Friday, October 28, 2016

Our New Home!

Having left our former home in Oregon after selling our house, our car, and nearly all of our belongings, Kate and I, as well as our traveling partner Mark, finally found ourselves at the airport and headed to Mexico. This was the culmination of a fairly long and strenuous process and we were glad to be on our way. Our flight to Mexico did not leave until 1am, so we arrived early to have time for a bite to eat and a leisurely pass through security. Unbelievably, we had pared our entire life’s belonging to just one suitcase, one carry-on, and one personal item each just like the airline required.

Standing in line, I felt naked, and kept reaching in my pockets for my keys which had been my constant companion since my parents first trusted me with a key to our house. For all of my adult life, I have never been without a full set of keys. House, car, work, bike, storage, post office, the list just seemed to grow and grow. But today, for the first time in decades I reached in my pocket and felt nothing. Not. One. Key. The feeling was scary, amazing, and liberating beyond belief.

The overnight flight to Mexico went smoothly, and we arrived in Leon tired but excited by what lay ahead. After breezing through customs with our shiny new temporary residence cards, we were soon headed to San Miguel to see the house that we had rented over the internet sight unseen. Although the pictures looked pretty good, we were still a little apprehensive though I was looking forward to the comfort of at least one key! After traveling through the lush green countryside, a stark contrast to our previous trip at end of the dry season, we arrived at our new home.

Like many Mexican homes, it was nondescript from the outside. We knocked on the rustic wooden door and were greeted by Irma, the owner’s housekeeper, with a warm smile. “Hola, Buenos Tardes!” she chimed and led us up a tunnel the led to the tile  stairscase to the second floor. We quickly found she did not speak English, but with our crude Spanish and a few hand gestures, she showed us around the house and handed us (thank god!) the keys. As it turned out, the house was really quite nice for the money ($750 USD a month for a 2BED 2BATH fully furnished with all utilities including cable and internet, and split with our roommate Mark!) and we quickly started to settle in for our first night in our new home.

With over 50 festivals a year, many weekends in San Miguel are holiday weekends and our first night was no exception. Although we were exhausted from our travels and the time zone change, we managed to stay up until a fairly normal hour. Once in bed, sleep came quickly in spite of the sound of fireworks and revelers coming from the town. Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, I awoke to the sound of pounding resonating from the ancient front door. I tried to ignore this, but the knocker persisted and finally started to ring the doorbell. A little disoriented and not knowing what I was dealing with, I slipped on some clothes and padded down the stairs and the hall to the door. Just as I reached for the knob, my brain kicked in and said, “you might not want to answer that at 2am!” I turned tail back up the stairs and decided to peer out the front window which had a good view of the front door. By now the pounding had ceased, and I saw that there was a young man, beer in hand, standing across the street and gazing confusedly at the house. From what I could tell, he had finally realized he was at the wrong casita, and I watched as he stumbled off down the cobblestones. Relieved, I slipped back into bed and attempted to achieve my former state of bliss. Before long however, the neighborhood dogs and roosters, common here in Mexico began their morning ritual and seemed to bark and crow in unison “Welcome to Mexico!”

Click on any photo to enlarge!

Coming up next…Dia de Los Muertos!