Monthly Archives: December 2005

Christmas in Merida, Yucatan

Christmas in Merida is

  • Christmas ornaments in Sam’s Club and Costco but especially Sam’s Club (thank YOU Mr. Sam Walton) since mid July – early August. Yes indeed, when you go to Costco and Sam’s Club (especially Sam’s Club) to buy your megabags of Doritos and Cheetos and Barcel Jalapeño Chips and cases of beer and Coca for your guests at the beach house because it’s temporada, you will be greeted with Christmas ornaments and some Santa Clauses hanging around in the air conditioned bodega that is Sam’s.
  • Shopping in the Gran Plaza mall for clothes and shoes at Zara and Nine West now that those stores are here and us Yucatecans don’t need to travel to Cancun anymore to be ‘fashion’ although some of Merida’s wannabe elite resent the fact that anyone can now buy the same clothes they are buying, thus reducingthe advantage of status conferred upon them by their beautiful clothing (made in Indonesia by brown people tambien)
  • Ordering Pierneas Claveteadas and Pavo Envinado from your local purveyor of home made food ie Minelia or similar. you just don’t want to cook yourself and since the muchacha will be away…
  • If you live in the colonias populares (popular neighborhoods which are unpopular due to the fact that they are filled with poor, the indigenous and the undesirable masses that actually make up the great majority of Mexico, Yucatan included, although you wouldn’t know it if you watched Mexican TV but that is another story) you will be treated to people singing the rama which is a little Christmas song and dance number that a group of skinny brown kids will sing at your doorstep and you will give them money or something to make them go away and pester the neighbors. Think Halloween. Combined with religious Christmas imagery. Kind of a folksy Tim Burton-ish thing. This will never be done by the paler kid in Meridas wealthier neighborhoods, since this would be oh so not cool. Think “eeww”.
  • Aguinaldos, which are of course a retrograde Mexican concept whereby you pay your workers an additional 15 days of wages in early or mid-December, a benefit aquired by workers in times of slavery and ferociously defended to this day, although keeping the aguinaldo means that workers will never get a decent wage, since this will be too expensive at aguinaldo time. But the great majority who live with their hands and mouths open, waiting for someone else (el gobierno, el DIF, el IMMS, el patron, el santo, LA VIRGEN) would be most upset of you took away their precious third world aguinaldo. The politicians of course, as well as bank employees and others, get aguinaldos that range from 1 month of salary to 6 months worth of wages!!! Imagine that! Obviously, no one can raise the daily wage with these kinds of backward benefits. So the aguinaldo is used to compensate for the shitty wages paid throughout the year. Cool huh?
  • I will add more neurotic thoughts as they occur!

A New Site?

As an opening note, let me start by mentioning that my good friends the Campos were over the other day and mentioned that they had started a blog about life in Yucatan and why didn’t I try it? It was free (gratis – hasta puñaladas!!) and easy to set up.

Lo and behold, here it is. For the next little while I will try to be a little more frequent in my neurotic ramblings on life in Mérida. I say that because setting up a little issue every month or three was becoming a little tedious, and I was just not getting around to it, period.

For those of you wondering ‘de que demonios esta hablando este’ I would respectfully request that you visit to get the full background on what NotTheNews has been about for the last 10 years. Yes, 10 years. When culture shock after moving to Merida from Canada became too overwhelming and threatened to destabilize my mental health, my shrink suggested writing down my neurotic observations. And that I have been doing, on and off, for the last 10 years.

As always, like they are trained to say in Starbucks in the U.S. (not at the one in the D.F. airport) “enjoy”.