Jan 18, 2008
Saludos de Mérida
Greetings from Mérida, MX.
I don't mean to turn the Archer Pelican into a travel blog for the next two months, but I will say this: I am experiencing the expected travails of travel. I'm only glad that I have two months to enjoy getting to know the Yucatan. I'd like this to be a trip, not just a visit.
- It's hot here. And muggy. And sometimes breezy. Kind of like being at the NC beach in summer, with a lot more diesel exhaust.
- I'm fighting the urge to eat seven meals a day -- there's so much good food. Yesterday I had a variety of seafood tacos in a small, folding-chair and plastic napkin-holder place that once hosted Pope John Paul II. The wall art includes at least one photo of the Pope's visit, several pictures of the owner in his younger, body-building days, and at least one large print that looks like an old movie-still with a semi-nude teenage girl. Go figure.
- Today I got a local phone and mobile internet service (see photo above) for, in theory, best as I could understand, 2 months. It only took 5 hours and $250. Does that sound like a lot of money? Yes it does. And a lot of time? That, too. But I wasn't in a hurry and everybody was nice. It's good to not be in a hurry. And hell, the service is called "BAM". That ought to be worth at least $50.
- Spanish lessons start tomorrow. 2 or 3 hours a day at $11 an hour with experienced teachers. I'm looking forward to recovering what I lost and gaining something new. One good thing is that most folks in this town don't speak English. I'll practice lots.
Hugs to anyone reading this, and even to some who aren't.
I volunteer to be your practice partner when you get back.YAY!
Posted by: stew | Jan 18, 2008 7:14:58 AM
So, you are missing the possible snow tomorrow....let's see...much better prospects at not getting another cold and providing a big dose of jealousy for all. Seriously, much happiness and learning to you! Yes, I have experienced the expensive,long, often confusing, wait of internet/cell phone purchasing in another country, Italy. It wasn't even for me; I was helping someone else! Keep me heavily posted so I can vicariously live! Photos, too!
Posted by: carter | Jan 18, 2008 10:48:42 AM
You made it! Enjoy the adventure--can't wait to read more.
Posted by: Valerie | Jan 18, 2008 8:58:23 PM
Phil, I hope it will be a travel blog for the next few months. I think we would all love it. My bet is, if you start writing about the mundane, the post will morph to more. You won't be able to help it. So please, travel blog on! Chime on in here if anyone else feels the same. Doc
Posted by: Doc | Jan 19, 2008 2:46:18 AM
I'm chiming--don't overlook the travel! Phil, your adventure sounds wonderful already and I cannot wait to share it with you.
Posted by: Lisa | Jan 19, 2008 11:53:24 AM
¡Creo que tus meses in Mérida serán muy agradables!
Posted by: Brian Rice | Jan 19, 2008 10:07:40 PM
Phil, count me among those who want to hear all about it... I want to see pictures and hear all the details.
$125 a month for prepaid cell and AYCE mobile Internet is *not* that bad, really. By the time you tack all the taxes onto a cell phone bill, you're looking at $50/month minimum (probably more... *definitely* more if, like me, you're the chump with the iPhone) -- and the mobile data plans I've seen are between $50-75 a month. So it actually sounds about right...
Posted by: Barry Campbell | Jan 20, 2008 8:49:58 AM
...but damn, five hours IS a long time.
Posted by: Barry Campbell | Jan 20, 2008 8:54:32 AM
Thanks, Barry. I'm feeling less bad about my electronics, now!
I am finding that the mobile wireless works fine for my web surfing and even for SkypeOut calls to friends (2.5 cents per minute or thereabouts). But the quality isn't good enough for business. And I never know if I'm going to get 90 minutes or 9 minutes between lost connections.
Fortunately, my local cell phone plus long distance card seems to be working very well. I had a perfectly reasonable connection to California yesterday for ~12 cents a minute. I can live with that just fine.
Hey, do y'all remember when landline long distance plans were saturating the TV adspace? And when they were giving you money to change long distance carriers? Sometimes even more money than you spend in a month? Those were crazy times.
Posted by: Phil | Jan 23, 2008 12:14:07 AM