We arrived on the evening of January 30. On the 31st we got moved into our short-term rental, with a three month commitment. Lovely old colonial home. We will be moving into a long-term rental at the end of April, another lovely home two blocks from Parque Santiago and its market and two blocks from the Merida English Library. It is on a nice, quiet street but not far from the action. We might have to start going to the Tuesday night big band dances at Parque Santiago and join the old Mexican couples on the dance floor 🙂
We would be happy to stay in this house, but the owner is interested in short-term rentals and we want more stability than a month-to-month arrangement after the end of April. The new house is a three bedroom, three bath with a nice garden and swimming pool. The owners are USA citizens, who after years on the Gulf Coast nearby and in Mérida (and the Dominican Republic before that) have moved back to the states. The current tenants, who are moving to a north Mérida suburb, were full of praise for them. We are looking forward to spending multiple years there.
The adjustment so far has been smooth. I guess one could say we are in the honeymoon period. My Spanish has proven adequate to what we need to do. Some of it comes out like my childhood Portuguese, but the two languages are close. On the 26th I go to immigration to get fingerprinted and to turn in my photos, and shortly thereafter will get my resident temporal card – good for one year with renewals taking it out to four years.
On Friday we went to the US consulate to get an affidavit affirming that the woman I am married to is the same woman with her married name as she was with her maiden name. Our apostilled marriage license and that affidavit are being translated into Spanish. After I get my residency permit, she will get hers, being brought into the same status I have. Until then she is on a 180 day visitante visa. It should all be done by the end of March or early April.
We have shopped at stores large (WalMart and Soriana) and small (the fruit and veggie stand a few blocks away) and at the mega-sized mercado Lucas Galvez. I get cold beer at the Cervefrio in the neighborhood, run by the 68 year old Concepcion whose daughter is there with her on Saturday afternoon and Sundays. Today I asked if it was her sister and they both laughed. The daughter said her mother married at a very young age :). There is an good sized store in the next block that supplies a lot of our needs, but does not have, other than cold cuts and cheese, meat, fish or fruits and veggies. The water guy delivers on Monday, and there is a very civilized three time a week trash pick-up.
We rented a car yesterday for our trip to the consulate, Yucatán Expatriate Services, Costco (pronounced Coastco), and to Walmart, taking advantage of the wheels to stock up some. Driving has not been difficult and we look forward to buying a car in March or April.
We have had our first company, friends from the Caribbean side of the peninsula and a couple from the US who were vacationing there. They stayed at a hotel as we are not equipped for 4 overnight guests, but they were over for an afternoon and we went out to eat with them a couple of times. On Sunday we took them to a state-sponsered artisan shop carrying arts, crafts, foods and clothing made in Yucatán state. The couple from the States were very astonished and pleased at the lack of hard sell tactics they were used to in the Caribbean tourist zone.
That is about it for now. I will end with some photos of our short-term rental and our cat, Flea, who is adjusting very well. He is 18 and seems to think this is an all right retirement home.
One of our lime trees
Bird of paradise