As a newbie blogger, it’s nice to get some traction with an audience, and in this regard I’ve been very fortunate to have some of my blogger buddies announce my blog on their own well-travelled sites. Hat tip to Gary Denness, Steve Cotton, and John Calypso, all of whom wrote very nice posts when I (finally!) got El Gringo Suelto off the ground. And thanks to those friends who have included a link to my blog too.


I was recently nominated for the “Liebster Award,” by Will Coxford of thecactusthedonkeyandthebrit, where he details his life as a young Brit in DF. The Liebster Award is a sort of blogging chain letter to give younger, newer blogs a little visibility, according to the rules below.

Official Rules for the Liebster Award

  1. List 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the questions designated by the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Place YOUR nominations for the Liebster Award! Nominate five (or more) other bloggers that have fewer than 200 followers. Make sure to notify them via comment/email, etc. [I’m almost surely going to violate the 200 follower rule, but my nominees are terrific!]
  4. Make up a set of questions for those nominated bloggers to answer.
  5. Display the Liebster award badge on your blog!

Liebster Award Questions
Eleven Facts About Myself
1) I’m thrilled whenever a stranger in Mexico shouts ¡Joven! at me to get my attention. 2) I have one of the most eclectic music collections of anyone I know, with classical, norteños, opera, rap, jazz, rock, house, folk, techno, salsa, big-band, among others. 3) Now having taken the plunge into blogging, I’m enjoying it tremendously. 4) I broke my left pinkie in a motorcycle accident a couple years ago, and it’s still a bit crooked. 5) I love going for dim sum on Sunday mornings. 6) One of my favorite things about working from home is not having to slog to work in the snow. 7) When I renovated my house, I built my shower with two separately controllable heads on opposite sides of the stall so my lover and I could shower together with different water temperatures. 8) I tend to overcomplicate things which is one reason my posts are so sparse. 9) I lived in Houston, TX for a few years while I attended university. 10) I lived in Los Angeles while I attended business school. 11) For Halloween l like to light candles along the front stairs, blast Bach’s Tocata and Fugue on the stereo, and answer the door by flinging it open dramatically to reveal myself dressed in black, with a long cape, wearing a skeleton mask and speaking in a ghoulish voice. Kids either love it or are terrified.

Me as Ghoul for Halloween low res_MG_8986

Questions I have to Answer to Accept the Award:

1. If you had to, would you chop off an arm or a leg?
It’s funny you ask that question, because the other day I was in my basement rummaging around for a recently-acquired pneumatic “cutoff” tool. This tool runs at 22,000 rpm (kind of like a dentist’s drill) and has an abrasive disc on the end which is designed to swiftly slice through steel. I bought this tool to cut through some particularly stubborn, rusted bolts on my truck, and every time I pick it up, I remind myself that this is probably the single most dangerous tool that I own, and that it could cut off a finger in a flash if I’m not EXTREMELY careful. That got me thinking about Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who had to cut off his arm in order to escape the boulder that had trapped him a few years back. It seems like a really gruesome predicament, particularly as he only had a dull pocket knife to do the deed. I don’t like the idea, but I think if I were in his predicament, after exhausting all possible alternatives, I’d do the same. But I’d rather not find myself in such a predicament. Obviously.

2. What goals do you have before the end of 2013?
I’m hoping to get my little Toyota truck running reliably enough that I can drive it from Boston to DF, with plenty of adventures between. In particular I’m interested in checking out small Mexican towns between the border and DF, along with some larger places too. While I’ve rented cars at times in Mexico, I’ve never had the freedom of driving my own and doing whatever I felt like on whatever schedule suited me at the moment. I also haven’t seen much of the northern part of Mexico. I may also want to camp along the way, though probably only in the USA.

3. If you could remove one animal from existence, what would it be?
Do microbes count? Can I eliminate HIV? I think that would be the one life form I’d pick to get rid of. It has taken many a friend, sickens others who are still with us, and it is a massive health problem around the world. And even though treatment options have improved dramatically, many can’t afford them. And if HIV doesn’t count as an animal, my second choice for extinction is the varroa mite, which is killing off honeybees around the world and wreaking havoc on agriculture as a result.

4. Favorite smell?
My favorite smell is the coffee I make in the morning, hands down. I particularly like the dark roasted Oaxacan coffee I get at Jekemir on Isabel la Catolica, but sadly I’ve run out.

5. If I were to give you 1 million pounds / dollars right now, what would you do?
I’d accept the pounds,  thank you profusely, take you (and your GF) to an incredible dinner, and then buy a fabulous house or penthouse in DF, which could probably be had for about half that sum. After that I’d throw a party in your honor, complete with mariachis, and lots of interesting Mexican food and liquor. Then I’d invest the rest of the funds. The house or penthouse would be located in either Condesa, Roma Norte, Colonia Cuauhtémoc (that triangle formed by Reforma, El Circuito, and Villalongin), or possibly Coyoacán Centro, though I tend to hang out more near the first three areas.

Blogs I Nominate for the Liebster Award
Babsblog – I always enjoy Barbara’s upbeat and artistic view of the world.

ImagineMerida – Lee and Paul are renovating their dream house in Mérida.

TheMexile – A repatriated expatriate Brit who lived in DF, takes fabulous photos, and now lives back in the UK with his lovely Mexican wife.

SetFreeinMexico – Bruce and Mary give up the snows of Minnesota for life in Mérida and now Puerto Vallarta.

¡Viva Veracruz! – John Calypso’s life in Xico Veracruz and Puerto Escondido.

Questions to My Nominees

  1. When did you first consider moving to Mexico, and how long did it take to make the dream reality?
  2. What do you like the best about living in Mexico?
  3. What’s your favorite Mexican movie?
  4. Who is your favorite Mexican musician?
  5. What’s your favorite and least favorite Mexican foods?

Thanks for reading!