“They” Said There Were Going To Be Days Like These

Sometimes, life happens smoothly. Sometimes, life is like swimming upstream through molasses. My spring feels like the latter.

When I last left you, it was Saturday morning. To my surprise, I actually got my Saturday off! I had a super lazy day with Bonita and by dinner time-ish, I had ants in my skirt and needed a leg stretch. I decided to go check out Pho Mx, a Vietnamese restaurant with rave reviews. I Googled the location and discovered that it is literally across the street from the real estate agency I worked with to rent my house!

Google is always off on its time estimates since I’m a fast walker. I do about 1KM in 10 minutes, so it took me exactly 30 minutes to walk to the restaurant.

I set off some time just past six at the best time of day at this time of year – when it’s still very light out, but the sun is low enough to not beat down on you and there’s a cool breeze. The 3.2KM walk went very quickly.

The restaurant is located in a strip mall and is beautifully decorated. Reviews said that the pho is the star of the show (as it should be), so that’s of course what I ordered. Pho is a soup and the one I ordered had thin slices of beef and pork with veggies in an incredibly savoury broth to which I added jalapeños, hot sauce, a sweet sauce, lime, and bean sprouts. I had it with a cold ginger-lemon tea.

I could not believe how good my meal was. It had flavours I have never had in my life (a spice in the broth, plus the sweet sauce). While very filling, it was light. I cannot wait to eat there again!

I thought to Uber home, but it was still light out and it was just such a joy to be out in the cool breeze and have this part of Mérida almost to myself. It didn’t get properly dark until I was a block or two from home — I can’t believe how much longer the days have gotten!

When I got in, Bonita gave me her happy dance (if you haven’t seen it on Instagram, you’re missing out) and then she showed me there were no hard feelings for going out by having a proper cuddle. Awwww.

Despite having had a day off, Sunday was a mess since I had not slept well and I had hard files to do.

Monday, I checked tracking on some packages I’d ordered and decided to stay in as I suspected two would be incoming. One arrived super early, but the other, delivered by FedEx, was languishing at a depot. I’ve gotten a “delivery incoming!” notification as late as early evening from them, so I didn’t dare go out. Little did I know that I was about to enter FedEx hell.

You see, last week I ordered a bag of dog food for Bonita from a seller online with much better prices than the vet here. He got the bag out on Friday morning with delivery expected Monday or Tuesday. So when the bag never showed up on Monday, I figured it would be here Tuesday and, again, waited all day even though I was gasping for groceries (ie. was out of coffee).

By 7:00, I’d given up hope, but still left a note just in case, and then walked to Mega (now Soriana) to get what I needed. It was pitch dark and threatening to rain when I came out so I splurged on an Uber home (a whopping 30 pesos — not worth wrestling the truck out of the parking bay!). Still no sign of FedEx when I got home.

The next morning, I got a notification that there was a delivery exception and that there was no scheduled delivery. I called FedEx and they would not help me. So I contacted my seller and he contacted FedEx and was told that they promised to deliver by the end of the day.

By early afternoon, I had an update that my package was still at the depot with no scheduled delivery. I contacted FedEx via Twitter and they escalated my problem to the Latin America office, who thought that telling me, “We told the depot to deliver ASAP” offered any sort of resolution.

It wasn’t until 11:00 this morning, Thursday, that I finally got an “out for delivery” notification and the food finally arrived at 2PM. I only had enough left for one more meal so they cut it way too close.

Now, here’s the interesting part of the story. When I had my FedEx issue last year with an Amazon order, the Amazon clerk posited that FedEx didn’t want to chance delivering to the middle of nowhere with no confirmation that they’d be able to actually make the delivery. So normally, the driver would call to make sure the recipient is home. The Amazon clerk guessed that since I have an obviously foreign name, FedEx figured there was no point calling me as I wouldn’t be able to deal with them and it was just easier to return the package to sender.

Well, guess what FedEx flat out told my seller yesterday? Yup, that their driver couldn’t contact the recipient due to a language issue. Amazon was right!

(By the way, I’ve had another unexpected jump in my linguistic skills — FedEx Mexico’s phone tree was easy yesterday when I had to make multiple calls last year to understand all the options.)

I have no idea how FedEx remains in business. I’ve had issues with them in four countries. Needless to say, the time I’ve spent on this issue has negated any savings. 🙁

Back to work I go. I woke up yesterday morning happy that I’d somehow managed to not have any files in my queue and vaguely dreamed of taking a couple of days off, but within an hour of being up, I was booked through the weekend. Can’t complain about business being good! 🙂

A Pause

Holy moly I have been running at about 180% since… well, for so long I can’t remember the last time I had a day off.

Yesterday I said enough. I was supposed to have a big project the week before that got bumped to this week, completely upsetting my schedule. And then, the client kept changing her schedule and sending me different file lengths than she’d said, with absolutely no regard for the fact that I was having to rearrange my entire schedule around her and work very long days to fit in all my commitments. This culminated yesterday in my having to work straight from 7AM to almost 1PM to finish the last job in the file — which I was supposed to get early enough on Thursday to start on — and then work a further two hours for another client. At 3:30, both projects were done and I knew I had to be off today even if it meant a longer work day Sunday.

Knowing that I was going to pass out on the couch with Bonita way too early, I dressed in going out clothes and hopped on a bus make a bank withdrawal and get a late lunch at Gran Plaza. I then walked just north of the shopping centre to the the Siglo XXI (21st Century) convention centre to check out a craft and hobby fair.

The fair wound up not really being my thing — it was more for crafters than for people wanting to buy crafts. There were booths set up to try different hobbies and selling specialised tools and supplies. I have several crafty friends and they would have been in heaven! There were some wares for sale, but most of those were just mass produced things I could buy anywhere.

I did regret having lunch before arriving when I saw all the food booths, but I still had space for what turned out to be an enormous Oaxacan-style ice cream. The lady was generous with the samples, so I was able to try a few flavours I’ve been curious about, including mamey (can’t find a translation), which was a very pretty coral colour, but bland, and piñon, pine nut, which was surprisingly flavourful and was one of my choices. I topped it with a scoop mango topped with chamoy, tajín, and Tapatío sauce (picture posted yesterday!).

It was at one of the last booths I visited that I made purchase of something that I put to use the second I stepped out of the convention centre, one of those things you don’t realise you need until you get one:

Can you see what it is? It’s a padded case for eyeglasses. I find it such a pain to fumble with my big plastic cases when I want to switch between sunglasses and indoor glasses — it is so much easier to slip them in and out of a soft-sided case like this! Notice the interior has a smooth material to prevent scratching. I love the orange flowers against the blue. A very useful buy for only $50!

As I studied the case, trying to understand what it was, I finally blurted out, “Ah, para las gafas!” and earned a bemused smile. Which is when something finally hit me after nearly four years  of first coming to Mexico — they don’t use gafas here but instead say lentes. What I said to the lady was akin to a Brit saying, “Oh, for spectacles!” We know they mean glasses, but the word sounds quaint to our colonial ears. Glasses in Spanish have been gafas to me for 25 years, so wish me luck making the conversion!

I was home and passed out on the couch with Bonita by about 5:30. At 8:00, I called in a taco order for delivery because I didn’t have the strength to go pick it up. I was in bed and passed out by 11:00 and slept straight through to 9:00! Bonita was so happy to see me and howled more loudly than I thought she could!

I’ve got nothing much on the to-do list today. The only chore I’m a bit behind on is laundry, which I enjoy doing, so I’ve got a load on and the whites soaking and almost ready to go. I’m so grateful the landlady took seriously my complaint about the abnormally low water pressure here and had a guy check it out. He got rid of a huge clump of mineral deposits that were blocking the pipes. The water pressure still isn’t amazing, and I wouldn’t expect it to be, but at least it no longer takes hours for my washing machine to fill and I can do several loads in a day!

Hope you all have a lovely Saturday. I’m off to make more coffee and reheat last night’s leftovers. 🙂