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Our last few days in Cuernavaca

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

by Allison

While the rut of daily life with our kids prevails I had a great conversation with Matthias that has given me a second wind. Five weeks in Mexico sounds great on the surface, but he said he can understand how it wouldn’t be easy (especially since I’m by myself with 3 kids). But regardless of how difficult it is, he said he wanted to be the one that was figuring things out in Mexico, hailing taxis with a bleeding child in tow, deciphering the ER doctors, trying to get receipts so we might be able to re-coup some of the $500+ dollars in emergency room visits, taking trips to the Farmacia to get the right medicine, and all of this en Espanol. Matthias was so right, and his comments helped me to try and make the most of the rest of our time here. Our taxi driver on Friday mentioned that Xochicalco, some ancient ruins about an hour outside of Cuernavaca, was worth the trip. William and Julian were up for it so we decided to do it.

We hailed a taxi to downtown, and I tried to ask the driver where we needed to go to get to the ruins. I had an idea where we needed to go, but our taxi driver seemed to have different information. This was one of those taxi rides when I didn’t understand very much, but I more or less recognized the route and knew he was taking us to the Centro bus station. Even if he had been wrong I knew we could figure things out from there. It turns out there were buses leaving from the Centro station, but we had just missed the direct bus by a half an hour. It was already 11:00 AM and the next bus wasn’t leaving for another hour. The ride would have been about 1.5 hours to the site (plus another 1.5 hours back), and seeing as the kids are definitely NOT dying to take in ancient ruins, I decided we would just walk around town and see what we found. Right away we hear sounds of a sporting even nearby. We followed the cheering and quickly found a sports center that was hosting a tae-kwon-do tournament and a basketball game. We only spent about 30 minutes there, but it was fun to stumble upon the experience and just sit back and explore and enjoy it. It is a little weird when the spectators are paying more attention to us than their own friends and family. If I were a real entrepreneur I think I could make more money selling pictures with the guerros (light skinned people, aka our kids) like they did with the elephants at the circus. I might just be able to make a decent living. We spent a nice afternoon walking through town and finished it up with a little swimming and soccer.

One thing that has been really nice is having George and Ines around. The first time Theo had to go to the hospital for stiches George dropped everything and drove us right away. He was on his way to meet someone, but called and cancelled so he could help. Ines and her daughter Sonja stayed at the house and watched over William and Julian. On our way back from the hospital George and I stopped to get the antibiotics and pain medication the doctor prescribed. He asked me if I knew how to say “wax” in Spanish. I checked on my iPhone and he proceeded to ask them if they have moustache wax. They didn’t have it and didn’t know where he could get it either. He looks at me and says in English “They’re dumb as shit, ain’t they?” Now why he thought a twenty-something year-old young woman at a pharmacy would know where an old fuck like him could get mustache wax is beyond me. It is really hard to roll with these kinds of comments, and I find them fully offensive, but what are you going to do after he’s gone way out of his way to help you in your time of need? I’m not about to start harping on the choices of an almost 80-year-old man at this moment, or ever really. He knows what he is saying is not politically correct, or right, but he doesn’t care. Maybe the best I can do is just buy him a case of mustache wax when I’m back in the states and send it to him.

This week is the last week at summer camp and the kids are already starting to think about some of the things they will miss. This morning Theo fell and scraped us his knee quite badly, but this time all we needed was a Band-Aid and he was back up and running. This afternoon we returned to the hospital for the first set of stitches to be removed. The back of his head is healing up perfectly. They also looked at his cheek and it is healing up really well, too. Later this evening we had a great dinner at a new Taqueria. The tacos al pastor were delicious and this restaurant served them with a thin slice of pineapple which the kids really loved. As I was paying for our meal William and Julian were waiting with Theo on the sidewalk. I come out and see Theo is screaming bloody murder and holding his arm. William and Julian also informed me Theo stepped in a big pile of dog poop and his shoes are covered in dog doo. I suspect immediately that he has a nursemaid’s elbow. The first few times one of our kids had this we went to the emergency room, but we eventually learned how to fix it ourselves. I give it a quick initial try, but he screamed so much that I figure it would be better to get a cab home, clean his shoes up and assess the situation at home. When the taxi pulled up at our place I noticed Theo has been rubbing his shoes on my leg and now my thigh is also smeared up with dog poop. At least I was right about the nursemaids elbow and once we were home and got cleaned up a quick manipulation popped his elbow back into place and I was so very relieved that we didn’t have to return to urgent care.

I suspect we will return to this taqueria for tacos at least one or two more times before we leave. We have one more (planned) hospital visit to remove the last of the stitches, and we want to pick up a few more bootlegged DVDs before we leave. We’ve had a few more nice taxi drivers, one that was blaring Lionel Ritchie “All Night Long” on his stereo. The mambo-salsa party attitude this song conveys is quite an interesting juxtaposition amongst the gritty streets of Mexico but those kind of moments are what makes this place so fun.

Up the Baja

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

It was tough to leave Ajijic – we had a great apartment, kids in a good school, a lot of free time and met some nice people to hang out with.  But our next stop was the Baja peninsula and Matthias and I were both looking forward to it very much.  We had heard great things from a lot of different travelers and couldn’t wait to get there.  What a huge disappointment we had awaiting us.

First we had a long drive to Mazatlan.  Mazatlan has the reputation of being another Mexican resort town.  It is true that there is a section of Mazatlan full of tourists and big resorts, but the old part of town is really quite nice and the view from the waterfront is spectacular.  The hardest part of being in Mazatlan was the heat and humidity.  The temperature was in the low 90’s, and the “feels like” temperature was just under 100, but after being in the cool mountains with a great climate, it took me a couple of days to adjust.  We signed up for the car ferry from Mazatlan to La Paz (which is on the southern end of the Baja, about 1500 km from Tijuana).  The ride was 19 hours, and we spent the night in a cabin with 4 beds.  The ferry was brutally expensive (around $400) but I was kind of excited when we first boarded.  There was a lot to explore, and it kind of had a Love Boat feeling with the narrow hallways, dining area, lounge and cabin areas.  After just a bit of exploring we realized that this boat had seen better days (big on the Boat, low on Love) and there wasn’t really anything to do except start out into the Sea of Cortez.  Never the less, we did have a good time and between nap time, dinner, breakfast and movie hour, we found enough stuff to do to keep ourselves busy. 

Sea of Cortes

[read on]

About to Hit the Road Again

Sunday, June 24th, 2007
Our faithful readers will have noticed that we haven’t been updating our blog very much lately.  We’ve been in Ajijic for nearly 6 weeks and have only posted a few blog entries.  The first week we were here ... [Continue reading this entry]

Guanajuato

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007
The morning we were supposed to go to Guanajuato Matthias was still just tired of traveling and he decided he didn’t want to go.  In the end we decided to split up, he took Julian and William and ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Old Riviera

Friday, June 8th, 2007
When you drive into Ajijic there is a sign that says “Riviera Alta.”  You might think it means the OLD Riviera since aside from the dozen Mexicans that live in this town all you see here are ex-pat ... [Continue reading this entry]

Guest Entry: Jazzy-Fizzle

Monday, May 14th, 2007
The following is a guest entry from our nephew Justin (aka Jazzy-Fizzle) who came to visit us in April.  His original post in German is the previous entry.  This was translated into English by his Aunt, Allison. When I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Gasteintrag: Jazzy-Fizzle

Monday, May 14th, 2007
Dieser Eintrag ist ein Gasteintrag von unserem Neffen Justin (genannt Jazzy-Fizzle) der uns in April besuchte.

Als ich zum ersten mal hörte das ich Onkel, Allison und die Kinder besuchen kommen könnte war ich total ... [Continue reading this entry]

My Take on Taxco

Friday, May 11th, 2007
Matthias and I agree on this – Taxco is one of the neatest cities we’ve seen in Mexico.  It did kind of suck that it took us so long to get there from Cuernavaca, but once we were ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thank You, Taxco

Monday, May 7th, 2007

On several occasions in this blog I have mentioned that I am getting tired of seeing more stuff. I have seen more things in the last 9 months that I ever will be able to process. And ... [Continue reading this entry]

Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Once we left Xpu-Ha we had a lot of driving ahead of us to get off the Yucatan.  Our next major stop was the city of Oaxaca located in the state of Oaxaca, which was about 1500 ... [Continue reading this entry]