Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock
Deep fried turkey – compliments of Michael at Jax.

Living in a foreign country with an eclectic mix of neighbours gives us a wide choice of holidays to observe.  Next Thursday the 22nd of November is Thanksgiving for our American friends.  We have been invited to join in the festivities – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and all the good stuff that we eat when Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in early October.

It’s a bonus – two Turkeys Days within six weeks of each other! 

Revolution Day in Mexico

Then November 20th is Mexican Revolution Day complete with parade and other special events.   We happily honor all Canadian, American, and Mexican holidays.  We are equal opportunity celebrants.

Night of the Kings parade – Lawrie loading up on candy.

Sometimes that has its advantages, and sometimes disadvantages.  An American friend of ours from the island is currently in the process of renewing his passport.  He and his wife work most days, with Monday being his only day that he has to take care of tasks that require interfacing with bureaucrats.  He was informed the American Consulate in Cancun was closed on Monday November 12th for Remembrance Day.  Fair enough, that makes sense.  He was also told the American Consulate was closed on the following Monday November 19th in honor of the Mexican Revolution Day.  And I suppose that makes sense if there are Mexican nationals working for the American Consulate, but if you are the customer wanting service it can get a bit annoying.

Searching on the internet for Mexican public holidays produces a list that covers statutory holidays, civic observances, and religious festivities giving local people a reason to celebrate every month of the year.In December the celebrations start on the 12th with the Day of the Virgin Guadalupe and the festivities continue until the Night of the Kings on January 6th.Parades, music, good food, and lots of laughter.It’s great.Canada and the USA on the other hand have fewer festivities but still manage to include a long weekend every month with statutory holidays.It is frustrating for employers in any country who must pay premiums for employees to work on statutory holidays, but a nice change of pace for the workers. 

Another American tradition that we have been exposed to is the famous Super Bowl parties hosted by Charlie and Mary Simpson, featuring a pig roast and some type of game called “football.”  Maybe you may have heard of this game?  It seems to consist of dozens of over-sized, well-padded men piling on top of a leather ball, and then patting each other on the butt when disengaging from the pile.  Confusing to say the least; I’m just there for the camaraderie and the food.

We Canadians have also learned the finer points of playing another American pastime called Cornhole.  This game is called many things, corn toss, bean bag, bean toss, soft horseshoes, Indiana horseshoes, but in Kentucky or the southern part of Ohio, the game is passionately referred to as Cornhole.  For the last seven years Janet and Dave Davison have hosted this fun event on Isla Mujeres.   Starting around noon mixed teams take careful and very deliberate aim at a slippery, slanted board with cloth bag filled with whole kernel corn, measuring six inches by six inches and weighing an official sixteen ounces.   The fierce competition rages all day, frequently ending after dusk, played out under the lights of the ocean-side patio.  It is a winner take all battle culminating in the presentation of the coveted trophy.

Other times of the year we celebrate the well-known (at least to us) Canada Day on July 1st and in a very neighbourly fashion also celebrate US Independence Day on July 4th.  Then, because Mexico is now our home, we celebrate Mexican Independence Day on September 16th.  For added flavour we and a number of island friends also celebrate Robbie Burns Night on January 25th in honor of our Scottish ancestors, and St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th for our Irish forefathers.

By now we are so confused on our heritage and our traditions we don’t know if we are Canadian-American-Mexicans, or Mexican-American-Canadians. 

Does that make us a C.A.M. or a M.A.C. and does it really matter?

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