I Speak Only a Little Spanish so Please Talk Slowly

As promised, our new connection to the rest of the world, The Pelican Diaries, is up and running.  We hope to keep you informed about our Mexican adventure with something more interesting than a Christmas newsletter and something less tedious than Fox News.  The proof will be in the reading.

On November 30, we fastened our seatbelts and drove across the border at Tijuana with the car full of personal belongings.  In truth, we had very little as these things go, but a CRV fills up pretty quickly.  We’d rented a fully- and beautifully-furnished condo, so what we had were a couple of suitcases, a few boxes and miscellaneous other items chosen either for comfort (favorite books, art, pillows) or usefulness (tools, computer, art supplies).

In the weeks before the move, we took the advice of those who’d gone before us – sell and buy new! Great advice and we recommend it.

A grueling but educational several hours at the local Swap Meet on an unseasonably hot day, ads on Craigslist, donations, giving things to family, friends and neighbors, and just plain trips to the dumpster had accomplished most of the task.  Still we left behind a car and a small storage unit full of the leftovers.  We’ll deal with them another time.

The crossing was not without incident, but I’m not going to elaborate on that because we never know who might be reading and nobody wants to send bail money from the U.S.  To be clear, we did nothing illegal but there was some confusion and the young border agent apparently didn’t know any more than we did.

Despite that, I want to note how friendly and helpful both the locals (who are entertained by my wild pantomimes as I try to find things in the stores) and the ex-pats who offer advice in the hallway of our building or at the “post office” (more on this later) are.  Occasionally someone in the aisle of one of the already noted stores comes to the rescue, although no amount of gesturing and combination of corazon and caliente could help me when I tried to find Pepcid at one of the dozens of farmacias.

Yo hablo Español un poquito so the pantomimes are still necessary and will be for a while yet. Worse, I keep wanting to confuse the Spanish with my rusty but still serviceable French.  I was always good at charades, and it will all get better.

Fortunately for us both Michael is fluent in Spanish and has rescued me from more than one minor mix-up although he was not nearby when I purchased a small box of envelopes at Office Depot (yep, it’s here) which turned out to be not letter envelopes but a box of manila pay envelopes.  Maybe for lay-aways.  Maybe not.  Christmas cards?

We’ve only just begun, so for now, I’ll leave you with a note about the many wonderful and sometimes mysterious places and images we encounter every day.  The one below is outside a large hotel/restaurant complex called Festival Plaza on our main street, Blvd. Benito Juarez.  It has some kind of history but so far we haven’t been able to learn much about it.  I always think this fellow looks like an ad for a once-thriving but now a little tarnished Cirque de Soleil or in this case circo del agua.  See, I’m learning every day!


That’s it for this post.  Hasta la vista, mis amigos y amigas!  Be back soon…