I took a quick trip and attended the presentation of Thelma Sandler’s new book: “Anclas para la Memoria” (“Anchors for Memory”); a compendium of scripts for theater written by Mexican writer Thelma Sandler.
The presentation was at Centro Cultural Plaza Fátima, where around 200 spectators gathered to see dramatic reading of several of the plays included in the book. It was a very nice event. I highly recommend buying the book.
Disclaimer: Author is my mom. But I paid for my copy of the book in full.
I used to watch a lot of wrestling growing up. Both WWF (Hulk Hogan is my hero) and Mexican wrestling which was on TV every Saturday night before a Mauricio Garcés movie. I even knew who the real Mil Máscaras was. And while my dad took me to a WWF event in San Antonio, I never went to the famous Arena Coliseo in Monterrey.
Until last weekend, that is. Jaco my brother, Bernardo my nephew, Eli my cousin, Ori his kid, and Danny my cousin headed to the beautiful arena for 4 hours of non-stop fake violence. And the best part: the main event was a 3 vs 3 fight featuring wrestling superstar Blue Demon Jr:
I’d like to clarify some of the rumors circling around the internet about a photo of myself in the ring with no shirt: they are true, the photo exists but will not be revealed. Unless…
Yesterday I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams: I climbed on the ropes of the ring at the wrestling venue Arena Coliseo. I was booed by the audience, they thought I was a heel. If I get 200 likes I’ll post the photo. (link)
– Marcos Kirsch on Facebook
As of now, we are well short of 200 likes, so the photo shall remain out of sight.
I flew to Mexico City last weekend. Here are some highlights:
The main reason of my lightning trip to Mexico City was to meet my new niece Galia, who also happens to be Ilan’s baby cousin. Lots of hair an big blue eyes as you can see in the picture. On the baby as well! She’s a cutie.
Jacobo and family, my mom, and I went to Xochimilco. People complain it’s dirty and not worth it. They are wrong, it’s great. We got there “early” (Mexico City standards) at around 10 AM and were the only people there. We made the strategic mistake of eating breakfast at the hotel which sucked because the food looked amazing there. On the other hand, the food was amazing at the hotel.
On our way back from Xochimilco we passed the legendary Estadio Azteca, where Pelé (1970) and Maradona (1986) both raised the FIFA Cup. We decided to stop and check if they have tours. It happens that they do.
We had a seven-course dinner that involved everything from mezcal to ants, all in tiny portions. The highlight of the night, in my opinion was the “Mole madre, mole nuevo” which is a little scoop of mole that has been cooking for (I shit you not) 562 days with an even smaller scoop of mole of a more recent vintage. You get a few handmade tortillas to scoop it up and that’s it. It was as good as you’d expect from something that had taken 562 days to prepare. I told the waiter that it was good and he can now bring me the full portion. He didn’t get the joke.
I installed a bunch of memory on the Mac mini, which makes editing video decisively less painful. To test it, I pieced together our clips from zip-lining throughout the Costa Rican jungle. This was on December 18th, 2013. The clips are short and to the point.
In spite of, or maybe due to, the nonstop rain that refused to let up during our stay, we opted for a water-filled activity on our first day. We thought that white-water rafting sounded like fun, and given our very limited experience with this activity, we signed up for a level 1-2 rafting trip. For those who don’t know rafting, it’s organized from levels 1-5, 1 being the easiest and 5 being for crazy adrenaline junkies. I know what you’re thinking – crazy, risk-taking Marcos only chose a level 1?! I guess marriage really has helped tame the beast.
In any case, we board the van with 8 other people and arrive at the training station by the river to get the show on the road. We spent a a few minutes learning the basic commands and instructions for how to stay in the boat and how not to drown and die, all while trying not to be distracted by the fact that we were surrounded by hens and roosters. Then, a bunch of rafts filled with people stop at our station. After a flurry of Spanish words get traded between our guys and theirs, Marcos and I suddenly find ourselves being separated from our group and being put on a raft filled with American frat boys and a skinny Tico by the name of Tony the Tiger. I thought that we were going to get to practice the basic movements and commands as our original guy had promised, but instead they threw helmets on us, and with a push, we were off.
Within about 30 seconds, we realized we were in for way more than we bargained for. Our raft mates operated like a well-oiled machine, having been rafting together for the past hour. They kindly informed us that each had already fallen off the raft into the rock-filled, super-strong currents of the river.
With commands like “get down!” and “row hard to the left NOW!” being thrown at us by Tony every 5 seconds, we had no time to process any of it… we were in pure survival mode. The Frat Pack was in adrenaline-fueled heaven, whopping and cheering the whole time. Somehow Tony the Tiger was able to maintain a conversation with Marcos, the only other Spanish speaker on board, the whole time. Marcos was mostly silent and looked even a little paler than usual.
After what felt like forever, we reached the end of the adventure with nothing shattered (except for our confidence). It wasn’t until then that I learned what Tony had been telling Marcos all along:
“There is way too much weight on this raft for a level 5. I’m going to ask them to pay me more.”
“If I bounce off of you really hard, don’t take it personally, it’s only to keep the raft from flipping over.”
“I much prefer marijuana to cocaine. But don’t get me wrong, I do plenty of cocaine too.”
“Did I mention this is level 5?”
Thankfully Marcos had the sense not to translate that last lovely piece of information for me until after it was over because he knew I would freak.
During the ride, and despite my futile attempts at recalling any sort of psychological wisdom about warding off panic attacks, I did find myself having a good time. I think it had to do with seeing Marcos’ facial expressions in that masochistic wife kind of way….. Maybe I’m a worse wife than I thought.
While the whole operation wasn’t sophisticated enough to keep the area clear of free roaming chickens, they did have a professional photographer running around the jungle with his expensive gear. Since we already overpaid for the CD, we might as well share a few with you. Click to enlarge (I recommend zooming in on Marcos’ face – we’ve discovered he has a “rafting face” that has not popped up in any other situation).
Following my father’s advice (who is also my husband’s domestic partner… we have an interesting family dynamic, but that’s for a different blog post), we stayed at a vegetarian, self-sustaining kibbutz-like hotel called Lands in Love in the middle of nowhere owned and operated by 19 Israelis (insert any number of jokes here). The place was surprisingly modern, with functional internet and nice looking furniture.
Though we were skeptical at first, we ended up loving the vegetarian dishes that they served (their soy hamburger is surprisingly delicious and similar to the real thing). Plus Marcos got to eat as much hummus as his little heart desired, which was fun for him and not-so-fun later in the room for me.
The rooms were set up in such a way that no matter where you stayed, you had an amazing view of the jungle around you. According to my dad there were monkeys all around us in the trees, but we didn’t end up seeing any.
During the day, the hotel organized several tours that we could attend – we went on a few, which will be described in separate posts.
December is clearly not the height of their busy season, because the place was deserted during our whole stay – there were maybe 10 other people in the whole place, which made for a romantic – if not slightly creepy – stay. All in all, we really enjoyed our time there and would recommend them to anyone desiring a vacation in middle of nowhere, Costa Rica.
After a decidedly slow year at The MKX®, the CEO, in a desperate attempt to revive this rapidly declining blog, has once again hired me as a freelance correspondent and sent me on an all-expense paid trip to Central America for some fresh material. I couldn’t turn down this offer, and that’s how I found myself deep in the jungles of the tropical and beautiful Costa Rica for four days of nonstop rain and nonstop excitement. As per my boss’s instructions, I will post about said exciting days in a series of blog posts spread out over several days in order to keep the ratings high and leave you, dear readers, on the edge of your seats desperately awaiting more (coincidentally this is the same strategy my boss used in the years leading up to our courtship – I’m still waiting for the good part).