Carl’s Travel Light Packing Suggestions

An envelope says "par avion"

      Editor’s note: For additional recent musings on packing, click here. Suggested Items: o Strong, comfortable running or walking shoes, with non-skid soles o Several pairs of sock. We prefer cotton. o Two pairs of slacks (denim is too heavy) o Women: dress or skirt (easily washed and packed) o Two shirts or blouses (long- or short-sleeved but modest) o Sweater, lightweight o Jacket (lightweight) or windbreaker o Rain jacket or compact umbrella (rainy season) o T-shirt or […]

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People's Guide Classic: Carl's Tips on Learning Spanish

Over the course of more than thirty years in Mexico, I’ve had the benefit of many amateur tutors to correct and refine my Spanish. When it comes to learning a foreign language, however, I am not a ‘quick study’. (For the life of me, I still don’t understand why the Widow Twankey is cross with her son.) In spite of all my work, there’s no doubt that rough spots, gaps and outright grammatical embarrassments still remain. Based on my own […]

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Election Heating Up

A fascinating article from The Washington Post about the corruption in Mexico’s school system and how this could spell trouble for the ruling party.  There’s also a growing protest movement among Mexican university students who oppose the PRI candidate. Lopez Obrador just rose to second place, so this election is going to be a hot one.

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Pre-paid Mexican Divorce

It’s a twist on the gift card that costs less than $500 dollars and is available in Mexico City at your neighborhood Oxxo store (Mexico’s version of the 7-11): the pre-paid divorce. The only catch is that you have to establish residency in Mexico City, be childless, and have no serious disagreements about money, property,  or legal issues with your current spouse.  Which makes one wonder why anyone who qualifies would want a divorce in the first place, but that […]

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Sing Your Heart Out: Chavela Vargas!

Sing Your Heart Out: Chavela Vargas In a recent post on this site entitled “La Rancherita”, Churpa included a rather offhanded link to a YouTube video of  Freddy Fender’s smash hit, Rancho Grande.  (Look carefully for the link buried in her phrase, “…without thinking of this….”) Churpa added that Fender’s song was “possibly one of my favorite songs ever”. Well, this is just the sort of provocative waffling that I simply can’t tolerate, especially in a website with standards-of-excellence as […]

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Mexico's violence doesn't scare off tourists | Seattle Times Newspaper

In a surprising turnabout, international tourism to Mexico showed a sharp increase this summer — a sign that tourists may be putting aside worries about the economy and fears of drug-related violence, analysts say. Foreign visitors arriving by air to Mexico jumped to 7.1 million in the first eight months of the year — up nearly 20 percent from the same period in 2009 — with most visitors coming from the U.S. and Canada, according to Mexican tourism officials. via […]

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A Perk of Our Evolution – Pleasure in Pain of Chilies – NYTimes.com

Some experts argue that we like chilies because they are good for us. They can help lower blood pressure, may have some antimicrobial effects, and they increase salivation, which is good if you eat a boring diet based on one bland staple crop like corn or rice. The pain of chilies can even kill other pain, a concept supported by recent research. via nytimes.com This might help you understand why eating chilies “hurts so good”.

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Weary of drug war, Mexico debates legalization | Seattle Times Newspaper

MEXICO CITY — A debate about legalizing marijuana and possibly other drugs — once a taboo suggestion — is percolating in Mexico, a nation exhausted by runaway violence and a deadly drug war. The debate is only likely to grow more animated if Californians approve an initiative on Nov. 2 to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their state. Mexicans are keeping a close eye on the vote, seeing it as a bellwether. “If they vote ‘yes’ to approve the […]

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Ebyline Wants to Create an iTunes for Journalism – NYTimes.com

the relationship between freelance journalists and the newspapers, magazines and websites they write for is archaic and inefficient (as someone who recently worked for a major newspaper, I can vouch for this). Freelancers have to cold-call publishers and then negotiate their own rates, then they have to invoice and manage their own billing and payment. Ebyline automates that process, handling all the billing and payment between the writer and the publisher. Freelancers can also “self-syndicate” by putting their content up […]

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Mexico Writer$ Needed

Hi Lorena and Carl! I just wanted to let you know that I'm now the regional Mexico editor for  http://www.facebook.com/l/113c8swSUxLJy2s7X-hRMrV9JyA;NileGuide.com  and that I have 15-20 paid writing positions available for writers living in Mexico.   The position pays a flat rate for two months ($250 US) and then moves to a minimum of $100, with a performance bonus based on pageviews.  I need two types of writers – Regional and Anchor. The Regional writer will write about a specific region […]

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