I’m not getting smarter about Mérida. In fact, the more I learn, the more I find how little I know about this mysterious old city. It’s like when I went to France that time, confident that my time learning vocabulary words and pronunciation would serve me well, and then my language skills got worse by the day. I couldn’t even pronounce “Le Métro” by the end of that trip.
In truth, the more I learned, the more I realized how little I knew. After a couple weeks in France, I could no longer fool myself about my proficiency with the language.
I still don’t know…
… How is the Centro real estate market doing really? Houses are selling, but for how much? How do you find out a home’s selling price history? One of our real estate agents told us that haggling isn’t traditional in the Centro. I can’t believe that’s true.
… Mérida has been promoted almost routinely on House Hunters, Rick Bayless’ show, and all over print media — particularly the New York Times. So where’s the New York-Mérida direct flight. I’ll keep dreaming.
… How does that visa process work again? I’ve read about it over and over, but the rules seem to be changing already. Early on, I inferred that I could pay someone to handle the whole thing for me, but all that buys is a consultant to guide me.
… How is Mérida for older travelers. I don’t mean just 50-plus. My parents are octogenarians who pretty much just drive to church on Sundays. Mom hasn’t flown since she took me to Disney World in 1974, and Dad hasn’t been on a plane since he came home from World War II. They just got their passports, so I know they’re serious about coming. Plus, they don’t drink, so I can’t calm their nerves through my normal technique — passing out cocktails.
… Will I still be interested in cooking? Should I be? In big cities, sometimes it’s cheaper to get takeout. I’m building a nice kitchen for myself, but there’s just two of us, and those panuchos a couple blocks away sure look good. (This is related to another question I have about how living here will affect my weight.)
… Will anyone visit? If they do, will they ever leave? People often anticipate guests who never come, but by the time Casa Nana is finished, most of my friends will have passed 45 and be in full midlife crisis mode. Twenty years ago, when we first bought our house, with a big green lawn out back, our friends considered their good fortune. Typical comment: The backyard will be perfect for my wedding! Wait until they find out their old friends with the big backyard now have a vacation hideaway, where their exes can’t find them.
… Will I ever be fluent? My Spanish vocabulary is much improved, but some simple words still elude me. Why isn’t diecicuatro an acceptable variation of catorce? Because that would be great if that could happen.