Sunday, January 27, 2013

How Would You Like to Live at the Beach?





When we lived in Patzcuaro we were only a 3 hour drive from Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. Consequently we used to spend a fair amount of time there. Friends of ours had a house in Corazon de Durazno, where we also used to live, as well as a lovely condo in Ixtapa. We would frequently spend several days together at the beach and our friends decided that they would like to have a house there.

The condo was sold and construction began on a beautiful house that the two of them designed themselves. The lot is right across the street from the Ixtapa Golf Course. It is surrounded by jungle and alive with the sounds of macaws, flamingos, grackles and chachalacas. Huge iguanas peer down from the branches of ancient parota  trees and occasionally go for a swim in the pool.



A Private Jungle Oasis


Zihuatanejo is only about a 10 minute drive from Ixtapa and one of our favorite haunts there is Pati’s Bar. Sitting under an umbrella with our toes in the sand we gorged ourselves on avocadoes stuffed with plump shrimp and fresh yellowfin tuna salad. Often, if we were still there late in the afternoon, we would avail ourselves of 2 for 1 tropical drinks and watch the sun set over Playa La Ropa.


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Pati’s Bar, Zihuatanejo


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Playa La Ropa


About 30 minutes before you arrive in Ixtapa you will pass the exit to Tronconus. The pristine beach and huge rolling waves there are popular with surfers from all over the world. It is also a popular breeding ground for sea turtles, as I mentioned in a previous post,, in September of last year.




Unfortunately, right after the house was finished, circumstances beyond their control required our friends to leave Mexico and return to Hawaii. Their beautiful new home is now for sale at the incredible price of $199,000.00 US. You can view their website at the link below. If you are interested, you can contact them through their website, or me, by leaving a message at the end of the post.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Moctezuma’s Revenge





I have been a little under the weather lately which is why I haven’t posted for a while. I was the victim of Moctezuma’s Revenge, also known as TD, among other things. I am told that the cause of this infliction is usually bacterial enteropathogens. I have often been heard to say, cavalierly, that I am not affected by by such things and these words came back to bite me in the area in which I have been suffering.

I admit that I have occasionally had short bouts of intestinal problems since moving to Mexico, but as a rule they do not last more than 24 to 48 hours and have never been severe. However, over the last couple of weeks my situation worsened to the point where any food entering my body was immediately shown the back door and violently ejected. Although this is a very effective diet plan it is not one that I recommend.

Eventually I was forced to admit that I really did have a problem and that I needed to see a doctor. After the uncomfortable experience of submitting a stool sample for inspection I was given a prescription for antibiotics that can only be described as “horse pills”, as they were large enough to gag one. During the following week I vacillated in my opinion about which was worse, the sickness or the cure.

The instructions for taking the antibiotics suggested taking them after meals as nausea was a possibility on an empty stomach. Possibility? Really?  For the first couple of days food didn’t stay in my system long enough to act as a cushion so it was a toss-up as to which exit the food would take. The only thing that I could be assured of was that it would exit. Eventually, however, the antibiotics did kick in and I was once again able to retain my dinner with the only worry being the possibility of vomiting due to the nausea caused by the pills. Believe it or not, this was an improvement.



Emilio’s Enchiladas Placeras in Patzcuaro


Now having shared the embarrassing details of my recent illness with all of you, I should also say that one of my favorite things about living in Mexico is the food. So I am now on the horns of a dilemma. It is painfully clear to me now that I am not immune to the health risks of eating everything and anything that looks or smells interesting.



Alambres in Quirroga


I also don’t want to become paranoid and avoid everything that does not come from an upscale restaurant or my own kitchen.



Arrachera in Nurio,  Michoacán


I certainly haven’t finished exploring the culinary cornucopia that is Mexico and I don’t want to have that exploration tainted by fear of repercussions. I would love to be able to feel that since I enjoy the food here, and the experiences associated with it, so much that I could take the occasional bout of TD as an unavoidable side effect. However, I am loath to experience a reiteration of my recent intestinal distress.



Chilaquiles in Restaurante San Diego, Patzcuaro


In reality, the TD may not even have come from food. I could have handled something, money for instance, that had bacteria on it and then not used hand sanitizer before eating. I’ll never know. I will, in the future, be more careful about announcing my immunity to things (Murphy’s Law will get you every time!) and I just hope that my zest for new Mexican cuisine is not affected by my unfortunate experience.



Oh Yum!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It’s That Time Again



The New Year’s Resolution. I have mixed feelings about this. I used to make resolutions every year, somehow feeling it was the right thing to do, and that I was on the road to self-improvement. Each January I forgave myself for not achieving all my personal goals in the previous year and set out to do better in the following one.

In the 70’s I read Erica Jong, in the 80’s Wayne Dyer and in the 90’s Anthony Robbins. I focused each New Year on making the changes that would, I was sure, result in my becoming more successful in my personal and professional life. In retrospect I’m not sure I really had a clear idea as to what it was that I was aspiring. “To become more successful”. What does that really mean? It certainly means something different to me now than it did in 1970. It was different again in 1980 and had changed, yet again, in 1990.

I know from my years in the work force that it is imperative to set goals in order to stay focused. Structure is needed in the workplace, and to a certain extent in the home, particularly when you are juggling a family and a full-time job. Still my preoccupation with setting myself, often unrealistic, goals and resolutions really served only to set myself up for failure, the ultimate result of which was dissatisfaction with my performance and slowly ebbing confidence. Enter Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins.

If one year one of my resolutions was to lose 25 pounds, and I somehow managed to accomplish it, the result was spending too much money on new clothes, prompting me to make a resolution the following year to make more money. It seems to me that I was just chasing my tail. For 3 decades I struggled to achieve that elusive “success” without really understanding what that meant to me.

Success, like everything else, is relative. In my youth I should have paid more attention to Albert Einstein than Tony Robbins. I no longer make resolutions. I left those behind when I ran away from home 7 years ago. I judge success in my life differently as well. I derive satisfaction from helping others, from living for today, as my Mexican friends have taught me, and from finding joy in the beauty and the people around me. I am happier now and no longer require resolutions to improve myself or my life.

I have learned a lot from Mexico and the wonderful people here. How do you feel about resolutions? I would welcome other ideas and opinions.