A Classic Canadian Recipe

The house cleaner normally comes on Wednesdays, but asked to come a day early this week. That worked out super well for me because I had the appointment to see the house in Mérida today, I had to pick up a package at a Walmart (clear across town, though), and I was able to take the day almost completely off (just had to do a little non-transcription work first thing and I’ve also been emailing with clients this afternoon).

I keep on top of the house cleaning between cleaner visits and the house is generally pretty neat, but there are always a few things to tidy up before he shows up and I need to make him a lunch. That took about 30 minutes this morning. He’s technically supposed to be here at nine, but usually shows up at 9:30 or 9:45ish. That doesn’t bother me at all. I just make sure Puppy is tied up from about 9:15 onward so I don’t have to chase him when it’s time to go open the gate. By that point of the day, he’s had breakfast and exercise and is ready for a snooze anyway, so he doesn’t mind being restrained.

Or so I thought…

I no sooner had the gate open this morning so I could take Moya out that Puppy was making a run for it. Get this — he had been chewing his leash around the knot for some time to weaken it and he finally got it to where  it came loose and it was time to escape! Thankfully, I caught him before he got far. I didn’t know whether to scold him or reward him for being such a clever dog. I had such a laugh about it.

Once he was secure, I caught the phone ringing. It was about another house I want to see in the same neighbourhood as the one I was seeing today, but, unfortunately, it would not be possible to see it until next week. The lady will be in touch. I am getting a lot of phone practice!

My cleaner arrived then, so I gave him a few instructions and headed off to the Pensiones neighbourhood of Mérida, which I’d never been to before.

The appointment was at 11:00 and I arrived at about 10:40. I walked around a bit, liking what I was seeing in terms of the mix of houses and businesses nearby. Figuring that the owner wouldn’t show up till well past 11:00, I went to the very nearby Las Americas mall (Scotiabank, Chedraui, Soriana Hiper, Office Depot, Sears, tons of restaurants all just a few blocks from the house!) to wait in AC. So the neighbourhood won me over completely. The only thing that I didn’t check on were bus routes. Everything else was there within a half kilometre radius of the house.

At the mall, I texted the guy to say that I was in the area and he said that he was literally pulling up to the house and where did I want to meet him? Him being exactly on time was not part of my plan for today, LOL. I texted that I’d be right over since I knew where the house was.

The house was definitely not welcoming. It had an imposing façade with a hideous grill and the only outdoor space is what I call a prison yard (cement walls and slab). I do like those boxed in houses because they’re very secure — you can leave your windows and doors open when you go out for the day, but this was a rather ugly take on the concept.

Inside, the house had two bedrooms, one upstairs and down, but there was a bonus room (no closet) on the ground floor that could be an office. That was a deal breaker for me because the office and my bedroom need to be upstairs for more light and better air circulation.

There was a very nice roof area, though, with quite the laundry setup and they would have put in a palapa for shade.

I will say that condition wise, the house was pretty gross, but I know that a scrub and a fresh paint job would have taken care of that. The guys who showed it to me even said that the intention is to rent the house, give it a thorough pressure washing inside and out, then paint with colours chosen by the tenant close to move-in time. So the condition wasn’t a deal breaker. I really loved the brick floors. So many houses have beige or white tile floors. The seating area in the living room that needs cushions was a neat feature.

The stairs did turn out to be terrifying. They come up to a landing with no rail and sheer drop. I could just imagine myself coming out of the bedroom in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, forgetting to turn, and ending up in the living room with two broken legs.

So while the house had a lot of things going for it, I was glad that the layout made it an absolute nope so I can take it off the table. It was totally worth visiting for learning about the Pensiones neighbourhood!

It was then time to head to City Center to pick up my package at Walmart. Thankfully, that was quicker and easier than expected since I could take the periférico. I’d had my package sent there since that’s the Walmart closest to home for me, but there was one right in Pensiones, doh!

I got to Walmart and was accosted by some guys offering vehicle cleaning services. I negotiated for a basic wash and buffing of my lenses and was impressed that they had paperwork for me to fill out. It was probably pricey at $200, but Moya was disgusting and I was spared having to do the job myself or hunting down someone.

Getting my package was fun. “Punto com” (dot com) and Walmart stores are not affiliated. The gal who takes care of orders was off for her two-hour lunch and not available to find the package for me despite there being a sign that packages could be picked up between nine and eight. A manager took over and found a clerk familiar with the loading dock to go hunting. He came back after quite some time with my box. I then had to tell him he needed to look for a pink binder with a form that would have the order details and that we would both have to sign and he’d need to write down the number of my ID. Good thing one of us knew what to do! A different manager had helped me with this order and had another item with my box that I might be interested in, which I was. So since I had to go wait at a till, I figured I should pick up more dog food. Pit bulls eat a lot!

My truck was ready by the time I came out and I was very pleased with the service I got. I then decided to get an ice cream in lieu of lunch, but was lured into a La parilla (The Grill) restaurant by the wonderful smell of grilled meat. There, I ordered their special “Hawaiian” tacos with pork, bacon, cheese, and pineapple. The meat mixture and toppings (one spicy red sauce, raw onions and cilantro, sautéd onions and chile, guacamole, lime) were all en pointe, but I was disappointed that I’d been brought wheat tortillas. I complained and was told that they’re the default for those tacos since they’re based on “a classic Canadian recipe” (ie. ham and pineapple pizza). I laughed almost as hard at that as at the dog’s escape this morning. Lunch was very good and I’d definitely go back to La parilla.

I was done in after that (really need to rethink my stance on not getting the truck AC fixed) and headed home.

The cleaner was still working on my suite, so I did some outdoor chores that have been lingering on my to-do list. There is a lot to do here and I’m on top of all the stuff that matters (like watering the garden and adding chemicals to the pool), but have gotten behind in the last few weeks with the weeding and vacuuming the pool. I got the weeding under control yesterday and vacuumed the pool today. That’s a bit of a vicious cycle — sand gets in the pool when I add water from the well, but then vacuuming takes out water and I have to add more. Since I know it’s just well sand and not real dirt, I don’t worry about the pool bottom looking absolutely pristine every day, but I do keep on top of skimming and emptying the filter. I’m surprised by how easy the pool has been to maintain!

The list of chores here has been really good for me because it’s been a good practice for when I have a full size home again. I don’t find it burdensome at all and I have such a wonderful home to enjoy! Yes, I’m eager to get back into my own space and to live walking distance to everything, but there’s so much to savour here and I’m loving how my summer is turning out. I can’t believe it’s already August!

9 thoughts on “A Classic Canadian Recipe

    • Well, they are not that far from the al pastor tacos that are pork marinated in pineapple juice. 🙂

      I’m getting comfortable now that I’m learning my way around Mérida.

  1. Your reaction to the puppy chewing through his leash reminded me of parenting children–when you want to laugh but think you should scold.

  2. Your hosts are so very fortunate that you are fastidious and so caring about their home and property. They and Puppy hit the jackpot when they connected with you.

  3. Chris and Juan told me there is a company in Monterrey that rebuilds air conditioning units so they basically become a new unit. With labour costs in Mexico being so reasonable you might be able to get a rebuilt unit shipped to Merida and installed for a reasonable amount. It is just a matter of finding someone to do it for you.

    Car wash prices have gone up! We used to get a basic parking lot wash done for 40 – 50 pesos while 200 – 300 would get you a full detailing job.

    • I don’t plan to use AC — way too expensive. Hence why I want an older house built for this climate. I do want AC in the guest room and will negotiate with the landlord if I don’t have a unit in it. But so far, all the houses I’ve looked at have had AC or mini split units in at least all the bedrooms.

      I’m pretty sure that was a very pricy wash, but these weren’t guys with just a bucket of water and a rag. They were working out of a truck and had a tank of fresh water and good cleaning products products. They wanted $400 for a full detailing job. I wouldn’t have paid bucket guys $200.

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