Category: America & Me

A Question of Tolerance

It was just a question. The kids always listened to the adults. They’d heard, then wondered. What did the adults mean when they said that one of the Smith girls was adopted? Which one? Seven-year-old Mary Ann knew what adopted meant since she’d adopted her cat Socks from the British family who left town and couldn’t take... Read more »

No Bananas in a Banana Republic

 “ Yes, We Have no Bananas“ Before the Banana Republic® clothing chain appropriated the term, the appellation banana republic was ascribed to various countries beginning with Honduras. In the early 1970s a Peace Corps volunteer was assigned to work with the union of the United Fruit Company in the banana company town of La Lima, Honduras. The... Read more »

The Tex-Mex Education

In 1961 as an 11 years-old kid, my family moved from Princeton NJ to Bunker Hill Village in Houston, Texas. It’s wasn’t a village, but one of a group of probably red-lined communities that was known as the villages. Coming from a New Jersey elementary school with religious and racial diversity, I was plunked into... Read more »
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The Beer Bottle Burglar et al.

Curacao 1983-1986 The maid heard the Beer Bottle burglar from her snug, en suite bedroom located outside the family’s home. Behind her solid wood, securely locked door, she heard the pop of a bottle top followed by a glug sound. The question was, what to do? It wasn’t her home, she only lived there as... Read more »

The Juice of the Tarantula; or The Placebo Effect

Everyone Knows When Ana arrived one hazy day in Mexico City with a hacking cough, she assured me that it was totally her fault. She’d put on damp clothing that morning and this error in judgement was why she developed the horrible cold by midday. “Everyone knows you get sick if you put on damp... Read more »

An Expatriate's Guide to Vermin, or How the Hell to get a Bat out of the Refrigerator

Guayaquil, Ecuador 1989 After three years in Ecuador, I thought I’d seen it all. Hadn’t the mice gotten into the closed pantry to nibble on the imported Kraft Macaroni & Cheese on July the Fourth? I’d brought back piles of the treasured treat from the USA, all at my pre-teen’s request. Hadn’t six-foot plus iguanas... Read more »
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The Rat in the Toilet

Living abroad I learned I had a choice. I could bemoan what I did not have from my life back home, or I could go with the flow with what I did have. Newly arrived to Guayaquil, Ecuador in 1986, when I heard about Lydia, who made housecalls to give manicure/pedicure for the ridiculously price... Read more »

Immaculate Infection

Living in Guayaquil, Ecuador in the mid-1980s, I viewed my main job as keeping all four of us healthy. It wasn’t easy. Though I knew my way around a mercury thermometer, without today’s access to the internet or a first world healthcare system, we were on our own. I started with ensuring our water was... Read more »

The Curated Life of Facebook

The beginning of the end of my first breakup with Facebook was in the early 2000s. Having faithfully and repeatedly set my privacy settings to where I wanted them, I repeatedly found Facebook re-set these. I felt violated. So I quit Facebook. My family would nudge me back into the sheep pen, superciliously noting the... Read more »
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Like Chocolate is Water in Mexico City

In the late 1990s the water stopped flowing from the kitchen faucet in Mexico City. Totally and completely stopped. Whoops. What now? Working methodically from the problem, I unscrewed the filter on the faucet. It wasn’t uncommon for odd bits of gunk or leaves to block the flow. But not this time. Under the sink... Read more »
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    Candace Drimmer

    TIMELINE June 1972 to June 1973---Candace moves to Lima (Peru)----- June 1973 to May 1974---Candace and The Husband live in Glendale AZ----- May 1974 to August 1974---Living in Toronto, Ontario (Canada)----- September 1974 to May 1975---Living in Aberdeen SD----- May 1975 to July 1979---Living in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)----- July 1979 to June 1980---Living in Asuncion (Paraguay)----- June 1980 to September 1980---Living in NYC----- September 1980 to November 1982---Living in Connecticut----- November 1982 to January 1983---Living in Ponce, Puerto Rico (USA)----- February 1983 to July 1986---Living in Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)----- July 1986 to July 1989---Living in Guayaquil (Ecuador)----- July 1989 to July 1995---Living in Connecticut (yes, again)----- July 1995 to August 2001---Living in Mexico City (Mexico)----- August 2001---Return to Gringolandia (a.k.a. United States of America)----- I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew I met a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, fell in love and moved to Peru in the 1970s. WHAT an adventure it's been!! NOTE: I gave up Facebook, so apologies that I cannot answer any comments since it is only set up via FB.

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