New friends in Merida

Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats… 1 Corinthians 6:13

I woke up with a headache. What else is new? I had some nice bread with butter and mango yogurt for breakfast. And for the first time this year, I made a cup of coffee. Not bad either! Then I swallowed my assortment of pills and waited for the Tylenol to kick in.

I spent all day inside. I worked on a computer project and made quite a bit of headway. So I actually enjoyed a lazy quiet day here. At around 5:00pm I decided to walk to the superette at the front gate. On the way there I ran into Jack (from Edmonton) who was working on his golf cart. So now I know where Jack and his wife Gerry live. Right on the main road, in a lovely home they built about 10 years ago. And while I was talking to Jack another couple drives by and pulls over. So I get introduced to Jack’s friend Joseph and his wife Heidi — from Switzerland. And then Gerry comes out — she’d been inside napping when the phone rang. It was my neighbour Pepe’s wife Kiki calling. Would it be okay if they would also ask their new neighbour Rudy to join the gang for supper tonight?

I walked to the store and bought fresh bread for tomorrow’s breakfast and a Kitkat for a little treat before bedtime tonight. Supper was supposed to be at around 7pm — late for all us old folks. I THOUGHT that supper was going to be at Pepe’s house, but just after 7 he comes knocking on my door — are you coming? Yes, of course. Do I need to dress up? No, you’re fine. I walk across the street and into Pepe’s garage. Kiki is waiting in the car. I get in and get introduced. We drive to the front gate. Along the way we stop to pick up Jack and Gerry. On the other side of the front gate is another car with another couple, Doogie and Joan. They are Canadians from Sherbrooke, Quebec and they will join us. Kiki gets out of our car and jumps into theirs, and I move to the front passenger seat. It’s a LONG drive through many small side streets to get to the restaurant. But along the way the conversation begins, and both Pepe and Jack enjoy answering questions I have about Merida and the things I see along the way.

We end up at a small Italian restaurant. A large booth has been reserved for us. The others sit on either side, and I pull up a chair at the end, with Doogie and Jack on either side of me. And that’s how we spent the next 3 hours. My fettucini and camarones (shrimp) was excellent. The lasagna that a couple of the others had looked very good too. But as good as the food was, the conversation was great. In the end we split the bill 7 ways and headed back home via a much quicker and simpler route. (The restaurant was in fact not that far away from the Altabrisa bus station where I arrived last Sunday.)

And so tonight I not only had a great meal, but I made a bunch of new friends here in Merida. I almost forgot about my headache until I got home. I washed down a dessert of pills with some pineapple juice and sat down to write my journal. Things are looking up! (I’ll save the Kitkat for another night.)