Monthly Archives:

January 2013

My Birthday Inundation and Subsequent Salvation — By Jennifer Shipp
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My Birthday Inundation and Subsequent Salvation — By Jennifer Shipp

My birthday was roughly three days after our computers, passports, credit cards, and luggage were stolen. I don’t cling to high birthday expectations, but birthdays can add insult to injury when injuries are in the forecast. This January 14th though, I felt confident that we had lived through the worst of it having survived a robbery, a highway encounter with Mexico’s police, and losing the brakes on our ...
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The San Francisco Supermarket Incident — By Jennifer Shipp

After having been despoiled of our computers, passports, credit cards, and some of our luggage last week, I’ve been forced to sit in a tiny hotel room to contemplate the situation in greater depth. I have limited access to the Internet, a few books, and my thoughts to keep me company. Once again, on this trip, I’ve been cast into Technology Time-Out. In the silent moments, I’ve spent some time thinking ...
Hairy Beans: Today’s One Ingredient Meal — By Jennifer Shipp
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Hairy Beans: Today’s One Ingredient Meal — By Jennifer Shipp

John is allergic to beef, so we were vegetarians for two or three years before John came down with a sinus infection that wouldn’t go away and our acupuncturist recommended that we at least include chicken broth in our diet. After years of not eating flesh, the idea of it was repulsive, but over time, we became vegetarian-chicken-eaters instead of just vegetarians. Vegetarianism is  like a religion. If I ...
Our Highway Robbery and Near Death Experience — By Jennifer Shipp
MexicoNorth AmericaTripsYucatan

Our Highway Robbery and Near Death Experience — By Jennifer Shipp

Several times on our way traveling south out of Merida, we had passed the police, stationed under an overpass stopping cars traveling back and forth. Often, we too, had been stopped, questioned briefly and then told to pasa or continua.In the Yucatan, the police do practically nothing. They drive around with their lights on all the time instead of turning them on when they’re chasing someone.  Four or ...
Spit Soup and Poop Crackers in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp
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Spit Soup and Poop Crackers in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp

On Wednesday we were robbed. We had to rent a car to cart around our things while we were getting new passports and of course the car we ended up with was the same P.O.S. Chevy that we had stuffed ourselves into over the weekend to go visit the family that had lost everything in a fire in Yaxachen. As we sat in a traffic jam in downtown Merida, stuffed into that tiny car again while trying in vain to find ...
Robbed and Violated by Chu Chi Loco and the Have Nots — By Jennifer Shipp
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Robbed and Violated by Chu Chi Loco and the Have Nots — By Jennifer Shipp

I learned a lot of new Spanish words out of necessity over the past three days while talking with the Mexican police, neighbors, and the people at the U.S. consulate. I haven’t told very many people  at home about the robbery yet because, once again I am without an Internet connection, or rather, this time, a computer. Thus, my thoughts about the whole ordeal have been suspended. They are in purgatory. ...
Ruined Part II: In Search of a Family in Yaxachen — By Jennifer Shipp
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Ruined Part II: In Search of a Family in Yaxachen — By Jennifer Shipp

We had driven for three hours to try to find the Cauich family whose house had burned down while they were out on a posada in Yaxachen, Yucatan. We had decided to give them some money, roughly the amount we would spend on a fun weekend “out” in the United States since our trip to the destination was both entertaining as well as educational. The newspaper article that inspired the trip didn’t show “before” ...
Ruined Part I: In Search of a Family in Yaxachen — By Jennifer Shipp
MexicoNorth AmericaTripsYucatan

Ruined Part I: In Search of a Family in Yaxachen — By Jennifer Shipp



We’ve seen Chichen Itza and Uxmal. We’ve even been to Palenque. We saw so many ruins in the Yucatan last year that it’s hard to remember which one was which.  Every morning we go jogging along the beach in Progreso. We’ve had plenty of sun and sand. We were going to go get SCUBA certified until Lydian caught an awful cold on this trip. So last weekend we had to be creative to come up ...
First World Bodies: Third World Furnishings in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp
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First World Bodies: Third World Furnishings in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp

I bought an air mattress before we left on this trip to Mexico, thinking that we were actually going to Guatemala. With the memory of Costa Rica’s various discomforts still fresh in my mind, I decided to scour the Denver REI for air furniture, hoping to find something that would cushion our delicate first-world bodies for the upcoming month in yet another third world country.I ended up in the camping ...
If Eddie Vedder Were the Vegetable Man: In Search of a Curandero in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp
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If Eddie Vedder Were the Vegetable Man: In Search of a Curandero in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp

Enrique left Cuba because of communism. He came here for better opportunities. He is not remotely strange. He didn’t shake any rattling objects at Lydian or blow smoke on her. Sadly, there was no chanting. But according to some residents of Progreso, Enrique is a curandero. A witch. Maybe I missed a crucial piece of evidence that he dabbles in the dark arts, but the portly fellow we spoke to who wore a polo ...
Stupid, Dead, or Unconscious in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
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Stupid, Dead, or Unconscious in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

So, we could still go see Tikal. Reading the Lonely Planet guide on how to get from Belize to Tikal and back, it sounds like no sweat. The problem is, though. I’ve also read that you shouldn’t wander away from crowds at Tikal. People will rob you and rape you even as you climb the steps of ancient temples.There are different types of violence in the world. We considered going to Israel, for example this ...
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Lydian – Day 16 – Dead Plants and Bitches on Rooftops

This morning I didn’t want to get out of bed for fear that I would get bored. It was also about 7:30 in the morning when I officially opened my eyes. As a general rule, I wake up after eight, no earlier. So I there I stayed, unable to decide whether or not to get up. I was in the process of lecturing myself about ‘being bored’ when I heard my mom begin her workout. Then, I went into a state of denial about ...
Grim News in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
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Grim News in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

Instead of buying souvenirs when we go overseas, I buy newspapers in the countries we visit. I learn little bits and pieces of languages recreationally (except for Spanish, which I’ve studied in greater depth) and the newspapers are fun to decipher, they earmark the current goings on and the photo journalism often speaks volumes in itself. Best of all newspapers are easy to carry. They don’t take up much ...
Women in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp
MexicoNorth AmericaTripsYucatan

Women in the Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp

I’ve been reading a book called Women of Yucatan by George Ann Huck and Jann E. Freed. Last year, upon returning from Mexico, I ordered some books by Oscar Lewis (The Children of Sanchez and Five Families)  an anthropologist who studied Mexican families. The books have made me glad to be an American. In Mexico, rape isn’t considered a crime if a woman agrees to marry her rapist.According to some of this ...
New Year’s Eve in Progreso, Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp
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New Year’s Eve in Progreso, Yucatan — By Jennifer Shipp

The fireworks went on until the wee hours of the morning. When John left the house at 5:45 this morning, people were still partying. Last year, in 2011, we were in Palenque on New Year’s Eve, trying to escape from the obnoxious evangelist whose fire-and-brimstone voice echoed throughout Progreso from 7:00 PM to midnight. This year was much quieter, but since we essentially sleep in the open air with windows ...
Visit During the Off-Season If You Can…and Wander — By Jennifer Shipp
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Visit During the Off-Season If You Can…and Wander — By Jennifer Shipp

Everyone seems very hung over and distant today. The streets are covered with trash. People are still wasted from their Dionysian escapades. I feel tired just congregating with them, probably in part because I didn’t get any sleep on account of them.Now that the New Year has hit, the on-season is starting here. Tourists are getting thicker along the malecon. More vendors have set up their wares along ...
Wrought Iron Breasts and Cats Traversing Rooftops in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp
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Wrought Iron Breasts and Cats Traversing Rooftops in Mexico — By Jennifer Shipp

I’m eating dates. That’s my snack of choice right now. Though they satisfy my hunger, they leave me emotionally unsatisfied. Perhaps I should have some peanut butter. Alas, there is no chocolate here that's edible for vegans. No bread. No jelly. And damn, I’m hungry.Lydian is finally feeling better. I can tell because she’s upstairs playing her guitar. A few days ago, I knew that she was still sick ...
Bruised Banana