Today Was a Really Long Day

Today, like Saturday and yesterday, I got up super early so I could get my day’s pressing work done in case I had to go to Mérida to pick up the truck. That didn’t happen yesterday. The mechanic texted me early yesterday afternoon to say that he was having trouble getting the part, but the right one should arrive at five. I called the rental car company to book for another day.

First thing today was one of Puppy’s special baths. He really likes those now! I’m really careful not to shock him with the water and he loves the rub down/massage with the shampoo. If he was a cat, he’d purr during the baths!

The rest of morning was “fun” since the internet was down. I called tech support and caught that there was a problem with the network somewhere between Chelem and Chuburna and they were working on finding the source. I missed about 90% of what the guy said, but caught the important bit that at least I wasn’t alone. Thankfully, TelCel had once again given me free bandwidth so I was able to use that to get done the non-transcription stuff I do in the mornings that needs internet access.

This morning’s message from the mechanic came in quite late. He said that he finally got the right part, but that it was going to be an extra $1,500 to do the job because it was a special order from Autozone. It would turn out that he would advise me that for any future work on Moya, he’s going straight there even if they are more expensive because they have the American parts catalogue. I wasn’t surprised by the extra funds (I always plan about 20% for contingencies), even if I was bummed by it. At least, by this point, a bunch of PayPal transfers had landed so I wasn’t having the cash flow issues I had over the weekend.

By the time he was able to confirm that he could have the truck ready today, it was too late to return the car on time, but I still raced into Mérida so that I could pay only an extra $150 for being an hour late rather than $550 for another day!

Before leaving, I put out half of Puppy’s supper ration. He doesn’t eat unless he’s hungry so I knew he likely wouldn’t touch it until dinner time. I could feed him the balance when I got home.

I made it to Mérida Centro in record time since traffic was very light. I remember walking along the Paseo de Montejo last year, watching cars at the roundabouts, and thinking, “Nope. Ain’t never driving here!” Yet, there I was today, driving downtown like I’d done it a million times before. I’d orientated myself before leaving, so I made it to the rental car company without needing navigation help and with no detours. The car was deemed okay and I was only charged the extra $150 despite the fuel gauge being a bit lower than it should have been. Very fair of them.

One of my favourite restaurants in Mérida, Pita, is right around the corner on the same block and I knew that it wasn’t going to be $150 for my favourite comfort food that was going to bankrupt me at this point. I went in and asked for a table right by the front door because I was hoping that the HP sauce lady would be able to come to me and this way, I could look out for her. That plan worked like a charm and she even gave me an extra $30 for my trouble — that’s a couple of beers! 🙂

Lunch was, of course, awesome. I don’t know if I just haven’t had falafel in so long that my sandwich tasted perfect because I forgot what good falafel tastes like or if they’ve improved their recipe, but dang! Comfort food is a real thing.

After that, I found a Scotiabank ATM and then it was time to finally figure out how to get a bus north from Centro. What I did was I walked south on 60, watching bus after bus that I could have taken drive by me, and essentially walked their route backwards until I found a place where a bus was letting people on. Get this — the bus was on a southbound street. It then basically did a spiral back to Calle 60. If I had not had complete confidence I was on the right bus due to having been here a bit, I would have asked to be let off because it took quite a while before we actually headed north.

I then got off at the wrong Calle 21. No idea how I did that, but I must not have been paying attention to my surroundings! Thankfully, that Calle 21 was less than 1KM from where I would have gotten off so it was a nice leg stretch and I enjoyed the cool breeze.

When I came in at about five, the mechanic said that he was halfway there and that there were probably two hours of work left, taking us to seven. I went into the house and puttered around for a bit, called my mother, and rewatched part of yesterday’s Star Trek episode to see what it will feel like to really relax on one of my couches (very nice!).

It gets dark around 6:40 now, so I got a chance to test all the light switches. Every one of of them worked, but I had a bit of a hard time finding the ones in the kitchen (one was on the wall beside the deep armoire and the other one was evident, but I needed to pull a fan chain first). When the lights came on, I was momentarily blinded! Well, I wanted a bright kitchen and I got it!

The evening was very pleasant and the neighbourhood was quieter than the beach most nights (!). Oh, I could hear some music and there was a guy who passed several times on a pedal cart who honked a lot (need to figure out what he sells because I’ve heard him during the day), but, really, if today was an average evening, I’m going to be very happy in Mérida. I can’t believe that I’m at the two-week countdown!

It was getting really late, probably around eight, by the time the guys were ready for a test drive, but they didn’t get far and told me adjustments needed to be made. By this point, I was starting to think I’d have to implement plan B, home by taxi and back by bus tomorrow, kicking myself for not having kept the car. However, I knew that I was essentially lighting a fire under their butt. If the work carried over to tomorrow, then I’d be in the same place because it’s obvious that the work day starts late.

Still trying to keep busy, I grabbed a pair of scissors I’d remembered to bring to the house (why, I can’t remember now, although I know I had a specific use for them…). I got to work cutting away the awful disgusting faux leather covering the coffee table and was rewarded with this!

It’s very solid. A couple of coats of glossy paint (and maybe even a little wood filler if I can find some) and it will be a perfectly respectable coffee table! Not bad for 10 bucks!

The guys were finally done at nine-ish. The mechanic gave me a heads up that some “odd noises” were to be expected as new parts are broken in, but to let him know if anything is concerning me because his work is guaranteed. He also gave me the bad news that my muffler needs work, but he doesn’t feel that is super pressing besides Moya being a bit louder at acceleration than she should be. If I’m going to keep her for another three years, I need to have the issue dealt with though. So that’s on the list for November. After that, he says I can have him look at the AC. Glad someone has my priorities straight for me!

He showed me the parts he pulled and while they didn’t look terrible, I could see the wear on them. He showed me how the only difference between those parts and the four kits he tried before getting one that worked was the location of the screw holes! Ford!!!

We settled up and then it was time to take her out. Well.. her clutch has been a bit “loose” since I bought her and now it’s “stiff,” sp you would think I’d never driven a stick before. It took three tries, with her conking out each time, before I was able to pull away from the curb! Had quite a laugh about that. By the time I made it onto Calle 60 and dealt with stopping and starting at a red light, I was fine even if it still felt like I was driving a new-to-me vehicle.

Croft commented on Facebook about my driving home in the dark. One of the first things I asked about when I got here in May was if it’s safe to drive back to the beach from Mérida after dark. I asked Mexicans and Canadians with different levels of tolerance to being in Mexico. The answer was an absolute yes. So I wasn’t concerned about that tonight, but I was concerned about my vision. Well, I had zero issues. I barely had any traffic coming towards me (what blinds me) and most of the way was well lit. Plus, I know where all the topes are!

Getting off the highway at my exit, I conceded that I was hearing some noises that I didn’t like and that something felt “off” when I was shifting. I couldn’t articulate any of it in English at this point, so I decided to wait until my next trip into Mérida to better determine what I was feeling and experiencing, then translate it into Spanish, rather than bother the mechanic tonight (I mean, what is he going to do?). Anyway, I got in without incident and I’m actually not concerned about not making it back to Mérida. I don’t think there’s anything majorly wrong, but maybe more adjustments need to be made.

Puppy was so happy to see me! He had zero interest in the other half of his supper and just wanted hugs, cuddles, and to play. I did my best to wear him out before making myself a quick snack of an English muffin with cheese (all I needed for my own late supper thanks to a filling lunch!). It’s now 11:45 and I’m seeing double and while I know there is more I meant to write, that’s all I’ve got in me for today. I bet I’m going to find a lot of typos tomorrow!

8 thoughts on “Today Was a Really Long Day

  1. Happy everything turned out as well as it did but it is unfortunate it took so long. Aftermarket parts can be a problem but good for him for sticking with it. I had muffler work done in Mexico once and it was surprisingly cheap so that might make up for a bit of your extra expense for the clutch.

    • The clutch cost me 2,200MXN for a rental car + 7,300MXN for parts and labour. Total: 9,500MXN. At today’s exchange rate, that is 630CAD. I got a new clutch priced in Canada and it was 1,500CAD PLUS TAX.

      I have no problem with the price I just paid. It was just not the right time to have an unexpected expense!

      It was a similar thing with my brakes a few years ago. Came in at about a third of the cost of the work in Canada, but the timing wasn’t great.

      At least with the muffler and AC, I’ll be able to plan for them.

  2. One of the problems of life is that it throws things in our path at the wrong time over and over but then we also get some lovely surprises.

    Two weeks from today you are going to wake up in your new home and fortunately you have a new mechanic who lives next door. All in all things are on the up and up.

    • I calculated that if I manage to keep Moya until spring of 2021, when she has to be out of Mexico, she will have cost me less than 300CAD per YEAR in both regular and emergency maintenance over the nine years that I will have had her. That rather makes up for how much gas she guzzles!

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