Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last Day Here

Pretty slow day today. We had massages again this afternoon. Oh man. My massage guy at home has competition. The only negative is that she uses a fairly heavy oil and you feel like a grease pit afterwards. And she won't let you shower for an hour after. I guess the scented oils need time to work their magic.

I tend to not be chatty when I'm getting a massage. I like relaxing and finding my place of Zen. But Sochi and I did trade a few words. She doesn't speak a lot of English and asked me about a couple English words and I asked her about a couple Spanish words.

Today is our last day here. We head into Cancun tomorrow afternoon so that we can catch a 7am flight Sat. The day was mostly spent doing up laundry and organizing a few things. We have a bit of left over food...a couple eggs, jam, PB, an onion, a little bit of oatmeal and pancake mix, that sort of S upstairs will take it to the soup kitchen. They don't mind open packages, which is nice. I hate throwing out perfectly good food but so many places won't accept open packages.

We don't have a phone to call Gustavo for a ride so we emailed him. No answer yet. We might have to borrow a phone in the morning. Hopefully we find a ride so we don't have to hitch

While we've been sweltering in the heat, the folks back home have been dealing with a whopper of a snowfall. Up where we live, snow at the beginning of June is uncommon but not unheard of. So snow at the end of March isn't unexpected, in the least. Still, we had hoped to escape it, especially since it's been an uncharacteristically warm winter and the temps have been well above freezing most of the time that we've been here. We arrive to our home airport about 5:30pm and had planned on making the 3 hour drive home that night. Depending on how things are when we land, we may wait until the next day.

Anyways, cross your fingers that we find a ride into Merida to catch the bus and that we don't arrive to ADO to find out our scheduled time has been cancelled.

Hasta luego.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Paying our Fideicomiso

About a week before we left Canada, we received a bill from Scotiabank Inverlat for our annual fideicomiso payment. There was some discrepency between what they were requesting and what we believed we had already paid so we had our lawyer look into it. She finally got it straightened out so today we went into Merida to make the payment.

We had no address for the bank. All our lawyer told us was that it was on Paseo Montejo, across from the Museo Canton. Senor B didn't seem convinced that I could get us there and back. Oh, ye of little faith.

We took the Autoprogreso in and got off at Chedraui. We hailed a cab but he was in the far lane. We watched him turn the corner, cut through the parking lot and come around for us. Excellent! Step one completed.

In the best Spanish I could muster, I told him where we wanted to go. He got us to the Museo but we couldn't see the bank. He drove down the street a bit farther and came up the other side of the street. We found it! Step two done. Btw...Scotiabank is across from the Palacio Montejo. Now we know.

We had to buzz to get to the upstairs office to see the accountant. Hurray for Spanish. I was able to tell the man on the other side of the intercom why we were there and he let us in.

We didn't see the accountant. Instead it was a young lady who was probably his assistant. Our lawyer said we might end up seeing her. She did some calculations and came up with a price that was 700 pesos higher than what the accountant had emailed our lawyer who had then forwarded it to us. Fortunately, we'd had the foresight to print off the emails. I showed them to the lady who then showed them to the man working in the same room. He confirmed the price in the emails. She prepared the paper we would need to present to the teller and, with that in hand, it was back downstairs to pay.

We weren't sure who we had to pay it to. The gentleman at the front desk looked at it and sent us to a lady in an office. She looked at it and sent us out to the teller. The teller looked at it and took our money. Step three done and the main mission accomplished.

Now we had to find our way back to Progreso. No problema. All we have to do is get down to the Autoprogreso depot downtown. That required crossing the street and looking for a bus that said Centro. Done.

We decided to have some lunch while we were downtown. We stopped at Cafe Habana, on the corner of 62 and 57. At least I think it's 57. Definitely on 62. We had a fabulous waiter who had a wonderful sense of humour and who spoke very good English. The Habana clubhouse with potato salad that we both decided to have was delicious. The cost was a bit higher than the more mom and pop style restaurants but it was still reasonable. Two clubs, two beers and a coke came to 256 pesos. The restaurant was clean and the wait staff attentive. We would eat there again.

After lunch we continued on our way to the bus station. Right across the street from Plaza Grande, on C62, is a great little ice cream store that we almost always hit when we're in the city. I have no idea what the name of it is but they always have pastel pink chairs outside. It was hot today so we decided to get a small treat to enjoy in the shade in the park. That sure hit the spot. As we were relaxing in the shade, cooling off, I watched the many police officers who walked or drove by. Those black uniforms, in the heat, must be brutal. I wished I could have bought them all an ice cream.

We boarded the bus and headed home. Mission accomplished! And almost all of it in Spanish, too. Huzzah!

Monday, March 19, 2012

People Watching

Today was a ho hum, totally boring day so I decided to write about one my favourite things, people watching. Yesterday's trip to Merida provided plenty of people to watch.

One of the things I've noticed here is, that for the most part, little girls dress like little girls instead of trashy pop-star wannabes. Yesterday being Sunday, many girls were in lovely, big skirted dresses. Some girls were dressed more casually in shorts and a t-shirt. Still, I saw a couple of young ladies about 6 and 8 years old with shoes more suitable for adults. Mules with a 2-inch heel on an 8 year old? I'm not a fan.

I watched well-dressed ladies walk by, their noses in the air. "Sniffing pies in Heaven" is the phrase we used when I was growing up. Another mom with a muscle shirt and a mullet coaxing her little son along. Young ladies dressed to be noticed.

One guy had on a sports uniform and was hurriedly making his way to somewhere. Young men in skinny jeans and those ridiculous shoes with the long toe that curls up after much walking, making them look like elf shoes.

Faux hawks, dread locks, hair bows. Something else I've observed, women here all have long hair. Older ladies might have a shorter 'do but it's still long enough to get a roller or curling iron in it. I have yet to see a pixie cut on anyone. The younger ladies all have hair at least shoulder length and long enough for a ponytail.

Shortly after we got to the square, Theresa and I saw a long legged beauty with waist length blonde hair, high heels and a shoulder baring top. She was attracting the attention that she had dressed for. Later, she was joined by a friend who, upon closer observation, was a man dressed as a girl. He had on a little black sequined dress and black heels. His hair was a bit shorter than shoulder length and had the most beautiful curls. His very flat, muscular chest and the beginnings of a 5:00 shadow gave him away.

Theresa and I finally concluded that Blondie was also a man. We couldn't see an Adam's apple, but the hair was definitely a wig and the body shape lacked the softness of femininity. We watched Blondie talking with a man and it appeared that Dude was flirting. Or perhaps he knew Blondie. We weren't quite sure. Then it appeared that Dude finally figured out that Blondie wasn't a female and he got a slightly embarassed look, lowering his head and shaking it as Blondie walked away. It was really quite comical.

Ah, yes. People watching. Always interesting and often entertaining.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Day with Friends

I awoke this morning to Senor B poking me on the shoulder. "It's 7:30," he says. I'm so not a morning person but today was different. Today we were meeting Theresa in Merida. After a breakfast of pancakes that Senor B had already started before I was up (*he's* a morning person), and a bit of tidying, it was off to the AutoProgreso.

As we pulled into the station, right at 10:00 as I had told Theresa, I could see her waiting for us. It gave my heart a lift to see a familiar face in a city that's still not comfortable for us. We haven't had the pleasure of meeting Husband yet. I think he must be afraid of us. Maybe I shouldn't have said that my hair looked like Scary Spice's the other Hopefully we'll get to meet him soon.

Being Sunday, the streets around the Plaza Grand (?) were closed to vehicular traffic and there were many vendors in the square. I bought some gifts for the g'kids. Senor B never spends money on himself when we go on holidays but he bought his 4th muscle shirt of the trip. I guess he really likes them.

While we were wandering around, we ran into Paul . I hadn't seen him since the Bloggers Convention in Nov 2010. I was surprised that he remembered us. What a memory he has! Next thing we knew, Wayne was right behind us. I didn't get a chance to say hi to him but I'm not sure he would have remembered me since I hadn't seen him since the 2010 conference, too. I did chat a bit with the two people who were with him.

Theresa asked us if we'd been in the Casa de Montejo. When we said no, she said, "Oh, you HAVE to see it." She was right. It's located right across the street from the plaza. The front is beautiful with its old, ornate rock carvings but that's only a precursor to what's inside. It has many antiquities as well as handcrafted scenes from Mexican history. Photographing isn't allowed so you'll have to believe me when I say it's well worth the time to look at it.

After Theresa left, we stopped for lunch at one of the tents on the street. We had tortas which were ok. A bit too much fat for my taste. It's a texture thing. I get grossed out when I bite into a piece of rubbery gristle.

The bus back to Progreso was packed. It's rare that it's as full as it was today. We learned that tomorrow is a holiday in honour of Benito Juarez' birthday. This being a long weekend would explain all the people on the bus. Many people come out to Progreso, from Merida, on weekends, especially a long weekend.

Supper was at Eladio's with D and V. Eladio's is along the malecon which was bustling with more people than we've ever seen there. Apparently summers are even more packed. Yikes! Anyways, supper was wonderful. The guys each had a stuffed fish dish and D and I had shrimp stuffed with cheese and then wrapped in bacon. It was delicious but quite rich. Prices seemed just a bit on the high side but not outrageously so. We would eat there again.

It was a great day spent with some of our favourite people.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Funky Market

This morning we went to the neighbouring town of Chelem. There's a cute little restaurant called Tacomaya. A few times a year, they host an event called The Funky Market. Various vendors are there with their wares...jewelery, food, clothing, aprons, tablecloths, paintings. Most everything is handmade. The place had a farmer's market atmosphere.

I picked up a couple of necklaces and an apron for myself and a really cute trinket box for our g'daughter's birthday. We bought a pannini to share and a couple of cokes. The sandwich was delicious...spicy but not too spicy.

Senor B and I are getting pretty adept at getting around without a vehicle. Within the more immediate area, anyways. We're not ready to tackle the bus system in Merida yet. We took a combi out to Chelem and back without any problems.

My still very limited Spanish has been useful. I was able to ask the driver if he would be stopping near Tacomaya. I was also able to catch tiny snippets of conversation on the combi. That was pretty cool, especially when the little boy behind us commented on the group of 4 young men who got on. "Oooooo, mucho muchachos."

The afternoon was spent down at the pool. It was quite warm today so there were lots of people down there to visit with.

Tonight we watched the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Can't think of a better way to spend the evening than with Captain Jack Sparrow. *grin*

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Flip Flops and Fun

This morning we went uptown to do some poking around in stores, just to see what different ones had to offer. Window shopping. One thing I noticed is that Mexicans sure do seem to love their flip flops. My goodness. It seemed as if every other store was selling them. And the selection is incredible. Everything from the same old same old to some all tarted up with rhinestones. Regular flats to heels and every colour you can imagine.

We wandered around for about an hour but didn't buy anything, though I did see a beautiful quartz domino set that I might pick up another time.

A quick stop at the grocery store for a few things, plus some window shopping, and then it was back to the condo where we went for a quick dip in the pool before lunch.

D and V had organized a games night for tonight. Supper was potluck botanas under the palapa by the pool. The plan had been to play games there, too, but it was too breezy so we all went back up to D and V's place where Senor B and I learned how to play a dominoes game called Mexican Train. I tied for first place. Talk about beginner's luck. We would have played a tie breaker round but everyone was tired so J and I took the tie and we all called it a night.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Great Day at the Beach

Senor B and I spent the day with G, a lady I met online. G lives here for several months of the year. She lives outside of Progreso and came to pick us up since we're without wheels this trip. She said she'd heard the name of the complex and has driven past it many times but only just realized, about a week ago, where it was.

She no sooner got here and Roberto, who sells fish from the trunk of his car, came. He usually comes on the weekends but we hadn't seen him since we arrived here. We thought perhaps he wasn't coming anymore. We love his sea bass so we were very happy to see him.

G got the 10 cent tour of our condo and the grounds. She was quite impressed with the quality of everything.

Then it was off to her beach house that she and her husband had had built. What a lovely place.

There was a red flowered bouganvillia by the old wooden front door, creating a small alcove. The kitchen, dining and living room are all open to each other. Two walls look like rocks but not rough rocks. They're smoother but still textured. There are little beachy touches throughout...the wavy backplash in the kitchen, a shell pattern stamped into the patio and columns, real shells tastefully displayed on the tops of the planters, in bowls and on shelves.

Upstairs, they have a shower that's somewhat open to the outside that we found absolutely delightful and intriguing. The leaf stamped into the hallway floor looked like it was stamped from a real leaf.

The 10 cent tour of her place gave me some decorating ideas for ours, especially for the very long wall that we have.

She has no back yard, to speak of. It consists of the patio, a pool and a small area of sand. Sitting on the patio, looking out towards the Gulf, you see the vegetation at the edge of her property and the blue/green water beyond that. The sandy beach is beyond the scrub trees but you can't see it. It's a unique look from the usual beach view.

G served us lunch of garlic bread and the salsa that's typical of the area. Simple fare but filling and delicious. She also added garlic to the salsa. Senor B and I love garlic so G is a gal after our own hearts.

Good company, good food and good conversation mixed with the gorgeous view made for a wonderful afternoon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Has Blogging Opened up the Desire to be Creative?

This was one of the questions posed to me at the Bloggers Conference in Nov. My extremely introverted self doesn't do well with thinking on my feet, especially when I'm in front of a group. I've given these questions lots of thought over the past few months and decided to address them, hopefully a bit more coherently than I did at the time.

I have a love affair with language. I started reading at a very early age and, all through school, tested well above my grade level in reading and comprehension. I was a good creative writer all through school.

Raising children, my life revolved around Dr. Seuss, Rainbow Bright, Barney, don't forget your manners, do you have to go pee, birthday parties, hurry up or you'll miss the bus, no you may not have a sleepover on a school night, your curfew is 9pm, you're not leaving the house wearing that, yes you can use the truck to go to your friends. Reading was limited to magazine articles that could be finished in a short amount of time. Serious reading was of the "How to be a Good Parent" variety. Reading for leisure was all but non-existent, especially when I went back to work.

My brain has atrophied. I forget how to spell words or don't use certain words correctly. It's frustrating to see a skill I once had, faded. Yes, I hope that blogging will see a return of my ability to write creatively. I want people to take pleasure in reading what I've written.

I have an extensive blogroll and enjoy reading each and every blog on it. Some of them are literary masterpieces and I aspire to be like those writers. Others are more informal, like mine. I'm still trying to find my voice. I like the informality of my blog. I've been asked by friends and family back home, "What do you do all day?" so this is my answer to those folks.

If anyone has words of wisdom to share on how to make my blog more interesting (aside from the need to include more pictures), I'd love to hear from you. My email address is on the sidebar if you'd prefer to send your comments privately.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


After picking up our pulled pork from the little tienda across the way, we headed off to Ticul with C and F, new friends who own a condo in the complex. Ticul is about a 90 minute drive from Progreso and is known for its pottery and shoes.

After passing through Uman, where we had to ask a police officer for directions, and Manu, we arrived at the absolutely charming town of Ticul. The streets aren't very wide and we saw a large number of those tricycles with the passenger seating in front. The lack of garbage lying around was one of the first things we noticed. Perhaps the more residential areas are littered, but the main road into town, and the downtown area, were neat as a pin.

We decided to stop for lunch before we went shopping. Carmelita's Restaurant and Cocteleria was the first place we found so in we went. It's located right on the corner by the main square. There's a huge, old church that we could see across the square from the restaurant.

The food was fabulous, probably the best we've had anywhere here. F had a plate of ceviche, C had a fish dish, Senor B had garlic fish and I had garlic chicken. The botanas were plentiful and we could barely eat all our lunch. While the guys finished their beers, F and I decided to go check out the market that we had spied on our way into town but we got there only to find them closing up for the day. We got an awful lot of looks from the locals, as if we were an oddity in their town. I've read about trips to Ticul on other blogs so I was a bit surprised by the stares.

Back to the restaurant to fetch the guys and then we were off to the pottery stores. Oh my. Such a selection. Vases of all shapes, sizes and colours. Suns, moons, frogs (lots and lots of frogs), butterflies, crosses and other things to hang on the wall. Bowls, trays and coffee table decorations. Every store was just a bit different. Same, or similar, items but in different colours or shapes.

There was a beautiful metalwork wall hanging that held small pottery vases that I would have liked to have bought but the vases didn't come in a colour that worked with my decor. I also found a lovely flamingo that I wanted, since we live on the Flamingo Coast. However, it only came in a set of three and I only wanted one. I just don't have enough space for all three of them. The pretty bird that would have looked great on the top of the kitchen cupboards had to be left behind because it was too heavy. I was worried that it would pull the cupboard off the wall. So all I ended up buying were a few small decorative bowls.

Ticul is a really cool place and I hope to get back there again.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beach and Nightlife

The weather was fantastic today. I don't know what the temperature was but they were forecasting around 29C. I'm sure it was that warm but the breeze off the Gulf always tempers the heat. Merida doesn't get the breeze that we do so it gets a lot hotter there. I don't know how the folks there survive.

We decided to go for a walk on the beach. It's so much nicer this time of year than it's been on any previous visits. The water has more green and turquoise and there isn't nearly as much seaweed on the beach. The breeze was stiff and the sun warm, the perfect combination for a nasty sunburn if a person isn't careful. I was careful. I got up close and personal with every redhead's best friend...SPF60.

We met up with another couple staying at the complex and chatted with them while we all strolled back to the laneway to the condo. Along the way, we briefly met Jessica who runs a Kite Surfing business. We haven't used her services so I can't offer a personal endorsement, but I did want to give her a mention in case anyone might be interested. Senor B and I both have bum shoulders so I doubt we'll ever be doing any kite surfing. It sure looks like a lot of fun, though.

Oh, that wind. Wanna know what it does to curly hair? Eek! Remember Scary Spice from the Spice Girls? My hair isn't as curly as hers but it was just as wild and unkempt looking. And once curly hair has gone wild, there's just no taming it. Good grief.

After we got back, we had to go for a beer and coke run. There's a cold beer store a couple blocks away and we got the coke at the little tienda across the street. It's just so darned cool to have these things nearby. I've read about street vendors who walk the streets calling out whatever it is they have for sale...fruit, veggies, bread or what have you. Sadly, we live on the back side of the complex with no sidewalk, so it looks like a back alley and the street vendors don't come our way. Imagine being able to buy much of what you need right at your doorstep!

After supper we headed uptown to see what was going on. I've read, on other blogs, about the nightlife at the parks near the bloggers' homes, so I was anticipating some music and dancing. Nope. There was nothing going on. We heard 60's music but it sounded like it was coming from a nearby building that we assumed was a bar so we didn't go over.

There were a few food vendors selling churros, fries and marquesitas. There's a place with tables where you can buy a coke and sit there, if you'd like. You can get your shoes shined. The taxi stand is there. Kids were zipping around on their skateboards and bicycles. We bought a bag of churros (my favourite treat down here) to share and sat on one of those cool two seater benches where we could face each other.

Things are so much calmer downtown in the evening. It's not frenetic like it is during the day. Because it's so much cooler in the evening, we thought this would be a better time of day to do our uptown stuff. The grocery store we've been going to was open, but the big market was not. Nor was our favourite hardware store. So I guess we'll still have to brave the heat of the day to do most of our running around.

We wandered around for a while and then headed back to the condo.

A couple of bars have opened up across the street. Luckily, being on the back side, we can't really hear much noise. Just the beat of the bass. We've gotten used to the neighbour's dogs barking at 6am so we can sleep through that, now. The bass is a new sound so I suppose it'll be a bit bothersome tonight. Thank goodness they're not open during the week.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Pampered Chef Comes to Yucatan

This afternoon I went to a Pampered Chef party at D's place. D lives on the floor above us. It was your typical PC party. Lots of good food and good company. If I understood D correctly, Aura is the first consultant in the area. And, wouldn't you know, I forgot to get her info to pass along to my Yucatan readers. Aura speaks pretty good English but her accent and rapid speech got in the way of me being able to understand her well.

Since we share our condo with others, I didn't want to buy any larger, pricier items and risk having them spirited away, so I puchased a couple of small items. I'm a consultant for Princess House so it was a bit awkward to attend since we pretty much compete directly with each other.  Still, they have items we don't and I wanted to support a fellow female entrepreneur.

In other news, we went uptown today to pick up a few groceries and to see if our bank card would work. We went to a different bank from the first 2 and we were successful in making a withdrawal. Hurray! And we were smart enough to go early in the morning to beat the heat. We were back at the condo by 10:30.

The bank we went to is near the big green building I mentioned the other day which is called City Hall, not the Municipal Building. I discovered that the school isn't housed within. It's actually in a building right beside it. That's why I got confused. I will try to be a better reporter.

The internet was down last night but you all didn't miss anything. The highlight of the day was spending the evening with another couple in the complex. Fun for us but not really worth writing about. Oh, wait. I just

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Best Day Ever

Well, in the top 10, anyways.

Yesterday, we were introduced to Sochi. Not sure of the spelling but it's pronounced so (like toe) chee. Sochi does massages, manicures and pedicures so we set up appointments for full body massages at 10am today. She asked if we were allergic to anything or if we had metal parts. She uses a magnetic something-or-other and needed to know.

Sochi lives a couple of blocks down the street from here. Friends had told her they would pick her up but they forgot. Oops. She doesn't have a vehicle so she loaded her folding table onto a hand truck and rolled it over. What a gal! She's known within the complex so someone let her in the gate. Her cheery, "Hola. Buenos dias!" at the door let us know she'd arrived.

We moved the kitchen table to make room for her bed and she went to work. ohmygoodness. She's amazing! She uses scented oils which was intriguing. She started with a menthol smelling one, moved on to a lavender one and then used something very warming on my bum shoulder. I was so relaxed and "into" the whole thing that I didn't think to ask her what she was using. I have to get a monthly massage at home to keep myself limber enough to continue working, and hers was as good as any I've had. Senor B enjoyed his massage, as well.

Sochi showed me a couple of exercises to do for my shoulder and one for Senor B for his neck. She doesn't speak much English but we managed to understand each other.

Our massages were about an hour and twenty minutes each. Wonderful fragrances and a couple exercises to do. All done in the comfort of our home. For the fabulous price of 250 pesos/$19CDN each. We gave her 600 pesos/$46CDN for the two of us. My massage back home costs me $80 for one hour. No fragrances and I have to do the travelling.

We're going to try and book her before we go back.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Productive Day

This morning we went uptown to exchange our rental money (USD) to pesos so we have money for now. Senor B tried to call our bank in Canada, via MagicJack, but he didn't have a very good connection so nothing got accomplished. Based on info we've been given about some banking glitches and procedures, we're (naively, perhaps?) confident that our situation is temporary. We're optimistic that everything will work out.

Then we went to pay our taxes at the big green building, whose name I don't remember, at the main square. I think it's called the Municipal Building, but I'm not certain. We can see that there are different things housed within its colourful walls but the only ones we can identify are the tax office and a school.

I've found that a good ice-breaker is to say, "Lo siento. Mi espanol no es bueno." "I'm sorry. My Spanish isn't good." It always makes people smile. Maybe I'm saying it all wrong and it amuses them? Anyways, they're always very helpful and patient. So I said this to the lady at the tax office as I produced the cedula catastral, the legal document needed to pay taxes.  She smiles and says, "No problem," as she takes the papers. She does her calculations, writes the fee on a sticky note and hands it all back to me. Then it's over to the cashier to make payment.

I believe taxes have to be paid by the end of Feb to avoid penalty. I have no idea if we incurred a penalty or not. We paid 263.63 pesos/$20.41CDN. Twenty bucks! For the year! If we got penalized, well, we're sure not gonna complain.

Then we walked around downtown a bit. Senor B wanted to get himself a tank top. Our friend, Dave, who came down with us in Nov, said they're much cooler to wear than a t-shirt. Senor B and I have known each other for 26 years and I've never seen him wear a tank top. He's really been stepping out of his comfort zone as he's getting older. These shirts are colloquially known as wife-beaters but, lest I use a term that isn't in favour, I Googled and learned that they're also called A-shirts, the A standing for Athletic. Ummm...Senor B and athletic in the same sentence? Ummm...sure. Why not?  LOL.

A quick stop at the market to pick up a few veggies and then it was back to the condo.

On our way out this morning, we had planned on going to Bodega to get groceries, as well. At the front gate we met up with D, who lives on the upper floor. He had errands to run this afternoon and offered to take us to the store so we took him up on that.

I've read, on other blogs, that you can call it a good day if you get 2 things accomplished. We got 5. I think we may have set a record. *grin*

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Tradition

Today was pretty uneventful but my fans back home always want to know what we're up to, so here goes.

There's a little tienda, or corner store, just across the street from the complex. Every Sunday morning, there's a young couple who come with pibil, or pulled pork. They're set up with a metal serving area, like you'd see in a buffet. It's got the recessed area where the meat is, with a warmer to keep things hot. They start selling fairly early, around 9am. We can see them from the stair area so, when it's getting close to 9, we take a look-see to see if they're set up yet. When I checked, I could see people there so I strolled on over. It looked as though they'd been open for a little while because they had less than they usually do. I guess we'll have to start checking on them a little earlier.

The gal weighs out the meat based on what you tell her you want to spend. You can also buy bread and a small bag of chopped onions and habanero sauce is included, if you want them. We pass on the hot We get the 50 peso bag. It seems to me that the bag was smaller than it was in Nov and the bread was 50 centavos more, each. I hope we weren't victims of "gringo pricing". We got the bag of meat and 3 loaves of bread, each about a foot long, for 59 pesos/$4.60CAN, which was enough for both of us for lunch and one for supper so it's still an excellent price. And it's omg-delicious. This is going to become a Sunday tradition.

It was windy and cool today. I had to put on pants and a sweater. Ok, folks at home are wondering how cold could it possibly be. True, it's way warmer here than there but that north wind off the Gulf is right chilly. And it was a strong wind so, yeah, it wasn't an overly pleasant day. Since it was too miserable to go anywhere, I took care of housework...laundry, sweeping, mopping and all that other mundane stuff. Just like I would do if it was a snow day back home.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cultural Adjustments

We finally rolled into Progreso last night at about 7:30pm after being on the go for 36 hours. Senor B worked on Thursday and we left shortly after he got home. It's a 3 hour drive to the airport, overnight flight to our connecting city, layover, flight to Cancun, bus ride to Merida and half hour taxi to Progreso. We were beat when we got to the condo and the general lack of sleep (cuz, really...who can sleep on a plane?) made us a little testy towards each other.

On our first flight, we flew with a crew that we'd flown with in November. It made us remark, "You know you're a frequent flyer when..." *grin*

My Spanish lessons paid off during our taxi ride when I was able to direct the driver to our place. It was pretty cool to be able to do that. I have a long way to go before I can say I'm even close to being proficient but being able to communicate, even in a limited capacity, makes me feel a lot less helpless.

We went uptown this morning to go to the bank and get a few groceries. Banking didn't go so well. The bank we usually go to wouldn't process our transaction. We both tried our debit cards without any luck. So we went across the street to another bank. Same thing. The only thing we can think of is that we forgot to let our bank know we were coming and they were denying the transaction. But we haven't always let them know and haven't had any problems before so we're confused. Senor B sent our bank an email so we'll see if it gets straightened out. Fortunately, we had some cash on us so we were still able to get some groceries.

Since we're not renting a vehicle we can't do a big shop like we did in the past. We picked up enough for the day plus a few other items that won't be needed each trip. Things like mayo, butter, olives. We'll have to make more frequent and smaller trips than we're used to. It's just one of those little adjustments to be made when living in another culture. And, hey, it's not like we have a whole lot of anything else to

When we had an air-conditioned car, we would run errands whenever the mood hit. Now that we don't have that luxury, we decided that running errands earlier than 11am would be a smart thing. We were gone 2 hours and were about roasted when we got back. Another cultural adjustment to make.

There are 3 little corner stores near us so we can always go there to pick up a few things, too.

Temp today was 35C so that meant a trip to the pool in the afternoon. It was great seeing old friends and meeting some new ones.