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Small towns Maggie Van Ostrand

Expatriates are way ahead of the game. They're already in the places other people want to be, small Mexican towns. Small Mexican towns provide interesting fare — one might observe a 10-inch wooden vi... read more

An Evening in Paris with Mom Maggie Van Ostrand

Someone was wearing Evening in Paris perfume the other day, and the scent instantly reminded me of Mom. I haven't smelled Evening in Paris since we lost her, yet its fragrance transported me back to ch... read more

Mexican Samurai Maggie Van Ostrand

In the mid-sixties while others were espousing peace, love, and rock and roll, Gaby Shiraga left Japan and came to Mexico. He spoke only Japanese, ordering his first foreign meal by miming a chicken la... read more

There's something about Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

A Maya myth, as recorded by Alfonso Villa R. in Quintana Roo and recently reported to me, tells us that God created a number of human couples, each with the racial characteristics of the group to which... read more

El taxi, or el toro? Maggie Van Ostrand

Hemingway said there are two types of spectators at a bullfight: those who identify with the bull, and those who identify with the matador. When a bull is properly lined up for the kill, it is called ... read more

Mexican eye for the gringo guy Maggie Van Ostrand

According to the show business trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," the megahit TV show whose stars are known as The Fab Five, will soon have some light-hearted compet... read more

Mexico City visit: your money's no good Maggie Van Ostrand

Ever walked into a room crammed full of strangers? Take it from me, it's quite wonderful when the strangers that the room is crammed full of are Mexicans. It's even better when the room is in Mexico. ... read more

Day of the Dead or alive Maggie Van Ostrand

In some countries, this time of year is referred to as Halloween and in others, such as Mexico, it's The Day of the Dead, even though, technically, it lasts four days. (In Oaxaca, the Day of the Dead b... read more

The five senses of Frida Maggie Van Ostrand

Frida Kahlo was a captivating artist and an intriguing, seductive woman. If we hadn't figured that out from the many books written about her, we would certainly have gotten the point from the motion pi... read more

Seeking new husband in Mexico? Mr. Charm is penniless Maggie Van Ostrand

One of the many reasons Mexico truly is a kind of paradise is the freedom she affords foreigners who relocate there. Mexico is like the Statue of Liberty, raising an inviting beacon of light to those s... read more

Where did the word 'gringo' come from anyway? Maggie Van Ostrand

When expatriates leave their homes in Mexico to visit their places of birth, they sometimes playfully refer to their original country as " Gringolandia." Where, I wondered, did the word "grin... read more

Mrs. Baldwin of Missouri teaches all about Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

When sixth-grade teacher, Dorothy Baldwin, sent an email asking for permission to use my story, "The Day I Photographed Josefina's Family," in a class project about Mexico, I said yes, and requested sh... read more

My Mexican daughter-in-law: the bride wore green and white and red Maggie Van Ostrand

“Be careful what you wish for,” they say, “you might get it.” That may be true most of the time, but not this time. My son has given me what I wished for — he just married a Mexican girl! K... read more

Ajijic friends and the perfect fiesta Maggie Van Ostrand

Someone was playing a Spanish radio station full blast in the car next to mine as we stopped at a red light in Hollywood California. The cacophony of mariachi brass, not a shy sound, bombarded my ears ... read more

Josefina, a woman of Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

Living in New York and Los Angeles, while good for one’s metabolism, is not that great for one’s patience. Who has time to stop and smell the roses? Who stops? Who smells? What roses? When I moved... read more

Las Posadas: the nine days of Christmas Maggie Van Ostrand

Not that the commercialization of Christmas has totally taken over Mexico, but it seems that Santa and Rudolph might be slowly gaining over the Holy Family and the Three Kings. Once upon a time, there... read more

Meant for each other: a Mexico love story Maggie Van Ostrand

Americans choosing to live south of the border are often surprised that the romance of Mexico isn’t limited to its people. Of the many lovely experiences during my first years in San Antonio Tlayaca... read more

Trolling for truth Maggie Van Ostrand

It has been said that a snide American reporter who was interviewing a former President of Mexico, asked, “Mr. President, is it true that you own the controlling shares of TelMex and isn’t that ill... read more

Accommodations to die for: Mexico cemetaries Maggie Van Ostrand

A report has been circulating in the newspapers about the crushing lack of space in Mexico City’s public cemeteries. The solution currently being employed is to dig up the deceased after seven years ... read more

Broken Berlitz: learning Spanish Maggie Van Ostrand

While lazily drinking in the Spanish language, courtesy of the PBS Destinos series and U.S. State Department audiotapes, with a little Berlitz for a chaser, it occurred to me how easy a language i... read more

Nine steps to a happy life in Mexico Maggie Van Ostrand

Moving to Mexico isn’t a matter of simply relocating to another country with your belongings. No indeedy. Of the many experiences you will have south of the border, the most emphatic will be Cultural... read more

Mexican village Maggie Van Ostrand

This story could take place in any village in any state in the paradise that is known as Mexico. The names of the people may be different, but the stories will be the same. Once upon a time, my housek... read more
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