26th of July, 2015
My first outing here in Merida, is just around the corner; the Sunday flea and vegetable market in Colonial Chuburna de Hidalgo, on walking distance, although still an effort in the heat with two heavy shopping bags! I walk through the neighbourhood, which is a mixture of simple houses and here and there a high wall, with a gorgeous house behind it. Some little stores, a banquet hall (of all places), a tortilleria and many churches. People here are religious, although they might not always follow the rules of the church. The flea market is mainly clothing and very cheap. Here and there you can find some nice brands and something, which is not synthetic. By now the heat is nearly unbearable, but still people are trying to fit shirts and dresses over their own clothing and only the thought of it makes me transpire! I just buy a few things without trying and it is so cheap, that even if it doesn’t fit, it is not the end of the world. A guy gets arrested and they literally drag him to the car, handcuffed. He screams. Later, I hear that people, who live here for years, never witnessed such a thing, so my presence might be to blame? Overall, the atmosphere is great. The church started it’s Sunday service and it is held outside, as of the heat. People are waving their “abanicos” to get some relief and the singing is uplifting, although the speakers with Mexican Reggaeton music from the market place, are interfering with the holy music. On the other side of the street, is inside a hall, the market. There you can get fruits and vegetables, honey and fish and lots of chicken in all sizes. It is way cheaper here than in the Supermercado. Outside are tables where you can eat and drink fresh juices and lemonades. Later in the week, I noticed that no event is held without the opportunity to eat and drink, but mainly juices and coca cola, no alcohol! I buy some fruits, veggies and a small bottle of honey and outside the market place is a stall with a fruit called Pitaya. I have never seen it. Immediately the young seller let me try; it is yummy! An older man explains that in Japan they pay 150$ for one! I paid around 1$ for three! You can eat it with the juice of a lime and some salt (the way you eat Avocado or Aguacate) or some people eat it with a boiled egg. Never use it in a blender, he tells me, as the aroma will disappear.
On my way home, I witness a service in a church, where people are singing and dancing, with the door wide open. That is the church I like! While watching, they invite me in and there I am, with two big shopping bags, moving on the music………After 10 minutes or so, I excuse myself, pointing on my shopping bags, but first I get kisses of all the ladies, with and without sweat. I tell them I will be back, but until now I haven’t kept my promise……..
Today, I will go by bus to downtown Merida, to join a walking tour around the Plaza Grande. Taking the bus is easy and cheap, only around 0.45$ for a trip. I will use the bus many times in the coming days. I first visit the tourist information office and subscribe myself for the walking tour, which will start at 9.30. This event is free, like many other events the city organizes. We will only visit the buildings around the Plaza and our guide tells us so much about the history, that the one and half hour are gone in no time. After, I get a little bit familiar with the roads in the historical centre, treat myself on a fruit salad and coffee and take the bus home, when it is getting too hot. The bus drops me off at the Mega Supermarket and I walk home with two heavy bags of groceries, in the heat. Very happy that this house has a swimming pool!
28th of July
Today I visit the dentist office. Not that there are any issues, but I foresee that I can’t go to my regular check up, as I will be in another part of Canada in September. Also, if the dentist does find any repairs to do, I better have it fixed here, as the fees are quite different from the ones in Canada! This time I take a taxi and as the dental office is opposite the Star Medical Clinic, it is easy to find. I am impressed, as the office is new and clean and the staff is polite and friendly. They all seem very knowledgeable and I get a check up by the dentist and a thorough cleaning from the assistant and all for US$22.00! I ask a list with prices and an implant will cost around US$ 700.00, a porcelain crown around US$ 215.00 and a crown over an implant around US$ 280.00. Well, we are all getting older and better to be prepared!
The dental office is the neighbourhood of a shopping plaza and I decide to have a look at some stores and prices and enjoy at the same time the airconditioning, as by now the temperature has reached nearly 38 degrees. It is funny to see a C&A and Sears with clothing according to the Mexican way. A lot of blouses with decorations! It is all very affordable, cheaper than in Canada for sure, although a friend tells me later, that the better brands are way cheaper in the US.
I also visit the Star Medical Hospital, just to see if I could make an appointment with a specialist in case of……..No problem, there is a list with Dr’s for all the different specialisms and you can google them and call for an appointment or mail them. I think every specialism in the hospital has around 10 Dr’s, so there must be a lot of competition! They will be happy to see you………
The next two days I will have to be around the house, as the gardener, the pool guy and the cleaning lady are all coming.
My next visit to downtown will be on Thursday evening, for the music in one of the parcs.