Monthly Archives: December 2008

Doctoring south of the border

 Mex and I went to the dentist yesterday and had our teeth cleaned. For both of us it was less than $30. Pretty awesome considering neither of us have dental insurance and we usually pay $120 each. She really didn’t do a great job on my teeth, basically just scraping all the plaque off but not polishing them or anything but I figure as long as I go once a year in the US for a heavy duty clean I can manage to skimp a little and come down here. She did spend more time on Mex because he hadn’t been to the dentist in over a year (ugh!).

Yesterday my sore throat that I had before coming here came back in full force so today Mex and I went to the doctor in town. He was quite young, probably in his 30’s which surprised me but was very nice. Basically asked a bunch of questions (which Mex answered of course) and then looked quickly at my throat and gave me amoxicillin and two other pills. And what did the consultation AND medicine cost? About $25, barely what my copays in the US would be. Not too shabby. Although I think there must be something stronger in the medicine here because my stomach doesn’t feel so hot after taking the pills. Oh well!

 Mex and his nephew Neto just loaded the piñata with candy and are trying to figure out where to hang it. I think we are going to the plaza around midnight to see all the fireworks. Hopefully some of my pictures will turn out because I don’t really have the knack for taking night shots yet. All right, I better get back to the family. Happy new year everyone!


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Filed under Mexican culture, Mexico, Minnesota vs. Mexico, Tetelilla, Morelos

Lots of visiting

Here is a picture of our pile of treats from the posadas on Christmas Eve. Totally crazy and not nearly enough chocolate for me but lots of these things called chicharones that are sort of like a cheeto without the cheese and with either a salt and lime flavor or chili flavor.

Here is Mex with his younger sister (30) Ely on Saturday after we went to a Quinceañera (15th birthday party) for a distant relative of Mex’s called Astrid Linely who was actually born in the US and lives in New Jersey most of the time. It was a giant party with at least 500 people in this family’s back yard. His sister thought a party like that probably cost about $10,000 which just amazes me. That’s more than our wedding cost! It was totally fun to get dressed up with his sisters and nieces Gaby and Deysi and go to the party though. There was barbacoa, beans and rice to eat and I did eat the meat (beef) even though I was sick last time in Mexico both times I ate beef. Luckily, I didn’t get sick this time. They had great green salsa. We didn’t stay for the giant cake but we did stay to see the first dance where the Quinceañera dances with her chanbelanes (her closest guy friends- you can see one in the white jacket here) which was to Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” so at least I understood the words. We took a movie but those don’t show up on the blog. Then there is a coronation where she gets a crown put on her and then they change her shoes which symbolizes her changing from a girl to a woman. It is hard to see the girls dress in this photo but it was very pretty. I believe the Quinceañera is a nice tradition for a girl because it gives her an opportunity to be princess for a day besides her wedding.
Other than that we haven’t been doing much except sitting around and visiting. Mex and I are getting a little restless with not much “action” as Mex likes to say. Every day consists of sweeping and mopping and cleaning and more cleaning. Washing dishes and clothes by hand certainly takes more time than loading a washer at home. My feet are horribly dirty and dry and do not come clean no matter how much soap I put on them. I think they only look so much dirtier than everyone else’s because they are so pale compared to everyone else’s. His family is going to come for New Year’s but it isn’t as big a production as Mex remembers. His sister Abelina (Andrea) did get to talk on my computer with her kids and grandkids and see them which was nice for all of them. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that again. I showed his sister Ely how to use Skype so hopefully we can talk to them that way from now on instead of paying for phone cards.
Well, that’s all for now. I’m getting more sore throat back (I had one for 10 days before we left) which is unfortunate since spicy food doesn’t agree with it and I don’t have any of my pain medicine with me. Ay qué lástima as my hubby would tell me (too bad!).

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Filed under Holidays and Celebrations, Mexican culture, Mexico, Tetelilla, Morelos

Christmas Eve in Tetelilla

So Christmas Eve is like the grand finale of the Posadas. It is kind of like Halloween on steriods with the baby Jesus and lots of praying thrown in. We walked around town for 3 hours searching for processions and then when we saw one we would run to catch up to it and squeeze into the house listening to the prayers until it was time to put Jesus in the manger. Then everyone pushes and squeezes out the little door to get the bag of treats which are a little more impressive on Christmas eve. We got tamales, chicken tortas (sandwiches), marshmallows, punch, pop and tons of other stuff.

Here is the punch that we had to drink. It has sugar cane and lots of fruits that I don’t know the name of because we don’t have them in the US, except guavas and cinnamon. They simmer it all day and then add some tequila. It was delicious! We also had atole which is like a think drink made of ground up rice.
I gotta run now. I’ll write more later.

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Lights and sparks… and more animal crackers

Yesterday we went to another posada celebration, actually two… the first one was the same as before but the second one was a little more exciting. They were going to hang piñatas up and someone thought it was a good idea to connect the rope to the roof on one side of the street and to an electric wire on the other side. A couple guys were playing with the rope in the middle trying to get ready to hang the piñata and I was taking a picture of a house on the corner with lights when all of a sudden there were sparks down the street. I thought it was fireworks but the everyone started screaming and running and Mex was yelling my name. It took me a second to figure out it was the electric wires. I figured it out quickly when the bulbs started flashing and then went out in all the houses on the street. It was quite hilarious after the initial fear of electrocution was over. Then we came back to Mex’s house and sat around eating our animal crackers and waiting for his sister Ely to come home from work.

Today is Christmas Eve but it doesn’t feel like it since it is warm and sunny and not cold and snowy. Kind of like the Christmas we spent in Florida. Just not quite right… Right now his sisters are preparing for the afternoon dinner. Mex and I made tuna noodle salad for them but I’m not sure what they will think of it. They have wireless internet and I was going to hook up to it so I could use Skype and talk to my parents but it needs a password and they don’t know what it is so I can’t connect. Oh well. Maybe his nephew will let us download Skype on his computer for two weeks so I can use it. We’ll see. it would be kind of fun for my family to see Mex’s and vice versa. Maybe they’ll figure out the password and I can use my computer. Anyway, we should go help cook if they will let us. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! We are thinking of you.

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Filed under Holidays and Celebrations, Mexico, Tetelilla, Morelos

Surprise in Mexico

Here we are again in my husband´s hometown, Tetelilla, Mexico. We left at 6am on Sunday (after about 2 hours of sleep) and finally got to his town at 7:30pm. When we got there his sisters weren´t home but as we went over to the gate and were standing there trying to decide what to do, his dad suddenly opened the door and looked right at us. He was quite surprised and tried to open the gate thinking we had our car (which we wish we did). I was totally surprised that the house was decorated with lots of Christmas lights.

We were able to haul all our stuff into the house we stay in and then sit and talk to his dad for awhile before his sister´s Filo and Sofia came back and his 8-year-old niece Arlin (who is completely crazy about him!). I think his poor sister Filo almost had a heart attack when she saw us and they both were so excited. We went to bed before his sister Eli (the one that is my age) got home and his sister Filo didn´t tell her we were there so last night when she got home from work we were able to surprise her as well. It was very fun to see how surprised and happy they were to see us. They also had kept it secret from his sister Andrea so we had gone to visit her in the afternoon and surprised her. Mex asked her why our lunch wasn´t ready… He loves giving his sister´s a hard time and they totally laugh and say ¨Ay hermanito¨ which is kind of like saying “Oh Little Brother” and they have huge smiles.

Last night we went to a posadas celebration (This is our nieces Gabi and Deysi – who was at our wedding) and it was very nice. A lot of ceremony which I can´t figure out is Mexican or Catholic or both since there is probably little separation in a country that 95% of the people are Catholic. We went to one house and took some candles and flowers and walked in a procession while some people carrying a statue of Mary and Joseph (very similar to the Good Friday Procession, although with different characters of course) and everyone was singing. Then we walked around for about 15 minutes and went to someones house and there were people inside singing pretending to be the innkeeper and then the people outside pretending to be Mary and Joseph trying to find a place for the night. When they opened the gate to let everyone in it was like a herd of cows pushing. Probably like going shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving in the states. Once inside there is a little more singing and praying and then the host family hands out glasses of corn water (Mex can´t remember the name – maybe atole de granillo) and then everyone lines up to walk through the house and get a bag full of treats. Mostly the treats are animal crackers but Mex remembers when he was little they got mandarin oranges and sugar cane also. It was very nice and I´m glad I got to see it since I´ve been fascinated with the Posadas since I read about them in Spanish class.
Over all the weather now is just about perfect. We no longer sweat just sitting in the shade. His poor family is wrapped in sweaters and shivering and Mex and I are in short sleeves telling them they don´t know what cold is! I´m sooooooo glad it´s not as hot as before. Today we took the bus to Cuautla (about 15 miles away) to go to the big grocery store and get some vegetables like green peppers and carrots and potatoes that they don´t have in his town right now. We did find a place with our favorite ice cream and got a little and also saw a bakery with the largest cakes you´ve ever seen for weddings and quinceañeras (15th birthdays). I took some pictures but I think the lady was kind of mad but I just gave her a blank look and she left me alone. The whole family is coming over to his dad´s house tomorrow because they celebrate on the 24th with a big dinner. It will be nice to have everyone in one place and hopefully I´ll be able to take lots of pictures and video. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and I´ll try to put up more pictures.

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Filed under Holidays and Celebrations, Mexico, Tetelilla, Morelos