Wonderful Gifts

I headed to my house this morning. First stop was the DHL office in Xcumpich. You really can’t miss it in the direction I was coming from because there is a huge yellow wall with DHL written on it. I almost missed the entrance into the parking lot, though. My truck really is too big for town and I’m always happy when I find a little shopping plaza like this with widely spaced stalls, lots of room to back up, plenty of parking, and only one way and out, making for easy circulation.

The outlet was neat and well organised, a place I’ll be happy doing business. I told the clerk my tracking number and gave him my ID. He had no trouble finding the package and then I signed for it. Later, I got an email from Amazon confirming that someone by my name had picked up the package…

I then headed home eager to see what gifts my landlady had left for me. When I saw this on my front porch, I almost started crying, I was so grateful:

This was pretty much the last thing I expected to find — a cute little bistro set for my back patio!!!

Now, I don’t need to move the furniture from the other terrace. AND this is something I really hoped I could find at some point. My hosts here have a bistro set and I just love it. I don’t know what it is about sitting up with my feet off the ground, but it’s a different experience than sitting at a regular-height table. I love having my coffee and checking my emails outside on slower mornings and I’ll be able to continue that. So happy. 🙂

Why is there only one chair? Well, now I’m not in a hurry to buy a bar stool! It’s not clear from the picture, but the chairs are pink! 🙂

She also left this little table that while not a necessity is a nice-to-have. I can imagine putting a plant or decorative object on it:

There is one really nice light sconce in the hallway/stairwell area:

I doubt that it is a coincidence that this lamp she also left me matches the sconce perfectly:

Yay for a lamp! Now that I think about it, I imagine I could use that glass table as an end table by my Poang chair and use the lamp for reading. 🙂

So that was the good news when I showed up. The bad news is the internet wasn’t working. After a very frustrating call to technical support, I think I understood that they can’t help me until Monday. I’m not impressed, of course, but I recognise that if I’d been at the house on Thursday or Friday, I could have gotten the ball rolling faster. Anyway, I expected hiccups like these and that’s why I started the process so early.

After dealing with that, I texted the gal selling the shelving to make sure I could still come by and while waiting for a reply I brought in a few boxes (and my Poang chair) from the truck. When she got back to me, it was to say that she was really sorry, but she couldn’t meet me today after all. She’s at the way southern end of Mérida and I really didn’t feel like going out there today, but I want those shelves. I told her that I’m in no hurry, but I really want turquoise ones. If she can hang on to them till Wednesday, they’re as good as sold. She promised that she won’t sell them to anyone else and we made tentative plans to meet up Wednesday…

Then, I decided to make one last pass at the sink. Getting it replaced would be super cheap, but that’s still money I could spend elsewhere and I also really wanted to make an effort and not just throw money at a problem simply because so many things here are so inexpensive. That’s no excuse to be wasteful. Well, I’ve spent some time on DIY forums and come to the realisation that the steel wool I’ve been using is way too abrasive to actually buff the sink. Everyone recommended the green scrubby pads, preferably in the Scotch brand, for buffing.

Boy do I wish I had properly documented the sink’s transformation…

When I first viewed the house, the sink had rust spots and the drainboard was entirely rusty. You couldn’t even see any silver. It was all dark orange. It completely put me off the house, it was so bad.

I don’t have a good shot of it after someone went at it with steel wool prior to my second viewing, but it was quite remarkable that they got the drainboard back to silver:

I scrubbed some more with steel wool and Barkeeper’s friend, finishing with vinegar, but the sink was still augh and the drainboard ew.

And now today, after buffing with with a green Scotchbrite pad and Barkeeper’s friend, a scraper tool I just happened to find in my truck, and then with a soft cloth and vinegar:

Yeah. That’s what I thought too. And it wasn’t even as much elbow grease as you’d think. Now, I just need to wax it to seal it. The taps are still going though!

I decided to set off in search of wax. First stop was the Super Aki a few blocks down. This is a small, but “proper” supermarket. It will be so great to have it right there for staples.

En route, I passed an ice cream vendor in a peddle cart. He had coco or elote (sweet corn). I know I need to try the elote at some point, but I had coco in a sugar cone. What a great treat!

Super Aki didn’t have any wax, but I picked up some lovely pink hangers for my master closet-room and some garbage bags. I then walked up Calle 20, a main thoroughfare, hoping one of the chicken stands would be open that early (almost noon). No luck and no car parts place either. There was one other chicken place sort of on my way home if I essentially wanted to walk around the block, so I decided to check it out and they were open! Half a chicken with rice, coleslaw (!), and tortillas was $50.

I came in and eagerly tucked into my meal. The chicken was amazing. I forgot how good is Mexican charcoal chicken. The rice was a bit bland and the coleslaw not quite to my taste. So good chicken, not great sides. I’ll have to try a few other places. But I definitely got my $50 worth!

After lunch, I decided to go for a walk down Calle 60 to see if I could find a car parts place, but the only possibility was closed. I meandered my way back home through small streets, marvelling at the economic diversity of my neighbourhood, with stunning homes built right by literal shacks.

I then headed out, stopping at Bodega Aurrera for some much needed groceries, before pointing Moya towards Chelem where, exhausted as I was, I could not resist a puppy who greeted me with a toy for us to play. 🙂

It was another good day in Mérida except for one bit of really distressing news that is making me consider reneging on my lease:

Someone in the neighbourhood just got a rooster.

18 thoughts on “Wonderful Gifts

  1. You made me laugh when you mentioned the rooster because it brought back memories of my nightmare rooster. When I lived in Chemuyil in 1998, my neighbors had a rooster that crowed off and on all during the night, and his cage was almost next to my bedroom window. Needless to say, I didn’t miss him when he up and disappeared one day. 🙂

    • Pretty amazing transformation, huh?

      I don’t think I can live with that rooster. Roosters were the bane of my existence in Maz.

  2. Mexican charcoal rooster – wonder how tasty that would be? Going to take a Scotchbrite pad to a little sink I have in my washroom that needs to be brightened up – I had almost given up on it as a lost cause.

    • I’m wondering the same thing!

      I don’t know how good the Scotchbrite on its own would be. As I said, I paired it with Barkeeper’s Friend. I suppose you could use another abrasive, though.

  3. You did a great job on the sink and very nice gifts. I have been looking for a stand for a christmas cactus that was given to me a few months ago and just haven’t found anything that has caught my eye yet.
    Last weekend I was fishing early in the morning in Minden and I heard a rooster. Our property is deep in the forest with no neighbours nearby. First thing I thought is we have a rooster in the wild to wake us up early on the weekends. It made me laugh because we have not seen much wild life.

  4. Wow, lovely gifts indeed. I can’t tell that the chairs are pink. Any chance of a closeup next time?

    The sink is a bloody miracle. You did good kid!

    I can hardly wait to see the turquoise shelving.

  5. I used the thumbnail and my zoom. Very nice quality and lovely colour. They look like they would be very comfortable.

    PS you have been relegated to junk in the new laptop.

    • I think they will be very comfortable and will get a lot of use.

      As for your ongoing computer woes, I have to laugh. Did you mark my email as not junk to train Mail?

  6. Hi, Rae!
    The number you did on the sink is nothing short of magic Good on you. I love your bistro set, you do have a nice landlady.
    Elaine in BC

    • Hi Elaine!

      I am really proud of myself. 🙂 And isn’t that bistro set something? I can’t believe how lovely this woman is.

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