Thursday, May 05, 2005

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all our South of the Border friends. We once went to Tijuana on May 5th and found ourselves in the middle of a parade. It is a special holiday in Mexico, and their parades rival most of our small town parades here in the U.S. They had high-school bands with color guards and majorettes, firefighters and their trucks, horses and riders in colorful costumes, local dignitaries and beauty queens riding in convertibles. It reminded me of every parade I had ever seen in my home town, except that most of those faces had traces of the Mayan Empire in them.
There is a market in Tijuana, mostly catering to tourists, in which you may buy all sorts of trinkets and souvenirs, clothing, leather goods and foods. You would do well to keep your wallet locked up during these forays, since the goods are often inferior and high priced. Save the shopping for the department stores and better restaurants; you will save money as well as intestinal strife! Most of the restaurants and hotels in Cancun have health regulations; they have their own water supply and it is clean, but if you eat or drink anything from a street vendor, you may expect to spend the better part of the day in a rest room.
On another trip to Mexico, this time in Cancun, I failed to obey my own advice. We took a bus tour to Chichen Itza (which is well worth the time) and on the way back, the bus stopped for a late luncheon in a road-side place that was (according to the tour guide) approved for tourists and supposedly clean. Tromping through the jungles plays havoc with my appetite, so by the time we stopped, starving as I was, I ignored the small voice in my ear urging moderation. I ordered, among other things, soup. It was very good, but that night, I was made aware of the folly of my ways and the folly lasted for the better part of 2 days. I will not bore you with the gory details; suffice it to say I know whereof I speak.
One day we went into Cancun City and our goal was to buy souvenirs and gifts. We found a wonderful leather-goods shop, which was managed by a young woman from the US. The "in" leather of the day was eel-skin, and they had plenty of it. I settled on a purse that doubled as a briefcase, and paid what I thought was a very good price for it. Three weeks later, back home, I spied the exact same piece in a store here for $25-30 less than I had paid in Mexico. Caveat emptor!

17 comments:

Christine said...

I am so glad to be reminded of this celebration. I am a Dallas girl originally so there was always a reminder of the special hispanic celebrations. I love Cancun and Chichen Itza is worth the visit and enjoyed reading your Mexican adventures.

Thanks for revisiting my site and the compliments on the photos. I have just posted about Berlin if you are interested.

See ya soon.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

About 30 miles south of Tijuana my wife and I were at a small shop that sold rugs and serapes. My wife pawed through about 4 rugs and came across a six-shooter with an 8-inch barrel. So we didn't try to hold the place up. We were outgunned.

Angie said...

The first time I went to Mexico we did a little shopping in Tijuana. The street children were so pitiful all I could do was cry. It was horrid with them begging and following us down the street! It is not a good memory. To this day I can still feel the icey cold fingers of a little girl about 4 or 5 years old tugging on the hem of my shorts asking me to buy her "chicolets". :(

vicki said...

My daughter and I had done fine with food and water and prices for 5 years running on Isla de Mujeres, small island off Puerto Juarez near Cancun. Then I talked FG, the new husband into going against his better judgement- "I'll get sick!"- and we ate some funky fish and thought we would all die. I spent the week on pedilyte. Finally I tried to go snorkeling, puked in my mask, drew hundreds of tiny fish- a lovely experience. I have a feeling FG is not going back. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Weary Hag said...

Thanks for taking me on this mini-tour! I have never been to Mexico but you described it so well that I felt like I made a quick visit.
Tourist prices ~ they'll get you every time!

anne said...

Hi Kenju. I'm here via Michele. You got a lovely blog here!

J&J'sMom said...

What happens in Tiajuana stays in Tiajuana...glad you got better. I'll celebrate here at Don Pablo's where the chips are hot and the water is clean ;0)

Here via Michele today ;0) Hello!

iliana said...

Hi Kenju - thanks for stopping over my site today. I have many, many fond memories of Cancun. Actually Christine (who posted up thread) and I went there several years ago - what a blast we had... swimming, shopping and visiting Chichen Itza.

franchini said...

It certainly sounds like a colourful place and an experience to visit. Enjoy your weekend.

J&J'sMom said...

twice in one day! back again via Michele...hello!

metten said...

I got invitations to events for both Cinco de Mayo and the National Day of Prayer. I think I am right smack in the middle between those two events...Keep up the good work kenju!!

FTS said...

Good ol' Montezuma's Revenge. When I went to Puerto Valarta I was sooo careful not to drink water or eat anything that wasn't cooked. I drank cokes, beer, but I made my mistake with the frozen margaritas. I failed, in an entire week, to use enough common sense to realize the only way to make them frozen was to use ICE.

It wasn't pretty.

I'm here via Michele to say hi, BTW. :)

melodyann said...

I thought you were supposed to HAGGLE in Mexico? My brother took me just across the border when I visited him in Arizona, and I was in shock at how poor the city was. My brother haggled for everything... he got lots of good buys.. I was too embarassed to try it.

here via michele

phoenix said...

Here via Michele again, but I come here anyway ;)

I have never been west of the Ole' Miss... I know I am missing alot... sheesh I need to get out more!!

Dawn said...

Hola! Michele sent me.

Mike said...

Hello Michelle sent me.

vegemiterules said...

G'day Judy,
Phew I finally got here. Thank-you for the visual about Mexico, just an aside, I live in Victoria, the people that live in the Northern states call Victorians - Mexicans, as we live south of the border. Sorry to hear about your experience with the soup, and as you said "buyer beware". Have a great weekend.