Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pirate Cigarrettes in the Yucatan!

In case any of my readers are still smoking, I have this curious bit of info for you.

On the way back to Merida from my recent excursion to the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, I stopped in the charming hamlet of Molas to buy some smokes at a roadside store.

When I lit the first one, I noticed that it was awfully harsh. Harsher than usual, anyway. So I had another look at the label and it was not in Spanish as usual, but in English. Intrigued, I looked at the side of the box and saw that they were made in... the Philippines!

How in the world did these nasty - and I don't mean nasty 'cuz they're from there, but because they were truly nasty, throat scratching, cigarrettes that I ended up throwing away - Filipino cigarrettes get to Molas?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Second Visit to the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon

In case any of my readers didn't get to read it the first time, I commented back in '06 on the privately run tourist attraction, the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon. The link is in case you want to have a look.

I mention this because I went again yesterday with friends visiting from Wisconsin. The family absolutely loved the tour and swimming in the cenote at the end blew their minds. For both adults and kids, the bi-lingual tour was entertaining, informative and fun. It is a true glimpse into Yucatan's past.

Since you all want to know some chisme, the hacienda is owned by the Lübcke family who bought the building basically in ruins about 25 years ago. The first thing Mr. Lübcke did was to replant the henequen plants on about 300 acres to get the plants growing. Then, he proceeded to restore both the hacienda buildings and rebuild the turn-of-the-century henequen processing machinery, gathering bits and pieces and parts from anywhere possible to get it operational.

This is the kind of initiative that Yucatan needs (not more people waiting for government handouts or suckling the official teat); everyone should make the effort to visit the hacienda and support Mr. Lübcke's project. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Friday, June 15, 2007

HBO Sopranos Finale

Since the internet is abuzz with all kinds of whining and moaning about David Chase's choice of ending for the much-lauded Sopranos HBO series, I thought I would get my two centavos worth in too.

I was shocked - as was my better half - when at the climactic moment in the final episode the screen went to black! Scrambling off the sofa to check if I had sat on the remote and checking the 'on' light of the satelite receiver, the amp and everything else, I then assumed it was the satellite dish readjusting itself (it does that around midnite every 24 hours) and thought what terrible timing!!!

And then the credits came on. No music. Interesting, since all the shows have ended with some sort of different and original musical background.

There was really no better way to end this since any ending would have had its detractors and there was no way to satisfy every or anyone. This way, everyone will be talking about the show for some time to come.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mexico Home to Pac Man Champ of the World

For those international readers who think that all news about Mexicans regards illegal immigration or refried beans here is a news flash:

Carlos Romero, a 27 year old from Pachuca, Hidalgo attended the Pac Man Championship held recently in New York City, where the 10 best players in the world played Pac Man on the new Xbox 360.

The first Xbox 360 Pac-Man World Champion, Carlos Romero, has been playing Pac-Man since 1986, and achieved a final score of 222,160.

This is the champion OF THE WORLD! And he's a Mexican! See what can be done if you try hard enough? This should be an example to follow for Mexico's troubled youth. Truly inspirational.

This is not the photo taken when he won, apparently. It is probably his school photo; they're always deadly serious photos, those official ID shots, no smiles allowed.

Congratulations to Carlos Romero - a modern day Mexican hero!