Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ears! Pierced!

 
 
I'm 31 years old and finally got my ears pierced. 
Two days ago at work with my babies :)
 
 I tried about a year ago at Wal-Mart in the states but the lady put one in that faced LEFT and another that was so crooked it looked as if the stone were depressed and looking at the floor.  It was horrible. 


I've honestly trying to up my image for work this past year, lost the 50 pounds, got a lesson from the kinder teachers on how to wear makeup -they honestly GRABBED me one day in the morning and said "We're giving you a makeover!"  I didn't even know them that well but I guess they just couldn't deal with a grown woman not wearing her war-paint.  Once in the school I worked at before this one I was actually taken into the OFFICE to have my boss tell me that I should try out wearing eye shadow and mascara.  THAT pissed me off, but these ladies were kind and funny and I felt like a princess. 

Of course they made me look like a prostitute, but in the end I learned enough to start going about it on my own. 

Do they have piercing places in the mall here like anywhere else though?  Uh..not that much.  I went today and nobody could even tell me if a place EXISTS in this city of 1,000,000 people.  Yet all 6 of the ladies I asked HAD pierced ears.  One mentioned that everybody just takes their baby girls to the doctor when they're a few days old and he does it.  Seriously, nobody could give me a place.


See?  They even put makeup on DAISY!
Aaaaaaaaand then I picked up Daisy from my neighbor/babysitter/Friend and told her my dilemma.  She laughed and told me I was silly, that people just do it themselves here.  She said she's done her daughter twice, her sister in law and a cousin or twelve.  She told me to go get them and she'd do it for me.  
So.  I did!   I went home and got ice cubes, a bottle of rubbing alcohol and the pointy tipped earrings.  Of course when I got to her house she looked at the alcohol like I was insane and instead made me stick the earrings into a clove of garlic for one minute.  

Ohhhhhh Mexico.  Garlic DOES have antibacterial killing .....stuff and I thought it was pretty smart.  (although I still threw them in the alcohol for good measure, despite her dismay.)


2 minutes later and I had pierced ears - and it didn't even HURT!  They said bee sting but I barely felt a thing and it hurt A LOT OF FREAKING SHIT LESS than it did at Walmart with the gun. 

WHO KNEW??


Just to show you that he DOES smile.
So, waist - smaller, face - makeup! and today - earrings.  I don't think I've ever SEEN a Mexican woman without pierced ears.  It's like...un-heard of.  Like a secret sin or something.  So the fact that I'm 31 and couldn't wear earrings was another glaring insult in the eyes of fashion here. 
Plus, I've always wanted to buy all the spangly earrings I see in stores  :D

I deal with well-to-do parents on a daily basis and have honestly taken it in that it would do me well to look my best.  People respect you more when you look like you care about yourself and it's high time I DO that (and reap the benefit of that bit of added respect.)

Next is my hair.  I've had the same hippie hair cut since I was....born.  I've only deviated ONCE into the land of layers and then went strait back to my hippie hair.  Alas the time has come though and my boss knows a man who's apparently the GUY to go to. 

I've even started buying clothes that are wardrobe pieces and not just my normal kooky shit or t-shirts. 

Maybe it's the water here?  I mean really who AM I?  Or maybe I'm getting old?

Or mature?  Or just care about my job.  I think the real fact is that I'm around so many other people who take pride in their appearance that it's rubbing off and I just plain want to fit in.  Plus, it feels good. I'm second from the right in this picture, I don't even recognize myself!  Lipstick! Blush! 


Aaaaaaaaaaand I'll  no longer be that weirdo gringa no-earring/makeup wearing FREAK.  Cuz they really did think I was a freak. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

UPDATE!!

I know, you think I'm gone, another one bites the dust!   It's pretty much the truth but a new gringa in town said she had read my blog BEFORE we ever even met, and when we DID meet it was by chance.  Anyhoo she said that it helped her a lot and it really touched me and I remember that there are probably more new women and men like me coming here all the time. 

SO, if I'm not going to delete my blog (which would be like cutting off a HAND) I should at least update once in a while so that people still know I'm living here in Mexico and how things are doing. 

The past few years have been so crazy and I know the future will be as well, even more so perhaps, but I can at least UPDATE right??

My two year old and three year old are sleeping right now.  I can't believe I've had two children since moving here. 

I'm on holiday from my job right now, another Mexican holiday - there are so many! - to get me off of work that is becoming increasingly more difficult and detailed but supports my family and allows my children a good education. 

My husband has now finished a full school year cycle at the trade school and is quite the handy man.  We have a big ole sign out now that says he repairs washers, dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, and mini-splits.  And lol, in small letters - blenders and their parts, where it all started for him.   In August he's going back to learn how to do more - car air-con and then maybe on to welding.  It's amazing how cheap the education is and yet how much it has changed his life here.  I feel so blessed!

I just got back from a 4 day stay in San Antonio.  I saved up and went with my boss to the International Reading Association conference.  I attended a gazillion conferences and learned so much I don't even know where to start.  I also enrolled myself this week in an online study in classroom management on Edumy.  I'm doing as much as I can to learn more about education so that I can keep up with my position AND provide a better education for the students I'm in charge of looking after.  Our School had 400 something my first year, 650 something my second and we're aiming for 800 this next August.  The place is growing like crazy and I had better be with it! 

My husband and I had finally come to an ugly head in our relationship a few months back.  I actually asked him to move out and he did.  I thought it was over between us, the stress of Mexico and two babies being to much for us to navigate, I thought we had destroyed our marriage but luckily was wrong.  I had a good friend at school talk me into at least TRYING marriage counseling even though I thought it was for nothing.  My husband JUMPED at the possibility of us working out and found us someone right away. 

So, we went to counseling separate for a while and then together.  The counselor was like magic and our marriage today is better than EVER!  I can't believe it some days how happy we are and how lucky I am to have had people around to help us through and navigate. 

On a note, if you're wondering I never planned to move back to the U.S.   I promised him that I would never take the babies back to the U.S. and leave him behind - how could I??  Unless he were harming them I really never would, I would stay here till they were grown, it's my home now.  

I still miss my family and a couple of close friends from back home but am lucky that my parents come to visit a couple times a year.  And I've made such good friends here that life is a good place to be. 

Yes, the lights still go out sometimes for a day or the water still shuts off for a half a day or day sometimes but it doesn't bother me anymore, it always comes back on.  I've learned to make an ugly peace with cockroaches (although I WILL NOT give up on killing as many as I can) and ziplocks are now my new best friend. 

OH!!  I've lost almost 50 pounds the past almost year now!!  That's new!  YEE HAWWW!!  I've been on the Atkins way of eating and love LOVE it.  I also joined a gym and have gigantic man biceps, it's true, but I look and feel great.  I've never been this small in my entire life and when I see pictures of myself on FB or anywhere else I still can't believe it's me.  I'd still like to lose another 20 pounds or so, depending on muscle gain, but I'm in no rush, the diet and exercise slowly chip away yet I don't starve and I don't go insane with the gym.  I actually ADORE lifting weights and do it for about 2 hours a night, 4 nights a week.  I've made new friends at the gym, it's right near my house and everyone is so friendly. 

My Spanish has come leaps and bounds over the years but I still suck donkey balls at conjugating verbs.  It'll get there though, I need more for my job and so it's become a priority. 

Alright, I hear a baby rustling around in her room.  If she's QUIET with the door closed that means something bad is going down ;) 

I'll catch up with you all soon, I'm still here and things are better than ever!  :)

- Gringa

Monday, January 7, 2013

My French Baby

I think this baby has speant a little too much time outside on the ground learning the ways of our dogs. He likes to KISS like this.
Lucky for him his Daddy is more maternal than me and will actually oblige him once in a while. I however have seen him BE kissed BY the dog with his tongue out just like this. And enjoy it.
Daddy however has earned his undying and everlasting love, so, that's nice and all. Today is my big boy's first day of school and I am probably a mess. (I'm writing this the Saturday before because I'll be too busy that day to do anything but freak out) He's just a BABY, a weeeeee one. Widdle. Widdle and small and sweet. He doesn't have to go to school but my friends and co-workers got me thinking when they said "What is he learning at home with daddy all day?" And then I thought of tongue kissing the dog and I was sold. It's nothing like daycare in the U.S. it's....SCHOOL. They have books, make projects, have music class, art class, motor skill class (aka gym), learn songs and dances to go with them. They spend a half a day with a Spanish teacher only learning Spanish and the other half learning only in English. How to count, the colors, body parts the Alphabet, phonics ect. Daisy has been going since August and I'm freaking AMAZED.

Speaking of Daisy (let me not dwell on Niko or I will again begin to have palpitations and consider running across the border with him to escape the reality of growing up, live in the woods and become feral people) Check out that beauty. And TELL ME - just WHY in the world has she suddenly (when I try and give her a kiss) she stops me, puts her hand on my face and says "No Mami, Asi." and then TURNS my face away from her lips so that she may kiss me on the CHEEK.
CHEEK KISSES!? Whaaa?  HUH? But....but I'm Mommy. She's THREE, she can't be disgusted by me yet! Daddy still gets lip-kisses. Boo. I imagine it's the Alexa complex, ugh, booooo. It means she's developing normaly and all, but it's still lame. (Google it if you need to know more but my psych. prof. was way too graphic and I'm scarred for life, any explanation I give would be icky)

But WHATEVER little CHEEK kisser. Wait till Niko goes through that stage, THEN we'll see who gets the lip kisses! HA!! Just please God, let him forget about the tongue by then. Cuz damn.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beer For My Horses, Hats For My Chickens

I posted a long while back a picture of yellow baby ducks wearing baseball caps but managed to run across THESE cuties a couple months ago.
Baby chicks in cowboy hats!

Suck my balls PETA, this shit is CUTE!

Okay, okay, so I know PETA does wonderful things but if they got wind of this in the U.S. they'd shit vegetarian bales of hay. 

The hats will fall off when their pin feathers come in and their fuz naturally falls out, no harm done, but in the mean time, bwaaaaahahaa! 

Wittle snoogms chickie poos.  Makes me miss home soooo much, but after I picked up one and it shat on my hand, not so much! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

You Might Be A Mexican If !

I should have just waited till this coming May to start blogging, that way it wouldn't look like I'd stopped for almost a year.  You all might be a wee smarter than that I guess tho.  Damn. 

I can not BELIEVE it's been so long!  OMG!!  And then again I can, but the babies are getting older and I'm finding more time these days (haaaaaahahahaaha) and the truth is I've been INSPIRED this week and just couldn't stay away. 

I was FB'ing (for shame) and ran across a friends page with a link to  - http://www.facebook.com/#!/mexicanpeoplebelike?fref=ts    that guy.  It's called  "Mexicans Be Like~"   The squiggle at the end helps you find it.   Of course, the link would be easier but you know, um, just in case. 

It's a silly site that has goofy pictures making fun of Mexicans but ALSO some funny stereotypes that just happen to be mostly true.  The true stuff that is goofy is what really got me laughing.  When I first came here I wouldn't have understood a lot of it but now I do. 

There was one about a Mom with her chankla (run!), one about la pulga (the fleamarket) and another about using the glass jar from store bought mole as a kitchen glass after it's all gone.  That last one made me kick myself in the head, I totally could have USED those jars before I figured out how to make homemade!

Anyways, all I could do last night was giggle to myself thinking up other silly "truths" that I've learned about Mexico in the past few years here.  And BLOGGING THEM.  So, here I am, how are you, I love you. 

And here we go,  I'm going to borrow his monkier -  "You might be a Mexican if -

You've ever been invited to a party, told you could bring someone and started calling your ENTIRE family. AND invited all of your neighbors, even that weird smelly lady down the street, because it's just polite.

You know what "padrinos" are and have been one to not just family but a practical stranger. Also, if you've been sent or have sent your kids around the neighborhood asking everyone to be padrinos - cuz that's how we throw some kick ass parties even when we ourselves have no money.

If you've ever been invited to a complete strangers party by a neighbor, got there and realized that you are a padrino.

If when you throw a party you fully expect everything on the tables to be stolen at the end of the night. Vase with flowers? Candles? The rest of the 30lb birthday cake? GONE bitches! That's how we get our gift $ back!

So fellow expats, what can YOU come up with in this category??   I know you all can be funny!  Do tell!  :) 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Secrets OUT!



Yesterday I told a friend a secret that I've never told in my whole life (to an IRL person) and I had a revelation. Well kind-of, I'm just not THAT deep. ;) Why do I (perhaps we?) hold on to inconsequential secrets? Little wee secrets that mean nothing in our lives today, or perhaps shaped us in some way, but can't get to us now? Or what about the SILLY secrets? 

I'll explain.  The secret that I told my friend - that has bothered me for 20 YEARS - was that when I was little, we never had junk food in the house (Mom was a very healthy eater, lots of diets) and when I started spending the night at friends house I would FREAK out over the junk food in their house.  I remember twice, when it was bed-time, sneaking downstairs to the kitchen and eating some of their junk food.  I even remember the exact food - chocolate peanut butter wafer bars, and oatmeal cream pies.  I was just a little kid but it's bothered me for years and years because it was weird and stealing. 

But I'm THIRTY years old now!  Why should that experience bother me STILL!?   So I told my friend because she had expressed a similar experience.  Telling her was like RIPPING it from my chest and I seriously held my breath and practically felt my heart skip a second before she just shook her head in understanding and went on to say something ordinary.  She didn't stop being my friend because I'm the biggest freak of the world.  It was SO little and I kept it for SO long! 

I'm gonna dredge up all of those weird secrets I've been toting around and start GETTING THEM OUT of me! 

Silly secrets though, we should ALL share these because WHY NOT?  Let's make one another laugh even MORE! 

My silly secret that prompted me to write this post today came while I was eating cereal this morning.  For years, since I was a kid, I've looooovvvveed cereal.  And for ALL of these years I've had a secret fantasy about it.  The fantasy, that I always have while eating a good cereal is of eating it out of a frozen bowl (to keep the milk perfectly SUPER cold, while some sort of machine (that I always envision myself inventing) slowly plops out a few small spoonfuls of cereal at a time into the milk, ensuring that EACH bit of cereal is perfectly crunchy and never soggy. 

Seriously, I've daydreamed about this a few times a week my entire life.  Freak?  Maybe.  But why have I never TOLD anybody about my strange daydream?  Why not let them laugh at me!?  In my daydream the machine is always gigantic and has colored lights and I can never figure out how to invent it in a way that it would be small enough to not be ridiculous.  That part has always bothered me, and why am I letting happy fantasies have a part that bothers me?

Anyhoo, that's enough for one day, and it feels good to get my wee bit of strangeness out into the world.  Tell me one of YOUR little secrets, let it go!  Or tell one of your friends or tell your FB, just let it OUT and see how you feel.  I promise it feels good!  :D 


 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friendly Neighborhood Cartel


The cartel (or plural I should say) is everywhere here. EVERY. WHERE. Every family has somebody, at least a cousin or a neighbor or freind that they know who is in it. I've talked about this before and I'm pretty over it. It's an every day thing.

Any business that's larger than a garage sale in your house is run or maintained or somehow once-in-a-while controlled by them. Sometimes they show up in the flea market where my husband works and demand payment for the "right" to sell there. If you want to set up a new business in your neighborhood you better talk to "the guy." Every gas station has a "guy" that'll hang around sometimes. Yes, there's the violence here, not on our street thank God, and even a couple of weeks ago my husband was hired a wee bit by force to fix some special peoples washing machine. Not physical force, more of a you-better-get-your-ass-over-here-by-tommorow kind of force.

The same special people also wanted to buy a washer from us and they didn't want to pay full price. They demanded that my husband bring it to their house at a certain time and that they would "bargain" there. We were freaked. We figured they'd just steal it and hoped they wouldn't beat my husband up but all was well, too much soprano watching I guess. The guy still tried to bargain down but my husband held his ground (eeeeeeee!! he's a live wire my husband! I totally would have caved!) and the guy didn't blink an eye, just had his "girlfriend" pay what my husband asked and told him that his cousin wanted him to go and fix his washer next.

Sometimes word-of-mouth is great. Sometimes it's interesting.

Anyways.

You see them driving around everywhere, THE ARE everywhere, it's life.

But today, hooray! They came to the rescue.

My husband was at a stop sign this morning and a big Semi-truck wasn't paying attention and RAN OVER the front corner of my husbands truck. Just like that. He was sitting there - and got ran over. The guy must not have seen him, it happens. Anyhoo, my husband was flipping out and arguing with the trucker that he or his company would have to pay for the damages and the diver was denying everything and about to drive off (to which my husband would have followed to the end of the earth!) when our freindly neighborhood cartel man pulled up.

My husband was across the street trying to find someone with a cell phone to call the police and the cartel guy was talking to the truck driver. When my husband got back he asked the guy if he could use his cell phone to call the police but there was no need. The truck driver was already shaking in his boots and his boss was on his way. The boss came and the cartel guy stood there and made sure everything went favorable in my husbands defense, made sure that the company was going to fix and pay for everything, and went off on his way. My husband tried to thank him but the guy was in a "yeah whatever" mood, and was gone. Kind of like a REALLY moody Spiderman. With an AK-47. I digress.

That simple. A few threats from cartel guy and our truck is being fixed as we speak.

Why?

Um. Well I don't know exactly. We don't KNOW this cartel guy and aside from fixing some washers and paying "dues," my husband has never been involved with them. The guy didn't even SEE my husband and was already threatening the truck driver.

I think, and this is just my babble, but I think it has to do with the underlying culture of Mexico. Here in Mexico the urge and willingness and basic NEED of people to stick together and help one another out is SO strong. Families, friends, co-workers, neighbors and just aquaintances will go WAY above and beyond what I've ever witnessed in the U.S. to help one another here. Not that people aren't helpful in the U.S. but these folks make sticking-together put super glue to shame.

And where do the cartel workers come from? Here. They are Mexicans and it's in their blood-culture to help people out. Maybe their day job isn't exactly kosher (uh, ya think?) but when it comes down to certain situations their blood kicks in and not only do they help out, but they use their position to get it done - RIGHT QUICK. I've heard lots of stories of this happening but never known if they were true before.

So. Well shit you know? If it hadn't been for this guy today the police would have come and mayyyyybe made the trucker's company pay. MAYBE. But if they did, they sure as hell would have "charged" my husband for their "services." Police work doesn't come free here. 'Sposed to, but well, you know. Not so much.

And that's that. That's what happened today and that's my blabber. Not much else to say, just wanted to share what happened today.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Drivin' Mrs. Daisy

After the whole car-tried-to-kill-me thing I'm without wheels for a few days. This weekend was nothing, I don't go a lot of places on the weekend so I didn't even miss it. This morning though I had to get to work and didn't want to bother my husband by having him wake up the babies early (Let sleeping babies LIE!) and opted to take the bus.

I tried taking the bus once when I first moved here after locking my keys in the car at the grocery store and ended up on a bus going god-knows-where, freaking out, jumping off the bus in the middle of a busy street and taxi-ing it the rest of the way. That was when I spoke 2% Spanish and it was horrifying. NOW though, I speak 20% Spanish and figured I could handle it.

Last night my husband coached me on what bus to take where, what to say to get off and HOW to get off. Even how to pay, I guess you don't pay till you get off. I'dve never imagined that.

Anyways, this morning I walked out in the dark, nervous because of the dark and made my way to the big street. Nothing came. I went in the 7-11 to ask and they said wait 15 minutes.

OKAY.

I waited and a bus came but it was the right name so I started waving. *WAVE WAVE!!!* and was dismayed when a bus PACKED with people went FLYING by my face, people hanging out of and onto the door, and never slowed a bit. I waited for 3 more busses like that and started getting pretty nervous. Plus, I felt stoopid. There were other people standing around, taling to friends, aparently knowing what to do and where, and there I was a crazy white girl trying to chase down bus after bus like a rabid dog.

Luckily one finaly came from a side street that allowed me on and I got a standing spot directly at the front of the bus. Sorry Harriet Tubman, on these busses you GET what you GET and this was the only spot left. At that point I thought nothing could go wrong and was feeling pretty good, mabye a little smug at my braveness.

Then the bus started going the wrong direction.

Shit.

No problem though, it was just making one of those huge turn-arounds and then we were back on track.

At about that point the motion sickness started setting in. I do ok in cars (in the front seat) but aparently on busses I don't fare as well. By the time I got off (practicaly RAN off) I felt 3 months pregnant in the morning. Who knew?

But whatever, I made it and I was happy. However, I was across the street from the road to my destination. Across the streets with 8 lanes of morning (crazy Mexican) traffic and could NOT figure out a way to get across. Seriously. I stood there for 10 minutes trying to find a moment to rush across and eventually in my traumatized, nauseous state was on the verge of tears considering getting a freaking taxi to drive me across.

Kind people and a good long red light came together and eventually I made it across. I started hoofing it as fast as I could toward the school. A couple of co-workers passed me (screw you too) by but the main jainitor took pity on me and picked me up for the rest of the way.

I got into the school and relayed the info to my boss who promptly deemed me "A princess" and then went off to the potty for a good puke. My boss is wonderful and he was laughing with me but I still don't think I'm a princess. If you've read my blog for more than a year you KNOW I'm not, but today I did feel a little.....baby-ish.

Or not, I don't know, all I know is that my first full bus ride kicked my ass.

My wonderful co-workers offered me rides home and although usually I don't opt for any charity I GAVE in and said many thank-you's on my way home in a nice non-puke-enducing truck ride.

I feel like a wee bit of a jack-ass over the whole thing, I mean REALLY, it's a BUS ride. I rode the bus to school when I was FIVE. But here, I don't know, it's different and I don't like not being in control and DAMN IT I didn't vomit on the bus when I was five.

Co-workers have offered to pick me up in the morning but it'll be out of their way. I might give it another shot tommorow, just to see if I can kick-ass BACK. Or I might princess out......not sure yet.