Even though I’ll pay for it tomorrow, I gave myself today off. Of course, that meant I was up at the crack of dawn after not nearly enough sleep (although it was very good quality!). I was facing my first really nice day in weeks, not just blue sky, but sun and heat, so I put together a couple of loads of laundry and got one started. Laundry’s never a chore, and even more so when it means my bed will smell like sunshine and fresh air that night!
Then, I eased into my day by taking the time to make a nice breakfast of longaniza (crumbled pork sausage) quesadillas, with fruit and, of course, a cup of coffee, enjoyed on the back patio.
The day passed very languidly even though I got a lot done between all my doing rather nothing. I did get on the computer at one point and saw a posting for an event in Centro that I was interested in last week but didn’t go to because of the foul weather. Well, it had been postponed to today at 5:30! So that went on the calendar.
By early afternoon, my short night caught up with me so I tried to take a nap. Tried being the imperative word. I don’t know what my neighbour was doing, but closest I can describe it is it sounded like a angry swarm of hornets. Bzzzzzzzz. Oh, well, I was being rather optimistic for a gorgeous Saturday afternoon!
I headed out around 4:00 and was bewildered to get dropped at a different stop than usual (there’s been a lot of road closures lately). Thankfully, with streets being numbered and my being orientated as to the street coordinates of familiar landmarks, I just had to glance at the street markers for where I was dropped and I was able to head off in the general direction of my destination, Parque de la Ermita de Santa Isabel, in a neighbourhood I’d never been to. I had to walk west to 66 and then south to 77-ish.
I stopped for an ice cream at Plaza Grande. My choices were a proper ice cream parlour where I got two (small) scoops of real ice cream for $25, or Dairy Queen where I know that their non-dairy frozen goop Blizzards are about $45 for a mini. I found it interesting that there was a lineup out the door for DQ and that everyone appeared Mexican while the few patrons at the ice cream shop appeared to be expats or tourists.
I thought the event was in the park as there is a gazebo, but as we got closer to 5:30 I concluded that I was in the wrong location. I looked up the flyer again and saw no helpful information as to how I could be where I was and it not be the right place. I Googled the event and with the right combination of keywords found another ad that said that the concert was in a location “junto” to the church. Junto means right next to it, like stuck to it. I looked around and realised that there could very well be a walled outdoor space behind the church and, spotting an open door in the wall, I went through it into a secret garden.
I was there to listen to a free concert of opera and zarzuelas. I love opera and promised myself that if there were any performances in Mérida, I would make an effort to see them. I’m not a connoisseur beyond knowing that Puccini is my favourite, Wagner is my least favourite, the opera version of Carmen is a disgrace, and I will never get tired of Madama Butterfly. I just love how opera makes me feel as it washes over me in waves of emotion.
The show was incredible. By the end I was vibrating and feeling completely shattered in the best way. They started with several arias from La Traviata and then even more complex pieces. What incredible voices! I liked that each piece was introduced to set it in a bit of context and tell us what was said. Thankfully, I had no trouble understanding any of that, so I got the full benefit of the show. Near the end, the performers brought a local political candidate, who sponsored the show, on stage to sing the Spanish version of Cole Porter’s “You’re the Top” (Tu eres el mejor). It was hilarious, especially with the pantomiming!
The show lasted almost 90 minutes and even after two encores, I was sad to have it over!
Of course, such a special evening had to include a special meal, so I hiked the 2KM north to Pita to have falafel. I decided that from there, I would continue pushing north almost another kilometre to catch a bus around Parque Santa Ana, a sure bet, rather than trying to figure out where to catch a bus around Plaza Grande since the stops have moved.
I sat in the courtyard since it was such a comfortable evening. Normally, I have a limonada mineral, but went with a beer tonight, which was only a peso more for some types! A chose a Pacifico for old time’s sake — much as I love Mérida, there is a lot about Mazatlán to be homesick for!
Dinner savoured, I was completely done in by my surprisingly full relaxing Saturday. I was actually happy to walk the few blocks to Parque Santa Ana, but even happier when I decided I was ready to get on a bus and not only did one come by, but it stopped for me!