A Mercedes Benz & A Maid

The Mercedes Benz was at the entrance of my house. Your godparents are here!! my mum said.

Once per year I visit my parent´s home in Mexico. My godparents would come during this time or I would go to visit them as part of my holidays ritual.

We were all sitting at the living room, including Cristi “their maid” (horrible description I KNOW!) because she was part of the family and always go everywhere with them. But is she really part of the family or is it a nice way to say it? (Well, she has been living in the same house for about 15 years but she will never get an Alfa Romeo or BMW like my cousins). Suddenly the conversation end up being about I don’t know which family and their “cleaning lady” and how expensive it was becoming and that finally they will get health care by law, etc. I was sitting in the corner of the room thinking: This is just so…ridiculous? ironic? Or normal conversation? Which could be the word? Am I the only one thinking that while they talk, complain, compared rates and details about our cleaning saviors, one of them is sitting in the middle of us without a voice(because she will never say a word) and even if she say something, I doubt that my godfather will really listen. In my mind I was watching the scene in black & white like if it was a movie and everyone around Cristi was quite blurred.

I grew up in a flexible middle class family, I say flexible because sometimes we had no money and my mother will create dishes out of nowhere, and sometimes we were all on holidays renting a boat and private instructor for me to learn water ski, also I was taking lessons of everything: French, swimming, chess, rolling skating, classical guitar, electrical guitar, etc. We also had a “sirvienta” (maid); sometimes a permanent one living on the third floor of my house, sometimes when they missed their village, go on holidays there and never came back, we will get another one that will come twice per week to clean, sometimes we even had 2 so they also cook and do the washing, etc.

The one that we loved the most (as was coming to my house for about 12 years) was Rosa, we call her “señora Rosa” (Madame Rosa) as the word “sirvienta” sounds quite classist like “maid” . She was always very kind, and never forgot anyone´s birthday. We were always giving her the furniture we were changing in the house like, sofas, dinning sets, washing machine, stove, etc. Also I will always bring her something from my trips.

Laughing, singing and joking is part of my dad´s daily life (besides reading tons of books and newspapers) so he enjoyed Madame Rosa´s company and always practice the new jokes he learned on the tv or newspaper with her before using them on the weekend family gatherings, sometimes also he will explain her what was happening around the world.  He has a magical power when he speaks either by phone or in person, and will get things done for his convenience; he get discontinued books, special prices, etc. so he helped Rosas´s kids to get scholarships and special price in the English school as he convinced her of how important was this nowadays, and also encouraged her to force her kids to study until university. It was neither easy nor cheap but they made it.

When both kids got graduated and got good jobs I think we were as happy or more than our lovely señora Rosa. We felt like part of the accomplishment, If I remember well my father sent to the daughter flowers or extra money and also for the boy.

Doña Rosa was getting older and tired and our house was not shrinking so one day she announced she was not going to come anymore, my sister cried her a river! It was like losing her aunty. She continued to call us from time to time and in our birthdays, I believe that we didn’t return the calls.

Was she part of the family? I think so, perhaps in certain way. She had the keys of the house, ate the same food, we laughed together and felt part of her family successes, but when she left…she left.

 

Sahoro; snow trekking, snowflake & happy ending

Another day, another adventure! We took the gondola and went all the way up to the mountain to go down by doing snow trekking. It was quite confusing for the security guys at the entrance as normally people will do either ski or snowboard but they let us go.. the problem was when we keep going up and up and I started to feel vertigo and once we came out of the gondola and I look down to the mountain I was full of fear.

Here I am, a Mexican girl without experience in snow trekking, on the top of the mountain and with vertigo what a great combination!…suddenly a snowflake settled on my arm, I was absolutely astonished as it looked exactly like in cartoons and I took a picture of it to never ever forget how perfect it was and that it might be a sign of nature saying that everything will be fine so I made my mind and started to walk all the way down from the mountain feeling its ethereal consistency and capturing the beauty of the snow with my poor 5mp smartphone.

I do need to say that I had a short rehearsal for my snow trekking experience couple of weeks before with a funny ending.

Let’s go out to walk on the snow and verify the area as we will open the resort soon! I was not exactly fit so she was in the front opening up the path for the virgin snow. Me, well…trying to manage to get her same pace, don’t fall down and take pictures at the same time. Believe it or not I perfectly managed all of this and before getting back to the hotel as it was lunch time I wanted to take the last picture because the wind was making the powder snow fly and with the sunlight was just magical, but right after I took the picture and try to walk the last steps down leading to the entrance next to the restaurant, my snowshoes got stocked one into another and like in a slow-motion shoot I was going down, first on my knees and then for a fraction of second standing like a crucified person as my hands were into the poles straps and …puff in a blink of an eye my face was in the snow!! Then with some help to remove my equipment I managed to get up and realize the full restaurant with the entire ski and snowboard instructors were stuck to the big glass wall looking at me, laughing hysterically and taking pictures. That night was the first training I need to deliver for all of them at the packed conference room… well, at least all of them know me by now, I said to myself.

That night my introduction for the training was: Good evening everyone, my name is Abi, I am from Mexico and YES it was me today the one that fell down in front of the restaurant, the whole room exploded into laughter including myself. We need to laugh about ourselves sometimes, it’s healthy.

I can say that this day I came face to face with the snow haha and I like it.

Snowtrekking- There is always a first time
Coming down from the mountain
Need a break
Bloody scary
Vertigo time
The picture I took before falling down
Landscapes with my guide
In love with the shadows

Japan; a dangerous Mexican landed!

12313970_10153324932600888_3130647259952545521_nI was stopped by customs at the airport! Of course I was the quota of the day; a Mexican girl (dangerous) living in Thailand (double dangerous) and coming for the 1st time to Japan, it must be something suspicious! Even if my passport was full of stamps from all over the world.

In fact I was going there to train the staff of one of the resorts from the company I work with, but well, there is always a 1st time to be stopped and I found it quite funny, one more story to keep. NO marihuana, NO tacos, NO… porn (well… not sure about my phone). Officers were super nice but with their poor English they didn’t arrive to understand everything that easily, anyway I didn’t stay there more than 10 or 15 minutes. An apology from the officers and then I came out to meet my Japanese friend that was waiting for me with an ironic smile knowing something went wrong.

Walking through the colorful ails full of what looked like hieroglyphics (Japanese Kanjis) I was feeling like a little girl in a candyland; food, drinks, bread, candies, basically the airport in Hokkaido Island was looking more like a supermarket for me. We stop to buy a “food box”, such a cute and smart way to bring some food into the train that we need to take to our destination. My friend put her phone (old one) in a little machine and in a blink of an eye she paid electronically…such a normal thing for her and super cool for me, especially as her phone was not a smart phone, but still smart LOL.

I was carrying quite a big luggage as temperatures were expected to be below 0°C and that would be a huge change for my body as I was living in Phuket, Thailand (around 30°C). The train was very proper and of course I was the only foreigner at that moment taking the train in Hokkaido Island and going to the ski resorts that were still closed, such an adventure for me. My eyes were trying to record everything as well as my ears, I was super excited… such a lucky girl…and I didn’t need to pay anything!!Well… I did with all my extra hours and no days off later on but that was nothing compare to what is one of these experiences in your life.

A lady with a little food cart was walking along the train selling food and beer, and of course as a Mexican girl who loves beer and knowing my Japanese friend also does, we bought our can to enjoy our 2 hours trip. When finally arrived to Shintoku station another 2 girls were waiting for us, we pass to the mini supermarket to get…of course, more beer! And snacks, OMG I was absolutely happy – a Japanese supermarket, and it’s me, I am here!! Hey parents look at this – I wished they were with me but they were at 10,616 km in Mexico.

It was getting dark when we arrive to our location in the mountains and the General Manager came out to welcome me together with the few staff working at the resort before the reopening that would be couple of weeks later, it was fantastic to see and feel a resort that is closed, no heating, just basic lights, reception and bar cover in blankets, empty vitrines at the boutique…WOW a perfect scene for a horror movie!

They took me to my room and OMG it was a traditional style one with a TATAMI! This particular smell was floating in my room, it was the tatami material, I wanted to lied down and roll over like a panda, and it has this small table with chairs that had no legs and slide doors covered by white kind of paper…of course I am giving you my description as a western that didn’t know anything about it…if some of you are reading this thinking how ignorant I am giving the descriptions, please forgive me.

I came down and walk to the small restaurant where we were meeting, walking through the dark and cold corridors with no more sound that my own steps and breathing was interesting still not scary. I was privileged to have the opportunity to see how does it looks a well-known resort when it is still closed and I was ready to rock my time in there. Be careful everyone, a dangerous Mexican is in Japan!

 

 

 

 

Surakarta; Sola in Solo

I took advantage of this poor old men!! That’s what I was thinking when he hardly was cycling me in his little Indonesian tuk tuk to my hostel in Solo city. Actually the price was fair 30k for about 20 min. ride and I read on internet you paid for a taxi about that, except that this was a bicycle and I didn’t know it until I jumped in.

The trip by train from Yogyakarta to Solo was short and nice, the train is proper and there were 2 girls on my side very excited to talk to me while their kids were running all along the wagon.


Your room is right there in the corner, but first you need to take a selfie with me!
…it sounded more like an imposition than a request actually but I agreed after the “manager” of the homestay showed me little bit around and stopped right in front of the swimming pool, to ask me this. I don’t mind to take pictures with people but most of the time I know them for more than 15 minutes LOL.

WOW, that was definitely the smallest shower I ever seen (besides when you are a baby and your mom can put you in a bucket haha); I was trying to figure out how to get into as no more than my knees will fit in there. Ahhh I got it!!…that cube was supposed to be filled up with water and I needed to take the shower standing on the side…the guy said it was traditional Indonesian style. This place was so interesting full of traditional furniture and with a tower you can go up to sit, have a drink and contemplate the city, also there was a room with plenty of traditional musical instruments that some people come and play twice per week and a little stage in front of the swimming pool but they don’t do it during Ramadan so I was not lucky to see that.

Ferdian (the manager) suggest me to go to see the Wayan Orang (masked dance-drama) at the Sriwedari Theatre which I also saw on internet as a highlight for turists, but I told him that I didn’t feel very safe to be walking back alone as it might end up around 11pm and some of the streets that I need to walk through disnt look very safe, he kindly offer me a ride and I bought my VIP ticket that cost me the enormous quantity of 10k (USD$0.75). It was quite full and already had started, I could see on scene very colorful costumes and make up with a live orchestra and the dialogues were only in Bahasa as well as what the screen was displaying, anyway it seemed quite interesting and funny. I wished I could understand and laugh with the rest of the crowd.

Ferdian was waiting for me outside of the theatre and gave me a quick tour around the city to enjoy the avenues and lights of what was the sister’s city of Yogyakarta and eternal rival. I do need to say that I was expecting more like a village as I wanted to be relax,in quite places, in contact with the nature, etc. Obviously I didn’t do my homework and I end up in a medium city, but I always enjoy my life and what it brings me day by day, specially as I was kind of deciding many things last minute… part of the adventure.

Solo is an interesting name for the city as in Spanish means “alone” and I was actually traveling this way, by myself. For feminine the word used is Sola… so I was sola in Solo, but I liked it.

Borobudur; My magical homestay

It just caught my attention. That simple phrase: Enjoy the little things’. I was sitting on this wooden chair on the side of the little cliff above the river waiting for my dinner, and the lady cooking wrote me the Wi-Fi password on a small notebook where this phrase was printed on.

Well, that’s what I was looking for. It must be a sign from the universe, I told to myself. So I started enjoying my simple Javanese dinner lightened by a little candle and sweetened by the loud sound of the Elo & Progo rivers that come together here.

Then suddenly, somebody started talking to me. It was Soni, the owner of the homestay I visited.

“… If you would reincarnated in three animals. What kind of animals would you choose?”

He was doing this fun story game after my 1st dinner there and before I visit the famous temple of the area. I choose a black panther, then an eagle and finally an ant (even a dolphin was very present in my mind), Then he told me to imagine myself in a certain situation and asked me what I was feeling. I answered that I would feel lucky!.  Soni gave me the description of the 3 animals chosen regarding my personality which was very accurate and the definition of how I feel in life being lucky and thankful of what I have (that I believe is so true). Then I explained him that after looking for tons of places around for my holidays I end up choosing his place… He gave me a condescend smile and said that It might be his place which choose me!!

 At 4.30 am I woke up as something was disturbing my sleep. I can listen quite close the prays of at least 2 mosque announcing the time to have the meal before Subuh, yes, it was Ramadan and I was in Indonesia. It was already challenging to sleep in a narrow bed inside this kind of rustic bungalow which had not  a very trustable way to locked it, a gap between the window and the wall (made by trunks from where all the mosquitoes can pass through) and a wasp nest, yes that’s right a WASP NEST I said.

I know, I know! You might be thinking why the hell did I pick this place of all places? But it had that amazing vibe. To me, it felt kind of magical.

Let’s start saying that I work in this high end well known resort where it’s always filled with noise or music. It is a very cool place but for my work I am always surrounded by people and I have to mingle and socialize with others. Every day. Don’t get me wrong. That is something I love about my job, but in my free time I sometimes need that peace and quiet.

This place was offering me incredible view and beautiful green nature environments close to Borobudur temple without needing to be surrounded by many people, in fact I was their only customer. The Borobudur was a place that I was really wishing to visit since I saw this picture on an Instagram account.

 I was trying to go back to sleep as the night before I was feeling tired after my journey of travelling to get there. Then Soni asked me whether I was going to sleep early. Why?, I asked. He wanted to make this nice bonfire. Bonfire? I didn’t quite understand what he really wanted but it sounded nice and cool. So I told him I was wanted to join his ‘bonfire’.

He called the kids and basically ask a guy to put fire on by gathering some branches from the yard and we just watched them burning.

I must say, my western idea of a bonfire was quite different, but it was so nice. So simple. And that was it exactly that made that night so special.

 “Enjoying the little things, that’s what life is made off!!”

A crazy Mexican decides to write

I am a funnylicious girl who loves to travel the world so I am not sure I am Mexican anymore LOL. I am currently working and living in Asia and I love it; my heart already tastes like curry and my skin smells like Japanese Umeshu.

Photography, people, nature, details, laugh…I am thankful to be surrounded by all of this and I love to share my stories so even there is tons and tons of Blogs, finally I decided to listen to some of the people that asked me to write my stories, and here I am…let’s see how it goes.

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