(Post 59 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)
All jokes aside, I think this is really the apocalypse. The rainy season has started with a vengeance, with major flooding reported all over the state thanks to Tropical Storm Cristobal crawling across the state. There is no blue sky in the forecast for weeks. So on top of COVID, we’re now dealing with major floods (some communities, like Oxkutzcab, are nearly entirely under water) and mosquito-borne illnesses. I’m not sure what else the poorer communities of the state can take. The authorities seem on top of getting people evacuated to shelters, friends, or family. Thank goodness they are not completely overwhelmed by the pandemic.
The roofers spent all of last week prepping the roof for the final stage of applying a weatherproofing product. They saw the forecast ahead and still decided to take the weekend off. So the work never got done I’m now dealing with a leaky roof in every room of my house except the downstairs bathrooms and back bedrooms that have a second story over them. I’m trying to keep a modicum of perspective — I’m not flooded out and I only have actual leaks worth mentioning (not just major dampness) in three rooms, but the humidity levels in the house are hard to take. Everything is just so… clammy. I will allow myself a brief moment of woe is me to say that I feel like my beloved house has completely betrayed me. 🙁
I will spare you the pictures of all the damp spots, but will share some of the downstairs landing, which has been the most badly affected. Water has been coming in at the second floor from the new living room roof they put in. Imagine that roof is the same height as the floor up there, separated only by a wall that was never meant to be an exterior wall (they intended to build a room over the living room, so they just built a temporary closure from the top landing to that space). So the water is leaking in from the bottom of that wall. And then, instead of pooling on the second floor landing floor, it’s just soaking through and coming down the wall.
Water was coming in so fast last night that I was up very late mopping. I finally had to go get a few hours of shuteye. When I got up, the whole downstairs landing and part of the living room had water. I filled up the entire bucket.
This morning, I had to leave the house for the first time in two and a half weeks to go deposit some money on my cleaning lady’s debit card. I almost had to swim to Oxxo!
Bonita was loving this weather the first few days, spending the nights playing in the mud so that she could get a thorough rubdown in the morning, one of her favourite things.
Last night was the usual. I wanted to keep her in, but she wanted out. I expected her to be a mess this morning, but found her in her dryish bed perfectly clean. I guess she’s as over this weather as humans are!
I learned from my winters in the Pacific Northwet a decade ago that I do not do well at all in this kind of climate. I am truly solar-powered. I had no idea at the time, but I was dealing with major depressive symptoms during those winters. Cognisant of that now, I’m making a real effort to not fall back into bad habits while I have absolutely no motivation to do anything but sleep until Cristobal passes. I’ve actually made myself checklists for each day of everything that needs doing that are normally second nature to me — continue having a healthy green smoothie for breakfast (when I want sausage and toast!), keep up with chores, keep up with the exercise regimen (weights + treadmill), and keep up a full work schedule.
Laundry is difficult in these conditions and I understand now why some Yucatecans have a dryer to use during the wet season. Moreover, it’s hard to get to the laundry room when it’s pouring rain because the patio outside its door floods. So I took advantage of Wednesday being almost a reprieve before the worst hit to do several loads and then set up the guest bedroom as a drying space. With the ceiling and floor fans, all but towels dried in a day.
In a bid to find something positive to do and keep myself nourished while this is happening, I placed a massive 1,800-peso order to the local purveyor of Asian (mostly Japanese, Korean, and Chinese) foodstuffs, Asian Mart, so that I can try out some new recipes. Most of that was “ingredients,” like giant bottles of oyster and fish sauce, not convenience foods, so the order will last me a long time.
So last night, I tried my hand at making pad Thai from scratch. Like all the “truly authentic” pad Thais I’ve had, it came out tasting quite fishy (thanks to all the dried shrimp — what an acquired taste!) and not very sweet, but still wonderful. I was very pleased with my efforts and can think of a few tweaks to make it even more to my taste next time. I followed Jet Tilla’s pad Thai recipe nearly exactly — I didn’t have the turnip or tofu he mentioned, and I subbed soft tofu for egg.
Asian Mart is still not yet well-known in the city and is such a gift. I can find elsewhere some of the products they carry, but Asian Mart’s prices are much better (tofu is about 10 pesos less a brick, for example) and the prepared foods they carry are better than what you can find in supermarkets. I treated myself to a tray of gyoza, Japanese dumplings, and they were like what I’d expect to find at a high-end restaurant. So good. The few times I can find gyoza in the supermarkets here, they’re very… meh. I also like that the store buys things like sauces, oils, and vinegars in huge, restaurant-sized, portions and then decants into containers sized more for the average household.
So that’s all the excitement over here. Please send sun if you have some!