Sunday, October 07, 2007

Home Now

I got back about 7:25 last night, having taken a taxi from the airport to my front door (luxury). Of course the first few hours were spent loving on the cats who seemed to have a whole lot to tell me about their week. They were extremely vocal and I feel like I walked in and ran my mouth all night talking back to them. Camille especially seemed to have a report broken down into hours because she ran her mouth all night and now all day since I woke up. Evidently there is a lot I need to attend to. Camille is the boss. Phoebe woke me up at least 4 times during the night (with the nose pat thing that I love so much) to catch up on loving. Sonny insisted on going out into the backyard after dark but evidently just did a reconnaissance mission to make sure all was well and then asked to come in again. How wonderful to walk into a house where I was missed!

I slept until 9:30 which is really unheard of for me but god almighty it felt so good especially after Friday night which you will just have to wait for! I swear it will be worth it!

I am now doing laundry and need to get out to the grocery store and am trying to do my expense report for the trip so I can get it to Sam tonight for approval before he leaves again for Santiago Tuesday. The hotel bill was all-inclusive and I have to break it down line by line and use my electronic translator to know exactly what charges were for what cost center (OY!) but I have to get it in so I can get the reimbursement and get it to the credit card company before I get charged interest.

Blah blah blah. Stuff you don't really care about. So I will tell you about something easy while I get my next few posts outlined.

Currency. This is art. Here in the US we get so accustomed to looking at pennies and nickels and dimes and quarters and all the paper stuff that it is mundane. We don't see it as art. But I think currency really is art. I go to another country and the paper and coins that make up the currency are a treat for my eyes. Here is a bit of Mexican currency:

I don't know if it reads but in the middle left of the 20 peso paper bill and lower left of the 50 peso paper bill there is a small transparent window. I think this is really cool. Also the coins have different metals ringing the edge. And they are HEAVY - really substantial. FYI in the picture above you are looking at about $4.00 US. I think. Math is hard Barbie! I had a difficult time with the exchange rate which is pretty much 100 pesos to one US dollar but for some reason made me tend to overtip (sorry Sam). Tipping is very big in Mexico. You can't go to the bathroom without tipping. I am so serious. The simple math made my brain scramble. In Japan tipping is not welcome and considered an insult (???WTF???) but in Mexico if you pee in an airport bathroom there is a person stationed there who brings paper towels so you can dry your hands even though you could get them yourself by reaching 6" to your right and tipping is expected and in fact they are quite aggressive about it. Seriously agressive. For instance in a restaurant bathroom the attendant will put out a piece of paper towel with two coins on it and it is expected that you will tip. And no receipt. Mexico seems to be the exact opposite of Japan. I was never sure what was expected for a pee trip so I just left whatever coins I had. I am sure I was a stupid gringo but I did try. If you know you are going to travel please google tipping customs as it is different in every country and very rude not to know what to do. I will admit that I didn't leave a customary tip for the housekeeping staff at the hotel. I should have but I didn't and so I am fully prepared to go to hell.

Anyway, the currency is fascinating to me. As are the tipping customs. Here in the US the only person I overtip is my hair guy (yeah - I only go about 3 - 4 times a year but he only charges $25 for a cut and it's incredibly cheap for a great cut and good conversation so he always gets $10 so almost 50%). Also I know he has to pay for all of those tatoos and piercings somehow and I live vicariously through him since I am a weenie unlike Sam who has 2 tattoos although he has yet to show me. And they are ON HIS FEET PEOPLE! Not like I have to look at his ass!

But I digress. From currency to tipping to my boss's alleged tattoos. I need a nap evidently.

Hopefully tonight I will get some posts drafted to catch you all up on the week while it is fresh in my memory. The pictures and videos are downloaded so all I have to do is try to describe Mexico which I think might be impossible as it was so wonderful. Keep up with my posts as I will do them by day and Friday night was the most wonderful of all so you need to read in order. I know I can't do it justice but I'll try. Sam and Michael you totally missed out.

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