Archive | February, 2021

Like Broccoli Only White

28 Feb

This week was my birthday. We went out to dinner Friday night to one of the new little restaurants popping up in Bacalar. Per a recommendation by our local residential list serve, we heard they had vegan options and good prices,. We dandied up a bit and headed the three miles into town.

A Xolo is a hairless Mexican dog which dates back to the Aztecs.

I am a person who would almost always choose to eat at home, but Lisa needed a break, and Alice insisted on paying, so off we went.

Happy birthday to me.

When I asked the waiter, in Spanish, what was in the vegan tacos, he replied, “cauliflower, it’s like broccoli only white “. I thought I would fall off my chair laughing. He clearly doesn’t have a lot of experience with vegetables! The tacos were delicious with their hecho a mano, handmade blue corn tortillas. I would definitely go back. The music wasn’t too loud. The food was tasty and I’m still laughing.

DOS TORTAS

It’s Not About the Words

23 Feb

I’ve always been a word person. In seventh grade Mr. Oldfield taught us to diagram sentences…verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, gerunds. The more complicated the sentence, the more I liked it.

Eighth grade and high school graduation.

When registering for high school classes, the counselor signed me up for a semester of Latin. I had no idea why. I was so lost in that class. I passed the course by copying test answers from the girl next to me. It took me a long time to understand that taking Latin was one of the best things I ever did and that I actually learned a lot. Not only is Latin the basis for English but made learning Spanish that much easier. I don’t think schools offer Latin anymore.

Even though I loved words, I never understood how to write a term paper. Classes at the University of Texas had a strong writing component. The teaching assistant would return my scribbling with suggestions for improvement marked in red. I made corrections and returned the paper as many times as it took to have an acceptably finished product. I was learning.

Graduate school and a job as a grant writer further developed my abilities. The final outcome was a love of writing. I do my best to hone my craft and produce a blog that tells a story. I am a work in progress.

Masters in Education 1996 University of Texas, Austin

So that’s the written word. What about spoken? My poor wife frequently looks at me in confusion. She is more of a statistical, black and white thinker. All my finely crafted communications leave her befuddled and give her a headache. It’s a wonder we’ve made it twenty-five years.

Last night I had a dream. An ethereal woman appeared to me and stated clearly, “it’s not about the words, it’s about the feelings.” The message shone through. People don’t feel loved, understood, and accepted by my well diagrammed sentences. I use words to protect myself and distance myself from people. They also make me feel smart. I guess it’s time for less thinking and more heart, a skill I’m willing to develop.

DOS TORTAS

A Very Different Sort Of Weekend

21 Feb

Last week, I was hugging the toilet and not after a night of debauchery in Cancun. Truthfully I’ve never been a debauchery kind of gal, but back in my youthful days, when guys in Mexico would keep the drinks coming, I learned about alcohol the hard way.

Celebrating my 21 birthday in Mexico. Heading out for a night on the town with my best girl.

Now, after living a sedate retired life in Mexico for seven years, I’ve never been this sick. And I’m still not sure what caused the intestinal upset, fever, etc. A course of antibiotics seems to be doing the trick and upping our hygienic game is in the cards. We buy all our produce in a small town mercado. It was probably only a matter of time, although outbreaks of things I can’t pronounce occur in the US food chain all the time.

A lovely small town market in Bacalar.

Wednesday I left for the much postponed trip to the US Consulate in Playa del Carmen, to renew my expired passport. The bus ride was quiet and socially distant. The required masks contributed to the tranquility and I curled up and slept most of the four hour trip.

First trip out in a pandemic.

The little boutique hotel that I had booked turned out to be a real gem. The room was $45US and included a full-on off the menu breakfast. My stomach was finally starting to accept food and I enjoyed it immensely.

House of the Flowers
Seafood soup for dinner. Very typical Mexican food.

Playa del Carmen was hopping and the little I got to see hobbling around on my still painful ankle was mostly mask-less. Turning my paperwork in at the consulate was the easiest and least painful part of the trip. I’m now sitting in the bus station waiting for the return trip to Bacalar. If I had postponed yet again, I probably would have been able to enjoy myself more. And against the voices in my head, the consulate wouldn’t have cared a bit. Oh well, live and learn.

DOS TORTAS

Happy VD 2021

14 Feb

No blog today folks. I am very….very…very…sick.

Keep the faith.

A Smile And A Shrug

7 Feb

Last summer, to occupy the time of quarantine, I mailed art-cards to friends and family. I painted post card sized pictures and mailed them in Bacalar. It’s a fun way to connect and let my grandchildren and others know that I’m thinking about them.

Nights in the 50s have been a delight.

This past week I began to hear from card receivers, my brother, niece, a cousin. Frankly I had mailed the cards and forgotten about them.

I knew that mail from Mexico took its own sweet time, but eight months!

Every few weeks, I routinely stop by our tiny post office and check our mailbox #16. This week, I casually mentioned to the post master, who is quite familiar with my mailing habits, that the cards I mailed in May had just arrived in the US. He gave me a Mona Lisa smile and shrugged. I laughed and went on my way. The trouble is, you can’t have it both ways. That shrug can be both maddening and charming, depending on the job you need to complete, or the deadline you must make.

This week I registered myself and my mother-in-law for a Covid vaccine. The over 60 crowd is up right after medical first responders. Hopefully the appointments will arrive sooner than my postcards. Fingers crossed.

DOS TORTAS

Emilie Vardaman

travel and random thoughts

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