Today I had lunch and was offered some enchiladas that were so hot, they were named, “enchiladas endiabladas”. Yes, please, I’ll have the food that’s been touched by the devil. Honestly, they weren’t that hot.
I wear bottle openers across my chest; just because.
I almost never use taxis because I prefer to walk. Today I needed to be somewhere fast, so I signaled a taxi to stop, but then noticed he already had two passengers. He stopped anyway, “A dónde vas?” (where are you going?)
I replied, “Tepetapas noventa y siete, frente la vieja estación de ferrocarril.” (Tepetapas 97, in front of the old train station).
“Sube!” (get in!)
I’m not used to getting into taxis that already have passengers, but what the hell. Like I said, I was in a hurry. Turns out the passengers were his wife and teenage daughter. Funny.
Something that surprises me is the high-quality internet speed here in Mexico. So far, every restaurant and coffee shop has free wifi. So sweet.
Today I did a lot of walking; over 16,000 steps according to my iPhone. By chance I came across a neighborhood I want to live in for a while. So, I canceled my reservation where I’m staying now. I canceled my reservation where I was going to move to next week, and I rented a four-storey house. It even has a terrace on the roof with an amazing view of the city. I move in tomorrow 🙂
My next residence is about a block away from the city’s baseball stadium (estadio de béisbol). A taquilla is a ticket office, box office or a ticket window. Here you can line up to buy tickets for seats in the sun or seats in the shade. One is pricier than the other 😉
“Mala onda” is pure street slang. Technically, an “onda” is a wave, like an ocean wave or an electromagnetic wave. In street slang you might say to a buddy, “what’s up”? or, “Qué onda?”
An “onda” can be good or bad – buena onda/mala onda. Here, the author was probably trying to say, “this is messed up”, “this is totally uncool”, or “I’m getting some bad vibes because there are too many old gringos in my neighborhood”.
I’m running a bit low on two prescription drugs I take. So, I figure this is going to be a minor pain-in-the-ass. I’ll need to make a doctor’s appointment, pay for that, get a written prescription and then go buy my drugs, right?
I did some reading on the internet web machine and it tells me you can get almost anything you want by simply asking a pharmacist. Really? I tried it. It works! No prescription needed. Wow! What a country! Great!
I’m also running out of cologne. My favorite is Allure by Chanel. So, I hoofed it all over town looking for a perfume shop. The one I found was fairly large, but it looked odd. All the bottles lining the walls were the same color; blue. I asked if they had Allure. The young girl said yes, how much would I like? I said about 150 ml. Okay.
She pulls out some chemicals and starts mixing them. No need for measurements, we can just eye-ball this. I’m thinking I should just walk out, but I’m intrigued. I’ve never seen anything like this before. I let her do her thing. Apparently, in this shop you can order any cologne or perfume you like. They can satisfy any request. They even mix it in front of you – kind of like fancy restaurants where they cook your food at your table. She finishes up by shaking it well and putting it in a nice-looking blue bottle with a spray-top attachment. Price? 10-times cheaper than the real thing. What a deal! I sprayed some on me back at the B&B.
Guanajuato is not a Spanish word, it’s the native American name for the area. It translates as, “the hill of frogs” and most people just call it the City of Frogs. You can find frog artwork everywhere here.
It amazes me every time I pay the bill how cheap everything seems. Yesterday I ate a huge plate of food and drank three tall glasses of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Cost? $10.00 USD including a large tip. Keep in mind this was in a touristy area, so they may have charged me too much 😉
When you move to another country it’s normal to feel a little out of sorts at first. After a few days, you start to settle down after you figure out the best way to do a lot of the little things. Today I dropped off my laundry, t-shirts, underwear, socks, etc., ($4.00 USD) exchanged $200 USD into Mexican pesos and I booked my next residence.
I’m in a nice bed and breakfast until the 13th of June. It’s charming, it’s inexpensive, I have free breakfast and they clean my room every day. It’s great. But, it’s a large three-storey house and I have a room off the main living room. It feels just a little too small for me and a little too close to other guests. So, I booked an entire apartment from the 13th to the 27th (14 days). It looks great from the Airbnb photos – of course, photos can lie. I’ll inspect the place day after tomorrow. If I don’t like it, I can cancel, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.
I’m paying $42.74 USD a night at my B&B, Casa Tepozanes. That works out to an equivalent of $1,282 USD a month. I’ll pay more for the apartment I’m moving to; $48.56 USD a night which is equivalent to $1,456 USD a month. But, like I said, I’ll have more space and feel like I have more privacy. Below is a photo of the place I’ve reserved.
Day 29 of retirement and every day I’m amazed I don’t need to work.
I spent the day walking around Guanajuato. This place is crazy with twisting streets and alleys that snake around houses, parks and commercial buildings. It’s beautiful because there was apparently absolutely no planning involved with its layout.
There are a few people peddling trinkets, candies or a song for spare change. Sometimes I give them what’s in my pocket, sometimes I’m already tapped out.
On one of my walks today I was in a narrow alley surrounded by tall houses. A tiny little girl of about four turned into the alley apparently running ahead of her friends when she suddenly froze. In front of her was a 6’3″ old gringo with whiskers and he looked pretty scary. She meekly let out a small, “hola”. I grinned back and said to her, “Que te pasa, calabaza?” (what’s up, pumpkin)
She laughed. She thought that was pretty funny. Gringos say crazy shit.
The flight to Mexico and getting through immigration and customs was very easy. Now I’ve got a 180-day Mexican visa.
I arrived at the León airport and took a taxi to Guanajuato. It was only about 20 minutes long. My driver kept passing other cars on double-yellow sections of the highway which didn’t make me happy, but that’s Mexico for you. At least the cars we passed slowed and pulled over on the shoulder of the road for us. 🙂
When we got to Guanajuato, I got out of the taxi and started walking. Taxis can’t take you directly to where you want to go because most of the city is blocked off to cars. Guanajuato is extremely hilly. you’re either going up a street or down a street, almost never walking on flat pavement. I had to ask directions a couple of times, but eventually found my destination. My host Roberto Vargas met me at the B&B, Casa Tepozanes. He’s a very soft-spoken guy of about 35 and he told me to contact him on whatsapp if I ever need anything.
My room is about what I expected. It’s small, clean and meets the basic requirements. The neighborhood seems very quiet. We’ll see if it stays that way. I have a great view of the huge statue overlooking the city and just as I arrived a dark storm brought thunder and lightning sweeping in over downtown. An hour later it stopped raining, so I went to dinner.
I decided to try, what I think is, the most expensive restaurant in town; La Trattoria at the Hotel San Diego. They gave me a table on the second floor overlooking the pedestrian street and the main plaza. It’s an amazing place to people-watch; just brilliant. I had a great meal and two margaritas (no salt, please). Total cost with a 20% tip: $20.00 USD. Of course, you can find cheaper meals here, but 20 bucks ain’t bad 😉
This is my 27th day of retirement and early tomorrow morning I fly to Guanajuato, México. I’ve got cash, new underwear and my teeny-tiny backpack will be bursting at the seams. One last check to make sure I’ve got my passport and I’m ready to hit the road.