Monday Lull

I had quite a bit of transcription to do this morning and so I was at up and at ’em rather early to get it all done by about 11AM. This would give me time to go run a few errands before a 3PM Skype call with a client for training on my new position.

I was chained to my desk all weekend, so I was desperate for a leg stretch. I decided that I would go to HSBC to make a withdrawal as I literally had only 50 centavos (3 cents CAD) on me and while there, I would pay my internet bill. I would then walk to a Pollo Feliz (Happy Chicken!) restaurant since I’ve been very curious about them since I first came to Mexico and yet never made it to one. I’m not thrilled with the couple of chicken stands near my house since I find they’re not very good value so I thought I’d see how a chain restaurant compares.

Here’s my route. Yes, I use the beer store around the corner as a landmark. What can I say, it’s convenient. 🙂

HSBC’s ATM was feeling generous today and gave me almost only 50s, saving me the step of having to convert bills. I then went to a teller to pay my bill for Izzi (internet). I knew I would have a fee doing it that way versus going to their store, but this was way more convenient.

First thing that happened is that the teller rifled through a bunch of notes and then scribbled things on the piece of paper I gave him with my “reference” (not account) number for Izzi. He would later hand it back to me to see that he’d added a transit code and other information to make it easier for the next teller to take my payment.

He then asked me if I’m a client of HSBC. I said yes and passed over my card. He swiped it, tapped some keys, and then asked for how much I wanted to pay. I told him $600 and passed the bills over. He processed that and then told me there was a cost for the deposit. I can’t remember if it was $10.70 or $17.10, but whatever it was was less expensive than the time and gas to go to Gran Plaza.

That was it! Izzi’s “how to pay” web page says that a payment at a bank should reflect on my account within 24 hours. So I made a note to double check my web app. When I paid at the Izzi store last month, my web app immediately updated with the new payment.

I headed north up the Prolongación Paseo de Montejo and eventually turned west to go back to Calle 60. Along the way, I was puzzled when I passed a random carambola lying in the middle of the sidewalk.

I looked up and was awed.

I had no idea that carambolas grow in Mexico! I always thought they were a Southeast Asian fruit!

I got to Pollo Feliz and was surprised to see that it is both a proper sit down restaurant and a takeaway stand — it’s the Mexican Nando’s! I chose to eat in since I was famished. A half chicken was about $75. The server said it didn’t come with anything, but there were already totopos, salsa, two kinds of onions, and tortillas on the table so I declined a side. He rather pushed and I decided to try “cebollitas,” which, based on the grocery store, I expected to be be green onions.

Well, the onions were small regular onions grilled just the way I like them. OMG. 🙂 Now that was quite a find! The chicken was absolutely wonderful. Between paying $75 for a scrawny chicken with sides I’m not fond of and getting this meaty bird, there’s no contest. And, yes, they deliver. 🙂

Needless to say, I took home leftovers. The purple veggie is pickled onions Yucatecans eat the way that Sinaloans enjoy chiles curtidos, but they’re not spicy. Between those, regular raw onion, and grilled onions, I was in heaven! I had two very reasonably priced lime agua frescas ($20 each) with this as well. With a tip, I came out at $160. Very reasonable, especially for the quality of the food. I was most impressed. I also have to remember their desserts as someone came by with a tray with slices of four different cheesecakes that looked wonderful. I could see myself walking all the way up there one evening for such a treat. 🙂

Heading south on Calle 60, I passed this wonderful place selling Christmas trees and poinsettias — so pretty and it smelled like Canada. 🙂

One thing I love about walking around a city is how you find things that you miss when driving. I took so many notes on my walk of places offering things I need. I was delighted when I passed on store that had something on my “YOU REALLY NEED THIS ASAP!!!” list. I call it a vadrouille:

In European French, that’s a mop, but in québécois, it’s a a big shaggy broom for collecting dust. I have something like 2,700 square feet of floor to upkeep (yes, yes, that’s ridiculous, my house is huge, I know, I know!) and a broom isn’t cutting it. A vadrouille would let me quickly dust all the floors every day or two to cut down on how often I need to wash them.

The vadrouille was only $95. The man asked me if I speak good Spanish. After I said yes, he explained that I have to treat the mop with this product (spraying it on) and then let it dry for four to five hours before using the vadrouille or it would not work. I figured it had to be some sort of oil to attract the dust. The product was $50. So $145 all-in, which sounded like a good price and I liked that I was buying from a little shop in my neighbourhood instead of a chain store.

I came in and treated the vadrouille. The product was foul. I still can’t place the smell although I know I know it. It’s almost like an oily turpentine and it took a lot of work to get the smell out of my hands! Needless to say, I treated the vadrouille outside, where it is now drying. I just did a search and “tratamop” is a an actual generic product here so I should be able to find more easily if that shop were to close down.

It was then time to head home and get back to work!

I’m taking it easy with transcription this week since I’m training and I also hope to be able t0 go buy a new fridge and, once it arrives and has had time to settle before being plugged in, go get some much needed groceries. I was shocked and rather disappointed that a transfer came into my HSBC account in just two business days when it’s normally at least four and that I’m still waiting on a transfer to my Scotiabank account because it would only be two and it’s now been four…  But of course! Anyway, maybe I’ll get to go fridge shopping in the morning and if I’m really lucky, they’ll be able to deliver in the afternoon so I can get groceries on Wednesday…

Well, back to work I go. I thought I’d be done by now (5PM), but I decided to get this post out instead. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Monday Lull

  1. I know that mop as a dust mop and they are great for uncarpeted floors! Glad you found an affordable one.

    • “Dust mop” is obvious. LOL Just goes to show that as much as I pretend to be a native English speaker, I’m not!

      It worked so well! Needless to say, it’s no longer white.

      I ran it over all my floors in less than 10 minutes. Great purchase!

  2. I used to see carambolas in Miami when I lived there, so not surprising they are in Mérida. You are not that far south of that same growing zone. They weren’t necessarily available in the grocery stores, but friends would pass them around at work, etc.. I haven’t lived there for over thirty years, so not sure if they are still there or not. They were called Star Fruit, too, but I thought carambola was a much niftier name! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


    • I’m so used to calling them by their French name “carambole” that carambola just rolled off the tongue more easy to me than “star fruit,” plus it sounds more exotic!

      I’m not a huge fan, but my brother likes them. We always had them in fruit salad when I was growing up. I’m a bit shocked that such a thing was common in grocery stores in Quebec in the 1990s!

  3. Hi Rae, we are in Rincon de Guayabitos in a RV Park and there is a Star Fruit tree here. The fruit is for the employees of the park and the same for the bananas from all the banana trees that grow In the park. I think that is neat. Nice to see how much you enjoy your home.

    • Hi Sandy,

      It’s lovely to know the fruit isn’t going to waste! I have to come up with a way of salvaging some of my neighbour’s sour oranges that keep falling into my yard!

      Thank you for your kind thought. I’m really happy with my new place. 🙂

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