Thursday, June 30, 2011

UkuAdventures in Mexico: Skwinkles, Teens & Other Oddities.

Dear Blob -
I've officially eaten too many fresh mangoes. The mango-rash known to the highly-allergic, has appeared, attractively ringing my lips like Velvetina Evilwich's lipstick (

A sad development as mangoes are my favorite fruit and over-abundantly growing in the back and front yards. I noticed mangoes for sale at the corner market and I wondered who could possibly be spending money on mangoes in this town, as the trees appear to be everywhere.

There is no soy milk or granola at the market and it's ridiculous that Mexico, the 5th largest cultivator of coffee beans, has no good coffee for sale. They do have a Queso Lady who is stationed at behind glass case, cutting the cheese for customers's individual cheese-needs. Ha.

One fabulous travel perk is sighting oddities I would rarely see in LA...

Today I came upon what, at first glance appeared to be a draft-blocking door-pillow with the stuffing coming out; upon further investigation the snake-like pillow proved to be a giant dead eel with it's mid-section torn apart. I also saw a gelatinous dead puffer-fish, which creepily resembled a fetus or a Roswell, New Mexico alien.

I'm partial to the Signage-of-the-World; in particular I was riveted by a package of Skwinkles, which seems to be a candy, and Hooky, possibly an ice cream brand.

The Teens of the World are the same everywhere: hormonal, judgemental & over-excited. I like teens and I'm thoroughly relieved I am not a teen. The adult gringos all want to know how old I am, which no one would ever ask in LA, except a Casting Director. Perhaps they are all Casting Directors...

Love The Ukulady

pps: Photos can be viewed here:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Locked Out in Mexico!

Dear Blob!
I am a resourceful Pioneer-Handylady! The exclamation points are extensions of the adrenalin coursing through my Meep! I just locked myself out of Casa Azul and managed to get back in!

Here's the hot scoop: Casa Azul comes with Conchita, a cat, of whom I am allergic. Conchita is deserate to get into the house, has magic-cat powers and can open doors. So I'd taken to using the automatic safety lock, which comes with the front door. It can be abled and disabled.

After a morning coffee with Larry, the expat from Burbank, who has the extra set of keys and ironically, told me a story yesterday of House Owners, Sally & Carmen, locking themselves out, I bid him farewell, as he went to work at the bookswapstore, in another town. Be-pajamaed, I took a soggy dishtowel outside to dry; as soon as I exited the iron front door, it swung closed and locked. Every door and window in the house has iron gates and screen windows. Only a baby could get through the iron gates.

Somewhat shocked, but oddly calm, I considered my options, as I Walked-It-Out in the magical garden surrounding the house. I could hang out in my pajamas until Larry returned from work, all day, moneyless, bra-less, waterless, reading-material-less or I could retrieve my keys, which were within eyeball distance, on the table next to the door, inside.

Luckily, HouseOwner Carmen, has a ton of tools! I found the tool box and a Phillips screwdriver! I removed the screen from the front door! I then found an extra-long pruning tool, which enabled my T-Rex arms, as the Uklulad calls them, to extend! The moment of suspense... I knew if I dropped the keys from the pruners, I would be on the patio all day, like a prisoner in a really gorgeous jail. Cooly, channeling my yoga-powers, I gripped the keys in the pruner's meep and transferred them to my human-hands! I saved myself!

Lesson after lesson, here in Mexico. Last night I discovered the green salsa from the Tamale Trolley is not to be consumed.

Love The Ukulady

ps: Good news is the house is ridiculously secure and no one can enter when it's locked!
pps: The auto-lock is now disabled.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

UkuAdventures in Mexico: Jogging!

Dear Blob -
This morning I jogged through coconut groves strewn with garbage, startling and being startled by chickens, frantically hop-squawking away from me. Having grown-up in an area of private dirt driveways, I was briefly concerned I was jogging on a private road; then remembered I am in Mexico and dirt roads here are not private driveways to palatial hippie homes.

Some JogQueries about The Land of Roosters, ScrawnyDogs 'n' Mangos:

1. If the GarbagePeeps pick up everyday, why is there so much trash everywhere?

2. Are there marathons in Mexico and other humid countries? If so, are they only in the winter? Because I jogged 30 minutes today and the sweat-recovery took the same amount of time.

3. Do the upscale Mexicans jog? Because the poorer folk, clearly, don't. Not that they are overly plump; their expressions of, "Crazy Gringette", conveyed their impression that jogging is ridiculous.

Love The Ukulady

ps: The waves of Barra de Navidad are no joke. Enormous, powerful, & unpredictable.

pps: Upon a beachside stroll, I was head-to-toe soaked by 2 enormous waves yesterday, fully-dressed with backpack full of Meep. JoyMeepily, I was relieved to discover my Flip camera & digital camera, still work!

pps: The waves are pleasantly warm and chock-full of sand, which got Everywhere upon my soaking; removing sand grits from lace-brassiers is not easy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ukulady in Mexico: Lego Airport, Dehydration & Mangos!

Dear Blob -
Greetings from Super-South of the US Border, Barra De Navidad, Mexico! After navigating the clustermeep of LAX by masquerading as a Mazatlan-bound family's babysitter, I and my new pretend-family bypassed the outrageously-long outside-the-airport-line, checked in and I found myself seated in first-class on a plane bound to Manzanillo, Mexico! I had forgotten that my airmiles booked me into the elite cabin, complete with real-glass-glasses, free tomato bisque soup and artisan chocolates.

First Class was serviced by a fab gay man with a mini-mohawk, and as NY had just legalized gay marriage, I kept wanting to shout, "High Five! NY!", to him, but I restrained myself, respecting his work-environment.

Blob, it is a mere 3 hours to the heart of Mexico! As long as it takes to fly to Austin, TX, you can land in the 1970's Lego airport of Manzanillo, where, I was startled to find myself. I knew for months I would be traveling to Mexico, but nothing is like the surprise of actually finding one's self the Minority Gringo-ette, surrounded by banana groves, Mexican roosters & mango trees; the aroma of ripe fruit and grilled chicken mixed with burning plastic; hyper-awareness of scorpions, geckos & crocodiles. It is just like Southeast Asia, but with tacos instead of noodles.

What is The Ukulady doing 4 hours south of Puerta Vallarta? Housesitting for the expat-hippes of Casa Azul, a pleasant haven in a non-gringo neighborhood, full of scrawny Mexican dogs, kids playing in rock piles & TV-ready-Old Mexican ladies gossiping in front of their shack-like home/eateries. There are as many Taco-Vendors in Mexico as Actors in LA. It's refreshing to mingle amongst competitive taco-makers, rather than narcissistic actors.

I forgot that Mexico is the tropical 3rd world. This means you can purchase a frosty beverage in a plastic sack with a straw, no papier-de-toilette down the pipes, Extreme-Vigilance about water: drinking enough and purified only. But there are gray areas; like the Thrifty ice-cream teen-clerk, who dips the conical Thrifty scooper into water between servings. Is it safe? What about mini-drips from the shower? No lettuce, avoid salsa fresca & restaurant ice.

Mexico is full of idiosyncrasies to master, for not only am I in a 3rd world foreign country, but I am a Responsible Housesitter, which includes details like paying the electric bill at the Mini-Mart, hiding aluminum cans under the garbage-can-top for the garbage-men so they continue to love us; keeping my eye out for Kids Driving Cars!

Day 1 was a Town-Tour, Beachside dining with my hosts & schmoozing with an expat barkeep about Ukulady shows.

Day 2 was spent totally dehydrated, something I haven't felt since Burning Man and I was reminded why I do not attend Burning Man anymore. I recovered with 15 glasses of water, 1 bottle of Gatorade and 6 hours Suffer-Reclining in the humid, steamy afternoon.

I am the Worst Rester; withered, angry and dishearteningly-sick, I visualized orange and blue healing colors and chanted "Rest 'n' Heal", while simultaneously deciding that I am not brave enough to travel to India by myself and what was I thinking summering in "devilishly hot", as the guide books call it, Barra De Navidad.

There have been several Arrested Development-the-TV-show references here; the Barkeep is named Buster, the cleaning lady is Lupe and all the wealthy Mexicans, it seems, vacation in Orange County.

Stay tuned for the Continuing Adventures of The Ukulady in Mexico!
Love The Ukulady

ps: This is not resort-Mexico. This is real-people Mexico.
pps: Garbage men come everyday, you are supposed to make left turns from the right lane, the wealthy Mexicans vacation here and apparently are racist/facists, considering darker-skinned people, lesser. I've stepped back in time.