Finding my own way

Yesterday, I quit my job in rentals.

Without going into detail, and in the interest of keeping everything anonymous, there was a situation that forced me to really think about what I want and what steps I need to take to be successful here in Puerto Vallarta.

I have no regret and I am glad that I tried something new and I met some really great people along the way.

I am focusing a lot of where my strengths are career wise, and what my best attribute are that I can share and contribute to society.

No matter how many different avenues of careers I try, and as you know, I am always trying something new, I always find myself back in the same 3 areas: Weddings, events and fundraisers. Or to summarize that, just events. Planning them, bringing an idea to life.

I love doing all of these things, they are all familiar, yet challenging and I can spend a lifetime in growing and improving myself, which for me is very important for my happiness with my career. New challenges that force me to grow not only professionally, but as a person. I would never have moved here in the first place if I was okay with a non challenging 9 to 5 job that won’t take me anywhere.

I don’t want to be type-casted in my own life as being or doing one or two things. I want to create a life for myself that is versatile, adventurous, unique, new, and always pushing me more and more to be better at everything I do.

What I do know so far is that I am going to be doing my own weddings and other events, which is something I have wanted to do since the beginning, but have approached the idea very slowly, and with much caution. I always knew that when the time was right and when I was truly ready to make the leap, that I would just know.

Considering everything that happened with this recent..change..I believe that was the go ahead for me to find the entrepreneurial spirit and passion that I left behind in Calgary. There are a few integral people in my life here that have really pushed me to be a better wedding coordinator, and have taught me the fundamentals of destination weddings, as well as people who have constantly reminded me that I can do anything I put my mind to and will always succeed when I put my heart into it. (you know who you are, and thank you for all your support). So, all that being said, here is a mock-up of the beginning stages of that project. Okay I know that is just a logo but it’s pretty and it’s one little baby step in the right direction.

Poco a poco as they say around here. Things like facturas, accounting and banking are all still things that I haven’t even began to scratch the surface of. I am first focusing on a business plan that makes sense for me and that reflects my goals as an entrepreneur. Once I complete that, I will get into the nitty gritty, one step at a time.

http://www.miamoroccasions.com

I am going to take my time is bringing this project to life, and I am going to keep all my past experience in mind with everything, what worked, and the many things that didn’t work. This time around I want to really dig into my creativity and improve my processes.

I think these changes that happen in life, are always a gateway to something better, and a sign that I am not on the right track, and an opportunity to either get back on track, or create a new track that will take me to exactly where I want to go.

Aside from the events and wedding, I want to really focus on my Spanish, and have even (drum roll please) found a bit of a love for cooking these days. Also, I want to learn how to scuba dive, explore more of Mexico, and plan another trip to Canada.

I have also been working on a Fundraiser for the local cat shelter, it’s going to be a Salsa and Margarita tasting, with an auction and live music! It’s been a fun little project and just makes me feel kind of fuzzy inside that I can do a small part to help a very important cause around here.

I am also reading Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour work week again. This is my favorite book and the one book that I read over and over again. It reminds me of what’s important to me, the life I want to create for myself, and also reminds me of why I am in Mexico, and what I came here to do!

L

A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have _Timothy Ferriss

Happy Labor Day!

Hi friends!

This morning B and I got up early (and by early, I mean 10am for me, 9am for him) and headed over the popular Pitillal market. Pitillal is a small mexican town (or district?) about 10 minutes north of Downtown Puerto Vallarta. The great thing about this place is that it is not typically a place that tourists go. It’s a full on locals hub, where there are no timeshare sales, no ‘special prices for you lady’.
B at the Pitillal market…

This place is amazing, its packed with miles and miles of shopping, more than even I could tackle! Local herbs, taco stands, endless amounts of local food, amazing clothes for super cheap, shoes galore, electronics, hardware stores, treats, fresh fruit, pirated movies, I could go on, they have absolutely everything! Its just complete mexican shopping indulgence everywhere you turn! This place is described as ‘real Mexico’, and it definitely is super mexican-ey!

We stopped for tacos!! (About $1.00US each) mmm…

Tuba stand…(Tuba is a citrusey mexican drink sold on the streets that is so refreshing on a hot day!!)

Pitillal Church (See how full it is, people are standing outside)

Also today in Mexico is Labor Day. This was surprising to me because I have always celebrated Labor Day in early September.
Labor day as you know is a day to celebrate the working people. And the working class make up most of the underpaid/hardworking population here.  This being said, Mexicans have a history of protesting/rioting/fighting for fairness/rights on this day.

On May 1st, 06 in Mexico City  members of Mexican workers unions burnt an effigy representing politicians during a protest march.(Look at that thing, it’s huge!! What a statement!)

And last May over 900.000 headed to Zócalo (town center) of Mexico City to protest labor laws! (900,000!! Amazing!!)

So many people still think of this when they think of Mexico…..

But living here, I have found that Mexicans are some of the hardest working people I have ever known. Everyone working in Mexico, (us expats included) has to work a lot harder to make far less money than you would in Canada/USA. As well, things such as HR, benefits, job security and career training programs are FAR less frequent here. So, it makes sense that the peole of Mexico would feel the need to riot and protest when it comes to their labor rights.
To all the hardworking Mexicans, happy labor day!!!

Despite how hard the people of this country work, Mexico is still named 2nd in the happiest countries in the world.

Hmm. how interesting. What makes a happy country?

Happy Easter my friends!

Its Easter Sunday today. I woke up this morning and had a bit of a sombre moment upon realizing this is the second holiday that I have spent this year without my friends and family. Yes I know they are probably all ‘lucky girl, living in Mexico!’ and yes of course I am fortunate and grateful, but there is no amount of sun and beaches that can replace spending holidays with family.

So, I called my grandpa, and I also called my sister, who was having Easter in Moosejaw with her other side of the family. I spoke to my niece for about 3 minutes, but couldn’t hold her attention for much longer as she was amidst a very intense Easter egg hunt. And well, given those circumstances, I’m surprised I got that much time out of her!

Speaking of my sister, she is moving to Victoria! I swear there is a move-to-the-water movement happening lately, who doesn’t want to live on the Ocean! So, I am so excited for her, and listening to her get ready for the big move totally reminds me of B and I 6 months ago, selling everything, having no idea what the future holds. But, my sister is more organized than that. She’s got everything planned! Eepp, so exciting! I am so happy for her, because she has been talking about moving to the ocean for over 10 years, and I am so proud of her for following her dreams and just going!

But I miss my family, and I miss having a big Easter dinner with them. Even if we decided to celebrate Easter here, we do not have an oven, and would not want to turn on an oven regardless, as it is so hot.
I love Mexico, and B, and my life here, but honestly, I gave up a lot to come here, and holidays like these remind me of that.

In Puerto Vallarta, thousands of Nationals are celebrating Semana Santa, or Holy Week which marks the last week of lent leading up to Easter Sunday. The streets and beaches are absolutely packed, and very few gringos are seen here. It’s the Mexicans vacation time, and a very sacred holiday to them. Which, of course means a crazy amount of partying and a vibrant display of their religion (like, when Jesus and his band of followers carried the cross through the city yesterday!)

Also, I started a new job last week! (yes, another one.) After 2 months of relaxing, I figured it was time for me to start making some money again. So, my friend Poncho (who also found us this great apartment!!) posted in Facebook that they were looking for a new ‘agent’. This company does vacation rentals, real estate, concierge, etc. I have absolutely no experience in this field, and have been looking to gain some experience in something other than weddings! So, I have been doing this for 1 week, and so far, it’s going good. The hours are flexible, and I have some good friends at the office that answer my 30 questions a day! However, it is a commission only job, which admittedly does require a certain amount of optimism, luck, and faith. So, I’ve decided to give it at least a few months and see where it goes. My friends at work seem to be making good moola, so I don’t see why I can’t do that too!

Also, it’s getting VERY hot down here! The kind of hot where you can’t walk on the beach barefoot without burning your feet, and the kind that makes you lethargic and uncomfortable being in the sun for too long. And, this is only April!! I can’t imagine what we are going to do with ourselves this summer! So that being said, we have been spending more time inside, in the water, and in the pool. Thank god for the pool! I am definitely starting to see it as more of a need than a luxury here.

I need to get off the computer, and go out to do something fun! We may not have Turkey, family or Easter Eggs, but there is always the beach, the markets,  and the sunshine. And I suppose that’s not so bad.

Also, here are some of my favorite recent pictures (since I haven’t been blogging very much lately!!)

Showing off B’s awesome photography skillzzz! This was taken in our garden out on the Terrace last week. B was practicing for an upcoming photo shoot! (And me taking the opportunity to be a total diva, haha!)

This was a few weeks ago when my friends came to visit! This is Jenn and Krysta, they are so sweet! There is something so romantic and beautiful about this shot!

This is Jenn and I kayaking in Las Animas! We may look like we’re doing a great job, however this was about 30 seconds after we drove right into a large boat, haha. Awful.

This was taken on Las Animas beach a few weeks ago. That is Jenn, Krysta, Colin and D’arcy, who all visited us from Canada. We had such a silly amount of fun with them! We had a private sailboat for the day and stopped for lunch and margaritas! What a perfect day!!

This is probably my favorite shot from that trip! That evening, we sat on the balcony, drank wine, and spent hours laughing about so many ridiculous things. And I think this picture looks like GAP poster or something. Haha. Such. Awesome. Friends. I love you guys!!!

This was taken the day after my birthday a few weeks ago in Bucerias. We spent the day drinking beer on the beach, and enjoying the waves and our boogie boards! I love this shot of B and the big wave!! We played in the water for HOURS, what a great day!

This picture was taken the same day. HOW SEXY IS B!????

This is Jenn and I with my good friend Esman. This picture was taken at Andeles, which is probably the best spot to be on a Friday night in Vallarta! This was taken after too much tequila. Things got a little messy after, haha.

B took this picture the day we went out on the sailboat. This was at about 10 am in the morning and this mommy whale and the baby were jumping and playing for at least 20 minutes!  What a great picture!!

And lastly, our kitty Mittens!! (And her favorite toy!!)

The worst things about living in PV

In my last blog post, I listed 5 things I love about living in Puerto Vallarta / Mexico.

Now, the post was not to say that it’s all rainbows, but the post was about the bright side of living here.

I had a hard time writing this post because I truly love love this city, and this country, therefore it is natural for me to only point out the good things. I am also a pretty optimistic person and try to always see the best in things.

However, living in Mexico is not all a walk in the park. Some days are extremely infuriating and scary. As with any place in the world, there is good and bad.

It’s expensive

When people think of Mexico, they generally think ‘cheap’.
When it comes to the basics you need to live here, water, gas, groceries, a place to live, yes, these things are very affordable. As well, we have an abundance of local made crafts, street tacos and a plethora of local goodies that are cheap, cheap, cheap! (My ‘Mexican’ Prada sunglasses for example).
However, things such as TVs, video cameras, cars, sporting gear, designer clothes, computers, etc. are very expensive here. Basically anything you can find at Future shop, Costco, or Wal-Mart are going to be more expensive here, as these things all need to be imported, and of course there is less demand for such things. And on top of that, Puerto Vallarta is of course even more expensive because it is a tourist town, and prices are geared towards the ‘gringo with money’.

Annoying sales people

Everywhere I go, I am constantly harassed by someone wanting to sell me tours, crafts, beach junk, a timeshare, tequila, a cab ride, dinner, the list goes on. For months I tried politely declining, but it gets to be too much. Now I either try to avoid these areas in general, or if I can’t, I walk with my head down and do not acknowledge anyone. I know that sounds rude, but acknowledging them only prolongs it. The most annoying part is when you are having a meal on the beach (which is always a special treat for B and I) and you get at least 20 people walk by offering you dresses, jewellery, weed, etc. I get approached far more than B does (clearly, as it’s mostly things for women). It’s hard for me to remain calm and polite when they get really persistent.
One afternoon a lady came by our table on the beach after about 12 others selling the exact same thing. I hid my eyes with my hat (its better not to make eye contact at this point) and shook my head to suggest no. “Lady, lady, special price for you, what you want?” she persisted. She then ducked down low to see my eyes under my hat, leaned in closer and said “Lady!”. It was horribly invasive and it made me so angry! I matched her persistence and said “NO” again in a firm voice. Usually you say no once and they move on, but you get the odd person who is extremely pushy.

Even our rent at every apartment we have had, has been more expensive than others in the same building. Everywhere we go, we have to be careful. When we get the bill at a restaurant, when we buy something at the market, when we go out for a few drinks, when we get a cab. I’m not saying this always happens, but there are many situations where we are given a more expensive rate because we look like tourists. This makes me extremely angry. They just assume I have extra money lying around to give to them, because I am a ‘gringo’? And I’m not saying I want the same treatment as the nationals, but the constant pressure for my (hard earned) money is completely exhausting and infuriating on a daily basis.

Poverty

Although Puerto Vallarta is probably one of the best places to live in Mexico, some areas are still riddled with poverty and unsanitary conditions. Outside of the strip of resorts, there is an overwhelming amount of people living in very poor conditions.  A large part of the population here live with unpaved roads and lack of infrastructure. Rural areas and surrounding towns are lined with miles of shanties where many live without proper sewage systems and clean water supply. Of the 45,000 year round nations living in PV, 10% do not have a potable water supply, 8% do not have connections to a sewer/septic system, and 4% do not have electricity. Although the city has made impressive strides to improve the quality of life for their people, they still have a long way to go. For many, life is still a constant struggle, and it’s seen everywhere, even on the Malecon where sad looking beggers plead with a small cup as the tourists walk by. Even for those working, they heavily rely on seasonal tourism to keep a steady job, and the daily minimum wage is about 57 pesos, which is about $5 US a day!

Stray animals

Dogs and cats roam the streets here, usually injured, hungry, hot and thirsty, and searching through garbages for something to eat. Shelters such as the SPCA, and the PuRR Project cat rescue shelter are completely full and are exhausting every resource to help as many of these animals as they can. But with a lack of funding and volunteers, they are limited in how many animals they can take. There are simply too many strays, and not enough willing people to give them good homes. The problem of course stems from the lack of animals being spayed and neutered. It’s not seen as a priority here at all. It breaks my heart as everyday I see a hungry, sick dog or cat on the street that so badly needs to be saved.

As well, I have yet to find a greek restaurant, vietnamese food, thai food, or a good jar of dill pickles! There’s only so many tacos a girl can eat. As well, traffic is also really congested, and the beaches in the city are not that great.

So, there we have it. The ugly side of paradise. That was VERY hard for me to write, because I really do love this place.

On a happier note, today B and I are meeting our friend Nicole for a sushi buffet!! We have been here 5 months and have never once had sushi here! eeep, so excited!!!

The Vallarta Carnival Parade

Last night B and I went with our friends Diego and M to the Carnival Parade in Zona Romantica, which is the heart of Vallarta that boasts the trendiest, artisiest, most cultural-like events and places in the city.
This parade was part of a week long chain of Carnival celebrations that take place all over Mexico from March 3 − 9th. Carnival  is celebrated with parades, festivals, floats, masquerade, live music, extravagant costume, and dancing in the street. It also has significant meaning in terms of the countries culture and religion.

The Carnival is celebrated as the last indulgence of carnal pleasure during the last days of freedom leading up to lent. Lent is a period of 40 days in the Catholic religion between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. It is a time of self sacrifice to commemorate the resurrection of christ.

This week long of pre-lent partying in Mexico is simply a way to get all the party and debauchery out of you before you give up the things you love during lent.

Traditionally in Mexico, the Carnival celebration starts off with a mockery of either somewhat of a disliked political figure or someone else in authority that the nationals are not fond of, sometimes they burn an effigy for symbolism. Its called the Quema del Mal Humor, or the Burning of Bad Humor.

This kicks off the Carnival celebrations and sets the tone for the party (In Canada we say ‘F*ck the man’, same idea along the lines of rebelling against authority).

Celebrations are then followed with the Coronation of the Carnival Queen, in Vallartas case, we had a locally raved about singer whose voice and presence melted hearts throughout the streets.

Festivities then end on Mardi Gras, or otherwise known as “Fat Tuesday”, which is another celebration that marks the end of revelry, and the return of temperance.

Vallartas party scene is predominately geared towards the local gay community. Vallarta is actually known as one of the most popular gay destination in the world! Second to San Francisco, of course.

This being said, the carnival parade boasted delicious eye candy for the hundreds of women and gay men lining the streets of Olas Atlas. The show was not geared towards your typical conservative tourist, yet a true representation of the lively, flamboyant and proud community in Vallarta.

It really was a marvelous show that really showed-off Vallartas truly vibrant and exuberant culture, as well as a spectacular presentation of the concept of Carnival celebrations. I wonder how many of them will actually sacrifice what they love most for lent time? Are they partying like its 1999 because they are truly bound by their religious customs, or are they taking advantage of a prime opportunity to freely indulge in lewd festivities? Hmm, I wonder.

There are others!

Last night B and I went out to the POP diner here in Vallarta for a Young Professionals in Vallarta event.

This was especially exciting for us because we were starting to think that we are the only 2 expats under 50 in this whole city! The POP diner is a trendy restaurant that has the most amazing food. I had the sliders, it was honestly the best meal I have had in Vallarta yet. I would definitely recommend this place! And they had 2 for 1 drinks. I, of course had the 2 for 1 vino tinto, which was delicious, and very much enjoyed after the long day of climbing every hill in this city searching for a decent apartment.
This is also the same place that does an all you can eat brunch on the weekends for $15, with unlimited mimosas! Wow. You know where I’ll be next weekend.

We met a lot of awesome young people at this event, from Canada and the states.  And by young I don’t mean 20 year olds, I mean working middle aged folk. Which I categorize as young, as Vallartas expat population is mostly retired folk.
I was so surprised and excited to learn how many people there are in Vallarta just like us!  People who decided that they wanted something different, didn’t know what to expect but sold everything and took a chance on a life in tropical paradise. And now they are all working there, loving life, and everyone I talked too all agreed that they would never look back, that Vallarta is now their home, and they could never imagine going back to their life before Vallarta. I feel the exact same way, despite how unsettled things feel at the moment.

I was so inspired and felt so much better about our struggles, as others all seemed to have a rocky start as well. Most of them have been living here for 2 years or more. I think it takes at least 2 years to really find your place living in a new country. We have been here for 4 months and I still feel like Im on holiday. A lady I met last night said the same thing, that she felt like she was on vacation for the first 6 months living here. But I think 2 years is a good amount of time to really adapt to the new culture, the language, and the entirely different way of life. Especially in Mexico, where everyday is a new challenge, and life is full of surprises!

After the POP diner, we went to a rooftop lounge called Twisted Palms with my friend M. This place is an ultra cool retro lounge that plays a new movie on the wall every night. Its super mellow, and has a great chilled out atmosphere.

Today the hunt for an apartment continues. Augh. We have decided that we are going to have to increase our budget for an apartment, as there is nothing at all in our desired price range that is not a complete dump. One place we looked at had not 1 but 2 trees growing through the kitchen! Some don’t have roofs, some don’t have fridges, some don’t have windows, some smell funny, some are out in the booneys. So, we have decided just to increase the budget for the apartment, and just find a way to make that money. At this point I just want a place I can call home so I can really focus on my career, and my future here in Vallarta.

Auga, por favor!

So much has happened since the last time I wrote. Last Monday we moved into a brand new apartment. We had been thinking about moving for a while for a few reasons. The first reason being that we found out that we are paying WAY too much for the old apartment. We discovered this through talking to friends who live here, and talking to our neighbors in the same building about what they are paying in rent. They had the exact same apartment in the same building for about the equivalent of $100 LESS a month! And yes we did sign a rental contract at the beginning of “high season” but can you blame me for being kind of peeved that others in the same building pay less? The second reason being that (which I totally take responsibility for, as I probably should have done more research before moving in), is the neighborhood was kind of sketchy, smelly, and it was an area for locals, and mechanic shops. No lovely coffee shops down the street, no nice restaurants near by, just a bunch of hardware/car stores. This was simply not going to work for either of us. Mostly, it was not going to work for me. Call me a princess, but I did not move to Mexico to smell car fumes, and oh, there was a CRAZY man downstairs. He threw all the food out of his kitchen into the street the night before we moved. Anyway, it was not working, at all.

So, after searching through the Mano-o-Mano, we found a large bright bachelor style suite right in the middle of the 5 of Deciembre area, which is actually, the area that we decided we wanted to live in, even before we came to Mexico. The apartment is bright, and has lots of big windows. It has a breathtaking view of the ocean, and most of the city. It’s so pretty! So, we moved in. And we got all settled. But of course this is us and of course that means that some new challenge is going to rear its head and things never ..just stay good for too long before there is something else. Sooo…that being said…

2 days into moving in (I was in Calgary at this point, as I left the day after we moved in), there is  no hot water, and no water pressure. Now after weeks of dealing with no water pressure and no hot water to shower with, we have NO WATER AT ALL!

We are on day 4 without water. That means no cleaning dishes, or cleaning anything. No flushing the toilet, and no showering here of course. Also there are all these bugs around as we cannot clean properly.  So R & C told us we could stay with them while this all gets sorted out.  Thank god we have them, as we certainly cannot afford a hotel right now.

It was a huge mistake moving into this place, it is clearly not well maintained!

Yes, there was a break in the water supply in Vallarta. But, there is also major plumbing issues in the building, hence why most of Vallarta still has water, with a few poorly built shantis exempt, our place being one of them. So we have spent the last few days frantically searching for apartments. We have been unsuccessful so far in finding something in our price range that is not a complete dump. And since I am no longer bringing in a full time income, our budget for an apartment has gone way down.

Augh. This doesn’t feel very paradisey, at all.

I’m trying to remain calm and remind myself that ‘the universe will always provide us with everything we need’. Which it isn’t right now, but I am trying my best to keep the faith.

On a happier note, I am going to start working with a few very talented ladies that do absolutely spectacular weddings!

I have admired their work since months before I moved to Vallarta, when I spotted one of their weddings in an online magazine. I am so so excited to have this amazing opportunity, and to be able to help in producing high quality and truly original weddings. Which I was of course lacking at the resort. We are also going to be going to a young professionals event tonight with my friend M.

So, despite our lack of auga, and a home that we can really get settled in,  things are still looking up. I am very optimistic and excited about our future in Vallarta!

la libertad

Yesterday was my last day working at the Resort. I walked out of the resort with a few bags, containing the things that helped me survive those hours at work for 3 months..fruit, instant coffee packages, body shop moisturizer, a binder from my spanish class, and pictures of my family. B came to bring me clothes as I turned in my uniform at the end of the day.
Walking out of the resort, I was not quite as polished and clean as I was when I walked in there for my first day 3 months ago. I was very tired, I didn’t walk with the same hop and bubbly-ness. I had bags under my eyes, and a few new grey hairs.

But I was happy. Extremely happy. Saying a final goodbye to all the employees was a tad bittersweet, but the bitter part disappeared the second I stepped past the big golden gates, and the sweet part was a amazing feeling I will never forget.

This morning I woke up a little bit giddy, like the way I used to feel on christmas morning when I was little. I woke up with a little bit more energy than usual, despite the dance party with Jack Daniels that took place with some friends last night, in celebration of mi ultima dia.

I woke up and the bedroom seemed a little bit sunnier than normal and the birds outside sounded a little bit chirpier.

The orange and yellow walls of the bedroom seemed a little bit more vibrant.

I laid there in bed, listening to Bs heaving breathing, he looked more peaceful than ever.

l took a moment to really feel how soft and warm my pillow is, and to really appreciate the warm air in the bedroom, which is a luxury that I often forget to appreciate.

I wiggled all ten toes between the crisp white sheets and felt a tingly excitement go all the way to my nose. Instead of running in a mad dash to get to the office, I closed my eyes let my mind really wander…

I thought about Yoga on the beach, and feeling the hot sand and cool ocean breeze. I thought about late afternoons of losing myself in a book. I thought about having a pancake and bacon breakfast with B and lazy hours of reading expat blogs at home. I thought about playing with the kittens, and actually taking a good hour to give myself a pedicure. I thought about sitting by the water watching the cruise ships go by, and imagining up really interesting stories of all the different kinds of people on the boat. I thought about losing myself in a late afternoon nap under the sun, and about how I might actually like to have one of those corn on the cob on a stick with hot sauce things the locals sell on the malecon.

I made a promise to myself in that moment that no matter what the future holds for me, I will always remember what is most important.
Its not money and it’s not success, whatever that may be. It’s the toe wiggling moments that make you feel more free and more happy than any amount of money or hours at the office could ever provide.

xoxo

L

A real look at a luxury resort..behind the scenes

Okay so that more blogging I’m going to do. Its going to start now. I’m a bit different than other bloggers as I don’t blog every day or every second day, and my blogs are always pretty long. I guess I feel that I am not upholding my job as a real writer-y type blogger if I do not write about something substantial, something really like, significant. Then I can write in a really intense and dramatic fashion, as I love to do. However, life changing, huge things don’t happen to me everyday. They did when I was 16, but now that I am 27, life altering BIG stuff happens less. So I really want to start writing about more everyday type stuff, as well as the big stuff.

But then that leads me to the problem of what do I write about, and how do I make my normal everyday stuff sound interesting on a blog?

I don’t know that, yet. But I DO know that my normal everyday stuff isn’t other peoples normal everyday stuff, as I live in Mexico and okay that is the whole point of this blog, is to share the every day stuff of living in Mexico with you, and I’m going to start that today!

Actually today is a pretty special day because I got off work at 2pm and slept all afternoon. It is now almost 7pm and I have slept all afternoon, and it was amazing.

Normally I work 12 or 14 hours on a Saturday, but today Es did the wedding, and I went home early and slept.

This actually isn’t something I would normally do, but since I have less than 2 weeks left at work, I have been feeling more and more like taking care of myself and less and less like taking care of them.

Which is actually what my life has been like for the past 3 months working at the Resort. Get up early, too early to eat breakfast and head to work. Head to work in too much of a rush to really do anything with my hair. My hair that has to go up in a ponytail and has an awkward looking stub in the back as my hair is too short to really put up without looking kind of stubby.

Then running to the bus stop trying not to spill coffee all over me. Yes, I made time for coffee. I always made time for coffee. Then having to wave down the resort bus like a mad woman as it is not an actual bus stop, but the bus driver does not speak English, so all he can do is grunt and shake his head, instead of actually telling me where I SHOULD get the bus. But usually at this point I am too exhausted from running and just looking forward to sitting for a while. It is now only 8:20am.

Then sitting on the bus trying to play Iron & Wine loud enough on my iPod to drown out the mariachi style music that I have never, and will never enjoy. ESPECIALLY not this early in the morning. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love mornings, even without Mariachi.

Then getting off the bus with all the other resort employees and having to line up to have my hands sanitized and my bag searched, which always feels very jail-like to me. One morning I was feeling brave and decided I am a grown woman and do not need to have my bag searched and do not need to have my hands sanitized. I live in Mexico, I have PLENTY of hand sanitizer, obviously I do not need your security people to do it for me like a dirty little kid. So, confidently I moseyed on by the check-in line, and by the obvious banter in the line up about my moseying by the check-in line.

I didn’t get very far before the clearly disgruntled security man yelled LUISA!! and hailed me down. I walked back dragging my feet, head down, confidence crushed and defeated.

I did manage to skip the bag check that morning with enough intense and outraged looking hand gestures, but I still could not avoid the hand sanitizer. I put my hands out and rolled my eyes like a teenager with major attitude.

I would normally deal with the situation more grown up like, by explaining that I do not feel it is necessary, but I simply do not know enough Spanish to explain to them how I feel about the whole thing. Not that it would really make a difference in protocol and my involvement in it. So I did it with pure attitude. I walked away with clean hands, almost impressed with my still got the attitude self.

Then as I had no time for breakfast I line up at the cafeteria with the other workers for breakfast. I hate the cafeteria. It smells like warm milk and the floor is always dirty. People eat huge amounts of food, which kind of makes me sick to even look at.

I sit amongst the energetic and hungry crowd, all completely mowing down in chicaquillas, beans and eggs, or I think eggs, while I try not to smell the milk and focus on my small bowl of granola, yogurt and melon.

Heading back to the other side of the resort where my office is, I walk in a single file in the back, shady area of the resort with a view of the parking lot. I so badly want to walk on the beach side, which is hot, has nice music and a breathtaking view that would turn my morning RIGHT around, but I am not allowed.

I must walk by the parking lot, by the garbage, and by the working men making palapa huts out of dead palm trees, with the rest of the staff.

I sit in my office and feel relief as I snuggle my homemade coffee and relax for a minute. That is before I turn on my computer to see my calendar full of rehearsals, weddings and appointments, while my server downloads more and more long emails from out of control brides that never ever feel like I am paying enough attention to them.

I want to tell them all that there are over 200 of them and that they are just going to have to wait patiently for me to answer their email, but of course I cannot do that. And of course I do not even have time to answer 1 email before a disgruntled staff member calls saying something in Spanish asking where Es is.

If you do not speak English, and you know I do not speak Spanish, why call? I get seriously over 20 phone calls a day from people trying to speak spanish to me. When I tell them, again, that I do not speak Spanish and cannot understand them (especially with how fast they are speaking) then they just hang up! I am not kidding you, they always just hang up. It seems awfully rude for a place that is so completely strict about being polite.

In the resort, there is a rule when someone says thank you, you must say es un placer. Spanish for its a pleasure. One time a staff member got in the elevator. I pushed the button for him and he said gracias. So I said denada. Which is, you’re welcome. He turned towards me and said ES UN PLACER! and stormed off. He was so offended by my not being polite according to policy, that he felt the need to correct me in the rudest way! Seriously? But I am used too it. I am always being corrected for something. When I forget my name tag, I hear it from everyone. If I have a hair out of place, or if I am taking a sip of water in front of a guest. If I am walking on the sunny path with the guests, instead of the parking lot path with the staff. I actually got pulled into the bosses office the other day as some staff were complaining that I ‘do not smile’ and someone was offended by this. There are over 1000 staff here, how can I be smiling at every single one of them during the day. It was ridiculous, so for the rest of the day I walked around with a fake grin for the fear of not smiling at someone that may be offended by the fact that I did not smile at them.

I have been told by management that staff think I look “scruffy”. This was over a month ago, someone said my hair looked like a mess all the time. I had long beautiful brown hair. That night, not wanting to look like a bum anymore, I headed to the Salon to have it all cut off. I honestly have not felt pretty since. I hate the haircut. It is short and boring and I hate it. I did it to please them, the people who think I look scruffy. 2 weeks ago someone came up to me and shook their head and said  “What is with your hair today?”. It was infuriating that I gave my beautiful hair and it did not change their opinion of me. I want my long hair back. I am so angry with myself for chopping off all my ahri to please people that, as it turns out, are just not happy with the way I look for some reason.

And looking good is very important to these people. The women are very vain. Constantly in front of the mirror, always applying more make-up. They all have these long perfect nails. My nails are not that perfectly long or perfect. So, on top of the 12 to 14 hour days of all this madness, I try to give myself a mini manicure every night, and my nails still do not look perfect and long like theirs. I cannot make them happy.

I am also never doing my million different kinds of paperwork right. It is all in Spanish, and my spanish is always wrong. I have to order every meal for every guests for every wedding through our chef, in Spanish.

And these meals are not like “chicken with potatoes’ they are like ‘chicken au gratin with a seared steak sauteed in reduction of something with a bone marrow something fancy something else sauce. Seriously I cannot write this meal in english, and you cant google translate that shit. So SOMETIMES my service orders in spanish are not correct. And I hear about it all the time. Its never good enough.

One time I tried to use the translator and it translated my white chocolate mousse, into ‘raton’, which is mouse in spanish. I ordered mouse for dessert. Translators are useless. I also have to order all my flowers in spanish as the florist doesn’t speak english. Soooo, not only do I have to order bouquets like white lilies, with accents of birds of paradise and hydrangeas with an assortment of Gerber’s, circus coloured roses (yes, in weddings, circus is a colour, which as you can imagine, translator also doesn’t pick up on) with a splash of the berry looking things that the bride doesnt know the name off but I better friggin get it right anyway as it is her wedding day.

And that is just the bouquet. And that is just one meal. Now think of 2 to 3 weddings a day, with music, lights, decor which we wont even go into, all having to impeccable for obvious reasons and all having to be ordered through my broken spanish, and ALWAYS of course hearing about it because of something like I ordered a taffeta overlay instead of an organza overlay.

Do you know the difference in taffeta and organza? Well I do because I am a wedding planner. What I DO NOT know is how to translate those non real words into Spanish. So sometimes there are mistakes like that and I always get yelled at for it.

And that is not to mention the accounting that comes with it and having to explain to brides their bill that came out in pesos, which I still actually don’t understand yet. Life at the resort is a non stop exhausting battle that I am glad, to say the least, to be leaving in the past.

Anyway, I feel that I have exhausted you in sharing a tidbit of my life at work with you. This was not supposed to be a blog about work. I don’t have much of an opportunity to talk about what life is really like there. I am too busy trying to ensure my hair is perfect, my Spanish is perfect, and that I am always smiling, just in case.

This is the good thing about blogging, it a perfect way to rant about life to my friends, who would usually sit in a coffee shop in Deerfoot meadows (Tammy) or the Ship & Anchor pub (Foxy), or after a few glasses of wine and before a night of drunken dance partying (Bradon), or over a family dinner at the old White Spot (Vicky), and listen to me blab on and on about whatever is currently irking me. Now there is no coffee shop, no old irish pub, no wine and dance nights, no White Spot, but a blog. I miss you guys so much.

Tonight B and I are going to a raved about local restaurant on the beach called the Barracuda. After a lazy afternoon of napping and blogging, I am looking forward to a romantic night of fresh fish and local wine and an ocean breeze with B.

That’s all for now folks. So much for my short blog idea.

Signing off…