January 29, 2011

These feets are made for spa-ing!

I've known Ursula for years. She was a manager at Color de Verano when they had the best cafe in town, now turned into more rental suites.
She works for Ana Marie Cote at The Spa at Rocomar now. And Wednesday was my
day to take these weary feet in for an overhaul.
After a once over and soaking, a wrap with the plastic film to get the calves ready for the later massage.

My mind drifted to the sea and occasionally my camera. These were my "Kodak moments."
Ursula was meticulous and gentle. I relaxed into the surroundings and drank herbal tea.

An hour and a half later, it was over. My feet were smooth and a long lasting finish was applied to the Opi color of my choice! The Spa is full service and Ana Marie has studied air brush make up in LA to complete a full look for bridal portraits. Her staff can handle the whole wedding party as well. Appointments at 877 0016.

January 25, 2011


Meet the Poster Child of the Week. As high season approaches, I advise you to stay away from this man, the likely thief of Gringa1's camera. She wrote the story yesterday afternoon on the mysisla.com chat board.
He was also the named suspect in my police prosecutor reports a couple years ago over the taking of my debit card and invoking my overdraft protection to get money I didn't have before I saw it on line some 10 hours later.
Who is this guy? A cocaine addict who calls himself a marijuana addict. But he's been hooked on coke since his teens and now in his mid-40s.
Joshua, really Josue Galvan, was the cook at Hotel Caracol in my early years coming to Isla Mujeres. That was when I didn't speak Spanish and he does speak English. Very well.
I've watched him get fired from every good job he's had on the island due to his coke habit. I thought he had it beat when I hired him two years ago during a really bad MS attack that lasted nearly three months. He would cook and do light cleaning and shopping four hours a day and then he could do his jewelry in my vacant apartment. He lifted my debit card after the employer relationship had ended and he came back to borrow a fan. But he knew my PIN, or as it's called here, NIP.
I figured I wasn't giving him any money, so the chances of a relapse were less. Wrong.
I bring him up not so much for his crimes, but for the risks to people who buy and build here and never learn the language. We have the whisper-case about a property manager . None of her ex- clients have gone public with their stories, but all her clients are now with other property managers. She was married to a Mexican and spoke the language. No one believed they'd be ripped off by a small town American. One property owner alone lost $44,000.
And then we have my conflicted feelings about the rush to reach everyone around here English. Creating a cozy spot for more monolingual people to get ripped off.
My feeling is that if you are going to try to live here, you should learn the language as soon as possible and don't buy until you do know it well enough to hired your own tradesmen and file your own complaints.
I thought I was helping an old acquaintance when I hired Josh. But I also knew he had a history of sticky fingers. As young people say these days, "My bad."
And I really hate living here and seeing more and more people going to the nearly free English school. It's said they'll make more money. But I'm wondering what percent will choose to be con-men? Enough Americans have taken huge losses as it is on the island. Others are paying marked up prices that the bilinguals collect and the workers don't profit.
You want to live in paradise? Learn the language for your own sake. It is the polite thing to do!
Now Gringa, get yourself over to Hotel Bucanero, take the English speaking owner's hand, and go meet the Director of Police.
You can curse me for this blog or praise me. It doesn't matter. It is just my opinion. But I don't care to debate it.

January 21, 2011

Money loser

Yep, that thunk, clunk and shimmy on the tour yesterday was from my money loser. The golf cart. Sure, it's a money loser...courtesy ride,gratis. And since I have a major repair twice a year that is less than scheduled car maintenance appointments in the US, I can't complain. You are looking at a bad brake drum, four bad shoes. The rotted cable wasn't brought in.
Wilberth will work on it today before work, at lunch and bring it home early evening. Go ahead, do the oil and filters!
So he smooched a bit with Punta and went off into the night. Me: money loser!

January 13, 2011

Wet and Raw

Pulling away from the Ultramar ferry in Juerto Juarez yesterday, I knew it was going to be a different kind of Cancun day for me. It was. Wet and raw. And really, it's the same on this side of the bay, too.
Frente Frio 20. Day 2 of the Norte, the Nor'easter, which is the 20th cold front since hurricane season.
Maybe they should have gone ahead and built that wall. It might have kept the cold fronts up north where they belong!

January 7, 2011

Cutting edge

Nine hours after admission for repair of an umbilical hernia, the staff of Clinica CAMA in Cancun sent me home. With flowers!

I haven't even paid my bill yet! Close to 3-thousand US dollars for doctors, nurse and facility. Julieta, a doctor and wife of the doctor who founded the clinic, took my information. The Mexican taxpayer receipt will be ready when I return for a check-up on Wednesday.
The surgeon, Jose Manuel Menendez, was terrific. My island doctor, Antonio Salas T. was there too. His UNAM medical college classmate, Dr. Guzman, was the anesthesiologist. He was the one responsible for the rock 'n roll playing in the OR suite when I was being rolled in. Hey, most OR suites at the Cleveland Clinic also rock 'n roll!

He had met with he shortly after admission to to discuss anesthesia options. After some further weighing of pros and cons, I agreed to go with the epidural, as long as I had happy drugs that made all enjoyable and highly forgettable.
The OR room banter was fascinating, with the docs asking Dr. Salas what caused the illness of 500 some people at a Christmas dinner hosted by the mayor, prepared by her brother-in-law.
The official story is salmonella, but Dr. Salas said some people got so violently ill so quickly, that e .Coli must also have been involved. The meal was prepared very early in the day and served in late evening. Pork loin, spaghetti...this is where the memory drug is showing its signs. I can't recall what else he said!
Dr. Jose Manuel was fast and steady. I only felt what seemed a weight on my belly as he worked on me.
So I leave the clinic after walking a bit with the nurses and eating yellow jello (pineapple) and drinking apple nectar.
Carlos came and took me to the UltraMar where I was seated in a wheel chair a by a baggage handler. On the other side, Marla Bainbridge and Tammi Lewis were waiting for me and took my prescrptions and filled them on the way home. Then they warmed up my soup, fed the dog, unpacked my suitcase, and yes, put the roses in water. Does your outpatient clinic give you flowers? Hmmm.

And at home, Sergio had walked the dog and cleaned the pool, promising to be back today, along with Carmen, head of housekeeping. I saw her daughter and son-in-law on the ferry and they said they'd tell her I am home already!
Around 9:30, as I awakened in breath taking pain, Dr. Mendoza called. Si? Take another tramadol with ketorolac. You'll be fine.
And I am. But I'm eyeballing the Demerol written by the Cleveland Clinic for me, since the next option here is morphine. I don't like it one bit. But hey, I certainly am not complaining!

January 3, 2011

The surgeon

This is the man I am entrusting with my belly button and the fist-sized hernia surrounding it. Dr. Jose Manuel Mendozo Cabrera, aka Jose Manuel to radiology at Hospital Americano, has been a doctor since his mid-20s, but only recently accredited as a general surgeon.
Along the way, he was a gastroenterologist with endoscopy and is now a general surgeon certified to perform laproscoptic surgery. He is a year older than me (I like that in a doctor!) at age 57.
I met with him again today and I fessed up that the Z-Pack prescribed by Dr. Yupit did little to clear up my sinus issues. He said it's best to wait until it clears up.
But after thinking it over, he prescribed Cipro and agreed it best to move forward so I an recover my strength in time for the next wave of hostessing at Zina's Guest House.
So, I meet Carlos Telliz, my cabbie and friend, on "the other side" at 7am Thursday and check into CAMA, an anacronym that spells the word 'bed' but means Centro Ambulante etc., an outpatient surgical center with all the life support one might need.
I don't believe the doctor speaks English, but I could be wrong. Someone over the weekend was appalled that I would go to a Spanish speaking doctor. Why? I speak Spanish and there are excellent doctors here for the residents. So why discriminate?