One little corner

El Ciprés (the cypress) 56/47

(Plus a happy potato,  just for kicks)

Quelques coins de rue

El Leon (the lion - also subtitled, maybe, La Esperanza, or hope) 54/59
La Exposicion (the exhibition) 56/63
La Prosperidad (prosperity) 56/53
La viña (the vinyard) 54/53
La cañabrava (the reed) 54/51
El Chivito (the kid (as in the baby goat)) (also, according to Wordreference, a chivito canadiense is a meat, egg and salad sandwich) 56/49
La Casita Azul (the little blue house)60/43



So, one of the coolest things about speaking a language badly and visiting another place where that same language you speak badly is also spoken (but with a twist), is that you learn some new regionalisms.  (Of course,  the same applies even if you don't speak the language badly.)

The first thing I noticed and asked about was the greeting of "Hola, buenos." Without the "dias" part. I asked if it was just to avoid having to precisely identify what time of day it is, which got a laugh and a shrug and maybe. What it does do, though, is identify you as Yucatecan to the rest of the country.

Then, earlier today,  I showed someone something I bought (more on that later), and when I explained what it was and why I had bought it, he said, "Que padre" (which literally means, what a father, but which actually means "how cool!"). So we riffed a little on that, and then he told me that a Yucatecism is to say "Está padreton" (which is totally not something I had ever heard before). So for a list of padres in an increasing order of awesome:

Que padre


Está padreton (Yucatec only)

And then, which I had forgotten:

Poca madre (motherless, or totally fucking awesome, or ocasionally that really sucks)

And one I just learned tonight is "pelena."

It basically means damned, as in "pelenas moscas," or "damned mosquitos," though it can also be used as a noun, as in "que onda, pelena?" Or "what's up, pelena?"


More corners!

El Radio (the radio) 64/43
La Serpiente (the snake) 62/67
El Venadito (Bambi!) 58/67
Los 2 Camellos (the two camels) 66/49
El Tivoli (Tivoli) 62/45
La Casita Azul (the little blue house)62/43
El Chuy (some kind of yellow breasted bird, maybe) 60/71

Despite my love

Of the plural -i ending for Latinate nouns ending in -us, this is not one I had ever considered.

Also, please note that while I have intentionally sought out penis displays in the past, I happened upon this one wholly unexpectedly.


The ruins at Uxmal were a lovely day trip, and (I think) my first ever wait by the side of the highway for a bus you're pretty sure will show up eventually.

It did.

You've heard of Chichen Itza

Now meet:

Corners, corners everywhere

La Argolla (the ring) 62-43

El Faro (the lighthouse) 62-41

La Rosca (Now this is a tricky one. It certainly looks like a bee, but the only reference to a "rosca" I have actually heard of is the "rosca des reyes." It's the Mexican version of the king cake or galette des rois. In Mexico, it's bread though, and the person who gets the baby in their slice is responsible for hosting a party, complete with tortas, tamales, and whatnot, a month after the Epiphany. So my theory here, bear with me, is that since this bee is reminiscent of the Bourbon bee symbol, and since the Bourbons were kings, the "rosca" here somehow means king. Or bee. Oe cake. Or some combination of all three. I'm grasping at straws here!) 66/41

La Cucaracha (the cockroach) (get up and dance) 74A/41

La Nachi Cocom (the last independent Maya king of the Sotuta region) 74/41

La Flecha (the arrow) 80/41

La Copa de Oro (the golden cup) 82/47

La Gotera (the gutter) 77/45

Unas esquinas

El Sol (the sun - I think this is the right corner) 70/50
El Conego (the rabbit) 70/67
El Alamo (the Alamo, I guess - haha! Tricked you. It means the poplar. And somehow "Remember the poplar" isn't quite as catchy.) 68/71
El Violin (the violin) 68/67
La Cruz Roja (the red cross) 68/65
El Lirio (the iris) 68/63
La Guyaba (the guyaba - a kind of tropical fruit) 70/73
La Cruz Blanca (the white cross) 66/69
La Duquesita (the little duchess) 60/61


Cultural differences

After much bathroom confusion at the bus station today,  I did manage to find the ladies'.

I ordinarily would be using this nomenclature with reservation (see picture below), having walked into my share of men's rooms (intentionally and otherwise) in my time.

However,  in response to my joking reference to the urinal, a lady told that no, it wasn't for men; it was for kids.


Corners and intel

I met an artist in the park this morning who sells paintings of the corners I've been so obsessed with.

Sadly, it seems that while there were originally some 700 corners, only 4 to 500 remain. So I'm disappointed both that I won't see them all (time constraints) and that I can't see them all (a different kind of time constraint).

That said, I have arranged for an exciting treat for myself. Details to come. If they come.

Anyway, so far today, there have been:

La Tortuga (the tortoise) 64/57
La Tucha (the monkey, sort of) 667/57

My new artist buddy also filled me in a bit more on the story behind the images. Turns out, the corners always had names, since basically forever. Nobody used street numbers. But it wasn't until much later that the actual pictures went up.

Their slow disappearance is considered by some (read: me) a minor tragedy.


On Sundays, they shut down the Paseo de Monteja and some other streets and everybody rents bicycles.

Between the fact that most are clearly not regular cyclists and the bikes are ill-fitting and poorly maintained, it is ridiculously adorable. 

Primer Encuentro de Cocineras Tradicionales de Yucatán

So this awesome food festival ran all weekend and was such big fun I schlepped myself all the way up to the middle of nowhere on the bus not once but twice.

The idea is to showcase Mexican regional specialties as well as unity through difference (I may have misunderstood that part).

The food corridor was lined with wood-burning ovens and all of the tortillas were made fresh by hand or by hand and tortilla press.

Last night I had some awesome food from Ligia Araceli May Baas, from Sanahcat (a polcone, relleno negra and a salbut). Today I had some so-so chaya based dishes from one vendor and an amazing carnitas taco (a la Michoacan) from Antonia Gonzalez Leandro.

Carnitas. Drool.

Somehow last night

I found myself in a cave, under a parking lot, tucked away in downtown Merida.

I'm not quite sure if they were natural formations, aqueducts, pirate hiding places or all 3.

That Mexican sweet tooth

As I had the misfortune to discover two decades ago, the Mexican sweet tooth extends far beyond dessert. The breads here are much sweeter than what you'll find north of both borders. Plain yogurt isn't quite plain. It's sweetened (as I found out the hard way, trying to make my own tzatziki).

And if you ever find yourself in a bakery, you'll likely notice that everything (and I mean everything) comes with a fine dusting of sugar.

Case in point: Ham, cheese and chili stuffed pastry. Topped with sugar.