May 29, 2010


Another recessionary low season night in Centro at Miguel's Moonlite. I took Mirka, the Polish humanitarian worker, out for mojitos and Scott made it dinner! For a 200 peso tip, Gregorio seranaded us for a full set. We had everyone's undivided attention.

Scott and Mirka found a lot to talk about. Her experiences have been vast, even though she is only 28. She speaks Polish, English, Arabic and Farsi. She has scubaed in Thailand, Egypt, Israel and now, courtesy of Enrique's Unique Dives, Isla Mujeres.
While in Madagascar, she learned to love mangoes, which were free for the picking, never sold. And when in Poland, she is in charge of making the guacamole. The cost about $1.50US there.
So she even had it for breakfast during her walk to Punta Sur and back her last day. You'll be missed! She came to me via Couch Surfers and brought me a coveted jar of dried mushrooms, the only payment! But you can hardly get them anywhere! Worth their weight in gold at Christmas time!

May 25, 2010

Who do I trust?

Blog readers have heard about Sergio before. When it's time to get out of Dodge, and the calendar clock is ticking away, who ya gonna call? Sergio!
He's painting over the faded paint of the fence and doing a bang up job on the new gates. He's coming early tomorrow so Mirka from Poland can chill herself in a clean pool without having to go elsewhere while she adjusts to the time difference. She came into the house this afternoon decidedly HOT in her travel clothes from a still chilly Poland.
Oh, she's worked with Bedouins in the heat. But here, we have humidity, the kind she won't get accustomed to quickly.
She'll be traveling through Mexico and Central America, probably going back home from Panama.
Tonight, after a hearty nap, we will probably go hear some live music in Centro. It's been two long travel days for the nomad!

Check the horoscope

I feel like I'm living under a bad sign. I went to the paint store this morning to exchange paint that Sergio discovered yesterday was the wrong color. Yes, it was intense blue instead of intense greern.
So the guy who assists the manager went and got another gallon. Number 176, just like I brought back, not 177, which it should have been the first time. Intense green.
This is for painting the fence gates and touching up the fence, every other post orange and intense green.
Then I wanted the water green to touch up the side wall. No hay! The paint mixer is broke, will start working at 3:30p today. Sure. I did get a half gallon of the cantaloupe color of the north wall of the house.
Meantime, in my flurry of paperwork for various accountants in two countries, I lost my electric bills, due yesterday! Misplaced, I should say.
So here I am, it's getting hot and Sergio quit till it cools off. I am repackaging my paperwork. I am waiting for the head of housekeeping. And awaiting a guest tonight. Mirka from Poland, a humanitarian aide worker in desperate need of a break, is staying for free. Well, not really. She's bringing some mushrooms great for Christmas Eve rolls!
Back to the paper work. But first, check that horoscope!

May 22, 2010

Beating the drum

They start early and young here, beating drums for politicians they cannot vote for. Yesterday's drum corps was for Hugo Sanchez, the PAN candidate to head the municipality in NEXT year's elections.
Like rolling thunder, this was the second night we were treated to the enthusiasm. Dr Antonio Coronado's campaign message blared in the distance on a big screen TV. So the object was to drown it out. This started in the afternoon and continue well past midnight.
This goes on for hours. Speeches in the park, more rolling thunder marches, more free shirts and, the other day, frying pans! Pans by PRI, I think it was!
So, although I had gotten up and done some work in the night, I was sound asleep when the dog walker arrived, she like a zombiel. Her neighbors kept the party going all night.

May 21, 2010

Oh the joy!

Delfino's assistant "Witzy," whose name is actually spelled with a combination of letters including h, u, i....etc, gave Punta her first in shop pedicure Thursday. She also gave the dog an anti tick and flea shot and some anti parasite pills to give her this weekend.
It was a big day for the dog, who also went to the ATM with me and to a late lunch at La Bruja, where I had shrimp cocktail and she a few saltines.
We took a walk across the street from the restaurant, in the weeds, since she had not gone to do her business for a couple hours. Nothing!
She scared the beejeebers out of me when we got home, though. After hearing good reports about her street behavior from her walker, I was closing the gate and decided to unleash her so she could go to the bathroom in her sand garden on this side of the gate. She darted across the street!
I called for her and rather than sit down before crossing the street, which the walker said she always does, she darted in front of a car! Thunk, she was hit. I watched as she roller under it, just aghast. OH NO!
But she shook it off, ran right into the house, and to her potty pad. Even though we explored the weeds near La Bruja and elsewhere during our travels, she kept it in. Even immediately after being hit by a car! It did not scare the crap right out of her.
We have issues, potty issues.
The walker is going to get a full report tomorrow. This is very bad for a dog about to be care for by a stranger uncle for 5 weeks. He is, however, a good dog whisperer.

May 19, 2010

No Feliz!

I stopped at Miguel's for a Happy Hour drink after running a couple errands downtown. From 7 to 8, he sat with me and talked, since there were no other customers.
Before I stopped, I had visited the SuperExpress, which had two check outs open and a total of 6 people between the 5 items or less and the other lane.
I passed by a Asia Caribe whose owners came out with a sample of sticky ribs and asked if this is normal for May - a lack of people. It's being reported as 23-25 percent occupancy. Others reckon it's more like 20 percent.
There are a number of closed stores, a number of closed eateries and reports that many more will close for June.
So Miguel is not doing so well either. Oh, last weekend was OK. Then, it seems people just left. No one followed. The New Orleans-Pensacola Regatta is very small this year.
His rent is $15,000 pesos a month. My 100 peso tab will pay the cook. Some folks dropped by looking for conch. No hay! Maybe somewhere else.
Another person dropped by, looked in and left, not seeing any action.
"It is going to be hard. Some say, wait until July, when Mexican vacations start," he began. "But after two terrible years of swine flu misconceptions affecting their livelihoods, Mexicans have no money for Isla Mujeres."
And he is fully aware there is more. "Greece, the falling Euro, is going to keep Europeans away in August," he said. I added the bad PR from the drug lords war and law enforcement's lack of success in fighting them, too.
So, how will you manage?
"I don't know," he said. Then he drifted off into listing the high protein edible plants that grow in the Yucatan, plants few people know about. I told him about my Malabar spinach removal and that I have a pile of seeds. "Sure, I'll take some. I have soil in my back yard."

May 15, 2010

The brink

Brink. I am on the brink of leaving the island! Well, in three weeks. I'll be going to Cleveland for a week and then to my Ohio home for a month. It's a great little town with a lot of my school friends still living there.
First, Cleveland, where I am trading a week staying with a couple who will then come to Isla and stay with me for a week. During that week, I'll get my neurological work up and my "feminine" work up. Sergio Abramov will host a happy hour nook for me and my Facebook and other friends at 5pm on Friday June 11. I hope to work in a lunch or two at Siam Cafe.
My birthday is the 13th, so I'll be heading south then on the 12th. Family parties, etc. because my brother's birthday is on the 16th. And Malvern!
Don't get me wrong, I love the island. But near Malvern, actually Minerva, there are fields of strawberries. You can pick 'em, you can buy 'em picked. You can eat 'em dipped in batter and fried and the multiple fairs and homecomings in the area. You can eat a quart a day and have the boyz at the American Legion tell you your elimination habits have changed due to the water used to water the strawberries, not your actual consumption.
,I am getting closer, but this trip will still not be long enough to make the Carroll County fair. Lots to see and do, but still I remain a fan of the demolition derby. Oh, french fries with vinegar. Lemonade made with real lemons.
Here, a woman can belly up to the Legion bar and be treated as an equal. Because I could whip their butts when I was younger. Or so I think. My boyfriend wouldn't really let me run with them, so who knows.
Oh I'm just getting carried away on a hot Isla Mujeres morning. Too lazy to go to the market for watermelon and papaya. Just waiting for the head of housekeeping to help me along, hoping for Sergio to start painting.
Life here is good. But, see ya'all soon!

May 13, 2010

Aquatic equivalent of scabies

I've had the itch since Monday morning. It is from sea lice, the auquatic equivalent of scabies. When presented with my history and symptoms, the pharmacist gave my renters a scabies treatment. Yes, it's a small mite or a larva of thimble jelly fish, Sergio said. It grows in the sea grass.
I got it Sunday while floating off HiNiHa amongst the sea grass.
It seemed to leave after the first use of the cream, so I guess I just stopped. It's been eating me ever since. Itchy owee.
Some of my internet research led me to tea tree oil and that along with returning to the original cream has helped a lot. Treatments include a ingredient commonly found in dog flea soap and all urge a chroline infused bath after treatment.
So I think I am ready for the flea soap this afternoon. I'll towel off rather than shake off like Punta and hopefully this is over!

May 12, 2010

At ease! You've played enough.

Chaya, left, and Punta have had enough until the coming Sunday! Punta has just had a bath and will be posing for pictures as house dog of Zina's Guest House.

May 10, 2010


My poopy dog Punta is pooped today after a day of rough-housing with her best friend Chaya at the beach. Puppy is pronounced poopy here! Punta was on the bottom most of the time because Chaya figured out how to grab her by the collar. Never lost points for passivity!Watching this on a Sunday afternoon is better that Big Time Wresting!

May 8, 2010

Tourist trap!

This is the new look of Hacienda Mundaca. Gee, I hardly recognize it. Oh, we've never see this front before! Tell me what YOU think.

May 7, 2010

On Bruce's birthday, Kathryn the survivor!

It was a Celebration of Life on Bruce's first 50-something birthday. But most of us were celebrating Kathryn's emerging from 8 months of chemo looking like a model! Happy birthday, Bruce. Happy life, Kathryn!

May 5, 2010

Paella....para ella!

As he cooked paella for his mother's 70th birthday on Sunday, Viktor had me going. He said paella was a contraction of the words "for her, para ella." Not quite the case! But those of us gathered on Sac Bajo on Isla Mujeres for the feast did not question the chef.
Viktor kept it all under wraps! After I was drawn to the scent of olive oil and garlic, I got a peek! That was it.

A brother helped him carry it out when it was done, and Mami was impressed! We all were.

It was a real sight!
With a lot of Spanish chorizo, crabs, clams, shrimp, langostinos, chicken....rice. Did I mention the saffron? Saffron! It was delicious! Thank you Viktor, thank you Mami Maria for inviting us to share your birthday. Gracias a todo familia!
Johanna had never had paella before. She loved it! It was indeed very good! Well made by a man who often cooks for friends in Mexico City.

May 3, 2010

The sissies did it to me!

Kate and Deb, the sisters who call each other Sissy, and sometimes me, are gone. I got an email from Deb last night that she spent much of the day resting. We tempered our wine drinking with 6 oz Coronas called Coronitas. Yummy because it's always a cold beer!
And we were on a mango binge, me having bought 2 kilos of frozen mango and fresh mangoes on each corner. We'd whip out a blender for our nightcap of mango margaritas, well, using rum instead of tequila with Controy instead of Cointreau.
Still, consumption was not near what loved ones feared!
Teetotaler Johanna arrived Saturday and joined me for a day at HiNiHa with Sergio and his girlfriend Adreana and sister Julie from Toronto. And a guest there made paella that could have fed another 20 people. I'll post with pics tomorrow. Sergio is here working and it is going to be another hot one!
I've got to go to town and get some money from the ATM and buy paint for the new gates. It's already hot and still windy. Convection living.