Perfect flat, where are you?

So another morning of searching the web for the perfect flat in London.

I’m staying with my friends. They have a fancy coffee maker, it makes cappuccinos and everything. Except I tried to froth the milk this morning and made a big mess.

Anyway I’m getting off track. I’m searching for apartments in an area called Putney in Greater London.

They have shopping, pubs, parks, a tube station near by, and lots of European type looking flats. It’s close to my work, it’s closer to the Thames River, and all the attractions of downtown London.

Putney High Street

The search has been a bit daunting. I’m trying not to sound too much like a foreigner when I inquire. So I’m trying to use as many English sounding words and phrases like “I do not wish to have a flat mate” and “I’d be delighted to arrange a viewing”.

Searching for a place to live over there is different.

They have all these …’Maisonettes’. What is that? I’m not sure. I would have guessed a small mansion. But it looks more like a shared dorm room to me.

And, they have many studios. In London, a studio typically isn’t an open concept sexy loft type place that you can bring your friends to and show off how unconsciously trendy you are .

The studios are even smaller than my current bedroom and questionable on if they would  pass as an actual ‘suite’, and are usually just a room in someones house. Just because your kids moved out of your house, it doesn’t mean you can put a sink in there and turn their old room into a ‘cozy studio or lovely maisonette’.

I am learning that by moving to London, although a life long dream come true, I am giving up any hopes of having a decent sized closet, any real privacy, or a proper kitchen to practice my sort of new found cooking skills in. (Yes, that happened).

Also, of course a necessary step to considering a flat is how close it is to the tube station. Just to give you an idea of HOW MUCH FUN this particular step is, here is the tube map…for your reference…

Are they actually being real?

But despite all of this, there’s still this kid like excitement when I look on google street views and it’s all black cabs, red double deckers, pubs, post boxes & everything is just oozing with so much awesome British-ness at every corner that it makes me want to frolic in puddles!!

I’m putting the laptop down now and am heading to the Stampede Round-Up to escape the virtual land of London and join the thousands of other Calgarians bring out their inner cowboy-girl!

 

Yep. I dig this.

My dearest sister saw this and sent it to me, because we have this joke about how much I love bacon ..like, a ridiculous amount!

Dennys is a breakfast and dessert favarote in Canada, known for their delicious skillets and massive sundaes!

And this is their latest…

Hmm, I wonder if the bacon/ice cream mixture will come to Mexico?

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…

This really happened

Real happenings in Mexico over the past few days…(Like, actually real)

Me: Innocently meandering through the streets with B, minding my own business and going about my morning like a happy young lady that just moved to Puerto Vallarta.

Taxi driver: “Senorita, hey there lady, you wanna taxi? You wanna Taxi lady? Where you wanna go lady, I take you anywhere you wanna go!”

Me: (Head down, smiling shyly and shaking my head)

Taxi driver: (Goes towards his cab to open the cab door, almost cutting me off) “Where you wanna go, let’s go!” (Said ‘let’s go’ like there had been a confirmed arrangement made for a Taxi ride)

Me: (Still shaking my head, trying not to make eye contact) “No, gracias!”. (In a polite and lovely manner)

Taxi driver: (Still shouting something at me but I am too far away to even hear what he is saying at this point)

Not even 3 minutes later

Me: Still happily meandering through the streets, holding B’s hand, enjoying the lovely breeze of the ocean.

Street vendor: “Hey there senorita, what you want? What you want to buy? Good price for young lady, come have a look!”

Me: (Looking down, grasping B’s hand, shaking my head)

Street vendor: “WHAT YOU WANT! GOOD PRICE! GOOD PRICE!”

Me: (Slightly agitated at his persistence, look him strait in the eyes) “No, nothing. Gracias!”

Not even 10 seconds later

Another street vendor: “LADY COME SEE COME SEE, WHAT YOU WANT? YOU WANT DRESS? NECKLACE? GOOD PRICE FOR YOUNG LADY! REAL MEXICAN PRICE!

Me: “NO! NO GRACIAS!” (Walking now with purpose and a bit of panic)

Approximately 4 seconds later

Restaurant host guy: “Senorita! Ready for some tequila! Come for lunch, COME HAVE LUNCH HONEYMOONERS!”

Me: (Not able to smile or even acknowledge him or anyone else at this point, looking down shaking my head, trying to remain composure as B deals with the annoying restaurant guy for me)

Me: (Looking up for a few seconds to figure out what street we are on and how close we are to our destination, really hoping we can get there really REALLY SOON!)

About two seconds later

Taxi driver: “LADY, TAXI! TAXI! TAXI!!!!”

Shortly after

Me: Drinking in a pub

First drunk post

Tonight, I was working at a drag show. They were raising money for cancer.

After the show, I drank with the Queens that organized the show. DJ Electronica, Coco, and Malibu Stacey Stevens. And Colin and Stephanie, and Ginna and James all came too. We all drank, I drank with coco, we had flaming zambuca. It was hot hot hot. I told her about Tawney, and I invited her to girls night.

I’m kind of drunk, and can’t write long explanations right now.

But I would just like to say….

Never judge people. And don’t be angry at people. Even if they are mean people. Because you just never know what they’re going through.

I feel so blessed to be happy and healthy.

Seriously. People are so fucked up. I almost feel guilty that I have such an amazing life.

But I do. I am a lucky girl. And I have a great life. And I just feel sad, because so many people, just don’t.

L

I have a very savvy idea..

I love being in the 20 something category. In your 20′s you have the freedom to try things that you couldn’t do in your teens, as no one would take you seriously, and you would never consider doing in your 30′s, because you would have too much to lose should you fail.

Being 20 something is all about trying things, finding out what works, and normally doing this by first finding out all the things that don’t work.

What doesn’t work, as learnt in my 20′s:

1) The 9-5 cliché illusion of security. This doesn’t work simply due to the fact that I simply am not going to survive like this for the next 40 something years.  I was not meant to sit at a desk all day. None of us were, but some of us are just more considerate of society’s expectations than others. I am actually losing intelligence by sitting here, unchallenged and zombie like all day.  My vocabulary isn’t even, um, good anymore. Must…stimulate my mind.

2) What else doesn’t work. Rising to the top in one of the sexiest careers known to the western woman, and doing it in competition with the fiercest, most determined and rich women in the country. “I’m going to be a wedding planner”. Oh good. Not overnight. And maybe still not even 4 years later. A good source of additional income and a good side project, yes. But unless you have a strikingly impressive start up budget, and you’re more connected than the Manhattan Amtrak system, then your chances of keeping up in this industry are actually quite slim.

Other things that don’t work include crying in front of a police officer in an attempt to avoid a ticket and having enough energy to keep up with your 2 jobs and social life while living off Chinese take-out and whatever’s on sale at the local wine market. It doesn’t work.

Anyway, I’m going to try something new. This may just work. There is a possibility that it will go strait into the list above, but I’m willing to try, because quite frankly I don’t feel I have much to lose at this point.

So, it’s a Business. Savvy Lifestyle Assistance. Our services include Virtual Assistance and Concierge Service. And then the tag line is something like “Explore life. Leave the rest to us”.  (Which I adapted from my sister, but the rest was completely my own creativity).

My virtual assistance would assist busy entrepreneurs and busy folk in general in their everyday tasks from appointment making, invoice sending, purchase orders, data entry, flight and trip planning, etc, etc.

Whatever I can do to make people’s lives easier, and more mobile.

And, here’s the best part. They benefit because they don’t have the resources yet to hire a full time employee. And I benefit because it’s (mostly) done online and I can be mobile as well.

It is brilliant, non?

It’s fully in the works, so I’ll keep you posted!

Could this be my big break? Could I really work from my laptop in Mexico?

Time will tell, I suppose. Wish me luck!

Hi, it’s B

Hey, just wanna say I’m a big wordpress fan, been using it for years.

I am in Dauphin, during the next week, I’ll be missing L more than anything should ever be missed.
The Bath & Body works soap in the hotel reminds me of L a lot.

I will also be running various video cameras for lots of famous country stars, none of which I could actually name off the top of my head.

Traveling to Mexico with L has been a paradigm shift.  Stop, regroup, forget what I had planned, start from scratch.

Begin here.

Now:  A new love, a complete new life… Exactly what I needed, thank you, it’s about time.
I’d never been in love before I met L.

So much to think about, how to patch up holes, tie up loose ends, where to start over, how to do it?… and kick its ass.
Mexico, new sales job offer, deadline in October / November, the pressure is mounting to make everything work as it should, but I don’t know what “it” exactly is yet, when will I know?
Will it be as clear as when L stepped into my life?

ahem, excuse me

I am not a robot. Why 9 to 5, why? Who decided these hours? Who decided that this is the amount of time I need to complete my work?  It’s not like the work is challenging or anything. In what distorted universe did they raise us to be smart, independent adults just to stick us in small grey pods for the years that we are still young enough to enjoy what life has to offer, and on top of that ensure that we are by no means using any sort of creativity, imagination, innovative or original thinking or any of that malarkey that they used to tell us where ‘the foundation and building blocks of a successful life”. Noooo, we’ll have none of that. Just sit there consumed with your mind numbing tasks you’ve been given, do it for most days, for most of your life, and try to pretend like you don’t notice that you really at the end of the day don’t have much of a purpose or make much of a difference at all.

Right. I’m going to cut to the chase here, because as you can see.  It’s not my day. The sunshine, is not coming out of, well, any place today. Not me, not the sky, and I am by no means in the mood to share with you more adventures of our week in Mexico. I have something bigger to say. Something that actually brings sunshine to my life everyday, and one day, it will literally bring the sunshine, every morning.

Here it is. B and I. We’re leaving. That’s right, we’re going. The plan right now is to escape this drab existence that will eventually take our souls if we don’t do something about it, quickly. The goal is mexico. The goal is october. And the goal is consuming our entire lives, but we’re quite happy to planning all of this. And some might say it’s crazy, unrealistic, irresponsible. But they’d only say that because they would never try something like this. I have to try. And if I fail, I can always look back and say I did my best. But of course that won’t happen, we won’t let that happen.

So, here it is folks, we’re going. And perhaps it won’t be mexico. Perhaps it won’t be october. But I know one thing for sure.  I’m very persistent. Very. And so is B. He’s even more so. Together we make an unstoppable team, one with no tolerance for this city’s consumerism, conformist expectations, bad weather, and conservative attitude.

Okay, good rant. So, here’s the plan, so far.

1) We’re reading the 4 Hour Work Week and living like Tim Ferris’s little minions.

2) Sine we’re planning on running our business’s down there, we’re tweaking and perfecting everything business related. New business plans, new ideas, new websites.

3) We’re studying mexico. Their lifestyle, culture, business practices, the people, the rental market, everything. We do this by nerding out whatever chance we get. Oh the internet. We love you.

4) We’re speaking to a lawyer in Puerto Vallarta about the FM3 process.

5) We’re saving money and budgeting.

6) We’re deciding what’s going to be sold, kept, stored, thrown-out.

7) we’re having a big garage sale to start getting rid of all our crap. (Or I mean, all our really nice stuff)

8) We’re researching jobs and opportunity in our fields.

9) We’re learing spanish. We practice every friday while we eat taco’s.  Yes that’s right, our idea of a fun friday night is sitting at home, eating tacos, listening to a free spanish tutorials because we can’t afford Rosetta Stone.

10) And when trying to do anything in your life, it’s always a good idea to find a few great people who already did it, and just try to copy them. Which is why we spend many hours reading blogs and semi-obsessing over those who went before us and figured it out. Wait, that’s just me, he actually doesn’t even feel the need to do that.

Annnd, the list goes on and on since it’s pretty much consuming our lives as of late.

I dream about Mexico most nights. I read about it during the day, and when I go home from work, I talk about it with B, who has been doing the same thing.

What can I say, sometimes you have to get a little crazy to make your dreams come true.

Stay tuned 😉

L