Friday, March 28, 2008


... we've spend some days in Ixtapa at the coast of the Pacific ocean. This is the view from our room at the hotel Las Brisas Ixtapa:

In a few hours we will head back north to La Huacana in the tierra caliente (it was 37 °C/99 °F last Monday) to celebrate the baptism of Luis Edurado:

150 guests are expeted and five cooks will provide sustenance. But first Toño will have to acquire the certificate by the church that he is qualified and instructed in the obligations of a godfather. For that he will have to get back to Morelia, where they have a fast-track procedure. At other places, this takes an entire week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Carnival and Humiliation

Usually Carnival is celebrated just before Lent. However, in Morelia things are a bit different. Carnival is celebrated at the end of Lent, i.e. on Easter Saturday and Sunday.

The tradition is called Torito (small bull) and has its origins in the Spanish conquest. In times of the Colony, the Spaniards organized bullfights. As an answer to this the indigenous people created their own version. In the centre is the "bull", which is actually an imitation carried by a man.

The freely decorated bull is accompanied by a musica de banda which plays popular folk songs. Gaudy dressed Maringüias are dancing around the bull. The maringüias are usually played by males who are dressed like women. It's one of the funniest carnivals I've ever seen.

Talking about cross-dressing... On Sunday evening, a cousin of Toño and his boyfriend took us to a local gay club. It was a nice place in the town centre which an illuminated dance-floor in the inner courtyard.

Everything was fine until the show started, which was hosted by two drag queens and consisted mainly of playback singing by the vertically challenged one and stand-up comedy by the ugly one.

Well this ugly one decided to choose me as the butt of most of her jokes (my italics). She even dragged me on stage for an interview on her couch (I could have worked a bit more on my Spanish). Towards the end of the endless hour she even referred to me as Gringo.

Well, I might engage in buggery and arms are my bread and butter, however IMHO, being a gringo is definitely on dark side. Clearly the climax of humiliation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pepsi-Cola Retro

Just before Easter, we arrived in Morelia, where Toño's brother Tito is running a corner shop. In his tienda, Tito is selling both Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola, though the bottles are stored in different refrigerators.

On the top shelf of his Pepsi refrigerator, I discovered something new: Pepsi-Cola Retro.

Pepsi-Cola Retro was release in Mexico in February 2008. I have no idea how it tastes but the label on the bottle claims that Pepsi-Cola Retro is made of natural ingredients. Such as the colour is created by caramel and coffee, and the taste comes from cola nut extract. However, my favourite is that it does not contain any artificial sweetener.

At least the sugar come from sugar cane and not the nasty yet cheep high fructose corn syrup, which is usually used in soft drinks.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Virgen de Guadalupe

Before meeting an aunt and cousins of Toño, we paid a visit to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

Since roses played a significant role her appearances, Toño brought the Virgen a basket of roses.

Toño had to fight for his roses. The cheeky florist constantly tried to slip other kind of flowers into the arrangement.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Papaya Con Limón

We were pampered well by Lufthansa on our trip to México and arrived save and sound. Even better is that Toño and I could already enjoy some freshly cut papaya with some drops of lime juice.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

¡Felices Pascuas!

Sorry for neither posting nor visiting your blogs nor answering emails. Work has been quite a bitch in recent weeks. However, now we're heading for Mexico*! It's vacation time!! I so need it.

Happy Easter to all of you. We will be back on April 9.

* Business class on miles - there is at least some payback from work.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Schatzi* Was Awful

... however, Eels were delightful.

Photograph: Joel Ryan/PA

We had the chance to be present when Zürich was received in audience by Eels yesterday evening.

Well, it would had been a truly delightful evening, when the audience would not had been massively packed with morons and schmucks who go to a concert for everything but the music. But maybe that was just the straw to break the camel's back, because I was already pissed off by some unnerving colleagues who refuse to pull their weight.

Notwithstanding, both my company (Tina and Toño) and Eels (Mark Oscar Everett with symbiotic and nonchalant yet brilliant stage partner The Chet) gave me great pleasure and delight.

My personal highlight was when E and Chet were swapping between piano and drums without missing a beat: E leaves the piano and takes the drumsticks from Chet, who picks up at the piano where Everett left off. A few minutes later, they swap back. What will you do when you are so good at what you do, and you no longer know how to push yourself?

* as Eels referred to the audience.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Helmet Or No Helmet

A few years ago a SUV refused to yield to my right of way, knocked me off my bicycle and left me with a couple of fractures. One of which was on my skull. Ever since I use a helmet when mounting one of my bicycles.

Reading an article on management of danger in this week's Economist, I gave rise to doubts whether I had taken the right consequences:

In one experiment, a British psychologist, Ian Walker of Bath University, simply got on his bicycle and monitored the behaviour of 2,300 vehicles that overtook him. When he wore a helmet, drivers were much more likely to zoom past him with little room to spare; when he was bare-headed (and indeed when he wore a female wig) the amount of space that motorists left would increase.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ramsons Quiche

A week ago, I found the first ramsons on the market. Fresh ramsons in the middle of February! And the salesmen insisted that it was harvested in the wild, and - unlike asparagus - from Switzerland.

Well I took life by the balls, bought it and made a Quiche with Camembert and Ramsons.