Mexican Paradise: July 15th - July 21st

This past week has basically been a relaxing week. Really, there's nothing exciting to report. I'm still enjoying myself, though.

Thursday, we went to see Hancock. Critics didn't have too many nice things to say about the movie, but I don't usually listen to them. I liked it. Sexy Will Smith saving the world from bad guys...what more could a girl ask for?

Friday, we watched Sex and the City. Didn't like it. I'm glad I didn't spend $10 to go see it in theatres (yeah, so, Cuernavaca has bootleg DVDs, but it's a lot less taboo). The only reason we watched it all was because we were hoping we'd find redeeming qualities. Needless to say, we were disappointed.

Saturday, I went to Salsa class with my sister, expecting only to watch. I guess the joke was on me. The instructor - a friend of my sis - called me out. So, I ended up taking the class. I did pretty good for a first timer...and I got a good workout, too. Yesterday, I got to watch my sis and her team lose horribly in volleyball. I realized how much I LOVE volleyball. I didn't appreciate it much in junior high, but, boy do I appreciate it now. I'm actually way better now than I was when I was younger. Today, we slept til 1 p.m. Feels so good to be just lazy for once. At home, I'm constantly moving. If I'm not working on my dissertation - which takes most of the time - I'm working on my novels. Today, no dissertation and no novels.We went downtown and walked around...did a little shopping. I'd promised my babies (nephews, godson, & foster brother and foster sister) that I'd bring something back, so gotta keep that promise.

So, I'm thinking, I have a week left. In retrospect, I didn't do some of the stuff I'd planned on doing: Edit the first 3 chapters of my dissertation; lose gobs of weight; find direction on establishing my business; rewrite first 5 chapters of my 2nd novel. Dissertation: I did finish the edit of chapter 1, so all is not lost; Weight: I don't know if I've lost pounds, but I know I've lost inches. I brought a pair of capris (from home) that were originally tight (in hopes of losing weight) and now, they actualy fit nicely. Business: Still working on it; Novel: Didn't get as far as I'd hoped, but more ideas came to me about where I want it to go.

In all honesty, I'm not disappointed. It's like my body and brain worked together to tell me to just enjoy my time here. Every time I tried to work on my dissertation, my brain just froze and refused to work. If I tried to force myself to think, I'd get a headache. My body needed the rest, and that's exactly what I've been doing. So, the anal perfectionistic overachiever in me isn't too happy that I didn't get work done. But, there's a part of me that is thanking God for forcing me to enjoy myself and allowing me to take the time to breathe. I'll be coming back to the States refreshed and ready to go!

Oh, and we might be going back to Acapulco, tomorrow and Wednesday. Stay tuned...


Mexican Paradise: July 6th - July 14th

Still lovin it here - although, not enough to move here. I wish I could say I'm more fluent in Spanish since I've been here for almost 3 weeks. Ha! I can say, though, that I'm understanding it a little more. I still have to answer back in English. It's mostly because I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing (wouldn't want to insult anyone). I'll keep practicing. Who knows, maybe next summer I'll spend all 3 months and take classes.

So, anyway, last week started off slow. Last Sunday, my sis hurt her knee playing volleyball, so she was immobile for a few days. We celebrated her 26th birthday on the 9th. We went to a tattoo place with her friend where she (my sis) held a snake. Yeah, I was too chicken to hold it. We went to the movies to see 21 Black Jack (good movie, by the way) and later had cake.
The fun started Friday when we went to Acapulco. We stayed in a hostel. It wasn't too bad, though. It definitely didn't match the image I had (thanks to the movie, Hostel). It was actually like a little hotel...or like a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. We ended up not having air condition (it cost extra). We had to count on the ceiling fans and opened windows. The problem with the open windows was that creepy crawlers (bugs, lizards…scorpions) would have easy access into our rooms. Oh, but the view from one of the bedroom windows…priceless!

Friday, we didn’t get in the bed ‘til 5:00 in the morning. My sister woke me up later talking about getting ready. Clearly, she didn’t realize it was only 8:00 in the morning. Needless to say, we went back to sleep and woke up at about 1:00 p.m. We’d planned on going out to the clubs on the beach that night, but, when we got back from a friends’ house (eating lunch with his parents), we fell asleep. Wanna know how long we slept? From 8:00 Saturday night to 9:00 Sunday morning. Yep. We were so tired, that we didn’t have the energy to get up to party Saturday night. The fact that it was raining pretty hard didn’t help matters.
Sunday, we spent most of the day at the beach. We rented an umbrella (with 2 chairs & big enough for 2 people to sit under) for only 30 pesos ($3 USD) for the whole day. I usually can’t stay out in the sun all day…not without getting sick (migraines, hives…all that good stuff). The fact that we had an umbrella helped. We just chilled on the beach on the beautiful day that God provided for us. My God, it was beautiful!
The beach has vendors who walk along the beach trying to sell things like jewelry, clothes, food, etc to the people. Every 5 minutes, we had people come up to us. I did buy a few things (more than I should have). I also got a much needed, 10 minute massage. It felt sooooo good. I mean the woman got all the kinks out of my neck, back…even my fingers. Some of the vendors were young children. It was hard for me to say no to them (had to refrain from looking at their puppy dog eyes or I would’ve ended up broke). I did by a little anklet from these two girls – 11 and 13 years old. These girls were good. I’m not sure of their circumstances – whether they were under privileged or not – but I won’t be surprised if these girls ended up being business women.
Sunday night, we did go out and had a blast. We met a few hip hop dancers who were just awesome. You don’t really see good hip hop dancers in Mexico – although they do listen to it down here – so we were a little surprised when we met these guys, one of which actually taught a hip hop class. The video I made of them dancing didn’t really come out clear, so posting it won’t help get the full effect.

By the time Monday came around, none of us really wanted to leave. Acapulco is definitely on my list of vacation spots. The thing is, we didn’t feel so out of place because there are lots of dark-skinned Mexicans in Acapulco (some even darker than us). Three of us were either mistaken for native Acapulcans, Puerto Ricans, or Cubans. My sister could have pulled it off because she’s fluent in Spanish, but I couldn’t (darn my lack of Spanish-speaking abilities). She did tell a taxi that they (her and her friends) spoke Spanish and I only spoke Portuguese. That way, I could still be exotic and not have to speak. Not that being African American isn’t exotic enough in Mexico. There are so few of us here, that, when we are spotted in Mexico, it’s like, “Wow!” I feel like a movie star with some of the stares I get.

Not only am I black, but I have the nerve to be blessed with mas hips and butt. Having an ample amount of bottom has its ups and downs. Up: In Acapulco, I got to sit in the front when we rode taxis cause there was no way 3 people would fit comfortably in the back of the VW Beetle taxi if I’d sat in the back. Down: People (especially men) stare and ogle at me (really, my butt) in awe (or admiration, depending on who’s doing the staring). Up: I filled my jeans pretty good. Down: My sister and her 2 friends were smaller, so, at times, I felt like an elephant next to them (a good looking one, though).

Anyway, I think this week’s going to be a chillaxin kind of week. Stay tuned for more…

Enjoy the pics:


Mexican Paradise: June 25th - July 5th

I've been here about a week and a half and I absolutely love it! The city is beautiful. Get this: mountains provide the backdrop of the city.

Gorgeous. It's very hilly, too. Sometimes, I feel like I'm on a roller coaster - up, down, around...up, down, around... The people here walk the streets like it ain't nothing. It's steep in some places, yet, I see women walking with heels on, looking like it's the easiest thing in the world. It's no wonder why a big chunk of the women here are small. They may (or may not) eat quite a bit, but they'd burn it right back off from all the walking. I'm almost positive I'm going to go back to the States minus a few pounds. My sister's apartment is on the bottom of a small, hill-like street, so every morning, we'd have to walk up the hill to get out of the gate.
She also lives on the 3rd floor. So, you see why I've come to the conclusion that I'll be at least a few pounds smaller. This doesn't include all the dancing we do, the fact that I go walking for exercise, and I sometimes practice or play with my sister's volleyball team.

So, anyway, what have I been doing here in the beautiful city of Cuernavaca? Not much...mostly relaxing. And I'm supposed to rest, right? I'm on vacation! The first night I was here, my legs got torn up by mosquitos. My left leg was all red from the bites. My sis had to work last week (the students' last day of school was 6/27th and the teachers' last day was 7/05th), so I stayed at home and worked on my dissertation (I know, nerdy, right). I did visit her school and a got a chance to see how much of an impact she's made with her students (I'm so proud of mi hermanita). I've also gotten a chance to see how good she is at salsa. Here's a link to a vid of her dancing earlier this year: She's good, right? I only know the basic steps, which I got to practice when we went salsa dancing. The man I danced with had a hard time keeping his hands from roaming (don't worry...that problem was nipped in the bud, thanks to my bodyguard/sister). He bought me 2 roses as a "thank you" for dancing with him.

In my first week, I went to my first quincinera, danced and clubbed past midnight (not getting home til 2 or 3 - something that I don't usually do), played in a volleyball game, and had to keep a guy from practically humping my butt while I was dancing (don't ask). Unfortunately, I was sick for most of last week (Tuesday to Friday) because something didn't quite agree with my stomach (thank god for Peptp Bismol...or, actually, my sis had the generic version of it, but it still worked). Anyway, I'm totally enjoying myself right now. We (my sis, her friend who's here visiting, and I) do get funny looks when we're walking around or going places. There aren't too many African American women here, so we stick out like a sore thumb. But it's cool. To them, we're exotic...unique - and I love it!

Oh, I can't forget about the interesting sounds. So, last year, I got a chance to hear the kissing lizard, which makes the sound people make when they're trying to get a dog to come to you. This time, I hear crickets that sounds like they're whistling (all night), birds that sound like men do when they see beautiful women, and some animal, bug or bird that sounds like a baby dinosaur (not sure what it is yet). So cool...yet, creepy. Anyway, I can't wait to see what this next week brings us. I do believe we're going to Acapulco for the weekend. Until then, enjoy the pics.