Off the Map

I headed to the house today after the cleaner arrived. I’d packed the third bookcase, more bedding and clothes, and some additional kitchen things. Just before I left, my landlady texted to ask when an electrician could come by today and I said between 10:30 and 1:00 since I had an appointment at 2:00 outside of town. The cleaner was a bit late so by the time I got to my house at about 10:40, the electrician was waiting for me!

It took all of five minutes for him to diagnose that there is a problem with the wiring and that this wasn’t going to be a simple controller installation. I had a hard time understanding him since he spoke so fast and with a different accent than I’m used to, so I was shocked by how much I understood of a phone conversation he had. He listed a bunch of materials he was going to need for the job because he’s going to have to tap into the bathroom fan wiring. We made tentative plans for me to return to the house on Friday. If that’s the case, then I won’t go this weekend.

He left and I lugged in what I’d brought with me, then the fun part of my day began.

You see, I had quite an epiphany the other night. You know how sometimes a solution can be staring you right in the face? I don’t have a bed yet, brand new beds are expensive, and I still need a washing machine and a stove as well to be really comfortable in the house. If could postpone just one of those purchases right now, I could get the other two.

Well, I actually dabbled with the idea of buying a hammock in lieu of a bed, thinking I’d be more comfortable in one temperature-wise. That is what the locals have been sleeping in here for ages. But then remembered that I froze overnight in Mérida last winter and we’re already getting cold nights in Chelem so a proper bed would be comfortable for a part of the year at least. I was also leery of the learning curve to sleeping in a hammock since I’m such a poor sleeper. I definitely want to get a hammock at some point as I know I’ll be happy to have one next summer, but that was not the solution to my bed issue at this time.

Since there are two twin beds downstairs, I resigned myself to sleeping down there for a bit, even though I’m desperate to set up my master suite and settle into my proper routine here.

Which is where my epiphany comes in: move one of the beds upstairs for now. How obvious is that?! The beds are just about brand new and very comfy, with a pillowtop! I don’t wiggle around a lot in bed, so a twin is fine for now. By the time I’m going to need to bring the bed back down for a guest, I’ll be in a position to buy myself one.

So I took one of the beds downstairs apart and lugged the pieces upstairs. The mattress did not have handles, so that was the hardest part. I then dressed the bed with my spare set of sheets, one of the blankets I bought in Maz, an extra pillow I brought from Canada, and picked out one of the many small tables available in the house to use as a night table. Finally, two screws on a wall by the window gave me the perfect place to hang one of my paintings.

I will unfortunately likely need better window coverings as I don’t think the room is going to be dark enough so I have to investigate what’s going to be the easiest way to achieve that. Still, bedroom done! Real progress! 🙂

I took a break after that to see if the coffee table I bought a few days ago would work where I needed it to. It’s perfect — exactly the right height and size. Shame that it is covered in a very gross bright red faux leather.

However, as I suspected, it has a solid wood frame. I’m going to remove the faux leather and I’m pretty confident that after a couple coats of paint, the exposed frame will look really nice!

It was getting close to 1:00 by this point and I had to drive out all the way to the bowels of Kanasin, a community just outside the southeastern limits of the periférico:

That arrow at the bottom points to the last thing Google would navigate me to. My actual destination was off the map!

You see, I’d spotted an item on the garage sale site a couple of nights ago that I really wanted and which was still available. I learned quickly that there is more often than not no point in showing interest in an item if you can’t get in your car straight away to go pick it up. People don’t hold things if they can have cash right now because things go really fast. But this was such a lovely piece that I took a chance. The seller agreed to hold it for me until this afternoon, but checked several times that I was sure I was going to buy it because she had other buyers lined up.

The transaction started to make me a little nervous when, after I got through her text speak and appalling spelling and spent some time on Google Maps, I realised she was out of town. I was going to be quite pissed off if I drove all the way out to her and she’d sold the item out from under me. But I woke up to a text from her saying to call her on another number to let her know when I was leaving Mérida this afternoon, so that made me more confident.

The easiest and fastest way to get to her house was to drive back north to the periférico as if I was going to Progreso and then drive all the way around. The periférico is a really good idea, but don’t think it’s anything like a city bypass in Canada and the US. Exits and entrances are rather a mess and poorly indicated — you often have to drive quite a distance on the service roads to get on and off — and there are frequently bad accidents. Definitely not my favourite part of Mérida to drive, but for a situation like today, it was preferable to the shorter route directly across town as I would have spent twice as long baking in my truck!

The lady I was meeting up with told me to call her from a Willy’s supermarket by her house so that she could direct me. But as it turned out, she was in a planned community with well numbered houses and streets, so I found her on my own with no issues! The neighbourhood was quite creepy, with only one road in and then a bunch of identical streets radiating from it.

I was 40 minutes early and the woman having said she really couldn’t be there before 2:00, I drove back to civilisation to have lunch. It was lunchtime, so I had no trouble finding a cocina economica doing rapid business. I ordered “milanesa empanizada,” which is a thin breaded pork cutlet (like schnitzel).

This is what “Mexican food” really looks like, which I think may be a shock to some people.

I had a bowl of very thin black bean soup, spaghetti with tomato sauce, shredded carrots and cabbage (no dressing), cucumbers and tomatoes, rice, and the breaded pork. Not pictured are the tortillas, lime, and chiles I had to ask for that came with everyone else’s meal! The meal was not particularly memorable; tasty and generously portioned, but nothing special. However, at $35 (about 2.30CAD) I could easily justify having something like this several times a week for lunch instead of cooking. Of course, similar meals are a bit more expensive in the big city, but not much more. I had a half portion. The couple next to me had a full portion and ate off the same plate, making very interesting tacos out of their pork and spaghetti!

I thought I’d be rushed for lunch, but the seller texted to say she was running late, so we moved the appointment to 2:30. That would mean I wouldn’t have time to return to the house to drop off my purchase, but as it would turn out, it was bigger than expected and too much to carry on my own.

She finally showed up around 2:40 and helped me load this vanity into my truck:

It’s real a shame that the pink paint job is terrible because I could have totally lived with the colour! But as it is, it will drive me nuts, so it has to be redone. Since this was my housewarming gift from Contessa, it really does need to be painted a glossy teal-y blue-greeny colour anyway. 🙂

I’m really hoping it will fit in my master bath, but it’s a bit longer than I expected so it may not. The idea was to use it to store bath products, jewellery, first aid supplies, etc., and to get a nice basket for the “hole” in the middle to store towels. If it doesn’t work in the bathroom, it will fit nicely in my bedroom and still be able to hold many of those things. Thank you again, Contessa, for the gift as this piece is really a “want” more than a hard need right now and I would have talked myself out of it!

Well, it’s now 5:30 and much as that cold beer in the fridge is calling my name, I really need to go make a serious dent in my work queue. Tomorrow is going to be a monster otherwise!

8 thoughts on “Off the Map

  1. I love the Tex/Mex food so many in the states know but I also enjoy “real Mexican” food, too.

    Your very pink vanity looks quite sturdy and what a lovely gift Contessa gave you.

    • My comment about “real Mexican” food was more about how really ordinary the food was and that the combination of items was a bit strange — who pictures Mexicans lined up to eat spaghetti and coleslaw with pork schnitzel?! LOL

      My very pink vanity is sadly not pink enough. Such a shame. 😀 It is very sturdy — solid wood. It will look stunning after a bit of work!

      • Always amazed how much spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce we have seen served in Mexico and it is that ordinary food served that would surprise non Mexican travelers.

        Look forward to seeing another picture of your vanity with perhaps a new color.

        • Yes, that’s my point. I know that before I came here I thought that Mexican food was a lot “more” than what I eat at a cocina economica and spaghetti sure did not fit on the list. It wasn’t until I started eating at the cocinas economica that I really began to understand how the average Mexican really eats.

          It will have a new paint colour. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *