Food of the Gods

Some time ago, I wrote a post about Belizean food. But I didn’t mention all the delicious sweet things that the country produces – from Black Cakes to Coconut Tarts to Rice Puddings to Tres Leches (Three Milks) Cakes. And with most of these desserts packed full of sugar and soaked in evaporated or condensed milk, their sweet deliciousness is only matched by their sugary and fatty unhealthiness. Wash that lot down with a bottle of Coke and ponder why 60% the locals are overweight and 15% have diabetes… Continue reading

The Living Maya Experience

As I’ve mentioned previously, the southern Belizean district of Toledo is home to the majority of Belize’s Maya inhabitants, with around 20,000 of them spread over 60 villages.  And while many of them seem happy to live in their thatched wooden houses and tend to their beans and corn on the farm, living the kinds of rural lives their people have lived for generations, some of them are slowly embracing the kinds of cultural tourism that the nearby Garifuna people have been pioneering. Continue reading

Christmas in Mexico – Playa del Carmen

Day 5

After another ferry journey (again accompanied by adverts for duty-free jewellery at Diamonds International, and Band Aid singing their absurd and patronising song about Africa), I’m in Playa.  As the largest town on the Riviera Maya, and the second-biggest on Mexico’s Caribbean coast (after Cancún), Playa is tourism central (it’s impossible to imagine what these places would be like without all the tourists – Sleepy? Empty?).  The statistics of the whole region defy the imagination – Cancún’s first hotel went up in the 1970s, yet it now has 30,000 hotel rooms and 4 million annual visitors.  And Playa, which in the 1980s was a small town of 1000 people, now has a population of over 150,000 (not counting all the tourists).  The sandy streets of the 80s are now paved avenues full of traffic, with hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops.  And being the high season, it’s very busy with people like me, as well. Continue reading

Food

Belizean food is simple, unpretentious, filling, and meaty.  It’s an amalgamation of the cuisines of all the different ethnicities that make up the country, plus a combination of foods based on the country’s unique location – a kind of Central American vs. Caribbean mash-up.  If you’re after delicate, sophisticated meals that are a marriage of presentation and taste, go to France.  If you want heady aromas and spicy tastes, make a beeline for Thailand.  If you’re a vegetarian, Indian food’s perfect.  But if you just want to be filled up cheaply with protein and carbohydrates, meat and bread and rice, you can’t go too wrong in Belize. Continue reading

Independent Man

First of all, apologies for my tardiness in updating the blog – it’s the last week of March already (where does the time go eh?), and the last post was at the end of February, one whole month ago.  Having moved into a new apartment at the beginning of March, I’m now spending most of my free time doing all the stuff that my erstwhile land-lady used to do for me.  And it’s taking up much more of my life than I realised.  I now have to be a grown-up big boy and do everything for myself again and, despite being looked after in my last place for only three months, I seem to have lost the ability to do anything more complicated than shower for myself.  That short time of being waited on hand and foot has left me totally dependent, as helpless as a new-born puppy, and I now have to re-learn all those independent tasks I used to take for granted and do automatically.  That’s despite having done all those things for myself for many years, and positively prided myself on my so-called independence. Continue reading