A blog about one woman's journey to Merida

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Huevos en Mexico

It's been almost a year since I posted and my two dogs and I are finally in Merida, Yucatan.

These past two months have been a learning experience, to say the least and learning how to shop is not as simple as I'd thought it would be.

I have learned that if you don't know which is the best bread to buy, watch what the local woman are putting on their trays at the bakery. Shampoo? Whichever brand there is the least of on the shelf, must be the best (it is). Meat is another story. That's hit or miss but always flavorful. Fabric softener...not so easy.

And then there are eggs. Could not for the life of me find eggs. I looked and looked and finally asked, "donde es los huevos"?  Well I can tell you where they're not. In the refrigerated section and that's because Mexico doesn't muck up what nature intended.

When chickens lay eggs there is a natural cover that encases the egg. A waxy cuticle called a bloom. This is what protects those little chickadees from bateria while they incubate.

Since eggs have approximate 7,500 pores on the shell,  there's a good chance some major cooties could invade the  porous surface, but here in Mexico, they leave well enough alone. That bloom does the job.

Mexico City 1900
Photo by Alfred Iles 

In the United States,  we have to screw around with everything it seems.  Chickens are confined and once the eggs are laid, they are scrubbed, rinsed with detergent and sprayed with a chlorine wash...and then bathed in mineral oil.

Mexico along with most other nations has known for a long time that you don't fool with Mother Nature.

Next time you're traveling through Mexico and are wondering why your breakfast tastes so damn good you'll understand why sometimes the simplest meal is the best meal.

You'll find the eggs right where they should be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

LuLu's Back in Town

Fats Waller. Great stride piano and someone I'd love to invite to dinner. Friends gathered around the piano, adult cocktail in hand. Interesting folks having light and gay conversation. It would be swell.

After eighteen months away from Merida, I'm heading back soon. This will be my last trip before the big move . I'll spend time getting the basics set up in the house and will speak to a few Brokers to see who's willing to take me on.

I'll have to hit the ground running.  First priority will be purchasing a bed and charcoal grill. Still no propane or repairs done to mi Nido but over the course of a few visits, I've muled down enough household items to set up shop.

There are a few pieces of furniture that I picked up on Yucatan Online Garage Sale. A great Facebook page where you can get what you need if you're diligent.  A good friend has been nice enough to pick up said purchases and put them in the house for me. Buying things sight unseen and wiring money to strangers may seem foolish to some, but not to me.

I'm going to check out the funky junkyard and see if I can find an old, narrow door. Grab a few cinder blocks and make a temporary bench. I've got a large wash tub that I'm going to fill with ice and good beer in the event that the leaf cutter ants have completely finished off the electric and I have no refrigeration.

Of course there will be dry London gin and lime...

I will visit the Mercado in Santiago for the first time and find something good to grill.

And on my first weekend in mi Nido,  I'm going to have a house full of new friends and old. With an adult cocktail in hand, I'm going to warm my house. Even if it's 95º.

Well look who's here
Lulu's back in town
My, my, my, yes, yes, yes .

Fats Waller

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Losing Track

When I first started this blog it was more for myself than anything else. Not having done the required research as to what constitutes a good blog, it's meandered here, there and everywhere.  Sometimes striking a cord with readers and other times not satisfying anyone needs at all.  A blog should meet the needs of some and if your lucky, many and this one doesn't.

This blog was supposed to be about my journey to Merida but unfortunately that journey has been waylaid, delayed, sidetracked and unfocused.  I'm moving to Merida. My goal is to be there by year's end. I've got a home there that I love and it's time to get crackin'. 

I've played with the idea of scratching the whole blog thing and realized that that won't serve any purpose...so I've decided to simply put in on hold.  I'll start up again when there actually are two dogs in Merida.

In the meantime, be well and enjoy whatever comes your way.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dia de los Muertos y Santa Clara

My mother was born on November 1st 1929.

We jokingly called her Saint Claire.  Not that she was saintly, but she seemed so compared to the rest of us.

She had a great sense of humor.

She had a bulls@#t meter that was spot on.

She could make a meal out of anything in the fridge.

She was an amazing speller.

She could do crossword puzzles in her head.

She never used the word hate.

In honor of Dia de los Muertos, take time to think of loved ones who've passed on.

Laugh, smile, shed a tear...whatever works.   But remember.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hurry Up and Wait

I know that things move more slowly in Mexico.  A more leisurely lifestyle is something I look forward to. People seem to enjoy conversation and life doesn't seem like something you have to "get on with."

A few weeks ago we contacted the architect we'd like to design and construct the addition we're planning. He was nearing the end of a project and we're now waiting for him to measure the house and present some ideas. In my New York mind it's taking forever.

A little over a year ago, I went off to Merida to start my search and within six months, I had the keys to a two bedroom, two bath home in Santiago.  Quite livable and with a courtyard to die for,  I couldn't be happier. While some folks think I might have rushed into things, I think I made the perfect choice then...and I still feel that way now.

I have friends who continue to peruse the various real estates sights long after they've made a purchase. Initially I avoided that temptation. Was I afraid that there might be something better that would come up for sale? Did I pay too much? Should I have waited a bit longer to pull the trigger?

I think not.

My Broker showed my over thirty homes during my September and February visits in god awful heat. She was a saint looking back on it now. As a Realtor myself, I know that sometimes your client has to be assured that there isn't something "better" out there.

Over the past months I've checked out the various real estate offerings in Merida and I still think that my house was a good deal for under $55,000. Occasionally,  some gem comes on the market for under $75,000 but that wasn't my budget. I've yet to see a home in the $50's or less quite as nice as mi nido.

Now that mi hermano y cunada are hoping to build a second floor over my place,  renovations will put things on hold. Plumbing and drainage have to be reconfigured downstairs to accommodate upstairs. Privacy issues have to be addressed. Changes will be made to the courtyard to accommodate two households. My sister in law would like a washing machine and they'd both like a pool. These are two adjustments I can definitely live with.  I'll suffer through it, somehow.

Someone is coming in weekly to tend to all things green. It not really as extravagant as it seems.  By paying six months in advance, it comes out to roughly $10 per week...the cost of two lattes in Manhattan.  Once construction starts, we'll put gardening aside for awhile.

I'm glad I bought when I did... I'm glad I held off on repairs and painting...and I'm glad that my family wants a space to call their own in Merida.

I'm just not happy about having to wait.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Are You Following Me?

In December it seemed as if my family was not happy about my decision to move forward with my house search in Merida. What a difference a few months can make.

My cunada has joked over the years that she and my brother seem to follow me wherever I go. Not really true, but there have been times when they have. Two years after I bought my house on the Hudson, they purchased a home two miles down the road...with the most spectacular view of the river I've ever seen. It's comforting to know that they're so close. Especially now that most of our family is gone.

They joined me on my trip in May.  It was not the most restful or comfortable one for sure.  We were working on the house with no fans or AC and the temps hovered around 98º. My brother spent a day in the hospital and his wife had to make a trip to the pharmacy.  I worried that they might be having a miserable time.

Well, a funny thing happened. While I was busy measuring square footage they fell in love with Merida.  Who knew?

They approached me a few weeks ago with the idea of building a second floor on the back of the house. They're nearing retirement and it would give them a place to stay while visiting without us getting into each other's hair. I purposely looked for a two bedroom house to accommodate guests but this idea seems like a good one.

Fish and company start to stink after three days...or so they say.  I live alone and enjoy my quiet time. I'm a very early riser and don't like the sound of a television mumbling in the background.  I have two dogs.  My brother and his wife, on the other hand, have been married for over 37 years and are very social people. They like to sleep late and the television is usually on (even though it's not being watched).  They like dogs...but not those with a combined weight of 160 pounds.

Their idea was starting to make sense.

It would be nice to have them stay for extended periods without having to "dance" around each other and the additional space would bring in more rental income when the house isn't being used. In exchange for "air rights" they offered to finance my renovations which would help speed things along.  As I mentioned before, my plans to make some repairs and changes to my Merida home are delayed due to repairs needed NOB.

Oh, and then there's the pool.  They would want a pool.  Who am I to complain?  They twisted my arm.

The writer of my favorite Merida blog wrote about the strange shapes of properties in Centro. He included what appeared to be a bar graph on LSD... when in fact it was an illustration of the inconsistencies that make up Merida real estate taken from Google maps. As with most homes in Centro, mine is not rectangular...it's more like a trapezoid.  I like the quirkiness of my house.  Walls slant and taper.  The footprint zigs and zags back and forth. The three of us have been talking about how we could configure the upstairs to make it functional and fit with the odd space provided. We're having fun with drawings and dreams but try as we may, it's been very difficult to see how this project is going to be achieved. Fortunately, the architect has more ability and experience than we do.  He's from Merida,  has worked on many homes in the neighborhood and we like his work so we have faith.

After a few weeks of mulling this over, I've decided it's a good idea.  Financial benefits aside, it's very comforting to know that my family loves me enough to want to keep following me.

Our mother would be thrilled to know that her children will be under the same roof again...and playing nice.

Renovation Costs in Merida - My Tiny Project - Part 2

I had planned to provide the costs involved with my tiny project but there's been a slight change of plans.

Looks like things are expanding.

More to come!