Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcome to Mexico

Our first full day in Mexico began bright and early, a little too early for some of us. After a long day of traveling yesterday and adjusting to a new time zone, Raphael was up at about 6:30 local time, which is 5:30 at home. Erik, being the sweet man he is, got up with him so that I could sleep some more. When I got up, somewhat more rested, two hours later, Erik went back to bed to get some more sleep. Like I said, yesterday had been a long day.
I decided to take the kids out on the back patio, which is a small, walled in concrete yard with a couple of lounge chairs, a washing machine and clothesline, and a table set. The air was pleasant and the day promised to be beautiful. I carefully closed the sliding glass door, leaving it slightly open, as it self locks when closed all the way. A few minutes later Peregrine came in to get something and returned, closing the door behind him like a good boy. All the way. Not a big deal, I though, Erik would be up in a while and we could just hang out while he slept. The kids entertained themselves quite nicely for a time; they played with clothespins and even built a parachute out of their sun hats. I think the plan was to float up to the second floor window and wake Erik up so we could get back in. Surprisingly, it didn't work. We played Twenty Questions, which is quite entertaining with a 7 and 4 year old. I surfed the internet; yes, stranded with no water, but able to connect to the outside world. Just not to connect to anyone who could let us in!
All went well for a while, but, of course, that could only last so long. Soon hunger, heat, boredom, and full bladders set in. The sun began to encroach on our shade and I stripped Raphael down to his diaper. We'd all snacked, but no one had eaten breakfast yet. I could see a bottle of water inside and felt thirsty. I wanted to let Erik get some sleep and didn't know if we could wake him up anyway; he was asleep upstairs on the opposite side of the condo. There was no way of leaving the backyard save climbing a concrete wall, and there were at that time no neighbors outside that we could ask to go bang on the front door. We prayed that Erik would wake up soon; I tried hard to keep us all positive. Finally, after many rounds of Twenty Questions involving lots of marine animals, a diaper, and an Unborn Baby, I told the kids they could start banging, gently of course, on the glass door. Enthusiastic banging ensued, followed by tiredness and no Daddy. More banging, and more, but alas, no help. I took a few turns myself, and even tossed a flimsy plastic container up at the second floor windows in hopes that maybe that would be louder up there. I think at this time we'd been out there more than an hour and a half, not the end of the world, but we were all ready to go in. At last I told the kids they could start yelling for Erik; prior to that I'd wanted them to just knock. It was the yelling that finally did the trick. "DAAAAADDDDY!!! We're trapped out here! Let us in! Daaaaaaaad!!" He came, at long last, groggy and surprised that we'd been out there all that time. He'd been sleeping soundly, of course. At our rescue I burst into tears, like any good damsel who can at last collapse into the arms of her knight in shining armor.
Ah, yes, welcome to Mexico! Not quite the ideal way to spend our first morning, but it was memorable at least. After some oatmeal for breakfast we walked out to the pool and had a nice swim in the now hot sun. And then, it was off to find some lunch. We headed into town, staying on the less touristy side of the highway. We were all hot and tired, again, by the time we came upon a promising looking little old Mexican woman sitting in her street side restaurant. (Restaurant may convey something a bit too formal. Think instead of a thatched roof overhanging a home, a few tables, and a small cooking area.) This is the kind of authentic experience we crave, the kind where you really feel the need to pray before you eat, if you know what I mean! Our proprietor spoke about as much English as we speak Spanish, which is precious little. We communicated enough to order some quesadillas for the kids, ceviche tostadas for Erik, and I, being pregnant, went with the fish that was actually cooked. At least that's what I hoped I'd ordered. I decided not to risk drinking the tall glass of ice water she kindly brought me. She assured me it was "natural", but what does that mean? Natural out of your tap, natural out of the river? I discreetly dumped half of it out, so as to not seem ungrateful, and sipped instead out of Poppy's bright pink water bottle I'd brought in my purse. Not cold, but safe.
Our "Lady", for lack of a name, hustled back and forth; first came Erik's tostadas. Two thumbs up. I noticed a man walk up with a plastic bag, which he handed to our Lady. Out of the bag came a fish, for me I assumed. Next up were the quesadillas for the kids, served with beans and rice and delicious avocado. They were all good and done before I was served a platter of food; a whole fish, rice, beans, avocado, tomato, onion, and more beans. Wow! It was delicious, every bite of it. When it came time to tally up, this feast cost us a total of about $15. We left satisfied, and after an ice cream bar from the nearest little shop, ready for our walk home.
I was so ready for a rest by the time we got home, but that was not to be. We'd arranged to have someone pick us up to take us to Mega, the Mexican version of WalMart, to do some grocery shopping, and he arrived just a few minutes after we returned. There's nothing like wandering the aisles of a very loud, crowded, large, unfamiliar, and foreign supermarket to put a person over the edge. Two carts of food and supplies, and we were ready to go. A quick meal of tacos, a taxi home, and I was about ready to call it a day. It's never that simple of course, as there were groceries to be put away and kids to be put to bed, but, at last, it's quiet and I think I can say "I'm done". And, I can almost look back on this day and say "it was good". Almost.


  1. I think it is always an adventure in Mexico isn't it?
    Travelling while there and shopping leave you a bit disconcerted. Eating at a restaurant makes you wonder a little too. But God is in control!! :)

  2. Yes, Mexico is an adventure!

    Authentic food is the best, and it is very smart to pray before eating!!!

    Take care, dear one.

  3. Oh my goodness! What a beginning to your trip. I hope the rest goes more smoothly.


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