Lost in Translation: The Bum Dollar

1.IMG_0664Does the above sign in the Golden Zone crack you up as it does me? Every time I see it, I have no choice but to chuckle. Why in the world would anyone want to trade in their pesos for bum dollars?! I’m so glad for this fairly new business, as it brings joy to my day every time I drive by.

In my world, exchanging money for bum dollars would mean getting fake dollar bills. Granted, the phrase “bum dollar” isn’t one I’ve heard, but it does logically follow a pattern (see the definitions below, from McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs). The people at BumDólar even advertise “the cheapest dollars on the planet!” 😉 

Cheap Dollars

I haven’t used the BumDólar exchange service; they may be completely wonderful. I post the photos tongue-in-cheek. Sometimes things are just lost in translation. What sounds good in one language can be hysterical, or offensive, in another.

For years I’ve said that my ideal job is to be one of the people who laugh themselves silly while choosing brand names like BumDólar, Calpis soda, Barf detergent. or Shitto sauce.

Dictionary Definitions and Sample Sentences

bum: false; phony.
“That’s a bum dollar.”
“He gave me bum advice.”

bum rap: blame or punishment that is not fair.
“Teachers are getting a bum rap from people who say they don’t work hard enough.”
“She was sent up to the penitentiary on a bum rap.”

bum steer: misleading instructions or guidance; information that is not correct< or not helpful; a misleading suggestion.
“Her suggestion to eat at that little Italian restaurant was a bum steer.
“I got a bum steer from the salesman, and I paid far more than I needed to for a used car.”

bum’s rush: hurrying someone out of a place.
“The young customer in the jewelry store was getting the bum’s rush until he pulled out an enormous roll of bills.”
“Bill got the bum’s rush at the restaurant because he didn’t have a tie on.”

bum someone out: to disappoint someone.
“This menial job really bums me out.”
“The bad movie bummed out the entire audience.”

bum something off someone: to beg or borrow something from someone.
“Can I bum a cigarette off you?”
“You can’t bum anything off me that I don’t have.”

bum around (with someone): to spend or waste a lot of time with a particular person.
“He used to bum around with Ted a lot.”
“They bummed around together all summer.

bum out: to have a bad experience.
“Are you going to bum out again tonight?”
“Man, is he bummed out!”

bummed (out): discouraged; depressed.
“I feel so bummed; I think I need a nice hot bath.”
“When you’re feeling bummed out, think how much you’ve accomplished.”

bums on seats: if a public performance or a sports event puts bums on seats, many people pay to go and see it.
“This production needs a big name to put bums on seats.”

the bum’s rush: the action of getting rid of someone who is not wanted.
“The photographer was given the bum’s rush by two policemen guarding the office.”
“Why do I feel I’m getting the bum’s rush? Where are you off to?”

Tell me, what are some of your favorite “lost in translation” phrases here in Mazatlán?

So So Excited!

FINANCIAMIENTO A HOTELES 1In a meeting at the Convention Center this morning, the Secretary of Tourism and Banorte-Ixe Group launched a new 200 million peso financing program with the goal of improving the tourist offerings and experience here in Mazatlán.

The program aims to create incentive for the building of 700 new rooms (a 10% increase over existing hotel space), with the ability to serve an additional 400,000 visitors annually. The program will also extend loans with favorable terms to tourist enterprises and small businesses in the hospitality field.

Loans will be from 500,000 to 9.5 million pesos, on credit without collateral, at interest rates of 11%, to be repaid over three years. Applications must be submitted between September and December 2013.

Oh so happy to see our state investing in our local businesses and families! May this money do a world of good!

El Cártel de la Chatarra/Arrest of the Junk Food Cartel

Cártel12_568Here’s one news story that I absolutely love! This morning in Mexico City the Alianza por la Salud Alimentaria (Alliance for Nutritional Health) reenacted the arrest, for violation of human rights, of four “Captains of the Junk Food Cartel”! Bravo! It’s about time!

Cártel03_568Arrested were the Coca Cola polar bear, the Cocoa Krispies’ elephant, Tony the Tiger, and Ronald McDonald. They are accused of violating the rights of Mexican children under two principal charges: manipulating and cheating children via the publicity and marketing of their products, and introducing food and beverages that contribute to the obesity epidemic of Mexico’s children. During the arrest, officials explained the specific criminal actions of which each of these captains is accused:

  • Tony “the Tiger” falsely tells children that eating Frosted Flakes will lead to success in sports, despite the fact that 40% of the weight of the product he peddles is sugar. He is held responsible for displacing oats and amaranth from the diet of Mexican children.
  • Melvin “the Elephant” is accused of distributing Cocoa Krispies, a substance containing 35% sugar and four artificial colors, three of which are associated with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder in children. Yet, this is the most advertised product on television.
  • Ronald McDonald, alias “the Clown,” entered Mexico in 1985. He now operates out of 400 locations in Mexico. He uses toys, images of parties and healthy, happy play to induce children to ingest high volumes of fat, salt and sugar. He has previously been fined in Brazil for his nefarious activities.
  • “Coca” the polar bear, is accused of being one of the major causes of both the obesity and diabetes epidemics facing Mexico. Each 600 ml bottle of the Coca Cola that she deals contains more than 12 TABLESPOONs of sugar. Coca’s reach has penetrated every nook and corner of the country, far and wide, and has helped make Mexico the world’s largest consumer of soda. Despite Coca’s agreement with the World Health Organization not to publicize to children under 12, she has conducted numerous campaigns aimed at that very population.

Héctor Bonilla, one of the arresting officers, stated, “The unregulated presence of multinational corporations in the food sector is truly criminal. I welcome the attempt to counter the millions and millions of dollars in publicity of these organizations, with horizontal communication and the moral authority of those who are motivated by social conscience to collaborate, rather than by economic interests. New technologies are fertile territory for cunning and the unveiling of great lies to the public.”

Such a public demonstration seems to me a great way to raise awareness among kids. Congratulations to the arresting officers! Kids, let’s get outside, breathe some fresh air, and run around! Try some new, whole foods and you’ll be surprised just how good real food can make you feel!

pzqfmruAbove is one of those photos recently circulating the internet, of a school science project that illustrates the quantity of processed white sugar in various commercially available bottled beverages.

Fruit Loops, GMO and artificial coloring



Street Vendors

Part of what we love living here in Mazatlán is that you can buy almost anything you need so conveniently. “Ambulatory” street vendors walk, push carts, ride bicycles (many of them modified to carry their wares) or motorcyles around town, selling their wares. There are also many open-air stalls that make eating healthy (or not) quite convenient.

This blog post is just a collection of a few street vendors photos. Enjoy!

Ice cream vendor on Avenida del Mar

Our favorite fruit seller, who works our beach

And one of his competitors

Gelatinas, or jello molds

Various refreshing drinks, this photo taken in Guadalajara

Giant burrito seller, again in Guadalajara

Vegetable seller: Nice to be able to buy healthy street food!

Another kind of fruit seller, not the ambulatory kind 🙂

Flower and plant vendor

Ceviche (fresh fish or shrimp with lime juice and some vegies) and Tostilocos (pack of tortilla chips covered with salsa and sometimes beans or cheese or meat)

Sugar cane and cane juice vendor, in a market

Broom and mop vendor

My favorite calla lily seller, at sunset on the malecón in front of our house

And this beach vendor came up to our house to measure my laptop and make me a custom-fitted computer bag out of beach trash (chip, candy and cookie wrappers)

Mazatlán International Center

Mazatlán is gorgeous, and I am very proud to say that we now have a state-of-the-art convention facility, the Mazatlan International Center. Please think about booking your next association or organizational event here in our gorgeous hometown!

The Mazatlán International Center is designed around an aquatic theme, and is the largest facility of its kind on the west coast of Mexico. It is located just north of town near the marina, and the facility’s largest hall accommodates up to 4500 people. Here is a video of the facility.

You see the marine theme from your first approach to the convention center. The fence street-side undulates like the waves of the ocean.  If you come by bus or park your car, you are greeted by shaded areas that evoke seagulls.

As you enter the facility there is a gorgeous open-air canopied space, which is constructed in the form of a manta ray.

As you enter the main building you walk between metaphorical whale ribs.
The artwork is fantastic. On the outside wall is, according the Guinness Book, the world’s largest mural, a three-dimensional mosaic of tile work called the “Sea of Cortez.”

The entry hall holds a painting that takes us on a whirlwind tour of history, and the hallways contain gorgeous paintings as well as glass sculpture, all echoing the maritime theme.
The ground level includes four meeting room named after the islands of Mazatlán: Isla Pájaros, Isla de Venados, Isla de Lobos (each accommodate 300 people), and Isla de la Piedra (room for 130 people), plus a large exhibition hall.
The mezanine has four meeting rooms, named after the beaches of Mazatlán: Playa Olas Altas is the largest, holding nearly 400 people; Playa Cerritos, Playa Sábalo and Playa Delfin each hold nearly 200 people. There is also a business center on this floor, with private meeting spaces, full secretarial services, and two restaurants.

The top floor holds the Gran Salón Mazatlán, which divides into six smaller rooms or, in its large format, holds up to 4500 people. The Carnaval meeting room also divides into three smaller rooms, and in its larger format holds 630. This floor is also where the kitchen is located.