Mexico

Mexico

20/06/2012 OKAY, so ‘tengo mucho calor’ means ‘I am so hot’. Or roughly defined, means ‘I have much heat’. This is what I meant and SHOULD have said – in Spanish – to Jacky’s mum while sitting round the dinner table having spent the day in the sun. What I actually said was ‘estoy muy caliente’. Which, to my utter horror, I’ve just been told means ‘I am so HORNY’. Up until that point I thought my grasp of the Spanish language had been going pretty well. I’m now physically cringing, pondering the notion that I may well have said…
Cancun has lovely golden beaches lapped by the beautiful turquoise Caribbean Sea and is the perfect climate for tourists wishing to have an amazing beach experience. What makes us reach for the brochures of nearer, less sunny, resorts is our belief that in this gloomy economy we cannot afford the great Cancun family getaway we really want. It does not have to be expensive though. As long as you are careful, a budget-friendly Cancun holiday is perfectly possible. Your first step should be to choose a package in the right budget range. There are plenty of good but low budget…
(Originally posted on the Girls Trek Too blog, Friday, March 9th, 2012) The night before Revolution Day, David, Patricia, and I took their mother to El Pistolero, “The Gunfighter," to celebrate her seventieth birthday. I suppose there was a certain revolutionary spirit in Carmela’s tossing back a beer in a bar with her son and daughter — an act of defiance against age, and time. We then spent the night in a motel with an old-fashioned wagon in the courtyard, and I thought, “So Mexico romanticizes its history, too.” We’d planned to go out for breakfast in the morning, but…
(Originally posted on the Girls Trek Too blog, Sunday, February 19th, 2012) David drove, and his mother Carmela rode shotgun, stiff-backed and silent - maybe because her son's CD of thumping, electronic Latin dance music was vibrating the compact car around her. “This music doesn’t bother your mother?” I asked Patricia, who sat with me in back. “No, my mom doesn’t mind at all.” “It would drive mine up the wall,” I said. I didn’t mention that it was doing that to me. It was nice of David to drive, and I thought it would seem ungrateful to complain. I…
(Originally posted on the Girls Trek Too blog, Thursday, January 12th, 2012) Around noon, an aging sedan rolled up. A skinny, baby-eyed girl-woman got out, stepped up to the courtyard gate, and gave me a puzzled smile through the bars. She had long, metallic-red hair, mod side-bangs, and fluffy white ankle boots. “Sara?” I asked. She widened her eyes, as if shocked at the very thought. “Anita.” “Un momento.” I rushed toward the house to find someone to unlock the gate. Anita is Sara’s daughter, a twenty-year-old student at the University of Ciudad Juárez. She had arrived to take her…
(Originally posted on the Girls Trek Too blog, Wednesday, January 4th, 2012) I woke to the safe sounds of a gas burner igniting, a pan shifting, an egg sizzling. It was only then that a rooster started crowing somewhere in Colonia del Carmen. Perhaps he sets his clock by Carmela. I lingered in bed, until I heard Carmela and her daughter Patricia muttering in Spanish and figured it must be time to come out of hiding. I had no clear idea of the hour. My cell phone is my usual watch and I hadn’t brought it, unwilling to pay roaming…
(Originally posted on the Girls Trek Too blog, Tuesday, December 27th, 2011) As Patricia and David had promised, their mother didn’t live far across the river from El Paso, Texas. After David drove through downtown Juárez, he spent five minutes winding through dark neighborhoods before turning into Carmela’s driveway. He unlocked a padlocked gate to pull into the courtyard. The gate had been there before Mexico's drug war. Juárez has long known big-city, border-town dangers. The inside looked bigger than the outside suggested. In the new addition, an old-fashioned wood stove warmed and cheered the room. The house wasn’t small,…
(Originally posted on the Girls Trek Too blog, Tuesday, December 6th, 2011) I woke in terror and opened my eyes to green tubular objects floating toward me — string beans, or slow-motion bullets. I yelled, startling my husband. When I snapped out of it I reassured Dale, “It’s only what always happens.” Meaning: “It’s only because night terrors are my thing, not because I’m traveling to Juárez,” although that was precisely the problem. I closed my eyes and pictured my breasts exploding. I wondered what Dale would do if I were shot. It was too much to contemplate. I asked…
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