Friday, June 25, 2010

So long, farewell, I hate to say good-bye...

We have had a hard couple of weeks. Mexico City has been challenging for us, mostly because of language barriers. We are all taking Spanish classes at Escuela de Idiomas Coyoacan but still we are far from fluent. The children are having an especially hard time, and miss their friends.
We did have a lovely visit to visit Betts and Carlos in Tenancigo last weekend (I'll post pictures soon,) but came home to news of death. First our chicken Coco, and then my grandmother Mary which was very hard. Then yesterday I heard that our dog Carmen helped kill our friend's cat Gary. So sad. So much death.
I am hoping in the power of three's, and that this is it for the rest of our trip?!

Anyway, I saw these beauties for sale last weekend in Tenancingo and they made me chuckle.
Because of course the deceased love flowers, but what they would really want now that they are dead are beer and cigarettes.

I suppose this isn't much different than "pouring a forty for yer homie?" Hmm?

If only I knew about the death that was awaiting us I could have stocked up on these.
But still, I don't think that our chicken, Stephanie's cat, nor my Mormon grandmother care for beer and cigarettes? Well... maybe the chicken would have enjoy the delicious roses?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Driving in D.F.

Can't understand why people are so confused when driving in Mexico City?

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Crime in Mexico City

Another insightful GEM stolen from the blog MidwesternerInMexico This is a great blog for people like us trying to navigator around this huge city. Also reinstates how the fear of Mexico City that most Americans have is unreal. Sure there are parts of Mexico City that are very unsafe, just like any big city. But I really do feel safer here than I do in Tucson. In fact I'll be happily surprised if our house in Tucson does not get robbed while we are here in Mexico City :(

The Official Quiz for Determining your Risk of Violence in Mexico

(please answer yes or no to the following questions)

  1. I am the head of a powerful drug cartel.
  2. I am employed by a recent drug cartel start-up, and my title is “Business Development Manager, Mexico”.
  3. I cannot leave the house without my 3 diamond rings, diamond stud earrnings, and emerald necklace.
  4. I only travel by limo.
  5. I insist on wearing shorts, sandals with socks pulled up to mid-calf, a Hawaiian shirt, and a floppy hat at all times, while using my obnoxious American “outside voice”.
  6. I have a tendency to flash wads of cash while trying to pay for a $10 peso bottle of water with a $1000 peso bill.
  7. I travel strictly using libre taxis hailed off the street in Mexico City, like the green VW bugs, because I don’t want to pay the extra $30 (+/-) pesos for a safer sitio taxi.
  8. I am a high-level Mexican law enforcement official actively engaged in the fight against drugs and am not on the narco payroll.
  9. I prefer to drive long trips between cities in Mexico only at night, and I am too cheap to pay the tolls to drive on the safe, well-maintained cuota highways.
  10. I insist on going out drinking by myself, getting loaded, then stumbling around the back alleys of Mexico City singing “You are my sunshine” at the top of my lungs.
  11. I sell drugs to a circle of depressed, soccer-moms in a US suburb, and I am traveling to Mexico to take advantage of the crazy dollar/peso exchange rate to find a new dealer for my drug supply.
  12. I am visiting Mexico to conduct a major business transaction for which I intend to convert $20,000 USD into $306,000 pesos in public at the airport currency exchange desk.
  13. I ask taxi drivers to take me on tours past the homes of local drug lords, where I get out of the taxi and take photos from the middle of the street during broad daylight.
  14. I insist on traveling to parts of Mexico City not mentioned in guide books or specifically mentioned as areas full of criminals, like Tepito, a.k.a. the “Thieves’ Market”.

OK, end of quiz! Time to review your score.

If you answered yes to #1, #2, or #8: I strongly recommend you avoid travel into Mexico, leave Mexico if you are already here, or seriously consider a new line of work.

If you answered yes to #3, #4, or #6: perhaps you have forgotten that you are visiting a country where the daily minimum wage for 2009 is $54.80 pesos. That is $3.58 USD PER DAY at the current exchange rate. Please bear this in mind and stop flaunting your money like a fool.

If you answered yes to #7 or #9: have you checked the exchange rate lately?? During the 8 months we have been here, it has gone from 10 pesos / 1 dollar to 15.3 pesos / 1 dollar. Stop being a cheap ass and spend the extra pesos to pick the safe option.

And finally, if you answered yes to #5, #10, #11, #12, #13 or #14: you are simply not very smart and probably shouldn’t be allowed to travel, period.

I hope this insightful quiz has eased your fears about travel to Mexico, as long as you are not an idiot or a criminal.

Now all this said I know that my mother is praying each and every day for our safe arrival back home!!! Because even her Mexican gardener has said that he would not go to Mexico City because of the crime.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

With love from Mexico...

We happened upon a cute and crowed toy store last weekend and started collecting some gifts for our nieces.
I'm a little over excited about them! And can't wait to improve my Spanish so that I can acquire some more cool little gifties.

First for my two year old niece Pearl in Australia, a tortilla making kit. Look it even comes with a mini tortilla press!!! She will definitely be the coolest kid in school now, especially when she strolls into her Australian preschool with mini handmade tortillas. I mean, really.

Also for both Pearl and our sweet little Audrey in Napa, Stuffed microbes!!! YAY!!!
Who in their right mind would not want their child to get E. Coli and Influenza from Mexico? (Hey, at least I didn't bring them back herpes.)

Yep. Nothing is too good for my nieces.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WEEK 1!!!
My family and I have been in Coyoacan for one Week today! It's still pretty hard to get around and we are having a hard time understanding everyone around us. We have been walking 45 minutes each way to our daily Spanish classes, then up to our apartment on the 4th floor (whew!). Not surprisingly we are pretty tired by the time we get home and have not explored around our hood too much. So today we ventured out of our bubble a little and took the trolley back home. It was nice not to have to walk for a change.

Even on trolleys Mexico Ari is "super."

Later we refilled our water bottle and walked through our hood a little. Found a very popular vegetarian restaurant and... what... a language school??! We could have been walking a mere 2 blocks to learn Spanish and not several miles? Well, where is the adventure in that?!
We also found a nice organic market and bought some beautiful eggs, organic veggies, organic milk, and strawberry jam. We still needed to go the the "Mega" for some other things, like tortillas de nopales (hey, worth a try!) I think the kids just like to go to the Mega just because of the escalator?

Also found another blog with some worthwhile info about living in Mexico City....