Get Deported From Spain And Go To Mexico Instead

After years of working at UPS and, more recently, studying evenings at the local community college, Sam finally took a vacation. He got two weeks off. He bought round-trip tickets to Spain, with an arrival in Madrid and departure in Barcelona. He planned to backpack around, maybe even visit Paris or Morocco. He was detained … Read more

How To Cut A Mango Mexican Style

I spent years cutting the mango in bizarre ways until I met Sam. We sat in plastic lawn chairs on the sunny balcony of a hotel in Tulum, Mexico, drinking coffee and eating mangoes. I gave a clumsy yank on the peel and he burst out laughing. “Man, what are you doing?” “I don’t know, … Read more

Lessons From The Road In Placencia, Belize

Adventure travel, backpacking – whatever you want to call it, it’s much more than a great time. It’s a great learning experience. When I took a year off university to travel in Europe one summer (I spent the rest of the year earning money for it), I learned more about the world than during my … Read more

Leaving Mexico City On The Long Bus Ride South

Why isn’t the bus moving? I strain to look out of the foggy window from my aisle seat. After two hours stuck in late afternoon Mexico City traffic, we finally start rolling, the bus grinding its gears up the mountain pass between the two big volcanoes on the way to Puebla: Popocatépetl, which recently re-activated, … Read more

Two Soccer Finals In Mexico

Silence swept through the anxious crowd. Sweaty fans stopped pushing for a moment and erupted in cheers. Toluca had scored in the final shot. Loud soccer chants began, along with hugging and jumping. Beer, red t-shirts and baseball hats flew through the air. We were watching the soccer match in the alameda – the shady … Read more

Pure Evil Is A Potato Thief

It could have been anywhere – it just happened to be in Mexico. Despite loads of bad press, the vast majority of people here are good, hardworking, decent folks. But the exceptions can be exceptionally bad. The Hidalgo market is a crumbling structure about twice the size of a high school gymnasium. It sits on … Read more

My Mexican Father-In-Law

Machismo manifests in different ways. Sometimes it’s outright sexism – not letting your wife work, loudly demanding your breakfast, cheating on her with prostitutes. Sometimes it’s a societal problem, like lower salaries and poorer job prospects for women. Sometimes it’s far worse, abuse. Or sometimes it means that a 28-year-old daughter still lives with her … Read more

Country Line Dancing In Mexico

Club music pumped and bodies bumped on the top floor of the packed cantina. Girls wore miniskirts, tight tank tops, and lots of hairspray. Colored lights spun and lasers twirled. But suddenly the music stopped. The house lights came on, and a slow, twangy beat started up. The dance floor parted like the Red Sea. … Read more

A Dry Weekend In Mérida

A dry weekend in Mexico – yes, hell had frozen over. In a country of all night cantinas, beer for breakfast and tequila all day, the government decreed that no alcohol would be sold from Friday at midnight to Monday morning the weekend of July 1st, the day of the presidential election. They come every … Read more