Tag Archives: mexico

Loving Uber!

We get around everywhere by Uber here in Mexico.  The rates are so cheap and there are so many drivers available that downloading Uber apps on our phones and using them for our transportation needs is a far more economical and practical choice than renting a car. Some drivers don’t speak English but others do and we have learned plenty of interesting things from them. 

Many have left jobs related to their university degrees- business, technology, innovation, architecture, engineering to drive Uber because they can make a better living here in Mexico as a driver than as a professional. 

Two of our drivers were Americans who had roots in Mexico, had come here for visits, fallen in love with Mexican women and had children.  Since getting American immigration papers for their families is almost impossible they must remain here. 

Some people drive Uber because it gives them an opportunity to have two jobs or it gives them the flexibilty to spend more time with their kids during the day. One of our drivers was a farmer and he and Dave discussed their family farms during our trip.  

One driver who didn’t speak English asked Dave in a questioning way “música?” When Dave said ‘The Beatles” the driver understood him immediately and played one Beatles hit after the other on his car sound system during our ride. 

We have only had one female driver.  She didn’t understand English but Dave and Rudy managed to convey that they wanted to stop on our ride to pick up some items from the grocery store.  While the fellows went into the store I showed her pictures of my grandsons on my phone and she showed me photos of her family and with gestures and the few words we knew of each other’s languages I learned she had five brothers and two sisters,seven nieces and nephews and that her grandmother had died last year. We even figured out that her nephew and my grandson shared the same name. 

A couple of our drivers have moved here from Mexico City  because there is so much less crime and extortion and corruption here in the Yucatan.  They gave us lots of interesting reasons why that is the case.

I especially love Uber trips I make on my own.  My last two I was lucky enough to get drivers who both spoke a fair bit of English and we had fascinating half hour conversations on our ride home from Merida. Uber is fast and convenient but the bonus for me is that I am meeting lots of interesting people and am learning so much about Merida and the Yucatan from our local drivers.  

Other posts………..

Friend For A Moment

We Placed Our Lives in his Hands

Dave the Professional Driver

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Filed under Mexico, Travel

Reconnecting With Renan

Dave and Renan twelve years ago

Way back in 2006 a young man named Renan Canto from Merida Mexico came to Steinbach as an exchange student at the regional high school where both my husband Dave and I were teachers.  Renan was in my grade ten English class and Dave was his basketball coach.  I taught journalism and one of my students Courtney Fehr did a profile of Renan for our school paper.  During his interview for the article Renan talked about what a great experience he was having in Canada.

Dave with Renan at Chichen Itza

In 2007 Dave and I went on a holiday to Cancun Mexico with our friends Rudy and Sue Nikkel. We knew Renan’s home in Merida was about a three and half hour drive away but we contacted him anyway and let him know we would be in Mexico. Renan and his brother came to pick us up in a chauffered car and drive us to their family home in Merida.  

Me and Rudy and Sue Nikkel with Renan and his brother at Chichen Itza

On the way we stopped at the famous Mayan archeological site at Chichen Itza where Renan’s father had arranged for a private guide to give us a tour.

Dave and Rudy with Renan’s father and brother enjoying a coconut drink in their backyard before dinner

When we arrived in Merida Renan’s parents rolled out the red carpet for us.

Me with Renan’s mother

His mother made us a wonderful supper and they hosted us for the night.  

Posing with Renan and his family on the front steps of their family home in 2007

The next day before we traveled back to our hotel in Cancun Renan’s parents treated us to brunch in a restaurant housed in a beautiful old home in Merida.  We have never forgotten their wonderful hospitality. 

When we knew we would be in Merida with our friend Rudy this year Dave contacted Renan.  He told us he had gotten married this fall and Dave invited him and his wife to join us for lunch.  Renan picked a fantastic seafood restaurant called La Pigua.  We had a delicious meal and a wonderful visit.  Renan and Lizmar have only been married for four months and they described their month long honeymoon in France, Italy and Greece.  Renan who studied electrical engineering owns a lighting company and installs commercial lighting as well as orchestrating light shows for special occasions.  He told us about a light show he had done at some ruins called Teotihuacán near Mexico City. Renan’s wife Lizmar runs a dance studio where around a hundred students study ballet.  We had a long visit and agreed we will try to meet again during our time here in Merida. 

It was great to reconnect with Renan and to meet Lizmar!

Other posts………..

Visiting My Students in New York

Ivan Was Here

So Proud of Her

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Filed under Mexico, People

Fish For Lunch

“The place doesn’t look like much.”  “A real hole in the wall.” “Plain and friendly.”  “Quick service and great meals.”  “The seafood is delicious and cheap.”

roberto tour guide meridaThat’s what we had read about the Marlin Azul cantina in Merida. After my sister said she and her husband had enjoyed delicious shrimp fajitas there Dave and I decided to try it on our trip into Merida yesterday.  Once we were out of our Uber we got a little direction turned but there are these English-speaking tourist guides hired by the city at many key intersections and this man named Roberto was happy to point us in the right direction. helpful fellow meridaWhen we got a little turned around again direction wise this gentleman kindly stopped and offered to take us to the restaurant.marlin restaurantHe led us right to the Marlin Azul and the outward appearance lived up to the descriptions we had read.waiter marlin restaurantSo did the descriptions of the friendly service. This affable waiter helped Dave pick out the perfect beer to go with our meal.shrimp cervice meridaAnd the food certainly lived up to its hype.  The shrimp fajitas we shared were wonderful.lunch marlin meridaWe were about to set off on an eight kilometer walk around the city to explore some of its art galleries.  Our meal at the Marlin Azul fortified us and got our afternoon off to a perfect start!

Other posts…..

First Supper in Lisbon- My Husband Has Great Instincts

A Gourmet Sail in Costa Rica

Home Grown in Newfoundland

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Filed under Food, Mexico, Restaurants

A Walk To Breakfast in Mexico

los benesWe had passed by a restaurant called Los Benes several times on our Uber rides into Merida.  Someone had recommended it as a good breakfast place, so after a rather dismal breakfast last weekend at the only restaurant in our neighbourhood, we thought we would try Los Benes yesterday.  graffiti mexicoIt was about four kilometers away so we decided to walk. We had driven this route numerous times but you see so many interesting things you never noticed before when you travel by foot, like all the colourful  graffiti painted on the walls along the road.. house walk to breakfast mexicoand homes that are very different from the ones in the rather middle class neighborhood where we are staying or the high-end houses we saw on our bus tour of Merida. garden merida walkMany people were cultivating small garden patches.abandoned carThere was so much garbage along the road, like this abandoned car in the bush dead duckand this dead abandoned duck in a plastic bag.wall mexico walkI marveled at this wall which went on for nearly a kilometer and enclosed someone’s property. wall mexicoHow much work went into constructing it? Look at all those hundreds of tiny stones around each larger one! cantina meridaThere were all these little cantinas selling food along the way.  Some of it looked quite tasty and we almost stopped at one for breakfast rather than going on to Los Benes. 

We were walking along quite a busy highway and our friend Rudy exhibited great patience with what he thinks is my painfully slow walking pace exacerbated by my frequent stops to take photos. 

But our trip was worth it.  Los Benes was a cute clean little place decorated in a colorful chicken theme with friendly waitresses and good food. 

I had a vegetarian Eggs Benedict and Dave ordered pancakes. 

We did take the Uber home with a stop along the way at a mall so I could buy some jigsaw puzzles to work on with my sister while she is here. The power was off in our house when we got home and a neighbor told us it happens regularly and it was anyone’s guess when it would go back on, so we decided to golf nine holes. When we got home from our round the power was miraculously back on!Since we’d had a big brunch we waited till supper to eat next. Dave made chili and I made salad and I think it was almost as good as our brunch at Los Benes.

Other posts……….

Breakfast in Florida

Sunday Mornings At the Olive Mill

A Feast For Breakfast

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Filed under Mexico

Maybe An Iguana Ate My Golf Ball

We went golfing a number of times in Cancun. You see iguanas everywhere on the golf courses here. Dave did a little research on the internet after our first round of golf in Mexico and found out that iguanas have about a hundred very sharp serrated teeth and powerful jaws. If they bite you stitches will probably be required. 

During one of our golf games an iguana was sitting on the edge of a green and in order to chip my ball onto the green I needed to get it over the iguana’s head since he was right in the path where my ball needed to go.  Just as I drew back my club to hit the ball the iguana flicked its tongue at me and disappeared down a drainage hole.

My ball bounced on the grass near the green and don’t you think it too disappeared down the drainage hole.  Did I stick my hand down the drainage hole to find my ball?  NO WAY! What if the iguana was waiting to bite my hand?  What if my golf ball had hit him and he was mad?  

I would never have suspected that the iguana might have tried to eat my golf ball till Dave showed me a video from Sunday’s 2014 Puerto Rico Open showing an iguana trying to do exactly that.  Check it out here. 

Did the iguana eat my golf ball? I don’t know and I’m glad I didn’t try to find out! 

Other posts about golf……..

You Wouldn’t Believe What You Can See on a Golf Course in Mexico

Arizona Golf Reunion

Meeting the Parents of Jamaica’s Next PGA Golfer

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Filed under Nature, Sports

Ten Things About The Tulum Ruins in Mexico

1. The Tulum ruins are located along the Caribbean Sea.

2.  Tulum was occupied by a little over a thousand people from 1200-to the mid 1500’s. 

3. Tulum was protected on the seaside by tall cliffs and on the land side by a 5 meter high wall.  

4. Tulum was a trading seaport- a hub for the obsidian trade. Salt and textiles were imported and feathers and copper exported. 

5. Three main temples dominate the site- The Temple of the Frescoes, Temple of the Descending God and God of the Winds Temple.

6. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans.

7. The architecture of the buildings in Tulum resembles what can be found in other Mayan cities like Chichen Itza.

8.Tulum was conquered by the Spanish and the citizens died from diseases the Europeans introduced. 

9. Two British explorers John Stephens and Frederick Catherwood first wrote about Tulum in 1843 in their book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. dave at tulum

10. Tulum is one of the most visited tourist spots in Mexico. 

Other posts about Mexico……..

Mayan Human Sacrifice-Just a Myth?

Swimming in a Cenote

You Wouldn’t Believe What You Can See on a Golf Course in Mexico

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Filed under History, Mexico, Travel