A Couple of Really Full Days

I’m rather regretting not finding the energy to blog last night because my memories of yesterday are already pretty fuzzy…

I’d been working on this tedious project with seemingly no end where all the files were taking me more than twice the normal length of time for that client. I’ve been burning the midnight oil to keep on top of all my projects and getting up early to as well. I think I was running on about six hours of sleep last night when I got up to finish what I hoped would be the last of the tedious projects. I had another two projects due before bed and I had to make a run into La Ceiba, a community just north of Mérida, to pick up my new-to-me computer chair.

I finished the tedious job at last and started on the others to get a feel for how long they would take. And then I took a break to vacuum the swimming pool. Yes, that felt like a break. First time doing that and it went well. I was told I wouldn’t need to do it for a few weeks yet, but there was a lot of dust at the bottom of the pool from the wind we’ve been having. Might as well keep on top of my chores!

I was expected in La Ceiba between 3:30 and 4:00 and took off at the last minute. Driving there, I realised just how comfortable I am here already. I’ve not experienced the culture shock I did when I returned to Canada. Strange, huh? As I headed south, I decided that I might as well make a Costco run, too, since the store is just a bit further down the highway.

I thought it would be easy to get to La Ceiba because the entrance is right across from the Coliseo, but, of course, after multiple signs announcing La Ceiba, there was no sign for the exit to take that would bring me to its nearest retorno. So I caught the next one and had to double back a lot further than planned. I then had a very long wait at the gate to enter this exclusive community. Thankfully, my phone had reception, so I was able to let the seller know I was there!

I finally made it and was able to view two of items I’m planning to purchase, my dream desk and a “good enough for the price” computer chair. I’m also buying three bookcases, but, like the desk, I cannot pick them up till June 23rd. The seller made arrangements with her housekeeper for me to pick up the rest of the items on the 23rd. It was great to meet another expat who speaks fluent Spanish without being at a native level (I had more vocabulary than she did, but she had more verb tenses). So now, I have to find some strong arms and a bigger truck to help me move the desk and bookcases. It would be way too may trips in Moya. In Mazatlán, I’d book a pick-up truck taxi (auriga), but they don’t have those here. I’ve got some leads. I’ll need similar help in the fall, so I can consider this a test run.

So next stop was Costco where I dawdled even though I really needed to get home. Sometimes, you need a break… Shopping there is a new experience for me and it seems like it’s meant to be a treasure hunt. I found today in the office supply section something that wasn’t there last week, a three-pack of good scissors for just $140. I’ve been needing new scissors for a bit, so I was happy to put those in my cart. I then meandered through the food and was probably the only single person to ever go to Costco, pick up one of their giant bags of Brussels sprouts, and go, “Yup, that should do me for a bit.” 😀

I also bought a six-pack of beautiful coloured peppers, a huge block of Chihuahua cheese for only $100, another case of almond milk (toldya I’d have no trouble getting through the first one!), peanut butter, chia seeds, chicken breasts, and more. I enjoyed the samples as I went along and knew I was getting the hang of Costco when, thirsty, I went in search of, and found, someone peddling cold juice. My favourite sample were chicken and cilantro Chinese dumplings for only $120 for a huge bag, so I bought one since I have quite a bit of freezer space here. My total for my shop was $1,200, which I’d consider a success. I know I’ll be buying my meat there when I’m living in the city.

I grabbed a slice of pizza before heading home (their Hawaiian is not nearly as good as their plain cheese). The man who took my cart back to my truck for me insisted on packing my cold things into my cooler for me and made sure everything else was packed for easy transport in my bags so he got a $5 rather than $2 tip. I have to say that the cart guys at the grocery stores in Mexico make grocery shopping so much more pleasant.

I finally got home and by the time I had everything out of the truck and put away, it was almost seven. I got back to work and typed non-stop until about eleven, knowing that that would mean a much needed slow morning today. It was only then that I decided to see if the computer chair would work with the table I set up in the bedroom, which would let me spread out and set up my first proper office in eleven months. I thought the table might be too high. But NO.

So instead of winding down to go to bed, I put this together:

Aaaaaaah. The only thing I haven’t located yet is my printing calculator, which I’ll need since I still haven’t done my taxes (due June 15th). But what an improvement! I’m seriously lacking in storage, but The Desk will have tons so I’m not keen on buying too much right now.

By the time I finally got wound down enough to get some sleep, it was well past midnight and I fell asleep just past one.

And was awake at eight. *sighs* Well, a solid seven hours is better than nothing.

I had to go to immigration and, to be honest, I really didn’t feel like going out again. But needs must. I took my time with breakfast and got started on some easy jobs due this afternoon, then headed off to Progreso. I parked at Bodega Aurrerá since I needed a few things there, INM is just two or three blocks away, and the store parking lot exit is right at a retorno for Mérida.

There was no one at INM, so I was able to immediately sit down with Alejandra, the lovely clerk working the desk. She confirmed that their system is back up and running and started to put some things into the computer. She handed me the original copy of my letter confirming my residente temporal status as well as my CURP number! That’s like a Mexican Social Insurance or Social Security Number and the piece I was missing to be able to open a bank account! I really feel official now! She accepted my photos and then I had to give her my fingerprints, using real ink on paper. And that was it! She says she’ll likely have my card for me next Wednesday!

I headed back to Bodega Aurrerá where the first order of business was to find a dish drainer because I’m never going to be one of those people who dries her dishes when they’re done. I had my choice of two ugly models, stainless steel for $150 and plain white for $75… or this cute little turquoise number for $45. SOLD. 😀

I also wanted a clothes drying rack because one of the dog’s lovely hobbies is to pull clothes off the line and destroy them. He’s already eaten my favourite headscarf, so I’ve decided that even if it’ll take longer, I’m going to dry clothes indoors. 🙁 Alas, Bodega Aurrerá did not have any drying racks. I was able to get a few more things on my list including some containers to store things in the bathroom because I have zero storage there.

I also bought myself what can only be called a self-indulgent present… I’ve been wanting to get back into Legos for a very long time and decided today to see if there were any inexpensive-ish kits in the toy section. Well, folks, I bought myself a new RV! LOL

I got in and started on the first of three loads of laundry. I knew that by the time I was ready to dry anything, I’d be moving around the house for a bit doing chores and whatnot, so I’d be able to keep an eye on the dog (who is otherwise really lovely, by the way. I’m having fun with him!). I finished the pressing work I had due today and then I decided I’d earned a proper break. So off I went to build my RV!

The van looked a little ghetto at first.

But it ended up pretty cute. I love how Lego designers pay attention to small details, like doors that open…

… and license plates!

Here are the van and trailer together. So cute. I’m infinitely amused that the only thing with fine detail in the trailer is a coffeemaker!

Lego’s instructions had the man driving and the woman cooking and taking care of the dog. I rectified that.

I then spent the afternoon continuing to get sorted. I dealt with the huge mountain of laundry, was able to store away the owners’ linens and any clothes I know I won’t wear this summer, organise the wardrobe with what I will wear for sure, and brought a semblance of order to the bathroom. I still have some work to do to be truly settled, but I, of course, don’t want to buy too much until I know where I’m moving. It’ll be nice to get the bookcases next month and unpack my books, though!

Rereading this post, it doesn’t sound like I got that much done in the last couple of days, but I really did and I’m beat. I would actually be okay with not having any work this weekend so I can just sit outside for a bit and bond with my charge as well as enjoy the pool. Don’t worry, though. I’ve had plenty of pool time — it’s wonderful to jump in after coming back all hot and sweaty from town! Even if I’ve only enjoyed it 10-15 minutes a day, it’s been such a privilege to have that chance!

Now, I think I will watch a movie. So far, I only have a couple of easy jobs for tomorrow, so it should be a less manic day. I know I need to spend a few hours in the garden, so that will give me plenty of outside time to keep building up my resistance to the glorious sun out here that I feel has resurrected me. Is this truly my life, to be living so comfortably in paradise?