That was awesome.
This weekend I.. think I might go play some golf at the Hilton!
I am reading.. The Girl Who Played with Fire (now on page 150)
I am working on.. starting up another website! (you’ll hear more about that down the road)
Yesterday I.. went to Cheesters again! Yummmm! Guess what I’m having for lunch today? Leftovers of this…
I am hoping.. that immigration stops taking all my money. (Paid them $270 and got permission to legally marry Jorge… now I have to pay another $65 to sign up with their “National Registry of Foreigners”.)
I am hearing.. the hum of the AC, and a phone ringing.
I bet you didn’t know.. that I’m losing weight! I’ve been going to the gym for a few weeks, and the other day I had 3 guys at my office tell me I look thinner! Yay! Not much loss in the hips, but I seem to have lost my double chin. Life is good.
One of my favorite.. sandwiches is the Monte Cristo (battered, deep fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with raspberry sauce.)

If I could travel anywhere, I would choose.. Florianopolis, Brazil.

Mexico's Ideal Woman

Last night one of my favorite Mexican movies came on TV… Amar Te Duele (Love Hurts).

Jorge introduced me to this movie when we first started dating. It’s a typical Romeo and Juliet story set in Mexico City. Rich girl falls in love with a poor boy, and it makes everyone angry.

Starring Luis Fernando Pena, Marta Higareda and Marta Higareda’s boobs, the movie was apparently hugely popular here when it came out in 2002.

The thing that fascinates me the most about this movie is how much Mexican guys LOVE Marta Higareda. Personal observation has shown me that Mexican guys prefer girls who are “cute” over girls who are “smokin hot”. It seems they like girls to be softspoken and just plain old adorable.

Here are some hotties who are popular in Mexico, all known for their adorableness:

Marta Higareda, of course (to be fair, she has played a few bad girls since "Amar Te Duele", but it's still her most famous role)

Emma Watson

Vanessa Hudgens

Hinata... seriously. I know several guys who have a crush on this shy Japanese anime character.

Obviously I’m generalizing, since many Mexican guys fall for outspoken American/Canadian women every day, but these seem to be the ideals among my group of friends.

If any of my friends in Mexico can think of any others, let me know and I’ll post some more photos!

What traits do guys in your country look for in a woman?

The Ugly Americans

I’m not sure how to go about writing this one, just something I wanted to get of my chest, I guess.

During my time here in Mexico, I’ve heard many comments about Americans. (Turns out we don’t have a very good reputation… sorry to break it to you guys haha)

I can deal with most of these comments. People saying we’re loud, all we do is party, we’re all rich, we all go on vacations several times a year, etc etc. I understand that I live in Cancun, so obviously this is the side of Americans that my friends see. It’s not close to being true (except that we are very loud!), but again, this is what they see here, so I think only we’re to blame for that one.

Last night I was at a friends house for drinks, and the men started making lots of comments about Americans. Here are some interesting ones:

1. Mexicans are more pure-blooded than Americans. I will agree with this one to an extent. Mexicans in general are decended from 1 or 2 indigenous groups plus Spanish heritage. As a white American, I know of at least 5 different countries/races that I come from. Still, I have had people bring this up with me more than once, and I have yet to receive an explanation as to why it’s relevant. (When one gentleman brought that point up last night, it was met with cries ofย  “WHO CARES?” from the rest of the table.)

2. Americans don’t have a clear descent. I can trace my family tree back to the 1500s (thanks Grandma!). I know exactly where I come from.

3. Americans are the most racist country in the world (referring to white people vs black people). I disagree. I think you could have made a point of this 40 or 50 years ago. At least where I grew up, white people in my generation or my parents generation don’t seem to have many feelings of superiority over African Americans. I can’t speak for every state, but in Virginia that was very much the case. I did mention to the table that there are strong racial divisions in the country (neighborhoods, schools, etc etc) but that in general I don’t think we have more interracial hatred than many other countries. I also found it interesting when I moved here that in Mexico there are many feelings of superiority between certain races. For example, when I started dating Jorge, some of my friends from other parts of Mexico told me to dump him because “he’s dark and Mayan, and you can do better.” I didn’t think it would be fair to bring this up last night, however, because I have never seen any comments of that kind from the people present at the table.

4. All Americans vacation at least once or twice a year. Mmmm definitely not all of them. I would guess that many of us vacation that often, but certainly not out of the country. My family would vacation several times a year at my grandparents’ lake house, for example, so we never had much need to go elsewhere. I read recently on a CNN article that only 30% of Americans have passports.

5. Americans are crazy. I think Grandma Laura responded best to this comment by yelling, “What, and Mexicans aren’t even crazier?!”

6. White Americans are the worst serial killers. I would say we have the most individuals who kill for no reason apart from craziness, at least from what I see on the news. Yeah, I can’t argue with that one.

7. Americans have no culture. This one. This is the one that really pisses me off and that I have to bite my tongue on. Here’s how I see it: Mexicans have a culture that focuses strongly on their past, which is a very beautiful thing. Mayan architecture, Aztec traditions, regional dances, traditional clothing… all very cool and one of my favorite things about this country. America has a culture that focuses on its present, which might be interpreted as having no culture by other countries. However, when the man of the house said “Americans have no culture” last night, we were listening to American music on his computer, his DVD holder was filled with dozens of American movies and there were 3 bottles of Coca Cola on the table. Don’t tell me there’s no such thing as American Culture when your house is filled with it.

Sorry to rant. I just had to say some of the things I held back last night.

Reading American news sites, I’m often angered by the comments sections. Americans seem to be equally guilty of misjudging other countries and cultures. I can’t believe some of the things said on news sites about Mexicans, and it’s truly sad.

Honestly, I feel like both sides are being somewhat trained and conditioned to hate eachother. Each side has been bombarded with imagery depicting the absolute worst of the other country, and made to assume that’s normal. It’s not.

Both America and Mexico are filled with loving, hospitable, generous and open-minded people. I’m honored to be from one, and honored to live in the other.

I guess my point is: Don’t believe everything you’re told. Get to know somebody before making snap judgements. Just because you hear something from a friend or on the news or in a movie, that doesn’t make it true.

*rant over*

Just Thursday

Outside my window.. it’s been a bit overcast all week, but that’s ok because it means I can keep the blinds open most of the day at work!
Today I feel.. like it should be Friday… am I right or am I right?
I am thinking.. about how I forgot part of the paperwork for a thingy at my office and that I’ll need to race to my in-laws house on my lunch break to get it.
I am thankful.. that I had a lawyer to do all my immigration paperwork this week … for free! So nice not to have to step into the dreaded Cancun immigration office.
Tomorrow I am going.. to work, then the gym, then to enjoy an evening to myself.
I am wearing.. my work uniform.
I wish.. that life would slow down.
This weekend I.. will be celebrating my friend Viri’s birthday at the club on Saturday night! What to wear… ??
I am reading.. still reading The Girl Who Played with Fire. This might take awhile.
I am working on.. getting 2 New York hotels to e-mail me back with information I need for work. (Mexican, Canadian, and other US hotels manage to write back within 24 hours… what’s going on, New York?) For shame.

FOR SHAME!!!

Yesterday I.. went to work, went to the gym, watched the Mexico Bosnia game, ate sushi and watched TV. Exciting.

I am hoping.. to be productive at work today. Mornings have been going well, but lately in the afternoons I kind of zone out.
I am hearing.. my boss giving detailed instructions to somebody.
I bet you didn’t know.. that Jorge and I decided what we’re doing for our (very, very belated) honeymoon! Details to come ๐Ÿ™‚
One of my favorite.. movies is 50 First Dates.
My Valentine’s plans include.. I dunno, we never really celebrate Valentine’s Day. We’re weird like that. Our biggest romantic celebration is usually on August 3, our 6-month dating anniversary. (Our year anniversary is Feb 3, but we always seem to have more money and less other expenses in August.) I know… we’re weird.

Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres

Jorge went to Merida this weekend for his mom’s surgery, which went very well! He came back Sunday evening, and since I had Monday off for a Mexican holiday, we decided to go to Isla Mujeres to celebrate our 4 year dating anniversary. (Can we still celebrate that even if we’re married? Well, we did.)

One of my favorite things about going to Isla Mujeres is the ferry ride. Here are some shots…

That's Cancun's hotel zone skyline on the horizon

Isla Mujeres on the horizon

 

We arrived at the Isla Mujeres port and headed straight for my favorite spot in the entire world… Playa Norte (North Beach).

 

My view

 

My favorite part of Playa Norte is the water. There are no waves (I hate waves), and the water is only chest-deep for as far as the eye can see. The sand is powdery, and there are no plants or rocks underfoot. It’s like swimming in a pool, but it’s the ocean!

After a few hours we saw some storm clouds rolling in, and we decided to head back to the ferry.

On the ferry ride back home, we could also see some intense storm clouds headed for Cancun on the horizon. It made for some cool shots.

We were lucky to get back home before the rain started! Today I’m back at the office (no fun) and it’s still raining!

Just Thursday

Haven’t done this in awhile, but it’s time!

Outside my window.. it’s a beautiful, sunny day! 79 degrees ๐Ÿ™‚
Today I feel.. relieved. Jorge and I went over finances last night, and things aren’t nearly as dire as I thought! (Actually, they’re pretty good!)
I am thinking.. that I need to stop reading news sites. It just makes me angry.
I am thankful.. for my new (to me) couches! They’re so comfortable and cute.
Tomorrow I am going.. to work and the gym… then who knows?
I am wearing.. my work uniform.
I wish.. I can’t think of anything. Guess that means life is pretty good!
This weekend I.. will be by myself. Jorge is going to Merida for the weekend because his mom is getting surgery there on Saturday. Should be a simple procedure, but prayers are welcome! The good news is that I have Monday off ๐Ÿ™‚
I am reading.. The Girl Who Played with Fire. I hope to find the 3rd book in the series here in Cancun… time to start hunting!
I am working on.. getting the paperwork together so Jorge and I can get married! (We had the religious ceremony but have yet to sign the official papers)
Yesterday I.. kicked butt at the gym, then got sick all evening ๐Ÿ™
I am hoping.. to lose about 30 pounds in the next few months. So far: 3 pounds!
I am hearing.. office chit chat.
I bet you didn’t know.. that there was a shark attack in Cancun this week. Crazy!!! The Canadian media is going crazy as usual. I can’t believe they actually found a way to tie this to the drug wars on the border. Never ceases to amaze me what lengths the media will go to just to bash Mexico. Come on… it’s nature. It’s the ocean.
One of my favorite.. fruits is canteloupe. (I’m eating some as we speak!)
Current Temp.. 79 degrees