April 26, 2011

You never know

Getting things done in Mexico is so challenging that it is often just easy to blame the worker. I have had several people ask me for a computer tech recommendation in the last couple months only to come back with, "He's never there. He doesn't answer his calls. His store looks closed."
He is the best, I would say. They are having problems with the baby, I would say.
Adrian Martinez of Adrian's Internet Cafe has been my computer tech for more than two years.
When I last saw him just over a month ago, asking him to reconfigure my wireless network, since a neighbor kid was riding the opening network. We had made a decision to open it because the routers otherwise were not allowing network access to Macs.
He hurriedly told me that day, that the baby was being born with problems.
So, time passed and Adrian Martinez showed up today and got to working. "How's the baby?" I asked about an hour into it.
"The baby died. It was born premature in a private hospital," he began. "They suggested we go to General Hospital because otherwise the incubator would cost 5000 pesos a day."
The baby developed sepsis, a blood infection, in the Neonatal Unit. " He was there 18 days; it was called a 'super infection.' No antibiotic worked at all."
Bernice is taking it hard. "She carried the baby. made a nice closet and wardrobe." She cries, he said.
It looked like Adrian has been crying, too. "Yes, we are going to write to the mayor of Cancun. While were were there, five babies died the same way with sepsis. There is something wrong in the baby section of that hospital," he said.
You just never know. It is so easy to blame the worker who doesn't show up.

April 19, 2011


Gail Stewart was just leaving after a visit as Catholic Youth crusaders Martin, Jerrod and Omar arrived, bearing white rosaries. Misiletes and pictures of Jesus, urging us to go to church this week if we are Catholic (we are) and were in need of Misaletes in Spanish (we were). No no, no donations allowed. "You give during the collection at church," Martin said. And Holy Week's main services start right around the corner Thursday at 7pm at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church (El Sagrado Corazon de Jesus). I am so glad to be here.

April 12, 2011

Pinching pesos

It's a minor crisis when a golf cart needs new seats every three or four years. Of course, the wood rot and upholstery break down doesn't occur when the cash is flowing. And after spending 4000 pesos plus 1400 in labor for new air conditioning and its installation, it's a little hard to envision spending 4000 pesos to fix up the machine.
On my last trip to Cancun, Carlos and I shopped alternatives. First, the Club Car store, where they wanted 780 pesos a seat cover, but had no backs. Plus your own plywood.
So I asked Carlos to take me to the fabric store Assis. I was looking for the equivalent of naugahide. They had several choices, but the only one thick and pliable enough was in pistachio green. A lovely Caribbean color, I might add.
My idea was to procure pre-cut plywood, thicker this time, and use a staple gun. Sergio took it on, even though he'd never done it.
The cloth was 280 pesos for three square meters. Staples 50 pesos, plywood 120 pesos and one donated sheet.

Punta, of course, enjoyed supervising the whole project. Sergio also tightened or replaced all the frame bolts and screws and cleaned off black paint applied to the aluminum a couple years ago by Gilligan. An annoyance as it always was chipping away.
So, for 1000 pesos labor and 500 pesos in parts, I have an upholstery job that would have cost me likely 4000 pesos this year, but without seams. Hey, I like it a lot!

April 8, 2011

An Aquired Taste

I guess you could say I love Mexican life and all it has to offer, including cuisine. And when eating in Mexico, do as the Mexicans do. Comida Mexicana is a varied thing. From squash blossoms, fried or in soups, to the "Mexican truffle" called huitlacoche (pronounced weet la ko chee).
Huitlacoche is a corn fungus. Sounds gross, eh? It is a mold that grows between the husk and grains and then makes the grains larger and larger, until they are ready to burst.
When they do, or are helped along, they make an aromatic, mildly pungent black paste.
You've heard of food porn. This is real smut! Corn smut.
Here on Isla Mujeres, I know of three places that offer some. Casa Rollandi in Centro offers is as one of their pizza toppings. Bastso Grill has it in a quesadilla. And Rooster Cafe offers it in the sauce that accompanies the Island Omelette. If you haven't acquired the taste, try it. If you have the taste, know where to go! It's bound to be a popular food choice here during Semana Santa, the Easter vacation.

April 6, 2011

Mystery dog revealed

Every morning, Punta has been in a rush to get out and smooch through the fence with this cute charcoal grey pooch. Who did it belong to, I wondered. Good looking dog, getting his shots, well cared for, but here every day and not "local."
Today, we learned. It was near the street sweeper, getting a pat when I asked Naomi if she knew. It's hers! Popi is a cared for Mexican dog, vaccinated, fed and loved. Dear to his mother. Punta and I just love it!

April 4, 2011

Living on Mexican Time

Mexico begrudgingly joined the US yesterday in celebrating spring by springing forward an hour into Daylight Savings Time. And of course, a number of people were caught unaware and the "conchita" pulled pork vendors were left holding the pig!
Mexico did it on the first Sunday in April. Just like it did with the US until the US got smarty pants about it and changed the rules.
Mexico doesn't like that kind of change! No sir. Didn't like doing it in the first place so many years ago. Didn't like getting up an hour earlier this morning! Our body clocks say so. Don't they?
Well, the truth is, I thought about how wrong it would be to do it before the spring equinox. It would have meant our missing the last ferry getting back from Chichen Itza when we made our way to see the serpent!
So, for the next week, people will be late, not having heard word about the time change. Newspapers don't go crazy here promoting it in advance like they do in the US.
Those caught unawares will just be inconvenienced and snickered at in sympathy. And for the next week or two, when making business or dinner dates. the confirming question will be asked. Old or new time?
And for the record, the roosters seem to get along better with the rest of us on Daylight Savings time, crowing an hour later! Why are we saving daylight anyway? To get the crops harvested in the evening?