Dr. Love is the island's and possibly the world's
greatest authority on just about everything. The Doctor answers questions
concerning any subject except religion or politics. Persons needing additional
assistance or counseling should contact the Family Services Division at
You may write to the Doctor at P.O. Box 35, San Pedro
Town, Belize, fax 026-2905 or e-mail at san email@example.com
Dear Doctor Love,
My husband took me fishing and
we went with a local guide. We used sardines for bait. Besides the sardines the
guide stopped the boat in shallow water and started wading around. He said he
was looking for conch. When he found some he picked them up and dropped them in
the bottom of the boat. We used some of them for bait and he cut some of them up
and used it to make a kind of salad. He and my husband ate it and my husband
said it was very tasty. I refused to eat it because I read somewhere that the
conch is an endangered species. Besides, it didn't seem appetizing to me because
it was served raw.
Can you check for me whether or not
conch is endangered? Also, isn't it dangerous to eat seafood that is uncooked? I
know that sushi is raw fish but I think that is a very different kind of meat
/s/ Not a Fisherman
If conch were endangered, the love life of many
Belizeans would also be in jeopardy. As in most Caribbean cultures, in Belize it
is believed that eating conch stimulates appetites that have nothing to do with
an empty stomach. It obviously works, too. Look at all the children produced on
this island. Of course, just as many children are produced in Cayo, where they
have no conch available. Nevertheless, the folklore is interesting.
Conch are harvested seasonally and certain types, such
as the Queen conch, are not as readily available as they used to be. What we eat
here and what we use for bait are regular conch, which are
The salad you said the guide made is what
is known as ceviche. It is actually cooked by the lime juice in which it is
marinated and the hot chili peppers probably help cook it also. That is not a
fact but it is a fact that hot ceviche will set your mouth on fire. Many people
eat raw conch. There are certain people the Doctor refuses to go fishing with
because they eat the bait before the fish get a chance at it.
I have been having a strange dream
lately. In this dream, I am living in the Middle Ages and I am a lady who lives
in a huge castle. I talked about it to a friend who interprets dreams and she
told me that I am remembering a past life. She gave me a book to read. This book
is about re-incarnation and according to this book all of us have lived
different lives in our past. Since I read that book some of the details of my
past life have become clearer to me. In the dream I am married but my husband is
never in the dream. I'm not sure if it is because he is dead or because he is
away somewhere because it seems like I am always waiting and looking out for
him. There is also a very handsome man who lives at the castle and I am drawn to
him but I know that I should have nothing to do with him.
Now I have had this dream about six times and each time it gets more elaborate.
I have also started to read about life in the medieval times and it is
fascinating to me. I really would like to have lived in those days because life
was very simple then.
What do you think of the theory of
reincarnation? Am I wasting my time reading up on this or is there anything to
this business of being born again as something different? It makes so much more
sense than just living on this earth for less than a century and then
Since you usually give common sense
answers, I will try to trust your judgement on this.
/s/ Lady of the
Here is the way the life
cycle works. We are born. We grow and live from the other life that is growing
and living around us. Plants that we eat such as tomatoes and beans are living
creatures; different from us but they are still a life form. Animals that we
eat, such as chickens and cows are also different life forms from us but yet,
they are life. When we die we are put into the ground and eventually our bodies
become a part of that ground. If we are eaten by another creature we go into the
ground that much sooner, in the form of manure, such as lion crap. The ground
that our bodies turn into nurtures fresh plants that grow and feed other life
This is true re-incarnation. Each
living creature dies and fertilizes the ground so another crop of living
creatures can live and carry on the chain of life. Until the world is introduced
to someone who can prove that they have lived an entire life in an earlier time,
former lives will remain a fantasy.
Perhaps you read
something about life in medieval times and it fascinated you enough to dream
about it. Perhaps it was just some bad conch that you ate.
Think of this. If you read anything about life in the Middle Ages it should have
occurred to you that things were not really that good. There was a lot of
disease, like the bubonic plague, because there was no sanitation. People just
squatted in the street to relieve themselves. Baths, where you wash your entire
body, were unheard of until 100 years ago. The average fourteen year-old child
of today knows more about medicine than the top doctors of the 14th century.
kind of scary, isn't it. There is another direction that believers in
re-incarnation can take though, and sooner or later someone will think of it. It
is just as easy to dream about the future as it is the past. What about our
future lives? Someone will start remembering a life that they will have in the
future. This can solve a lot of problems since the one remembering will not have
to be an expert in history.
Last week my husband was supposed to meet me at noon
after I finished my shopping and drive me back home. I waited for him for half
an hour and I finally gave up and took a taxi. When I got home he was asleep. He
said that he had sat and waited for me for forty minutes and he finally decided
that he was tired of waiting. This caused a big argument. Maybe he did have to
wait but it was not even close to forty minutes. He says that I exaggerate
everything to make myself look good and to try to make him look bad. I have
never exaggerated anything in my life. No matter what I say, he swears that he
looked at his watch over and over and when it got to be forty minutes he left.
I'm not sure what time I got there but it could not have been forty minutes. He
says that not only was I forty minutes late but that he has spent eight years
waiting for me to get ready to go or to meet me somewhere. From now on, if I am
not on time he says he is leaving without me.
Do you think this is the way a marriage should work? I don't think it is fair
for him to try to make me feel bad like this for only being maybe five or ten
minutes late. I think he is just trying to make me feel guilty because he had to
wait a little bit but my conscience is clear.
/s/ Not Late
A clear conscience is usually the sign
of a bad memory. Are you sure you were not closer to forty minutes late than
five minutes? Would he really get that angry if you were only five or ten
minutes late? If you do exaggerate about the time it is a lot easier to do if
you don't look at your watch. It makes it easier to convince yourself that it
was only five or ten minutes instead of forty. On the other hand, he obviously
checked his watch.
Why don't you eliminate the problem by
checking the time when you are supposed to meet him or when you are getting
ready to go somewhere? Get ready early or meet him early and you will have
eliminated the problem.
I remember reading a letter in your column once
that had something to do with cars driving on the beach. You said in your answer
that it was illegal to drive on the beach. Yet, I see taxis drive on the beach
all of the time. Does the law say that only taxis are allowed on the beach? Why
can they drive on the beach and I can't?
/s/ Golf Cart Driver
Some of them drive on the beach
because they are too lazy to walk the extra twenty steps it would take for them
to walk to the dock. They can drive on the beach because no one cares. If the
hotel owners cared they would report them to the police. If the citizens of San
Pedro cared they would report them to the police. The police can watch the
drivers go on to the beach from the door of the police station because taxis
enter and leave by the municipal dock. If they cared, they would stop them.
Taxis ruin the expensive and beautiful beaches that have been put into place
with our own tax money. These are beaches that were made to make San Pedro
attractive to tourists. Every time a taxi drives on the beach, that lazy driver
is taking money out of your pocket because vehicles pack down the sand and
damage the beach. If we care enough we will report each one that we see and
insist that the police arrest the drivers.
My mother has a friend who I cannot stand. She is
always giving me advice on this and that and telling me what I should do with my
life. This is a woman who has no education because she dropped out of school
pregnant. She has lived with five different men and had children with three of
them. Now, she thinks she should advise me about how late I should stay out and
who I should go out with. The other day I got tired of hearing it and told her
to leave me alone. My mother got very angry with me and told me that I should
apologize to her friend because her friend is a very religious Christian woman
who always goes to church.
I don't think I should
apologize. I am eighteen years old and I have a right to live my life without
someone who is not even related to me telling me how to do it. So what if she
goes to church all the time? She has been going every Sunday since I don't know
when and it does not seem to do any good. She is not what anyone would call a
Christian if they knew anything about her. The only thing I feel bad about is
that she is my mother's friend. Should I apologize?
Dear Feeling Bad,
The Doctor is
always taking the golf cart to the mechanic's shop. After several hundred
visits, the Doctor is still not a mechanic. It is the same way with your
mother's friend. Just going to church does not make her a Christian. Look
around, there are many in this community who preach Christianity but do not
practice or understand the meaning of what they preach. Why not apologize to
your mother first and if she wants you to, then apologize to her friend. After
all, it is the Christian thing to do.
I saw an advertisement for a "jump up" that will be
taking place soon. It advertised live music and dancing so I assume a jump up is
a kind of dance contest. Can you please explain to me what a jump up is?
up is a dance and in a way it is a contest. Although it is not necessarily a
dance contest with prizes, nearly everyone in attendance is engaged in some kind
of competition. Young women and men are contesting for each other's attentions.
The dancers are showing off their skills and contesting for the right to
be called good dancers. Some people are contesting their ability to consume
enormous quantities of alcohol and beer. After drinking all of this alcohol,
usually at around four o'clock in the morning, the jump up becomes a fall
When I came
here for a vacation it never occurred to me to bring a fishing rod. The water
looks so inviting and I can see the fish swimming around just daring me to catch
them. I went looking for a cheap little casting rod like the ones they sell at
K-mart or Walmart for under fifteen dollars. There is nothing like that here.
The only thing I could find to rent were deep-sea fishing rigs. For a day's
rental cost of one of these rigs I could buy two of them in the U.S. Even
though they are too big and clumsy for the little fish I want to catch, I am
actually considering renting one of them.
Do you know of a
place where I could buy one of those cheap rod and reels like a Zebco? What do
you use for bait? What kind of fish can I expect to catch off one of the
/s/ Desperate Fisherman
There are a couple of places in Belize City
that sell what you are describing, but the plane or boat trip over will cost
more than you are going to want to spend.
Why not fish
with a hand line like the local fishermen do? Buy a spool of line, some weights
and hooks. Many of the stores sell sardines, which is what the local people use
for bait. Your entire investment will be less than ten dollars BZ. Our fish are
unfamiliar with fishing rods since we have specially trained them for the hand
line, so you are probably better off with the hand line
You can catch anything on a hand line that can be
caught on a spinning rod. There are plenty of snapper, grouper and barracuda.
Yes, barracuda can be caught on a hand line.
I just got back from a trip to LA and while I was there I
attended a quinceaños for a friend of mine's daughter who was having her
fifteenth birthday. I have read some of the things you have had to say in the
past about these quinceaños and I gather that you do not approve of them. After
attending the party I have to say that the quinceaños is alive and well in Los
Angeles. My friend spent more for this party than most people do for a wedding.
Eight of the girl's best friends wore gowns that cost a fortune and there was an
endless supply of handsome young men in tuxedos. There were limousines, an
expensive band, champagne, liquor and enough food to feed an army. My friend
spent over $8000 U.S. for this party.
Unfortunately, you ruined the party for me because I kept thinking about what a
waste all of this money was. $16,000BZ spent in one night would have made a nice
nest egg for the girl's future marriage. I am beginning to see what you dislike
about quinceaños parties. I doubt if my daughter will get one.
The Doctor has
nothing against the quinceaños party. What the Doctor takes exception to is the
outrageous wasteful spending that goes along with the party. It is usually done
solely as an attempt to establish the parent's pecking order in local society.
As such, it is a horrid waste. A fifteen year-old girl should at least be given
a choice between the party and some other use for the money. Some parents have
done so and were surprised to find that their daughter preferred a trip to
Mexico or the U.S. At least one set of parents has taken the money that they
would have spent for the party and put it into an account that is drawing
interest. When the daughter gets married she will have the money for a down
payment on a house or for whatever she chooses.
the Doctor, seems a wiser choice than a lavish party thrown for the sake of the
Dear Doctor Love,
been here in Belize for almost four months with my parents and I find I am not
as happy as I thought I would be. I was hoping to meet a nice Spanish guy (or
guys) that I could date and have a good time with. The problem is that all of
the handsome Spanish guys I meet are shorter than me. I never expected them to
be so short. I have met some very nice looking, intelligent guys with good
personalities and without exception they are shorter than I am. So far, the only
real dates I have had have been with tourists. I might as well be back in
Do you have any advice for me?
/s/ Too Tall
Dear Too Tall,
Either lower your expectations or
bend your knees.