Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Hip Hip Hooray! One more sleep for me and then Pat O'Brien will be here :) The people at the lab are cracking up at me because apparently I've been very chipper today.....skipping around, grinning like an idiot and the like. Its funny how they can make fun of me without speaking English :) All in good fun though.

Today has been a pretty good day - I spent the morning doing tests for the heat of hydration for dry and partially hydrated cement. Sounds not fun, but actually is. It involves putting on a semi-space / tin foil suit and taking stuff out of an 950°C oven, and even besides that, its a pretty cool test. All the technicians from each of our cement plants' laboratories are here learning how to do more stuff. One guy said he's in love with me, even though I'm from the US don't speakSpanishh, and knew him for about two minutes. You know, I don't understand everything in Spanish, but it was very easy to see how he felt about our president, and Americans in general. Pretty interesting. Alas, his adoration was not reciprocated, although it did get me a seat in the lab during the testing.

Also weird today - I had sushi for an appetizer for lunch. Really,that'ss the last thing I expected to see in México. Apparently everyone else was just as astounded, judging by all the comments and faces (think four year olds and brussel sprouts). It was followed by spicy ass soup, and some pollo mole verde which was stupendous. I didn't have dessert because it was jiggly, but at least I gave it a try before I started making faces myself.

Hmmm....its 5:00pm.....maybe I will go home and take some sleeping pills, to then I can wake up and it will be tomorrow :) OK, OK, I'll knock off the cheesiness.......give me a break, eh???

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So, its official! Friday is the day that we will move into our apartment, and its also the day my new bed and the rest of my goods will arrive. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. I’ve officially been a vagabond since near the end of October! Its really frustrating living out of a suitcase. And I’m really sick of the six sets of work outfits I have. You know, the women who work here have uniforms – and the actually are pretty darn hot! Like, 3 piece suits tailored for chicks, a different one for each day of the week. Veronica, our ever knowing ever helpful assistant, is going to order a couple for me. They are too cute! Anyway, Vero is cool – she’s going to take us out Friday night to go see some bands play. I’m excited!

Oh yeah, and we got back the family pictures we took at Thanksgiving when we thought we weren’t coming home until January. Check them out, they came out very well. It cracks me up every time I look at Austin – he is so hilarious. He’s such a mini-Kyle its about ridiculous. I also super like the pics of me and Pat O’Brien. He’s such a Hottie McHotavich! I really dig his fuzzy face, and his cute scar on his eyebrow where it doesn’t grow. *sigh* How dreamy!

SNAP – back to reality. Good news is we’re coming home for Christmas, which really lifted my spirits because I was really dreading not being able to spend it with my family. They are way too cool. And, I will still get to experience the posadas here, and el dia de los Tres Reyes after I get back – so I get triple the parties!……The bad news is it cost a butt load. So, to all those who were expecting Christmas presents – SURPRISE! Its me! I hope everyone understands! Maybe I’ll be able to afford to bring some chicle back J Or maybe even the chicle kids!


I can hardly stand it. Pat will be here in two more sleeps. You know, I’m not exactly sure when I started counting things by sleeps, but it has been a while. I’m not even sure you can pluralize “sleep”. It seems to be just a bit more exciting knowing that when you wake up after that last sleep, what you were awaiting for will be there!

Anyway, in the meantime there is more, more, and more frustration for me. I really have to try hard to not bust out crying when something goes awry. I often wish I could be more like my brothers and my dad, who often don’t worry much about anything. Ever. Not me. I’m like a perpetual time bomb, just waiting to go off. Ask Keith – he pretty much laughs at me every day because I’m wound so tight. It’s not like I yell and scream or anything, I usually just cry; which has been happening at least once a day. And I’m not talking cute little tears down my cheek. I’m talking close the door so I can bawl and then fix my mascara after I’m done crying.

So, the frustration of the day? I have medication that I take daily for anxiety and depression - one that after much searching and trial and error that I really like. And, turns out, they don’t have it in Mexico. And, I’m out of refills so I can’t depend on Pat O’Brien to get it for me and bring it down when he arrives Thursday. AND, I don’t really have the time to search out for a doctor here and go and visit. So, I called my doctor practically begging him to send in a prescription to the pharmacy for one more month to buy me some more time, and he said no, because I haven’t been in for a few months. HELLLLLOOOOOOOOOO! I’m in Mexico! Its not like I can drop by! True, I should have thought about that before I left, but I was sort of preoccupied with uprooting my whole life. Anyway, I faxed him a letter practically begging him to give it to me, and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Turns out they also don’t have the birth control that I really super duper love either ( It ROCKS). So I’m going to have to figure out a plan B for that as well. On the flip side, my allergy medication is shit-piles cheaper because it’s Over The Counter – so instead of paying $60 a month, I will only pay $30. That is pretty dam awesome! Actually, most medications you can get at the Farmacias here without a prescription. You tell the pharmacist what’s wrong, and they hook you up. Apparently, you only need to go to the doctor if a limb is unattached or your gushing blood. Hey, whatever works.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Improving my Spanish Skillz

Yesterday was a pretty eventful day. We went to a car dealership to see if we could talk to someone about purchasing a car, and it ended up in frustration. They want 3 months worth of pay stubs from Apasco BEFORE I can buy a car. How the heck am I supposed to wait 3 months without a car????? Ugh. Sheer frustration. But, at least I did communicate what I was looking for, and the good news is that they do have a cute little car with every thing that I want for the price I would like to pay. Now, I just have to figure out financing.....

After that, I bought my new bed, and we ate lunch at a pretty cool restaurant called California Restaurant. It was a buffet. The food was OK, and it was about $12 a person all you can eat, and all you can drink. And yes, damas y caballeros, that does include beer. See for yourself!!! The beer is right next to the pop! I think when Pat O'Brien gets here on this week we might stop here and load up before we go out to the bar :)

We decided after that to venture out to the city center, and we saw some pimp cathedrals and lots of goods for sale, though we mostly just looked. Also, thank goodness you can always count on McDonalds for clean, available bathrooms. I was about ready to poop my pants (damn food doesnt always agree) when we came across a McD's. I will forever be a loyal customer!

We also saw the Museo de Bella Artes and a incredible botanic gardens with Vitrales, or stained glass as a centerpiece. Check out the pics!

To top the night off we went to a club called L'aqua and drank and danced the night away. I did manage to make some friends (a kindergarten teacher, her boyfriend and her sister) but I didn't get any numbers. How do you go about that anyway without them thinking that you are hitting on them? I don't think there is protocal out there for trying to pick up friends......oh well, you never find good ones at the bars anyway :)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Funny Story....

Back tracking here a bit - Keith and I went grocery shopping earlier this week because I was getting sick of the ham and cheese bit and wanted to throw a little PB&J in there just to mix it up a bit. Well, graceful me drops the jelly when we get home and shatters the bottom. I carefully picked out the glass and put the remainder of the jelly in a ziploc container. I proceeded to eat some PB with bananas, then went out to check my email.

When I came back, Keith asked me "Did that peanut butter taste a little sandy to you?". Um. No. But, if he had jelly with that sandwich I'm pretty sure it wasn't sand that he was crunching on......although glass is also silacious! He wouldnt let me throw it out (Mom - Does that remind you of anyone????) but luckily we haven't run into any sandy patches since :)

OK, good news, finally! We got the apartment we wanted and will be moving in next Friday. Fortunately, my hunny buns is also coming to visit this weekend, so I will have an extra set of hands to help out (I'm sure thats exactly what he was counting on doing!). Hopefully we will be doing some fun things this weekend so I have good things to report. I swear if I spend the whole time in the apartment I am doomed to go mad!!!

Caravan de Coca Cola

I finally decided to venture out a little bit – because as I said before if I stay in this apartment all weekend watching TV I’m going to go crazy. Both Keith and I have kind of been in this stage where we actually avoid talking to people. Its really hard not being able to communicate and to feel like an idiot, so its easier to not talk at all. Anyway, Friday night I forced Keith to go talk to the front desk (I can do that, because I’m the big sister) while I checked my email. I wanted to find out what was going on in the world of Toluca at night, that was relatively safe. We got some names of a couple bars and some pool halls and such. Although I didn’t feel much like going out at that point (it was 9:00PM) we both thought it might be a good idea to go scope out the places that we didn’t know.

So, we took a trip into downtown Toluca. About halfway to our destination we stumbled upont TONS (and I mean Thousands!!) of people sitting on the sides of the streets, apparently waiting for something. We drove a bit more, and when we couldn’t drive down the street that we wanted to bevause it was blocked with families and people selling chicaronnes, nachos, cotton candy and light up antlers, we decided finally to suck it up, find an illegal parking space and see what was up.

We got out, I purchased a cheesy Feliz Navidad light up reindeer/mickey mouse hand hat, and we waited. After asking some people, it turns out it was the Caravan. The Caravan of Coca-Cola. Of Course! Why didn’t I know that? What I wanted to know was WHAT THE HECK IS THE CARAVAN OF COCA-COLA??? Seeing as how I normally decorate the day after Thanksgiving, and everyone was wearing some type of Christmas gear, I figured that maybe this would be just what I needed to cheer myself up and get myself in the Christmas mood. And maybe I’d get a free coke out of it.

Well, there was no free coke, but there a was pretty big parade with impressive floats and big trucks all decked out in Coke gear (Tia Mo would have loved it!) all lit up, singing and dancing and all the world loves Coke. It was actually pretty fun! And, a local asked me a question J I couldn’t really anwer it, but it felt good to be approached. At the end of the evening, we found our way back home, and I for once actually felt like this was a good decision. That was exactly what I signed up for – experiencing something completely strange and new and exhilarating, something that was purely Mexico!

Now I feel ready to conquer a few small things. After I shower (we have hot water now, thank the sweet Lord) we’re going to head out to some dealerships and I’m going to try my hand at communicating in Spanish again. I’m going to be here for a while, I might as well start now!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Feliz El Dia de Accion de Gracias!

Happy Turkey Day everyone! Just so you all know, the Lion's terrible beating even made the local news down here. Good to know the whole world can appreciate their mad skillz.

Here's a quick link to brighten your day . Enjoy!

Adios! Keith and I are off to the traditional Mayer Family Thanksgiving Day move....Harry Potter y el Caliz de Fuego!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Another crappy day

I'm so completely unmotiviated and depressed right now I'm not exactly sure where to start. You know, I'm not sure that I signed up for the ridiculous ups and downs of emotions that come with this whole international relocation business. Its really starting to get on my nerves.

It probably doesn't help much that I'm hung over. I really didn't drink that much last night (seriuosly mom, I didn't!) but I think the altitude along with the fact that its been a while since I have imbibed were working against me. In any case, it was a bad lapse in judgement that caused me to miss work for the first time.....I blamed it on the food or water and irritable bowels. hey, might as well take advantage of it while you can!

So why was I out you may ask? My friend Maria Yanez came to Mexico City for work (she's a Holcim chick too). Her brother works in Mexico City as well, so we met up at her hotel and went out to a pretty cool restaurant called La Valentina. Mariachi's and all. Her brother David is somewhat of a high roller, so he ordered two bottles of really expensive Tequila and we drank most of it. Not shots mind, you. No, that is not how they roll here. It was like in a teeny tiny brandy snifter, followed by a sip of sangrita (think mega heavy bloody mary in a little shot glass). I admit, it was good, although it didn't taste good coming up this morning. We stayed in her hotel room to sleep for a bit because she didn't want me driving in Mexico City at night (for good reason, I suppose). So I woke up at 5:30 and Keith and I drove back. It was really good seeing a familiar face.......and being able to talk in Spanish and English at will (she's from Ecuador). Also, she's on her way back to Ecuador for three months to take care of her ailing mother, so any prayers for her and her family would be appreciated!

OK, so, despite a fun night here are other reasons why I'm crabby/sad/depressed:

  • Thanksgiving is tomorrow. And I have to work. I didn't think it would really bother me, but it just reinforces how much I miss my family and back home. The more spam I get in my inbox about after-thanksgiving day sales makes me think about it more, and the more sad I get.
  • I don't think that I am going to get the homes that I would like. The girl emailed me today and said someone else has an offer in for $500 more a month, and I just don't think its in my budget to match it. I knew I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up!!!
  • I can't figure out how to work my damn phone voicemail. Its really starting to miff me off.
  • I don't have any friends here.
  • I want my OWN stuff in a apartment that I can call my OWN in a place where I can have my OWN wireless internet service!!!!!!!! This temporary living nonsense is Crap.

OK, I promised myself that I wouldn't cry in the stupid business center, so I guess that will be all for now.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone! And please be sure to be super Thankful that you have your family close to hold in your arms!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Top 10 lists

Figuring I really need to embrace my new found surroundings, here is a list of things I love most (so far) about Mexico

  1. Fruit, oh so fresh and succulent fruit!
  2. Homemade tortillas (corn or flour!) at tortillerias around every corner
  3. The smell of barbacoa wafting through the air
  4. COLOR!! (Biege? Whats beige?)
  5. Working for a company that people have actually heard of
  6. 2 hour lunches (and yes, I did take a siesta today)
  7. People enjoying their family
  8. Beautiful sunshine and mild weather
  9. Daily maid service
  10. Mexican music on the radio

And, on the flip side, here are 10 very important things I miss most about home

  1. My Family & Friends
  2. Pat O’Brien
  3. Chips without Chile flavor (i.e. Doritos and Tostidos)
  4. Potable water
  5. Being able to communicate well
  6. Pat O’Brien
  7. Being able to eat produce without wondering about amoebas and human excrement in fertilizers.
  8. Bright lamps and lights
  9. Being able to drive and breathe at the same time
  10. and last but not least……..Pat O’Brien

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mercados and Deportes

What a difference a couple of days makes. I’m still a bit on the lonely side, but I suppose it would be pretty difficult to round up a network of life long friends in one week. *sigh* I often have too high of expectations for myself. One of the many things I need to continue to gain patience with……

Today wasn’t very exciting at work. I had to read through and prepare a bunch of standards for testing, and also go buy some steel toed boots. On the way to the zapateria was our little pueblito in Metepec. It was hoppin because apparently Monday is the day of the Mercado. There were people and goods everywhere! I really wanted to stop, but we had to drop off some aggregate samples, so it wasn’t going to happen. The fresh fruit everywhere is enough to make your mouth water!!!!!

I also finally got up the guts to give my little souvenir gifts to my new co-workers. It was actually pretty hard, because you never know what they are thinking (like, what the heck is this crazy American giving me this dumb little thing for?!?!). I figured you really can’t go wrong with things from the homeland. I stuck with sports teams, and brought a plethora of Michigan, Pistons, Redwings, Lions and Tigers stuff…..keychains, shotglasses and cozies and the like. I am not even sure if they know what cozies are, since most beverages are served luke warm at best because even they don’t want the ice in their drinks. Its amazing how a country so big can have high speed internet access and not have potable water. I just don’t get it.

The gift giving seemed to go pretty well. Especially since they have no idea how badly the Lions and Tigers stink! Although, now they might now. The Lion’s game was broadcast here Sunday on Fox Deportes. It was exciting to get to watch the game – terrible that they lost. Also exciting (mostly for Keith) is the Thanksgiving Day game is on here too. Bummer for me, it will be one of the only times in my life that I have not watched that game. Alas, I will be working because Mexicans have no inkling of Pilgrims, Indians and cranberry goo shaped like a can.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Lonely Planet

I’m not even sure if I’m going to post this on the blog, even though I know I should. My expatriate experience would not be complete if I didn’t convey the wild range of emotions that I go through at any given time. So, if you’re reading this – welcome to my real world :) Its not like I’m a wild and crazy psycho or some super duper freak or something, but these emotions may contradict the image that some people may have of me…….

Here it goes. I’m completely co-dependant. I pretend to be this self sufficient independent take over the world person, and I really am not. At all. Case in point – I have not NOT had a boyfriend/male companion for more than a month since I was 14 years old. I’m not sure if its because I need to be needed, or if I just need to have someone there for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of friends and family who are there for me at any time, but for some reason I have always needed and had a man in my life. Which is also strange because 3 out of the 4 serious relationships I have had in my life have been long distance ones. I suppose I feel like I need the security while having the freedom as well.

The difference now being that I had an established life before I met any of these men, and had plenty of friends and activities to occupy my time while we were apart. Now, its quite different. Right now, because I don’t know the city and don’t have the energy to go out and explore I have a lot of free time at night. So, what do I do? Pine. Yearn and pine. Cry, yearn and pine. Most nights are not that bad to handle, but occasionally, there is the anomaly. Such is tonight. I’m lonely, sad, and in desperate need of comfort, and there is no one here to do so. Tonight, Chicago feels like a million miles away. I know I can’t have a hug or a gentle kiss, but sometimes, like now, even a phone call isn’t feasible. And it really sucks. And, of course, it feels like the end of the world.

I talked to my ever wise mother, and she gently reminded me that I need to learn to stand on my own two feet – even if it stinks. And she’s right, because I have never been able to do that on my own; there has always been a crutch. I shouldn’t have to rely on any one person to lift my spirits, or make my day. I need to make my own sunshine. Not that doing so makes me love Pat O’Brien any less or need him any less. It just will make me more self reliant, hopefully a better person, and maybe able to maybe fix the things about myself that are less than stellar and that have contributed to things going awry in previous relationships. Or, if nothing else, it will help me cry less….because I think I’m running out of tears!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

First days are sucessful!

Thursday was my first day of work. It went pretty well. Friday I had to go to Ciudad de México to get some immigration information taken care of at the government and our corporate offices. My first experience driving during rush hour of México City went well! No accidents, and no careening of cliffs. Keith came with me though, just to keep my sanity. Driving in México City is kind of like driving in Toluca.....times 23 (Toluca has a population of 1,000,000. México City is ~23,000,000). Anyway, it was rather uneventful, we didn't get lost and we didn't get kidnapped, so I guess we are off to a great start!!!

Driving and other such dangers

Let me say that first off, I am well aware that people in México drive crazy. I learned that lesson the first time I took a ride in a Bochito (little VW bug) taxi many moons ago. Or when we took that bus ride from Puerto Vallerta to Guadalajara and the driver almost plunged off a cliff twice while drinking his jug of tequila hidden ever so discreetly behind his seat. But it really does take on a whole new meaning when you are doing it yourself.

First off, driving here has been refered to as "anarchy", which is an appropriate description. Anyone who has ever driving in Boston might have an inkling of what I am talking about. People have a complete disregard for any traffic signals or signs. They apparantly are merely a guideline.....only if you feel like listening to them. They cut you off, merge when they shouldn't, blatently run red lights and the buses - oh don't even get me started on the buses!!

Keith put it quite eloquently as we were driving home from the mall last night.....and I quote "For being such nice people, they sure are cock suckers!"

Really though, the worst part isn't fearing for your life. Seriously, its not! As long as traffic is moving its not so bad, you get used to it and become accustomed to being an aggressive and offensive driver. The worst part is being stuck in traffic. Its not like any other traffic jam. Its like the worst traffic jam you can imagine, with people weaving in and out of traffic trying to sell you bananas or dolls or wash your windshield, all while sucking on a tailpipe. Thats what it felt like. I swear I could feel capallaries in my lungs collapsing from the polluted air. It was so bad that I could taste it. I was nauseous for three hours after I got home.

The buses and trucks are by far, the worst. They pull up next to you, or stop right in front of you and say "Hey, Hola! Hows it going? Open up - I'm going to stick this ginormous tail pipe in your mouth and suck all of the available oxygen from your area and replace it with fossil fuel dirtied carbon dioxide. I hope you like tar flavor!"

Lucky for me, Keith enjoys driving. I think its the guy-video game connection. Now, if I can only find an oxygen tank to keep handy........

Thursday, November 17, 2005

All Caught up

OK, now that everyone is up to speed......we have narrowed it down to a few places to live. Here are a couple pics.....we found plenty of places that were beige and lacking character, but these two places topped our list because they had a bit Flair :)

Here are pics of Las Palomas

And, of Vitrales....

Un Buen Dia

I arose this morning fresh and awake and with a completely new (and much better) attitude. As you can imagine, I was in a pretty crapola mood yesterday, and was contemplating, although not seriously, bailing ship and coming back home. Alas, a new day, a new outlook. Thankfully, the shower has great water pressure and my morning as off to a great start.

We met with Claudia, our Latin American Relocation Management consultant (hereby referred to as LARM) and were off to view some potential habitations. She’s very cool, and young like me, so will prove to be a very good resource. Oh, and Claudia’s mom joined us, as she had not seen her daughter in a while (she recently returned from a trip to Russia). We saw some pretty incredible homes, a couple of which I of course, fell in love with. And, of course, they were the more expensive ones. One of the homes was on a old plantation type place, which was unbelievably beautiful, with a lake and many many old Cyprus trees and its own on site chapel (think of the Three Amigos chapel in Santa Poco…….soo cute!). But, it is farther away from the city, and mostly families and very quiet. Another place had a ton of incredible tile work, and the most fabulous garden I have ever seen. So, who knows. I or should I say ¿Quién sabe? We see more homes tomorrow.

In the meantime, we’ve figured out how to use our calling cards, our apartment phones still don’t work, and I still don’t have internet access. Keith finally figured out how to start the oven, so we had some awesome pizzas for dinner. I have had an incredible headache since lunch time (which is way later here), but thankfully I purchased an industrial size bottle of Excedrin (which by the way they don’t sell here). The caffeine makes me jittery – and a little anxious. I guess this whole situation in general is bound to wind me up, but I would rather not revert back to my old panic attack ways. I have meds for it and everything, but I’d rather not take them…….understandably.

Viva México

13 Nov 05
We have officially and safely arrived in Mexico, albeit not without incident. There are many stories to tell about this one-day-but-felt-like-ten journey, so I will try to break it down as best I can.

The Day Before
Let me preface this section by stating that I have been in incredibly good spirits, especially after talking to my cousin Will and realizing (again) the amazing opportunity that lies ahead of me, instead of focusing on all the crappy bad stuff that I’m feeling.

So, the day before our departure, Saturday Nov 12, we had a family dinner at my Aunt Joni and Uncle Jerry’s house in Detroit. It ended up being a fantastic idea, and we even took cheesy family pictures with all of us matching. I was too busy visiting to be sad, and it wasn’t until the end that I even got a bit teary eyed. I was very proud!

The Morning Of
Mom, Dad, Keith, Kyle, Karli, Austin and Pat and I all stayed at the Airport Westin for the night seeing as how we had to get up at the ass crack of dawn. Keith and Kyle decided that it would be a good idea to go out in Royal Oak for one last hurrah. Yeah, good idea, until they woke me up at 3:30am asking for directions to the hotel and then again at 4:30am when they finally arrived. Did I mention that I had a 5:30am wake up call? And that I didn’t go to bed until 1:00AM because I was bawling in Pat O’Brien’s arms?

Anyway, everyone came to the terminal to make sure we got all the bags checked – and we ate a quick breakfast. I felt good because everything was checked and went well, and the only thing I had to worry about (which I mentioned to Pat O’Brien) was if the cats would fit under the seat. Wink Wink.

Then, it was time to say goodbye. I was doing great until I got to Karli, and she started crying, then mom started crying, then Keith, then me, then dad, and of course, Pat. It was kind of like the Stand By Me blueberry barf incident, minus the barfing. OK, so it’s really not anything like that. Anyway, of course, as I hugged and kissed Pat O’Brien and said goodbye I was a wreck; which is ironic because I’m going to see him again soon (He’s flying down to see us on December 1).

Cats Galore
So we get to the gate, and an airport chick said “Um, I really don’t think those are going to fit – there is only 9” of space”………and she was correct. So, she said I had to check them in cargo, of which I adamantly rejected. I ended up spending an extra $100 to buy different carriers which luckily American Airlines sold. Those of you who have met my furry feline companions know that Milo, our orange cat, isn’t of small girth. I really felt like I was shoving him into a teeny tiny Chinese food container. He did have enough room though, and I did get to take them on board. The best though, was yet to come.

Barf, Poop, Pee
Keeping with the theme of really bright ideas I decided to not sedate Milo even though I know he doesn’t travel well. Thalia is a dream. All she does is squeak and you can’t even really hear it over the engines. Milo – even though he doesn’t make much noise – tends to make up for it in other regards. So, after our first leg to Chicago, I peeked down to see how he was doing, and sure enough, my nose caught wind of an awful smell. I took him out to see how he was doing, and saw barf. Then a nice little dump pile of poop. Then all the other pee. Then, I saw my pathetic orange cat completely filthy in his own excrement because he has all of two inches to move around. Keith and I managed to get him out, Keith scored a bag and some paper towels, and I went to work to clean Milo and the cage as quickly as I could so we could make our connection. I also popped him a quick tranq.

Really it’s mostly my fault because I put the absorbent “Wee Wee Pads” on upside down. Yeah, really, it’s funny. You’d think the absorbent side would be the soft, cottony side, but apparently I thought putting the plastic side up would be a much much better idea. The mess would have been much easier to clean up if I would have thought about it for more than two seconds.

Immigration, agriculture, customs, my Spanish.
We made it through all of the above with little incident, thanks to my new found Spanish skills. I was very impressed with myself, as was Keith. It’s still pretty broken, but more than functional. And, I was able to complete each step without as much as a hiccup.

Rental car and driving in Mexico City
Until we get to the budget rent-a-car counter. With no one there. For hours. We finally managed to make it to the rental area and get a car, and follow our hosts to our hotel area. I could get into the depths of the frighteningness of driving in Mexico City, but I won’t just yet. Let’s just say, it was a tranquil Sunday afternoon, and I was still pretty white knuckled in a little ford focus.

Apartment, Telephones, Wal-Mart and internet withdrawal
Our apartment wasn’t ready, our phones don’t work, and we don’t have internet service in the apartment. Which meant I couldn’t skype my family and Pat to let them know we were OK. Which, you know, having a laptop it makes me soooooo frustrated to not have wireless or any kind of internet service!!! Anyway, I couldn’t call anyone to tell them we were alive until about 9PM today, central time. Before we got the calling card we managed to navigate in the dark to Wal Mart and find a McDonald’s for some dinner. It was quite an adventure.

But now, we’re settling in. I’ve had a good 30 minute fetal positioned cry on my new bed, the cats are done being pissed at me, and have joined me on the bed instead of under, and, I’m listening to some Jack Johnson. Rest assured in my heart - tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quick update - not much time!!!

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to send a quick note to everyone to let you all know that Keith and I (and my two cats) arrived safely in Mexico on Sunday night. Yesterday, today and tomorrow are devoted to househunting (and we have seen some MAGNIFICANT haciendas/casas!!) and I start work on Thursday. We're right now working on getting Keith some contacts so he can either take classes to learn spanish, or begin teaching English at some schools here. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

The weather here is beautiful! Sunny and 70 all day, low 40s at night! But so far, in our temporary apartment, the best part has been the daily maid service :) I'm definitely going to get used to that!!! All the homes we've looked at have a maid's quarters included!!

OK, off to drink Manzanitas and some Sol.......y mi casa esta siempre abierrto!!!!!After I get work internet access I{ll post the real details, but you will have to patiently wait! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The countdown begins.....

First, I shall apologize for not updating much during my two week learning rampage. Seriously, its been WAY tough. I get home and I'm incredibly exhausted. The first day I came home and just layed down in bed and zoned out for a while. My brain was fried. And, even though I was bummed out about my placement, turns out they knew what they were doing :) go figure! It was a great place for me to start, and I've progressed very quickly and very well. Those of you who know me, however, will also know that I don't think I ever progress quickly or well enough!

So, my spanish is coming along. Rather functional, I would say, although it still does take me some time to think about what I'm saying. Thats the problem with engineers! They always take too daggone long to think! It will give me a good foundation for which to learn. I'll be fluent in three months. Anyone want to bet???

Important other goings on - I got a STUPENDOUS going away present from Pat O'Brien - my very own super new fabulous iPod video. Way cool. I also bought a new computer so I won't be computerless my first few months in Mexico.

I can't believe its actuallly happening!!!!!! I got a presentation of pics from my relo company of potential living places......they look pretty darn awesome, and they ALL come with maid service!!!