Blue drops and toilet talk

This new posting is kind of all over the place.  If you want to know about the following read on.

  1. Zihuatanejo’s newest cofee hot spot
  2. A day in the life of Stacey and Andy
  3. Blue drops
  4. Water
  5. Ice
  6. Toilet talk

Zihuatenejo’s Newest Coffeeshop

Yesterday we visited Zihuatanejo’s  newest coffee hot spot, Quattro.   It’s a great new American style coffee shop in downtown Zihuatanejo. We like it because it’s got air-conditioning and lightening quick wireless. We moseyed down around 4 PM so Andy could do a little bit of writing and while he was working, I decided a brief blog post was in order.

coffeeshopA day in the life

Yesterday we had a really nice morning. We woke up around 9:30 AM after going to sleep around 1:00 AM. For some reason, we are having trouble sleeping in our new place. We just can’t seem to get tired when it’s time to sleep. We’re now total night owls. I don’t mind because I have nothing to really get up for, but given my preference, I’d rather keep to regular waking and sleeping hours, at least Monday-Friday.

After waking up, we had a bit of breakfast, and then around 11:15 AM, we went for a walk. I’m stoked to be walking again. I hated not walking during our five- week stay in Guanajuanto, but it was just too hilly and supremely uncomfortable to walk anywhere. I’m happy to be able to enjoy walking again.

We decided to walk from our casa in Madera towards where my mom will be living when she gets here shortly.  It’s about 1.5 miles. A tiny bit hilly, but really lovely.

We walked along the Bay of Zihuatanejo and then skirted the jungle. Andy caught this amazing shot of this butterfly.  He coordinated his outfit to match the flower. Not Andy…the butterfly.


After walking for about 30 minutes we decided to pop in on the beach.  We went to a local beachfront restaurant and had some cold drinks. Then we took the bus back to our house for about 40 cents pp. On the bus ride back, the bus driver regaled us with the tales of his life. Here’s what I learned.

  • He used to live in Winston, North Carolina and has a strong affinity for NASCAR.
  • He married young and had a son who is now 16 years old.
  • When his son was two, he brought him back to Mexico because his wife started using drugs and partying too much.
  • The ex-wife is in jail in North Carolina for seven years–of which she has served five. She rented a car in North Carolina and drove it across state lines. Then she decided to “not bring it back” so the rental car company pressed charges and she’s in the slammer.

I would have learned a lot more in our short bus ride, bur we got to our  house too fast. The driver seemed really bummed to drop us off at our house. He was ready to share way more of his life than either of us wanted to hear.

After our bus ride, I showered and we ate some lunch and Andy organized the office, and unpacked more of our stuff. We’re almost done unpacking. It only took a week!

Then after getting coffee,  we went to get some water and watched the debate on Fox.  Fox is the only English news station we get on our cable system, so FOX it must be.

Don’t drink the water!

Purchasing water here is a necessity.  I’m sure you’ve heard, “don’t drink the water in Mexico” a million times. Breaking news… even Mexicans don’t drink tap water. They only drink bottled water. For the most part, most water systems have pipes that are corroded with rust and other unmentionables, so drinking city water is a big no-no. Some resort towns like PV or Cancun have drinkable tap water, and many resorts filter their water, but Zihuatanejo city water cannot be drunk.

We drink water from a garafon. Garafon is a Spanish word. Ours has a huge nozzle to pump water from. At our new house,  Andy’s been carrying the garafons  up the stairs. In  Guanjuanto,  he had to walk up a huge hill with them.  I was hella impressed. Now that we’re in a more settled place, we plan on getting them delivered, but we’re not 100% confident that Andy’s Spanish is good enough to place the water order and explain where we live.  Frankly we’re both a bit intimidated to make the call. And they have many different companies and you can’t mix and match bottles so it’s a pain. So far we’ve accumulated three bottles, two from our good friends at Santarini and one from Cielo. Some companies might take pity on us and take a mismatched bottle for a slightly higher fee, but we’re not sure.  We could have someone else order the water for us, but what fun would that be?  We do like a good challenge.


This is a five gallon bottle of water.

On the bright side, getting water is very cheap. We’re thinking it will cost $1.75 per bottle. We anticipate we will need three a week.

Here’s what I use bottled water for:

  • Cooking
  • Drinking
  • Washing and rinsing my toothbrush  (Andy uses tap water for this and I’m tempted to try.)

This whole water thing is a kinda a pain, but you do get used to it.

Blue Drops!

Getting water isn’t all that hard. What’s really a pain is washing fruits and vegetables.  In Mexico you don’t really know what kind of pesticides they use to plant vegetables so you have to pre-wash everything that can’t be peeled.  In order to do this, you have to soak everything with blue drops for 15-20 minutes.  This excellent blog explains the process in further detail.

I’m not such a good soaker.  I always pick the wrong size pot or plastic bag so I leave most of the soaking to Captain Andy.  He is very proud of doing this task and  he just  soaks it up!

After about 15 minutes, the fruits and vegetables are ready to go and you can use them.  You don’t even need to rinse them off because the Bacdym is edible, or so I’m told. The great photo comes from this informative site.


These are our new best friends. This is photo courtesy of our friends at Cooking in Mexico

I’m not sure about the need to pre-soak bagged lettuce and pre-packaged mushrooms. I haven’t been too worried about the mushrooms because I cook them first and I think this might kill off any bacteria,  but I think I’m probably playing Russian roulette with the bagged lettuce.   Let’s just say we haven’t had any issues yet.

In larger restaurants, especially ones that serve tourists, you can rest easy knowing that they use these blue drops. In other places such as street stalls,  I’m not so sure, but I have been told that the government mandates the use of blue drops everywhere and that restaurants can get them free-of-charge.

It used to be that everyone who came to Mexico even for a few days would get sick. Now that’s not the case.  Everyone eventually gets sick, it’s just a part of life here, but it happens less often that one would imagine. Hygine has really improved.

Feeling icy?

Ice is also something to be concerned about. We buy bagged ice from the store for home use. In most restaurants, everyone uses purified ice.  How can we tell?  It has a hole in the middle of the cube.  That being said, every day we see these delicious drinks they sell on the street and I’m always tempted to get them, but the ice looks homemade. It’s in huge blocks and I’m skeptical of its source.

However, a few weeks ago, I saw a vendor pouring bagged ice into a huge vat of flavored water and I was so excited I ordered me some. It was lime and cucumber and it was just delicious.


These drinks are so tempting!

“The debate was trash. As a nation we’ve sunk to a new low.  Our nation is in the toilet. But I’m not here to pontificate about my political beliefs. I want to talk to you about Mexican toilet etiquette and trash”–  Me

Everything is so Trashy…

In Mexico it’s common to see a covered waste basket right next to the toilet. Usually this is when the toilet shares its  wisdom…”you’d better not throw any toilet paper in me, you won’t like what the end result will be”. Trust me, best to heed its advice.

OK… so maybe you can toss your tp into the toilet at a swanky new resort, but that’s about it. So what do you do?  To be frank, it’s kinda disgusting. I’m not sure exactly what to do, but I actually remembered someone else giving advice about this in another blog. It’s called the wad method.  After doing “your business” it’s time to wad up the paper.

With a little bit of artistic talent you can create a masterpiece that looks something like this.


I am a stock photo.  This is just a re-creation. No human excrement was used in the posting of this photo.

Then, after you have done this first step, the second step is to toss said toilet paper into a covered receptacle that looks like this.


A covered can is muy importante!

The third step is to take out your trash.  Our garbage man comes every day (more or less) promptly at 8 AM.

Adios amigas y amigos. Mucias gracias for reading!


5 thoughts on “Blue drops and toilet talk

  1. Use the bottled water for your teeth cleaning please. Do not play russian roulette. It is not worth the discomfort. -from someone who loves mexico and gets sick EVERYTIME

    On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 4:08 PM, BelieveitOhrNot wrote:

    > believeitohrnot posted: “This new posting is kind of all over the place. > If you want to know about the following read on. Zihuatanejo’s newest cofee > hot spot A day in the life of Stacey and Andy Blue drops Water Ice Toilet > talk Zihuatenejo’s Newest Coffeeshop Yesterday w” >


  2. We lived in Playa del Carmen for a year and brushed our teeth with tap water — never once got sick. Just a data point; I am sure every city is a bit different.


  3. Just found your blog. Fun one. I’ve lived in Mexico almost 17 years. One, in “civilized” parts of Mexico, which is to say not in the rural boonies, you can toss paper into the toilet without worry. Many years ago, a Mexican friend in Mexico City told me that she always tosses it into the john when out and about unless there is a sign specifically saying not to. You rarely see those signs. I have always followed that advice. Two, you can brush your teeth without risk with tap water. It will not kill you. You can do most everything you do above the border with tap water here except drink it, and I imagine you might be able to do that with minimal risk, depending on where you are. I have seen the locals drink from the tap frequently.

    Fact is that Mexico improves daily. Many of the warnings from decades back do not apply any longer.


    • Welcome to the blog Felipe! Appreciate your post. I have just started using tap water to brush my teeth and I haven’t experienced any problems yet. So far, so good. I also think your advice is true about the bathrooms. I always look for the special sign.


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