Seriously, I didn't fall off the face of the earth!

Sep 29, 2008

Things have been a little quiet around here lately, but it's because I've been pretty busy both with classes and just getting back into the swing of things around here.

For four of the days last week, I shadowed Anna's full cave diving class as a refresher. It was really great to go over the info again and practice some of the skills. As always, doing additional scuba training always makes me have a healthy respect for the sport, especially at such a technical level.

On Saturday I had my first meeting for my yoga teacher training class. We will be meeting twice a week for theory, history, etc. in addition to meeting regularly (suggested 6 times a week) just to take the regular yoga classes. At the end of three months, provided I do everything we're supposed to do and pass the quizzes, I will have a 200 hour certificate with the Yoga Alliance. I don't think I'm going to do much teaching around here (there are only about 5,237 yoga teachers in Playa del Carmen), but I am interested in using my certification when I get back to the States to teach yoga in Spanish. Then again, you never know and I am open to whichever direction life takes me.

In the meantime, I'm just sitting here biting my nails while I watch the American economy spiral downwards out of control. It's a little disconcerting, especially considering our jobs rely on the American economy to be healthy so people are spending their marketing dollars. Who knows, maybe that yoga certification will come in handy in more ways than one! ;)

I recently met a couple of new Mexican friends. I'm always on the lookout for friends who speak Spanish. I went to a BBQ with my German friend Angelika and some of her friends. It was a lot of fun to hang out talking about movies and music and general stuff. Everyone there was between 27 and 34, so it was kind of cool to see the differences between cultures for people of the same generation. For instance, the Mexicans and I knew of Menudo, but the Germans didn't. Everyone but me knew of Take That, I can't think of a single song of theirs that I remember.

Tonight I am going with my Spanish teacher to see Arráncame la Vida. I have heard great things about it. I love historical movies and it's been said that this was the most expensive movie that has been made in Mexico. I haven't spoken to anyone who didn't like it yet. I only wish I had time to read the book before I saw it, but I don't want to miss it on the big screen.

Music in Spanish that I reallly like

Sep 18, 2008

A few weeks ago (yes, I've been that delinquent in blogging), Fned wrote a post on the French music that she likes and she posted the videos in her blog. I loved that idea! I've been a fan (hubby would say addicted) of music in Spanish for some time now. It's a great pass time for practicing my translation skill, and besides, I just liked the sound of some of these songs even before I knew what they were singing about. Here are some of my favorites (thanks for the idea Fned)!

La Vecina by Los Amigos Invisibles
This isn't the official video, I couldn't find it, but it has good enough audio quality. This is a Venezuelan band that now lives in NYC. I didn't get a chance to see them before I left, but I own the album this is off of and it's ALL good.

Lo que pidas by Julieta Venegas
Ok, I know JV is like a Mexican Madonna in terms of popularity, so I don't expect this one to surprise anyone. I just love this song, and it's good practice for listening to subjunctive tense constructions.

De amor y de casualidad by Jorge Drexler
This song is just so sweet. Imagine your dad writing you a song about where you came from. Just so sweet. A mix of love and chance. This is also not the official video, couldn't find it.

Me Gustaria by Javier Garcia
I love this song. This whole album is also good, by they way. I never imagined it having anything to do with a murderous stripper, but you know, I guess I have a naive way of looking at things...

Agua by Jarabe de Palo
Of course, this is another one that probably everyone knows, but I love Jarabe de Palo. This album was one of the first that I bought when I got into music in Spanish. Such a nice song.

I think 5 is enough for today. What are your favorite Spanish songs?

File Under: More Problems I Never Imagined

Sep 17, 2008

A few weeks ago I had a terrifying experience. I was sitting on my deck in the morning, reading a vampire book, when I felt this strange creepy crawly, tickling sensation on my right elbow. I looked down and it was completely covered with these little white bugs, about the size of half (or even a quarter?) of a sesame seed. They were football shaped and there had to be hundreds of them on my arm. They weren't biting me, but they grossed me out immediately, so I freaked out and brushed them off my arm.

The next day, during the morning, I was sitting on my couch reading a vampire book (you see a theme here?) when the same thing happened. Same arm, same bugs.

The next day I was sitting at my desk reading the news in the morning when the same freaking thing happened, same arm, same bugs.

I started to think that I had scabies or something revolting (which was interesting because it wasn't affecting my husband whom I share a bed with). They weren't biting me and I couldn't see them anywhere else except on my arm. As soon as I brushed them off, they were gone!

I searched online and the closest thing I could find to it was some sort of disorder where people imagine there are bugs on them. Great. So I was either infested with some nasty, minuscule bugs or I was crazy.

The next time it happened, I called my husband over to witness it for himself. He saw the bugs, too, which meant (possibly) that I wasn't crazy and that this was happening. But why was it only happening to me and always on my right elbow and always in the morning?

Well. Flash forward to when I got back from Jersey (where I was magically cured of this weird phenomenon) and I went to pick up Chico from the kennel. The guy who runs the kennel told me that they had had to throw out Chico's food because it was infested with these weird white bugs.

A ha! It turns out that I am the one who most regularly feeds Chico, particularly in the morning since I'm an early riser. Every morning I would stick my arm into dog food bag (Beneful, if you want to avoid this happening to you) up to about my elbow and scoop out a cup of the stuff for Chico. Ew. In that 1 second, about 1000 nasty little bugs were crawling from the bag to my arm.

I don't even want to know how many of them Chico ate. Ugh. I see a trip to the vet and a poop review in his future.

File this under problems I never thought I would have before I moved to Mexico. I guess it's something about the nice warm weather that lets bugs breed like crazy. I had heard it before, but I never really took it to heart. I guess I have to second the opinion of many of my fellow Expat bloggers- if you don't like bugs, don't move to Mexico!

No, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth

Sep 16, 2008

I had to go back to the US for a wedding, and as is usual for me, when I travel I like to forget about computers and just travel. I guess it has something to do with working on a computer all the time. It always takes a few days for me to adjust to being back in the swing of things when I get home and then I just don't feel like blogging for whatever reason. But I'm back now and I have lots of things to share!

We went back to NJ for a wedding, which happened to be the most extravagant wedding I have ever been to (and this is counting a wedding I went to for the daughter of a mayor in Jersey that was pretty over the top). The couple got married in St. Ann's Catholic Church in Hoboken, the same church that Sinatra and his family (and la famiglia- if you know what I mean) attended.

The reception had a cocktail hour followed by a three course meal. The cocktail hour alone had probably three times the amount of food that Hans and I had at our entire wedding. Everything came off perfectly and the bride and groom ended up married (which means it was a success in my book). They headed off the next day for a two week honeymoon in South Africa.

The maid of honor said the nicest toast at the reception, the main part of which I hope to be able to use myself someday (if I ever find myself in the position of matron of honor again). She said, "May your marriage be modern enough to survive these times and old fashioned enough to last forever." Aw.

But I'm back in Mexico now, gracias a dios. I really enjoyed this last trip to the states, which might be proof that I have finally gotten a breather from some of the things that bothered me about the US and am once again able to enjoy the efficiency and ease of life there, or maybe I just knew I'd be back in Mexico in a few days.

Either way, it was hard to leave. I truly enjoyed hanging out with Liza, even just hanging in her house or taking her doll of a son, William, to the park. I had a ball hiking with Liza and Sean and talking all things gossip (rest assured that we covered it all, politics, religion and celebrity news, with a little bit of our own stuff thrown in there). I went to lunch with Sean and a bunch of very smart women and we discussed our takes on the GOPs' choice of Sarah Palin and our reaction to her speech and the convention. It's interesting to hear educated people voice their well-thought-out opinions on these things, even if I don't agree with them. I miss those Saturday afternoon lunches with honest friends. But, I know that that is always waiting for me when I go back the NJ and that these people are only a phone call away.

Somehow, when I touched down in Mexico, my heart sighed and, even though it was hard to leave NJ, I felt like I was home again. I don't know if it will be my forever home, but it's my "right now" home and that feels good.

In other, less gooshy, sentimental news, I'm addicted to these Vampire books by Stephenie Meyer. Seriously. It's like they're my drug and I'm not kidding! When I was in NC a few weeks ago I was at a book store with my mom and she was recommending books to me. I told her that I refused to read anything that wasn't in Spanish because I had made a pact with myself regarding improving my fluency and reading in English was out. The lady behind the counter happened to hear me and told me she had accidently ordered the third book of the four book series in Spanish and would never be able to sell it. She made a deal with me that she would give me the book in Spanish if I would buy the first of the series in English. I let her twist my arm and bought the first one.

"You might want to buy the second one, too," she said, casually.

I thought about it, but I knew I had to go back to the states in 10 days for another wedding, so I figured I'd just pick it up when I got back, if I really wanted it.

Bad idea.

I read the first book in two days, which left me scratching my arms and tapping at my veins for the second one! I had to get my fix in the Houston Airport as soon as our flight touched down. I bought the second and the fourth right away, I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice.

Anyway, I read the second book on the airplane and during my stay in NJ and finished it. I started on the third, this time reading in Spanish, which was good because it slows me down a little. Now I'm on to the fourth and I only have a couple hundred pages to go.

If you haven't already read them, I highly, highly recommend Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. They're written for teenagers and they're NY Times Bestsellers, so they're super easy to read, but the stories are really compelling. And, they're good for teens and preteens because there's no sex, well it's alluded to, but only after marriage, so it sends a wholesome vampire message. The author is Mormon, so I guess that's to be expected. I'm not usually a beach read type of person and I LOVED these beach reads. Twilight the movie comes out this fall- woo hoo!

I'll be getting back to my regular train of thought and posting on life in Mexico shortly (only 200 pages till I'm free of my addiction). Happy Mexican Independence Day!