Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Away From Home During the Holidays

This video is for anyone, expat or no, who is away from their loved ones and friends for the holidays.  We can choose to make them beautiful no matter the circumstances.  

Happy Thanksgiving,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Garbage Troubles in Mexico - It's not the raccoon's!

I'm totally excited about this video!  I solved a long running mystery about why my garbage is always found out of it's can and strewn all over the street in front of my house.  Nobody wants to see my frightening array of disposable ... things all out in the street, least of all me.  *shudder*  Husband has come up with a solution already, because he's smart like that.  

So join me, (there's swearing, just fyi) in my discovery of The Gruesome Garbage Attacker.  

So there you have it.  I didn't see it coming either.  Seriously, WHO KNEW??  LOL!  

See you soon! 

- Gringa 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hair Cuts in Mexico - It's Not Pubes

If you're a newbie to Mexico or are still struggling with your Spanish this post is for you!  When I first moved here I truly struggled getting my hair cut the way I wanted it due to not only my lack of Spanish but my sweet husbands as well.  He doesn't know words like "layers" or "bangs" in English let alone Spanish bless him and so getting my hair cut was a big ole pile of trial and ERROR for quite a few years.  Below the video I've listed some helpful words that you can use and some hints on the culture of hair cutting here as well.  Last, I've posted some pictures of what a hair salon in your neighborhood MIGHT look like.  It's not Super-cuts but it works out great when you get down the lingo!  

Important to check out how to say "hair" and not "pubes" like I did for the first few years here.  *cough*

Words to use:

"Flecos" (flay-cos) = Bangs

"Capas" (cah-pahs) = Layers

"Cabello" (cah-bay-yo) = Hair.   You CAN use "pelo" (pay-low) but it's a word that people use as slang for pubes.  Not all the time, like, you can use it, but you might draw some smiles from people with minds of 12 year old boys - AKA - all my BFF'S. 

"Pintar" (peen-tar) = Color --->  "Quiero pintar mi cabello"  (I want to color my hair).   Note for this, BRING a picture of the color you want.  Don't try and wing it by asking for a "subtle red" as you WILL go home looking like a deranged fire hydrant.  

"Base" (bah-say) = Perm  - No judgement here.
"Alasiado permanente" (ah-la-see-ya-do  pear-mah-nen-tay) -  Chemical Straightening.  

"Planchar" (plan-char) = straighten with a flat iron

"Rayos" (rie-yos) = larger stripped highlights

"Luces"  (loo-says) = delicate highlights 

And last, a big tip, they always ask me how many "dedos"  (fingers) of length I would like cut off.  Like, holding up your hand horizontally and showing two fingers might equal an inch and a half or so. BUT GAWD NO.  They always end up cutting at least twice as much as you asked for.  Not because they're not intelligent or good people but ... I have no clue why, something cultural?  It just always happens and I've found that one should never use "dedos" as a reference.  Just SHOW them how much.  

In fact, what you should really do until you find someone that is able to understand you and work with you and that you will worship till the end of your days with love and adoration for cutting your hair right and thus ensuring 6 weeks of bliss, is to just bring a picture of EXACTLY what you want.  And no matter what they ask, just point to the picture and smile.  

This is where it goes down for me.  It's a house and there's a sign in the window and that's it.  If the gate isn't locked you just go up and go in, I always notice people knock first because, well, it's her house. 
The left side of the room, those stairs lead up to her actual living quarters (this space below is what would normally be her living room and kitchen, but she's working it and whatever living she's doing is happening up stairs. Go girl, get it.  The door with the green sign is a bathroom.
This is the right side of the room directly after the bathroom door. This is the amount of space in an average mid-size Mexican house, just FYI.  They almost always have T.V.'s with cartoons. Notice the t.v dates back to 1990, everything is fixable here.    

I quite like the circa 90's hair cut options for men and do believe I might lust after buzz-cut-thin-stache man for quite some time.  If you can't read it, the faded green sign on the bathroom door has a notice stating that if your kid has lice you must tell her before she begins the cut and to please not be shy about it.  And that if you don't tell her and she notices while cutting that she's going to charge you an extra 100 pesos (about 8 dollars).  *cough*  So there's that. 

Last, pricing.  This is an AVERAGE hair cutting place for the majority of the regular-income folks.  We do have fancier salons but this is what the majority looks like.  Pricing is 60 pesos (about 4 dollars USD) unless you come on Wednesday and then it's 40 pesos (about 2.60 USD)  Kids are cheaper.  

Welcome to Mexico, may your travels be delicious and your hair cuts be fabulous. 

- Gringa 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Why are We Fat? Coke is Cheaper than Water

A short video inside a 7-11 to talk about how Coca-Cola is cheaper than bottled water here.  Considering that we don't drink water from the faucet here it's in my mind a bit of a big deal and really kind of silly all at the same time.  

Mexicans here ADORE Coke, to the extent that Texas adore, I don't know...Texas.  It's pretty much a food group and at any given moment you're able to see a six year old child walking down the road from the corner store with a 3-liter of Coke in hand to take back to his family waiting for dinner.  That in itself was shocking to me when I first came here, but now I'm just excited for my own kid to turn 6.  ;) 

   Water, the bottle to the far right is a 12oz and costs 11 pesos.  

A variety of soda pops, all cheaper than water and all (delicious) sugar filled.

Aaand the Coke.  Yummy glass bottled Coke, a full 6 pesos cheaper than the water.  In total costing about .40 cents USD for glass bottle and around .80 cents USD for plastic. 

There you have it, we live in Crazy-Town. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bad Mexican Candy - Evil Clown

Happy Monday!  (Or whatever day you found yourself here on this blog, happy that day too!)

To help get us through the doldrums I’m posting a video today that’ll inform you about the evil clown marshmallow lollipops widely sold here in Mexico and let you in on their dirty secrets and how they’re possibly destroying the spirits of entire generations of Mexican children.   

Also a bit of clown stripping, so you know, no kids allowed.  

Enjoy the day and beware the clown!  - Gringa

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day of the Dead - Gringa in Mexico Style

The last of the Vertical Video's today!  Also the last video where I'm nervous and won't go directly up to the people.  It was a process, a whole two days of working up the courage to just go close and ask to take a video for my mom :D  I'm totally learning this video stuff and working up my level of ballsy.

The first video is a simple share of some Mexican Hershey's Chocolate that I found on Halloween and was excited to try.  It was interesting, I'll give it that, but at least you can see what a lady I am while eating and find out about sitting on cars in streets.   :D

The second video I'm introducing you to how street vending is very much in-your-face even when you're not looking for it.  A lady selling tamales in front of a grocery store door and a man that just happened to randomly walk behind me during the video and try to sell me some tortillas from a cooler he was carrying over his shoulder.  Totally can't make that up!  Love it.  Love Mexico!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mexican Street Bread - and Screaming Mimi

Happy Day!  

I feel like writing "Welcome Back to Gringa in Mexico!" just like I do in the video's.  I can't help it, it just seems cheerful and I want you to feel welcome and know that I love that you're here.  *mushy mushy*

Today I'm posting a video - **OMG SIDE NOTE**  I promise that the next set of video's will be HORIZONTAL.  I didn't know about VVS (Vertical Video Syndrome) or how much the world hates it till yesterday when a friend informed me that I'm breaking a much love/hated YouTube code by taping myself vertically.  *snort snort* I said "taping" ahahah I'm old! Anyways, coming soon to a vlog near you - horizontal video's.

Back to our regularly scheduled program, today I'm posting a video about one of the many ways that daily baked fresh bread, sweet and savory comes screaming (yet literally) to our doorsteps here in Mexico.  I've posted a couple of pictures I took from a man I bought from that same day.  

OMG, can you feel the softness?  The crunch?  The addictive pull that screams EAT ME FOR I AM CRACK!  That might be just me...and about 80% of the population here as well, let's be honest.  They're not as sweet as breads in the U.S. of A. *the eagle flys*, even the ones that look like frosted donuts with sprinkles are actually pretty dry and not very sweet on the inside. The biscuits however, oh, oh man. They use SO much butter that Paula Dean would be like "HOT DAUMN!" and are absolutely worth living for.  If you ever come here do yourself a favor and set aside an entire day to eat one EACH with much coffee or hot chocolate.  

On to the video about how they're sold.  Enjoy - Gringa

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Loud-Ass Vending Man

I'm so excited you're here!  I'm wildly excited to share another video and show you more of what it's like living here in the regular-folks part of Mexico and not the tourist centered areas.  

Today I'm taking you to see another couple of street vendors, one from afar, and finally, one close up. You actually get to SEE the country crock container he has full of mayonnaise!  

I'm beyond thrilled that you're coming along with me and sharing in my mini adventures!  Welcome to Mexico!  

Loud-Ass Vendor on a motor tricycle with a loudspeaker. 


Up and close with the Elote Man (the in the cup kind, not on a stick kind).  Hot corn in a cup, mayonnaise, margarine, nacho cheese, thick Mexican cream, lime if you want it, chile (chee-lay it's like hot sauce), aaaaaand sprinkle cheese on top.  It's death in a cup, Texans would adore it, God bless you crazy Texans.  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Underpants in the Park

Squeeeeeeeeeeee!!  This has been so fun!  Today I'm posting two more video's because I'm like a kid at Christmas and can't wait.  In the coming week you'll be happy (or horrified) that I get closer to the people and finally just flat out ask if I can video them.  I may *cough* have asked "Can I take a video for my mom??".  They can't turn down a mother-request here and I can't wait to go out and make a gazillion more video's.  I'll be posting them all week!  Again - squeeeeeeee!!

The first video is about selling clothing in the park and the second about Mexican popsicles.  Again, welcome to Mexico. 

Have a great day!  Hope you've got your underpants.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Street Corn and Garage Sale Meat

My first video!  I put gel in my hair thinking it would help with the wind but ended up looking like I've been living on the streets for a few weeks. It is what it is.  :D  I'm showing you guys a street corn vendor and a dude selling cooked meat from the side of his house.  Explanation in the video!  (omgomgomgomg can't-belive-I-did-this but also squuueeeeeeee!!)