Friday, July 25, 2014

Estaban, the Banana Tree and the Rat

We have a banana tree and just don't know how to care for it.  Esteban came to fumigate our house and while here we asked if he knows how to care for banana trees.  Not only did he know how to care for banana trees but he asked for a shovel so he could work on our tree.

We thought we had an insect loving lizard in our house....

It wasn't a lizard in our was a rat.

Esteban returned and promised not to leave until the rat was dead.  He left with one very large dead rat wrapped in plastic.

We know someone who loves rats and used to keep them as pets.  However, the word "rat" has come to mean many negative things as well.

We learned the following about "rat" from the internet:

"If you call someone a rat, you mean that you are angry with them or dislike them, often because they have cheated you or betrayed you"

"If someone rats on you, they tell someone in authority about things that you have done, especially bad things."

"If someone rats on an agreement, they do not do what they said they would do."

"If you smell a rat, you begin to suspect or realize that something is wrong in a particular situation, for example that someone is trying to deceive you or harm you."

"Mall rats are young people who spend a lot of time hanging around in shopping malls with their friends."

"You use rat-a-tat to represent a series of sharp, repeated sounds, for example the sound of someone knocking at a door."

"People sometimes refer to the group of journalists and photographers who follow famous people around as the rat pack, especially when they think that their behaviour is unacceptable".

"If you talk about getting out of the rat race, you mean leaving a job or way of life in which people compete aggressively with each other to be success."

"A rat run is a small street which drivers use during busy times in order to avoid heavy traffic on the main roads."

"To dress (hair) with a rat or by teasing"

"The lowest form of human being. a backstabbing snitch".

A remote access Trojan (RAT) is a program used by the intruders to take complete control of the victim's computer for the purpose of performing various malicious activities. Unlike viruses and worms, RATs can exist well before detection and even remain after removal. They operate in a stealth mode and are usually rather small so as to avoid detection.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Canal Paintings and Baguettes

We went from the ride around the lake to learn more about the ride around the canals.  We learned they needed a minimum of 10 people for this ride and there was only one couple waiting.  We opted not wait since we needed to return to the temple.  Walking along the canals, we located the 3-D paintings that the Days had told us about.

We aren't sure what this monument below represents but it looks official so we took a photo and will have to look into it some time.  You can see the bridge crossing the canal behind it.

We rode the bus ride to our area of town and stopped at our local baguette store for some sandwiches. We really like this place.  Next time we will take photos of the sandwiches!

Symbolic Locks

We noticed the fence by the Laguna del Carpintero had locks hanging from the fence not serving any practical function so we inquired about them.  We were told that the locks were a tradition here after the tradition of the locks in Rome.  He said that a couple comes to the Laguna on their wedding day and they have a lock with their initials printed on them.  Together the couple put their lock on the fence and throw the key to the lock into the lake symbolizing that their love and marriage can't be undone.

When we were in Florence, Italy we saw locks on a fence lining the oldest bridge and asked about the locks.  We were told that at age 18 both male and female are required to give two years of military service.  Once they have finished their military service, they take the lock they had used for their military locker and attach it to a fence symbolizing they have finished their responsibility.  We were also told that at one point, the officials of the city removed all of the locks from the public property but the tradition continued and the fence was once again covered with locks.  Probably we have a photo of those locks....somewhere.  We do!  We love technology!  Here is the photo we took in Florence in 2005.

Our Ride Around the Laguna del Carpintero

We aren't sure of all of the food this man is selling but we took the photo because of the huge chunk of ice in the cooler on the front of his cart that he will make into "raspas" or snow cones.  We asked him how to get to the boat ride around the lake.   

 We went to the Laguna del Carpintero to experience the boat ride around the lake that the Days had mentioned to us.  They forewarned us of the loud music on the boat but we forgot our ear plugs.  The ride was normally 50 pesos for adults but the INAPAM price was 30 so that is what we paid.
In the distance is the foot bridge to get from one side of the lake to the other
plus the boat finishing with another group.
The lake really smells foul close to the loading dock--
like the bathroom next to it dumped right into the lake
The huge Tampico Bridge that spans the Panuco River
The young men guiding our tour but not the boat.
We had a Captain driving the boat.
We began to see the iguanas in the trees.

The guides said they will make this airliner into a library--
we are not sure if what they said was fact or fiction.

This iguana was comparatively smaller than
some of the others that we saw.

Not sure what else has been discarded in the lake.

The next few photos show the huge iguanas
resting on the branches of the trees. 
We can see at least one iguana in each photo.
Can you find them?

Never travel without your wrist bands!

We know there are crocodiles in the lake
but we aren't sure if we believe the stories our tour guides told us about them.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gigantic Mangoes

Paul goes Home Teaching to the Mesa family and they have mango trees.  They are very kind and willingly share their bounty with us since we love mangoes.  They told Paul they bought the house they did because they fell in love with the mango tree that produces these big mangoes.  We happily live without a set of scales here but actually wished we had scales just to weigh these particular mangoes.

They look like little grapes clustered together--
but they are much much bigger!

Here's the tree with gigantic mangoes on it.  
Notice that the second floor of the house zags around the tree--
they did this intentionally to preserve the tree.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wire Down

One day on our way to the temple we walked by this live electrical wire and we noticed that it was lying along the road like this for the next two days.  We were happy when they finally got it attached back to the house.  Fortunately, someone had wrapped the ends of the cable with black electrician's tape so that helped us feel like someone was aware of the seriousness of the situation--though they seemed to take their own sweet time getting it fixed.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Our Walk Along the South Beach and Pier

apparently "raspas" are shaved ice

newly resurfaced pier

the pier's end

back to where the pier begins