First Morning in Mérida

I didn’t sleep well last night, but that’s normal for being in an unfamiliar place. It was surprisingly quiet except for the odd train whistle that I think I could learn to live with. My street is a little cul-de-sac (calle cerrada/closed street) so there was no traffic and my apartment is well off the street anyway. The bed was surprisingly comfy, and very much so by Mexican standards, so that wasn’t a problem. I would have liked a blanket and not just a sheet because I prefer sleeping with some weight over me, but temperature-wise, I was comfortable. I went to bed just past midnight and gave up on sleep at 8:00.

First order of business was coffee. I’d brought my French press, pre-ground beans, and milk. The only thing available in which I could boil a small amount of water was an enameled pot, so I used that, knowing the handle would get really hot! I had to wash everything I used, mug, spoon, and pot, because they had been washed with a sponge that had seen better days. The water here smells pretty bad, almost mouldy. No idea if that’s because the tinaco needs a rinse or if it’s just a city water quality issue. I don’t drink it, so I’m not too concerned. I’ll do like at home (Isla) and make sure things are dry before I use them.

Coffee made, I enjoyed it on my deck off the bedroom. What a treat this space is! I’m going to spend a lot of time out here as it has the most comfortable chairs in the house. I have some proofing work to do while I’m here and what an office this space will make!

I had scoped out the neighbourhood using Google Maps, but was pretty sure that they didn’t have the exact apartment pinned down. I was right. What I saw on Google Map is Calle 36, the next street over, which is a main thoroughfare. This is where I live:

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You go through that door into a charming little courtyard with a tile floor and textured walls:

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I forgot to grab a picture of the courtyard, sorry. 🙂 There’s just a metal staircase leading up to an apartment.

My building is behind the one you see on the street. There’s a very narrow path leading to it. Much measuring would ensue if I had to buy furniture and appliances for this place!

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There are three apartments in my building. I’m on the second level and the third level has the roof as a terrace.

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My front door is at the top of the first flight of the spiral staircase.

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Inside, the layout is standard. Entrance/living room/kitchenette, short hallway with a bathroom behind the kitchen, and a huge bedroom at the back with an open closet.

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The little bit of orange in the kitchen and the dark brown mouldings make the white walls and floors a lot easier to stomach than my equally bland place on Isla. I’m surprised that I could see myself living in this space long-term! The bedroom is large enough to neatly separate into the two rooms I would need, but, of course, I wouldn’t have any guest quarters. But I’d consider coming back here when I start house hunting if I do end up doing so in this neighbourhood.

First order of business after coffee was getting some groceries. Both Google and Apple swore there is a Soriana five blocks away, but they both goofed. It was twenty blocks away. While they had the correct address, 514, they had the location at being around 415.

It was a pleasant enough walk there, the crowds increasing the closer I got to the 500 block. Getting around Mérida will be easy since all the streets are numbered. Odds go in one direction, evens in the other. All streets are well marked and most buildings have addresses on them.

Soriana was very small, just a food store, but it was adequate for my most immediate needs. I was glad to be in a familiar store where I could just grab the products I know and not have to over think things since it was very busy. I still need to go out to Waldo’s (which hopefully will be where Google says it is) to get some cheap cooking things since there isn’t even a decent spatula.

I schlepped home with only just what I could carry that far. I washed a few things and put together a very nice toasted ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich as my brunch. I had passed a few small loncherias where I could have grabbed breakfast, but I wasn’t that hungry until I’d worked up an appetite and was happy to baptise the kitchen I’ll be living with for a week.

One thing I need to sort out ASAP is water. I have some empty garrafons (5 gallon jugs), so I’m hoping there is an exchange system like on Isla. I go through a garrafon a week, so I’m much better off getting one of those than buying smaller water containers. I just sent my host a text asking about that and FINALLY added the Spanish keyboard to my iPhone. Should have done that sooner! Took only two seconds. *shakes head*

Oh, here’s a text from my host. Water can be bought from the tienda right at the corner, but if I can wait till 5:30, he’ll bring me one. I am not schlepping one of those things that far and up those stairs, plus I bought a litre for today, so I can wait! 🙂

First impressions of this part of Mérida? Quiet (quite a respite from bustling Isla, to be honest), clean, neat, walkable, with friendly locals. I’m just off of the main thoroughfare for this neighbourhood, Paseo de Montejo, and that’s where I’m headed next as I meander my way to where Waldo’s is supposed to be. I’m also going to scope out a spot to grab dinner tonight!

 

7 thoughts on “First Morning in Mérida

  1. It is my understanding that many of these places keep a stash of extras like plates, glasses, blankets and pots. Ask first before you spend too many pesos.

    • Oh, absolutely. I’ll ask for a broom, for example. But I don’t mind spending 65 pesos on a new clean pot rather than be offered something gross. I’ve noticed that many Mexicans buy cookware that is really too thin to be used on high heat and they burn the bottoms. I’ve spent only 140 pesos or so and now I’m set for the week.

    • The pictures on Airbnb made the apartment look very sparse, but it’s better than expected because both the bed and couch are comfy. There’s even an ottoman for the couch. The balcony is wooooonderful. 🙂

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