A bolt out of the blue hits us where we live

calle47sunsetIt’s all over the newspapers and social media. Yesterday a big boom alarmed the residents of El Centro Hysterical. “Súper trueno” causa alarma en Mérida, was the headline in Diario de Yucatán. “Trueno” is lightning thunder.

Reading one story, I became a little alarmed myself. The story was typically vague until it depicted a damaging lightning strike, and it spelled out the address… the same calles that mark my street and cross streets. The address I’ve been memorizing so the cab drivers know where to go. My exact block! Flying concrete, broken [Read more...]

Ooh la la, Mérida

La Musa on the Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43.

La Musa on the Paseo de Montejo at Calle 43. Bring your bike and they knock a little off your tab.

My friends wonder out loud what Paul and I will be eating once we make the big move to Mérida, and I want them to know that it won’t be all tacos and enchiladas. Despite my attempts to educate my poor unenlightened friends about Yucatecan food, they don’t know much about it.

So how do I go beyond that and tell them that I’m also going to be enjoying other cuisines as well?

La Musa, a French-inspired café, opened recently on the Paseo and Calle 43, very close to our home. I think it attracts more of a local, younger crowd. If we’re the only aging expats in line, so be it.

The Facebook group Bienvenido a Yucatan gave them a little shoutout, and a friend whose [Read more...]

The search begins for furniture that I don’t hate

Sofa dimensions for Casa Nana, MeridaIt’s time to start scouting ahead for furniture. Sounds like fun, right? Not really. Not in Mérida.

I keep hearing that selections have improved. So why do I have such a hard time finding, in my price range, a sofa I don’t hate. Even a lot of the sofas out of my price range look like designs that played out years ago north of the border.

Right now, I’m shopping online, so I haven’t seen anything in person and I haven’t tested Yucatán’s notoriously stuff cushions. Our time in Yucatan is always precious, and furniture shopping can be a huge time-suck. So I’m using the Internet as much as possible, contacting [Read more...]

The Mérida almost-an-expat meetup is called to order

melissafacadePaul and I spent a lovely Saturday in Cold Spring, NY, a cool little Hudson River village that was a good place to meet our good friend Melissa, another Mérida expat-in-the-making.

We’re no longer “wanna-be” expats, in our own minds at least. But we’re not actual expats, either. We still live here in the northeast, not quite ready to leave our old lives behind.

We’ve put our money where our mouths are and have each bought properties. Melissa found a real gem. It’s a little far from our East Santa Ana location, but we can walk there in 10 minutes, I’d guess. She’s near Santiago park, much closer to the Merida English Library and LA 68. As a real estate pro, she was able to communicate with her real estate agent (they aren’t Realtors, technically, down in Mexico) to get what she wanted at a great price. She’s accomplished one thing we haven’t yet. She has been able to actually sleep overnight in her own property, something [Read more...]

Welcome to Yucatán, where the cathedral is optional

rudisillcanyonBack in February, when Paul and I returned home from Mérida with Mom and Dad (ages 84 and 89, I’m sure they won’t mind my telling you), we were a little stumped when my normally effusive parents went a little quiet when I prodded them about the trip.

Now I think I know what happened.

Dad explained to me over dinner on Saturday night that “We understand now that this was a business trip, not a pleasure trip.” It was as if they were reconciling their disappointment and forgiving us. I was irate.

It seems they wanted to see more things and experience more Kodak moments. Their natural restlessness doesn’t [Read more...]

Mérida expats are the same people I’ve always known

calle51-meridaIt occurs on me how universal human nature is. You read through  history lessons and discover how little we’ve changed. We compare your present neighborhood with the community we”re preparing to join, and we also see all the same people. The English-speaking expat community comes from all over the U.S. and Canada, so you’d think we’d be engaging with cultural differences even before we meet with people from Mexico and other countries. Midwesterners are so different than Jersey boys like me, I used to think. But people are people wherever you go.

For the last 20 years, we’ve lived in an enclave that has a mix of young professionals and empty nesters. We’re neither, although we were young professionals when we first moved in … people called us “the boys,” which isn’t a term I’ve heard lately. Our nest never included kids, so I guess you wouldn’t call us empty nesters, because there were no kids to fly the coop.

What does the Mérida expat enclave have in common with ours here in Connecticut?

The local library practically runs on community spirit. The local garden club built [Read more...]