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Turkey Talk-the country not the bird

May 16, 2015

I am still overwhelmed by the real Turkey and my previous perceptions. I’m even a little ashamed of what I had expected the country, and the people to be like. I had people warn me before departing, “You know that Turkey hates Americans.” No, I didn’t know that, and they were so very wrong. Much more to follow: on the charm of Turkey.

Directly upon arriving at our rented flat in Istanbul, a man yelled for me to come across the street and have a spot of tea with him. Okay, he was a Brit, but then he called over all the local business owner who were standing outside their shops and introduced me to them. He told me,”You never have to worry about your safety here, as all these nice men will be looking after you. These men are all in a Turkish mafia, but the very good mafia. They patrol this entire neighborhood and keep the streets safe and the prices of everything fair.” He then asked, “Why are you so nervous?” So I explained to the group that I was waiting for my daughter to arrive from the United States, and she was three hours late. They all seemed a little concerned but assured me that with the directions to our flat she couldn’t have gotten lost. By the time another hour had passed, one of the men thought it was a good idea to check his computer for the flight she was to arrive on, and so we all went inside for another spot of tea. At that moment, into the local coffee shop she walked with the entire group of Turkish men. I’m not sure who was more excited she had arrived safe and sound, me or the group of men. One of the men had spotted a blonde carrying a big backpack and yelled Donna at her, so she knew she had found a group of her mom’s new friends. Yes, we had a grand celebration.

To prepare for her arrival in Istanbul, I had gone to a little corner store and bought what I thought we should have to celebrate our adventure. I found great olives, pistachio nuts, cheese, and two bottles of wine. I studied their large assortment of wines and chose a red for her, and a white for me. The red being 50TL and the white 30TL. Now, please note I’m accustom to Mexican peso and thought a bottle of wine for three or five bucks was great, and according to the store owner very good local wine. Once back in the room with time to kill, I figured out the Turkish Lira to the dollar, not the peso and had to laugh at my spending spree. I had just bought her a twenty dollar bottle of wine, and everyone that knows me, knows I drink cheap wine. I will confess, our daily consumption of wine ruined our travel budget but made some wonderful and fun memories.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Serefe-Cheers!

Bottles of Turkish Wine, Istanbul

 

 

 

What’s Cookin in Mexico

January 16, 2015
 This is our wonderful cheese man, who delivers his fresh queso to the beach daily. He is also a great dancer and singer.
This is our wonderful cheese man, who delivers his fresh queso to the beach daily. It is by far the best cheese I’ve ever eaten, and it is my new addiction. Oh, he also is a fabulous dancer and singer.
Have a shot of tequila, and don’t turn your head away, these are perhaps one of the best kept secrets in Zihuatanejo. They are a true gourmet’s treat from the ocean, and are as much fun to eat as they are wonderful to eat. In Mexico they are called Percebes or Gooseneck Barnacles. They look like a small slug with a fancy fingernail, but taste better than spiny lobster. Take your friends along to enjoy the fun.
No, there are no pictures of tacos, tamales, or pozole, because everyone knows that the state of Guerrero has the best, and can be found on any street corner.
IMG_20150104_110855(2)Because everyone always thinks there are cockroaches in Mexico, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. This a a wooden plate a talented artist on Madera beach made for me. She and her husband thought I was a little crazy to want cucarachas on a plate, but I knew it would delight my daughter, and it was a huge hit with everyone on the beach.
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Next year this is what will be on the menu in the state of Guerrero and Michoacan. They have become so abundant they will be harvested for restaurants, and I can’t wait. Love frog legs?

Why I love Zihuatanejo

December 14, 2014

A picture says a thousand word.

This is the beach I pass every day on the way to my favorite spot. This artist creates his sand art on many of the Zihua beaches simply for our joy.

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Then there is the beauty of birds in the trees in front of my house. Love those colibir (hummingbirds) that feed in my little feeder hourly, along with many other birds.

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And best of all the wonderful friends and local people from around Zihua that fill my heart with joy, and my mouth with tequila for nights of laughter and dancing.IMG_0103

La Playa

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Last but not least the life in Mexico that makes my heart go zing. IMG_0231

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The beauty of Christmas in Zihua, filled with poinsettias and pinatas.

 

 

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IMG_0337                                                             Then the men that really make my heart go zing.

 

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas from my country to your.

 

 

 

Birthday Fiesta

November 18, 2014

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor torrential downpour can stop a birthday beach party. Especially when you have two demanding waiters waiting for you to blow out some candles, slam a shot of tequila, and may even expect you to dance on the table. To say nothing about the mention of a man jumping out of my cake.

If you know Mexico, you know it is unusual for it to have days of rain in November. Okay, even if it rains, it will be clear and sunny in an hour, and you won’t even notice it rained. Not so on November 11th, it rained buckets, and more buckets, even the streets were flowing clean water about ankle deep, and dark clouds enclosing the entire area. I still had hopes it would clear and a 1 o’clock party seemed possible. Around noon, I got a message from an invited friend and she told me, “I guess you know the cake has been delivered, and you have to come.” I messaged back, “I know, but I might have to swim.” At about 12:30, the rain and wind really kicked in, and I thought no one is that crazy to brave this weather for a party. I might not need a boat, but I will have to hike up my pants.

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Not only did I make it there on time, but was amazed that all these wonderful people would come out for my birthday. I must have the best friends anyone could ask for, or at least the craziest friends. I do know the truth was; they couldn’t let Chuy and Jorge ( our fablous friends and waiters at Madera) down, as it was really their party. We laughed, drank, ate delicious cake, drank a bit more, and I received some wonderful gifts.

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The best gift of all are these wonderful friends. So if you ever find yourself in a foreign country, and it’s your birthday, be prepared for the best birthday you may ever have.

Oh, the big cake with the man jumping out—He sent his apology that he had an accident along the way, cake crashed, and he was in the hospital with a beautiful nurse, and was so sorry he couldn’t make it.

Viva Mexico !

Read Great Banned Books

September 26, 2014

My new list of this weeks adult banned books, and ones I hope everyone will buy and enjoy. I’m sure many of you already own, or have read several as some are classics, but have been banned for one reason or another.

Beloved — Toni Morrison, 1987–sexual content

The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood, 1985–anti religious

The Color Purple — Alice Walker, 1982–violent

The Lovely Bones — Alice Sebold, 2002–frightening

Lady Chatterley’s Lover — D.H. Lawrence, 1928–

Speak — Laurie Halse Anderson, 1999–glorifies drinking, cussing, premarital sex

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings — Maya Angelou, 1969–encourages deviant behavior

Read, Enjoy, and Cherish a good book!

 

Banned Book Week

September 24, 2014

Oh how I wish one of my books would hit the banned book category. I for one have and will read anything I’m told I shouldn’t read.

This years list of most read banned books is so laughable I had to share some of those that have been banned.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson–penguins of the same sex

 A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein–causing disobedience

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling–too much black magic

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell–inappropriate for teens

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson–deals with death

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank–sexual content

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak–too scarey for children

 

Some of my favorite authors are on the banned list–like Hemingway, Vonnegut, John Green, Margaret Atwood, Harper Lee, to name a few. Today I bought three banned books that I haven’t read.

How do you feel about banning a book?

Excitment in Mexico

May 12, 2014

As many have already heard on Good Friday we here in Zihuatanejo had a 7.2 earthquake. However, there was minimum damage for one of that scale. It only left us with shattered nerves for a few days.

Because I am a true Mexican at heart, and live by mañana, it has led to a few problems with immigrations. This year I finally went to see about getting a permanent residence card. This led me to seeing a flag on their computer, and was told I needed to leave the country before my 180 days were up, or pay a very hefty fine. So I did. I spent a few days with my daughters and then returned to my apartment in Zihua. As I entered my building, I was greeted by a horrid smell, and the closer I got to my door I was turning green. The electricity in my apartment had been off for ten days. Any advice on how to remove rotten odors from a refrigerator will be appreciated. I have used ever cleaner known to man, and it still gags me when I open it. I have even gone so far as to burn incense inside it, soap and water, vinegar, baking soda by the box full, lemon juice, commercial cleaners strong enough to take ones breath away, and I am now using coffee grounds, and a hunk of charcoal.

Oh, then we had a tropical storm carrying so much rain it was overflowing the streets. As soon as it quit raining, we had another good shaker that woke everyone at 2:00am. It was only a 6.4 so once again no damage other than shaking nerves. In the last four days there have been one hundred aftershocks recorded, but only a few felt.

Today, as I went to leave my apartment there was a swarm of bees. I mean a huge swarm, and it came down into the tree directly in front of my doorway. I found it quite fascinating as it happened so quickly. There were two big clumps with hundreds in the air. Now, a bit nervous because we have all heard of killer bees (what ever they are) I shut my door and gave them a few minutes to see what they would do next. When I looked back out one of the globs was gone, or moved up with the other, and the air was a still filled with bees and buzzing sound. There was no way I could leave my apartment with that many buzzing bees, so I yelled to my neighbor, and he said he’d call the firemen. Shortly thereafter a man with a bee hood came to check it out. There were also two young boys with him and they were screaming, and swatting their shirts as bees were getting angry from the smoke the bee-man was creating with his torch . I was watching all this action from a crack in my door. I don’t know which would have been funnier to see the boys swatting bees, or me on the floor peeking out a little crack. Bees are gone, where I do not know, but this mass slowly broke apart and left the smoky area for better air.

And that my friends is why I love my life here in Mexico. Perhaps it is the weekly adrenalin rush, but I am never bored.

Donna Morang's photo.

Bees Come Down

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