Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 20, 2008

The Cows in the Hood

Last night’s fancy-pants dinner was superb. Normally I approach insanely priced things and places with two garbage bags filled with skepticism. It takes a lot to impress me and to justify exorbiant prices but to my surprise, I found the restaurant not only well worth the money but with the prix fixe bistro menu, quite reasonable. Let me dazzle you:

One excellent mojito (my bill would have been MUCH higher had I felt like indulging in a lot of booze which I might have if I hadn’t been worried about the charges on my card going through because I was over my limit for the day).

A bottle of silly tap water (He opened it before I could protest that regular water was fine. Paying $5 for tap water is stupid and most studies have proven that the water quality is no better than plain old city water, yes, even in Mexico).

A dazzling fried goat cheese salad with strawberries, pumpkin seeds, apples, lettuce, etc…

Beef tenderloin in chipotle sauce with paper potatoes

Concentrated hot chocolate shot

$55.00

Not bad, right? The prix fixe was three courses for $385 pesos.

I shall return again for sure.menssecrets

I saw this while I was in the mall yesterday and it made me think of 123 I Love You – a blog I read that isn’t updated nearly enough. I don’t live in Japan but we do get some interesting business names here in Mex too. As you can see from the photo, Men’s Secrets include moose, an eagle and a seagull. That is a secret I wouldn’t have guessed.

It reminds me of another store in my hood called “Pink Secrets,” that has listed on their door “pajamas, beauty, Victorias Secrets.”

This was the discussion over dinner last night because there are some things that non-native English speakers say here that I love like, “make a party.” When you receive an invitation, it’s almost always, “I’m going to make a party on Thursday, I’d love for you to come.” Now make a party is far more accurate than throw a party or have a party, which you don’t actually do, so they are correct. Another is the word “doubts” for questions. One of the dive masters always told the divers, “if you have any doubts, please let me know.” Again, correct, but not something a native speaker would say. I recently worked on a brochure that used the words “paddle tennis court” and “motor lobby.” Still, their English is far better than my Spanish, so I’m not making fun. I say things like, “I go, yesterday, to the store and I buy bread.”

Last night as i was getting ready for bed, I called the dogs in because there was a ruckus outside. The ruckus was caused by a cow (or perhaps more accurately, a bull because it had tiny horns) who was chilling on my street. He was still there this morning but had made it all the way to the other end of the street, a whole block. I watched him as he jumped over a fence and continued on his way. There used to be a herd of cows that came through every night at sunset but not any more. Sometimes there are horses that wander through, but never a lone cow/bull/whatever.

And finally, for the WTF portion of today’s post, I opened my new pack of men’s A-shirts and what do I find? The supermarket had already opened the pack and put a stupid security tag on the shirts and then RESEALED the package like f’ing morons. What? Is the checker going to open the package and remove the damn tag? Idiots.

Fortunately, after last year’s incident involving a security tag, I now know how to remove them myself without having to return to the store. (Pry up the back of the tag with a screwdriver, sneak in with some scissors or wire cutters and voila!).

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Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 19, 2008

Pirate Skulls and underwear

So I received a mysterious collection notice in Spanish, and since it’s Mexico and I’m a shitty record keeper, I had to go and pay it today or they were going to shut my shit off. Mexico don’t fuck around with second notices. They say they will shut you down on the 20th, Jorge will be at your doorstep at 8:01am snipping the wires into your house.

So off I went, medicated and prepared to wait in a nine hour line at Telmex to pay a million pesos for a stupid phone bill from somewhere, one that I knew I had personally shut off in my last town. After that, I went directly to Chabelita’s taco de canasta because if you don’t get there early, you don’t get no tacos.

OMFG. I can see clearly why people rave about these tacos. I think there are four kinds but I don’t eat things with words I don’t recognize and I don’t like mole, so I settled for two papa (potato, gringo) and one frijol (bean). They were fresh and pressed into a succulent, greasy corn tortilla. I stuffed them with pickled spicy onions and washed it down with a fresh squeezed OJ the size of my head. Total cost? $5.10. Yeah, that’s right. So what if it’s in a mall … amazing.

I walked around after that and bought a cheap dress for tonight’s fancy-pants dinner and then hit the grocery store to get more Hawaiaan pizza fixins’. I found these pizza crusts that are low fat and then I just put on some pizza sauce, a little shredded cheese, some pineapple and lean ham – viola! Lazy lunch. In between my muttering to myself, I was also humming a Pearl jam song they were playing in a store I went into when I realized it was awfully quiet in the store. After finding all kinds of treasure, i went up front and realized the power was out. So the entire store, and only the store, not the rest of the mall, was without power and the scanners weren’t working – this means the store was crippled. Luckily I had my book so I parked my cart in line and read. I had some good loot and I wasn’t giving it up. Here’s what I stood in line for well over an hour for:

1 pair of black underwear with a silver skull and bones on them $2

1 pair of black and 1 pair of pink flip-flops that were on sale from $2 to $1.50

1 giant flea-market blanket (super fuzzy and awesome blankets normally found at the San Jose flea market) with a giant lion’s face on it. What? It’s getting cold here.

1 2-pack of men’s wifebeater shirts in black and gray $6

1 bottle of bailey’s $19 and a pack of instant mochas $3 (for those chilly nights under the lion’s face)

I mean let’s face it, I had you at the pirate underwear, didn’t I? If you wouldn’t have stood in line for pirate underwear, it’s probably because you are a communist. I bought some other stuff too, but that was the important list.

When I got home, I cleaned my yard. I know, it IS like the end of the world! Now I’m getting ready to play some video games before I take my nap and then take a shower and go out to dinner and then drinks and then … who knows? Anything could happen. It’s just that kind of day.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 19, 2008

Licking the Mango Beach

As was interrupted from killing super mutants with rocket launchers in Fallout 3 by the sound of my phone. For the first time ever, someone actually called me just so I would get up and see who it was, thereby noticing that I had a text message inviting me for drinks. Brilliant! That is a clever use of the telephone and so much better than the actual calling someone to talk to them. I had to change my ring tone recently because the old one was making my eye twitch whenever I heard it. I’m now using Akon’s Gringo.

So, after the day that I had yesterday (which continued to grow in suckfulness), drinks were in order. I dolled myself up in 10 minutes and headed out the door. We went to a cute little restaurant and had some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had (and remember people, I LIVE in Mexico). I had four chicken flautas covered with a little red sauce, sour cream and cabbage and three giant Cape Cods. Or was it four? I think it was three – but they were in huge tumblers and the last one was free. I love free. This place has indeared itself to my heart. Pity I can’t include them in the book because mom-pop places are the first ones to go when the rains come and the people leave. Hopefully they will make it and I can add them next time.

Since I was with a friend who also had a shitty day, we traipsed over to another more chi-chi restaurant that was on my list for more cocktails. I had two more drinks; she had a bottle of wine. I admire that kind of fortitude. After that we shared a molecular cocktail with the name of Bubble Fun Mango or something.

It was served in a martini glass and the first sip was not a happy surprise since the rim was coated, not in sugar like I was expected, but rather chili powder and salt. Gah! Once I got past the salt lick portion of the drink, I found the rest of it equally strange. It was a mango-salt flavored layer drink – the salty froth being on top, followed by a mango foam, followed by a mango ice ball – gelatin bubble ice bath at the bottom. It wasn’t revolting, it was, in a strange way, kind of okay. It was like licking the beach at an estuary at the foot of a glacier after a bad mango/sugar truck accident.

I hope they don’t steal that description for their menu without crediting me.

This morning, I am off to deal with the phone company and a mysterious collection letter I received threatening to cut my shit off if I don’t pay another million pesos. Extortionists. I’m excited though because I’ll finally get to try the taco place everyone freaks out about here, which happens to be in this mall. I ask people where their favorite restaurant is and a surprising number pick this mall-enclosed taco stand.

Tonight I’m also going to eat at the fanciest-pantsiest restaurant around to get it out of the way.

Now, you are probably gloating about my terrible misfortunes because I’ve been annoyingly smug about my free fancy hotels and spas, all perks of being an underpaid writer. Well, sorry to disappoint you, my internettles, Sunday I’m off to a jungle uber-luxury resort that is only reachable by BOAT and they just added a five star spa. Monday I return only to check into the fanciest hotel that my city has to offer and to dine at their restaurant.

Lest you think I’m bragging just to brag about it, you should know that this is what I want for your life. Quit your dead-end job, run away to a forgeign country, start your own business and experience liberation and terror and great rewards! Look at me not as an obnoxious braggart but as an inspiration and catalyst for change! Or you know, if that fails, obnoxious braggart works too.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 18, 2008

Just so bitter

I apologize in advance for what is sure to be a frothy, rage-filled, totally boring rant against technology companies.

I hate Microsoft and I hate HP. I also hate Enrique, my computer who I hope dies a natural death so I can get him replaced with a real computer, one that speaks English. The more I use my computer, the more I hate Spanish. I liked Spanish before I bought this piece of shit.

I bought it because according to HP, their laptops of this product family come with multiple languages. You can just select the one you want at start-up. Which I did. I picked English. Well, too bad because HP decided that even though in the US, you can pick up to 23,000 languages including Tagalog and Sanskrit, that in Latin America, people only speak Spanish. Why would any English speaking people want to move to Latin America? Or Asian? Or European? God forbid that any of the million English speaking expats be able to buy a product that is actually, as promised, multi-lingual. No, instead HP decided to cut corners and not install Vista in English. Their solution for me? I can buy a NEW ENGLISH copy of Vista with my own money and install it myself. Ha ha sucker! If I had known I’d have to do that, I could have flown to the US for what it would cost to buy Vista.

Now you would think I could just download the English language pack and install it. No, of course not. It’s not available. I tried to email Microsoft for help and see if there was a way to install and activate English without purchasing a new copy of vista, reinstalling and basically wiping out every program that my stupid piece of shit computer came with, but their answer was “well, you bought it on a HP laptop, so HP has to do the support. PS. ha ha sucker.”

And so I have been trying to deal with a computer that I can’t understand, because let’s face it, most of the options and techical settings in Windows aren’t even rational in ENGLISH, let alone me trying to translate whatever the Spanish equivilent is in the control panel and their stupid icons that have nothing to do with what you are trying to find. Hamburger? If I click on the hamburger icon, I get a slider bar that allows me to set privacy options? And three stars over a walnut? Oh, that’s the user options. Great.

So since my desktop died, and rightly so, I am trying to get my xBox to get video from my new doorstop, Enrique. Well, Vista comes with this steaming pile of shit they call Windows Media Center, which probably in English only sucks but in Spanish, it truly sucks more than anything has ever sucked before. HP thoughtfully included some program called Slingbox which, at random while my computer CLOSED and supposed to be hibernating, opens Windows Media Center and starts blaring commercials at me. What a cool feature! Because email spam and twitter spam and text spam is not enough, I need my computer to stealth spam me too, in the middle of the night, at full volume.

So in trying to navigate the services options and turn off that horrible piece of shit, I managed to screw with Windows Media Center and my xbox won’t connect. Did I mention that I could probably change the hibernation settings on the computer if it was in English or I knew the secret password? Do I click on the 73 VW bug or the vase of daisies under the control panel?

So after four or five hours of reading 1,000 forums and trying to fix everything with WMC (which I managed to do IN SPANISH) and failing, I decided to try Zune software which also works with the xBox. No. It doesn’t.

Zune, yet another fine MS product, is another steaming pile of crap. It doesn’t recognize my video files and won’t add them to the library. Oh, and although I was on the US/ENGLISH website, it downloaded and installed itself in Spanish (Thanks microsoft!) with NO OPTION of changing the language. Awesome feature set.

The Zune website is a joke. The forums are a joke. Faqs like “how do I turn on my Zune” do not help me with trying to change the language or get it to recognize my video files. When I go to the support page, it sends me, where else? Microsoft’s website. When I try to email support, it asks me to select a product and when I type in “zune” Microsoft doesn’t even recognize it’s OWN MP3 PRODUCT! Awesome. If MS won’t even acknowledge Zune, that really tells you something about the quality of the product. Poor Zune, the mentally retarded cousin that gets locked in the closet at Thanksgiving and no one notices.

I’m so frustrated I could scream and beat things. Worst of all, in my mucking about with my stupid ignorant unilingual computer, I’ve reset the “please annoy me with your stupid insecure questions” feature of Vista. Really? Do you really want to run firefox? Are you sure? The internet can be dangerous. Why don’t we just have some tea instead? We could do a puzzle. Really, you don’t need the internet, do you?  Are you sure?

Piece of shit. If I hadn’t dropped 1k on this crappy paperweight, I would throw it out the window. I can’t return it. I can’t sell it. I’m stuck with it and I hate it. I hate Microsoft. I hate HP. I hate Spanish. I hate.

Now I have to go back to the fucking annoying “burn everything on DVD and then play on xBox” way of doing things until such a time that I can get something running XP back in my life. I seriously hope that every person who has worked on either the Latin American HP laptops, on Windows Vista or on Zune all get rickets, smallpox and leprosy.

*** as I was ranting both here and on the Zune support forums, and reading multiple MS support pages, I managed to get into Windows Media Player and set up sharing and HOLY SHIT IT WORKED. I no longer have the desire to burn down the Microsoft campus or blow up HP Latin America, although I still hope they get rickets and maybe leprosy too, but dry leprosy.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 17, 2008

It’s just nice.

Yes, it’s true. I went out twice this week. TWICE in a WEEK. You would think the world was about to end and perhaps it will. Supposedly on Dec 23rd, 2012 according to those wacky Mayans which means my best friend and I really need to do something extra special for her birthday that year (it’s on the 21st).

After boating and sunning, tanning and loafing, I took a nice little cat nap and then headed out to the Japanese restauant of the living and terrifying tofu fame. Their food seems to be really hit or miss. My veggie maki was delicious but the living tofu was icky even without the seemingly alive creatures all over it. Last night the shrimp rolls were delicious (lots of mushroom in them) but the siagon roll (salad roll) was poorly wrapped and served with no sauce of any kind. I thought everyone knew you had to serve those with a spicy peanut sauce or die some kind of horrible death in culinary hell. The sake mojitos are good but served a small glass so I question whether they are worth the $9 since they are gone in like 2 sips (I mean, that’s not just me, right?).

I was downright COLD last night too, perched high up in the sky bar. How can it be that I need to wear pants and sweater in Mexico in November? I’m not complaining (after all, I was swimming and sunning all day) and it beats the hell out of sweaty and sticky. I like cool evenings and hot days. That’s why I live here and not in that dark, mildewy bastion of trucker hats and PBR anymore.

After the live music was over, we went across the street where we were treated to a live show of dancing couple and even a brief (completely undesired and unwarranted) stripshow from one of the small Mexican men who was dancing on the table. It was quite amusing.

Sadly there were actually two, TWO guys at the end of the bar that I would have happily dated but didn’t talk to either of them. I even got a wave from one of them. Dammit. I guess I know the bar I will be stalking now since it seems the pierced and tattooed set hang out there in addition to my neighbors. IN fact, I see going to see the band at the japanese place and ending up in this other bar in a future a lot.

From the sky bar we watched a  drunk Mexican with a 40oz and a viking helmet hork all over himself on the corner and men with machine guns run around the block to apprehend some criminal element. Did I mention it was a holiday weekend?

For all of you winos, I want you to pick up a bottle of Oveja Negra wine (made in chile) and let me know if it’s any good. According to this site, this wine and I have a lot in common including a bitter finish and dark notes of resentment and unbridled rage. This wine is likely to key your car, run up your long distance and steal your cable. My kind of wine.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 17, 2008

Today

Today while I was out on the boat, sitting peacefully on the bow, enjoying the wind and the sun, I realized that this was why I get out of bed each morning and put up with the hassles of day to day living in mexico. The water was a deep navy, each one of a million ripples glinting in the sunlight. The mountains, at their farthest point were a pale shadow where the sky met the sea, gradiating into a rich emerald jungle. There were flying fish, sea birds and even butterflies out on the water today as well as a number of sailboats, pleasurecraft, pangas and wave runners. It was good to see so many people out enjoying a gorgeous day on the water.

ocean

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 16, 2008

What’s the Time?

Since Friday, I’ve been off a day thinking it was Saturday and then yesterday was Sunday. It happens but exemplifies my favorite quote of the week, “what time is it? Oh, it’s November.”

While it was a slip of the tongue, that pretty much sums up time in Mexico. Days, weeks, hours, months (and for some people, years) all kind of run together here. The good news is that yesterday was Saturday, a day that I spent doing exactly nothing all day, and not Sunday, meaning I have two more days of nothing to do. Nothing but going to the beach and writing, that is.

Recovering from staying out until 5am took all day, a glorious day filled with naps and snacks, video games and tv. Well, I was watching TV until quite literally my desktop blew up. This fills me with great sadness. Poor Snowball III. This afternoon I will remove the hard drive and see what can be salvaged, but it was her time to go. She was slow and losing her faculties. The trouble being that she was my streaming media computer and now I’ve got to use the new baby for this until I get my old laptop back (no rush) and can use that one for downloading crap and streaming it to the xBox. The good news is that the hard drive on the old laptop is now cleaned off (mostly) and much bigger, I think, than what I had in Snowball III.

When I was grocery shopping the other day, I found this: stash1

The perfect stash box. It was in the tea aisle and it is, actually, filled with tea. It was such a cool box for $120 pesos (with tea!) that I had to buy it. I’m going to keep my pirate skull and bones in it. Perhaps some sticks and stones…

It totally reminds me of the stash box that certain parental figures used to have around the house when I was growing up. Who keeps tea in the bedroom?

The coolest part is the tea itself (well, that’s not true, the box is in fact, the coolest part).

stash2 I love individual packages. I love tiny plastic bags. I love tiny things period. Would you like to come over for some tea? I have several different kinds of herbal now instead of just Earl Grey which is what I drink when I drink tea.

This morning I am off to breakfast on the beach. If you were here, you could come too, but instead, you are probably picking out which parka to wear to the farmer’s market today. Unless it’s raining… or snowing… or you are in California and on fire.

Actually yesterday wasn’t all that great because I felt like shit and one of the reasons I felt like shit was because I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe because I went to several bars that are completely ignoring the new non-smoking ordinance in town. They have two more weeks to comply (by the 28th). After that, I hope they get the paltry $2000 fine per smoker and the whopping $20,000 fine for the bar (that’s in pesos y’all).

It makes me sad that every hot guy in this country smokes cigarettes. I won’t date a smoker for several reasons.

  1. They taste bad. It really is like licking an ashtray. I used to smoke for a long time. I know.
  2. They smell bad. And they make all my shit smell bad. My car, my clothing, my house, their house, their car, their clothing.
  3. They make me waste water by having to shower every time we hang out.
  4. I’m still psychologically addicted to smoking.

Yep, that’s right. I haven’t smoked in 10 years and I’m still psychologically addicted to smoking. If cigarettes didn’t taste so bad to me now, I would easily start smoking again. I love the act of smoking. I love the way the cigarette feels. I love the rituals involved with smoking (packing the cigarettes, placing them in my silver cigarette case, filling my zippos, smoking after eating, smoking with coffee). I loved smoking but what i didn’t love was smoking because I had to and not because I wanted to, so I quit cold turkey one morning and haven’t had one since (not from lack of trying).

But I want to. I really want to. But they taste gross now. But I want to. Yes, I do. If I dated a smoker, there would be a high probability that I would get used to the taste and smell again and then it would be easy to slip back into it and it’s a filthy, disgusting habit. Gross.

Anyway, a night out in smoky bars has clogged my sinuses so badly, I was a mouth breather all day yesterday and I still have sinus problems and a headache today. So many people smoke here, you’d think you were in Europe.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 15, 2008

See? I can learn.

First of all, I already knew I was too old to be rolling in at 5am BUT for the first time, I was smart enough not to mix the wee hours of the morning with copious amounts of alcohol. Last night I drank responsibly as to avoid the hangover from hell that I had a few weeks ago (or months ago or whenever the hell that was). I drank slow, punctuated booze with glasses of water and ended the night sober which makes for good driving. Go me. Also, I totally made out with a random guitar player which is more action than I’ve gotten in 18 months.

Yesterday ended up being a shopping day. I was inspired to buy some new clothes. I don’t buy clothes in this country often, preferring to order things online and have them sent down with friends who visit. The problem with that is that it limits me to the 2-3 stores/sites that I know my size perfectly. Honestly, I only shop in three stores anyway, two of which I can order things online from and the other, I have to go in and hunt and peck, then try everything on.

I bought some jeans- yes, people, jeans! Well, capri jeans, but still. It’s actually cool enough to wear pants and later in the evening, I was cold because now I’m a big sissy-pants. When I went to LA last year and it was in the 70’s, I was huddled in the car in my jacket because that’s how I roll. Now it’s another year later and I’m another year acclimated so I imagine that the mid-70’s will now cause me to shiver and shake and cry like a little girl for my blankie.

I bought some formal flip-flops for special occasions and events and some little tank tops. One of which I wore last night and liked so much, I might go buy another in a different color.

Clothing is hard to shop for here. Most everything is polyester and rayon and way overpriced. Think of that mall store – Rave – and you’ve got the general idea of what’s available in Mexico except instead of a shitty rayon dress costing $12.99, it costs $40. I was very pleased that the Docker’s store was having a 50% off sale and I bought my jeans for $25. That’s awesome.

Last night three businesses were having open houses on the same street so I went to mingle and poke my head in for some free margaritas and food. I hadn’t been in any of the three so it was a good work event for me. I had dinner next door to the bar with the name that makes me sad and was flirting with the waiter when I was beset upon by three men who joined my table to save me from eating alone. They were very funny and a nice diversion. The my friend came down from his house and we hit a couple of more bars, went to see another friend’s band and then he went home and we did a little more music and booze at the local rock club where I rendezvoused with the guy from the first band who met my new requirements for an impromptu make-out session (ie: he wasn’t imaginary or older than dirt). Then I came home. At 5am. And now I’m exhausted and probably will be for the rest of the day.

So what lies in my future? Well, I could straighten up my messy house – it’s never dirty (dusty, yes because the rains have stopped) but messy as hell right now. I’m going to have to clean up before the housekeeper comes anyway… but no, I suspect that there are some frozen waffles in my future and perhaps some video games, until I’m tired again and can get another two hours of sleep. Later in the afternoon it’s beach time, careful to keep my new tattoo out of the water and sun. Then it might just be nap time again and finally, back out into the wilds to show support for my friends who are playing at the Casa del Tofu de Terror, or the Japanese restaurant we ate at a few days ago.

As a final note, something has died near my house (not in it, thank goodness) and every now and then, the odor of decaying flesh wafts in on the breeze. Lovely. No really, come visit.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 13, 2008

My life is awesome.

I have to admit, despite the few areas that truly suck, my life is wicked awesome. I spent the morning up at this art retreat center being rubbed with chocolate body products and getting an excellent massage in an open air spa with a view of the bay that even I could not believe – and trust me, after a few weeks in luxury hotels and hobnobbing with the uber-wealthy, I can believe a lot.

The spa was amazing. The grounds were amazing but the owner/artist and his on-site home were triply amazing. His house is totally open – open air kitchen and living room and then one huge room for everything else, including a stunning granite and marble outdoor bathroom/shower. In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m a total bathroom junkie. Even more so since I moved here where the average bathroom is the size of a shoebox and about as dark. I love me a spacious bathroom. Of course, all of this is perched on a cliff with an indescribable view. And he, the owner was ….magnetic in and of himself. Artists are nothing but trouble.

Today I had a nice, inexpensive lunch at the local vegetarian restaurant. I couldn’t believe how good it was although people rave about it all the time. I still have a problem with fake meat though – I think it’s just weird. If you want meat, eat meat, don’t eat fake meat. Perhaps I will start making “vegetables” out of meat. Carne carrots anyone?

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 12, 2008

Tofu of Terror

Before I get into the gruesome details of last night’s dinner escapades, let me dazzle you with some photos from the hike I took the other day. I am not nearly as hobbled as I ought to be from such a grueling adventure. Does this mean I am less of a gelatinous cube than I thought? Perhaps or perhaps all of this eating has giving me tremendous stamina.

The lovely bay.

The lovely bay.

The walk went around the bay which you can see here in the photo.

Now because I don’t have the space for a few lines to insert another photo, I’ll begin my daily recap.

I worked yesterday. All day (or morning/afternoon rather) on the book. I wrote and wrote and then I wrote some more. I also heard from my editor and get two more weeks before I need to turn in the first chapter, which means 18 more days for me. Hooray.

After working, I ran off to meet a potential house sitter for coffee at a coffee shop that I may or may not have hallucinated. Fortunately for everyone, I did not hallucinate it. It was right where I thought it was.

I had myself a nice iced chai and the woman seemed very nice and responsible despite being Canadian. Wait – I guess Canadians are nice, that’s part of their stereotype.

Jungle Living

Jungle Living

Photo: This is the little cove where we went swimming. There is a big fancy house at the top of those stairs. When you live on this part of the bay, you have to bring everything in by boat because there are no road. This is also where we saw the first wild parrots.

Anyway, after coffee a friend and I went in search of food, stumbling across the new japanese restaurant in town. Although I try to limit my dining in new restaurants, because there is no guarantee they will still in business after the low season and the book comes out, we ate there anyway. I went veggie and got the veggie maki roll which was delicious. I’m not a huge sushi person, so i stick to maki with non-raw ingredients.

My other dish was fried tofu. When they set the bowl on the table, I immediately noticed that something looking suspiciously like insects and/or insect wings was moving on top of my tofu.

They weren’t just twitching slightly, but energectically spasming in the bowl. It was a very Indiana Jones moment for me has normally I eschew eating live anything (the only reason I never applied to Survivor despite the great weight loss potential). I was properly horrified and for the life of us, we could not figure out what creatures the chef was inspired to lace my tofu with.

The Tiny Extortionist

The Tiny Extortionist

Photo: as we crossed the beach in front of this boy’s home, he informed us that it was a private beach and he needed 10 pesos to allow us to pass. When we declined he offered to be our guide for a mere 3 pesos. Very entreprenuerial.

The waiter was called over and then the manager and finally the chef. They all insisted that it was the air conditioning that was blowing wispy bits of crunchy fish flakes around and that nothing in my bowl was alive. Despite the oddity of adding fish to a vegetarian dish, my friend opted to try the fish flakes (similiar to what you would feed goldfish) and declared them safe for consumption.

Still the vision of waving, seemingly alive creatures in my tofu rather ruined the dish. I ate it without much gusto (avoiding the flakes) which was warranted because it wasn’t very good anyway. The sake mojito was good however as was the vanilla and chocolate creme brulees (served in a yin-yang dish, super cute).

Sunset on the ride home

Sunset on the ride home

Photo: The sunset on the boat ride back to the starting point of the hike.

I headed home after that to meet my landlord who managed to get my hot water heater working again. No cold shower for me this morning!

I’m off to lunch now and then working at a beachside restaurant for the afternoon.

Enjoy your gloves and parkas, my northern friends! Bwah ha ha.

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