Taking stock

I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.[YIKES! Really?] Daniel 10:3

The alarm rang at 7:30. I was half sort of expecting workers to show up on my balcony early this morning. I should have remembered: I am in Mexico. But now I was up. I got dressed and went downstairs. Breakfast? Nothing to see here. I repaired one of the blinds which was rolled up backwards so that when I left for my morning walk I could do so with a clean conscience.

I walked a few houses down the street and got to a gravel track that cut between two holes on the golf course. At the other end of the track was the clubhouse. I went to check it out.

The name of this country club and golf course is La Ceiba. I stopped in at the restaurant and got a coffee to go. Then I went to the pro shop to ask about golfing rates and stuff like that. The people in the clubhouse more-or-less answered my questions but it didn’t really make sense to me. One game was supposed to cost me 2000 Mexican pesos. But for 9000 pesos I could have as much golf as I wanted, including golf cart, for a month. So as long as I golfed more than 4.5 games per month I was ahead buying the monthly pass.

The golf pro sent me to see the woman in the main office. So I did. Of course she could not speak or understand English, but a lovely young girl who was ‘visiting’ with the woman spoke perfect English and acted as the translator. As I said, really no new information here — she just confirmed what the pro shop had told me.

I went into the restaurant where Omar, the very friendly waiter who had given me my coffee earlier, took my breakfast order. I hadn’t eaten since that bag of chips yesterday early evening, and not much for a few days already. I was hungry. The big plate of scrambled eggs and ham with toast and jam satisfied that. Alex, the young translator, came and sat down at my table and told me all about the golf club and how nice the people are here and I should really take up golfing here.

When I got back to the house those balcony repair guys were just getting started. I watched for a while as they jimmied their arc welder by connecting the bare power wires directly to the line on a hydro pole right next to the house. Free 220 volts I guess. But they unhooked it mighty quickly when the welder started smoking like crazy!

I could see that was going to be an all-day task. After sitting at my computer and catching up with the news I went for another walk around lunch time. This time I headed in the other direction, back to the entry gates. Just outside the gates is a little mini-market. I browsed around in there for quite a while — trying to take stock of what they had and what they didn’t have. No beer or wine, for example. Not a lot of meat either. But some fresh bread, butter, yogurt (turned out not-so-fresh), chips and cokes. I bought some of each and threw in a homemade paper-wrapped ‘tostada’ and went back home.

I was on the computer again for a while. At around 5 o’clock the welders on the balcony were done. They cleaned up their ladders and equipment. A freshly-painted thick black iron railing now protects the gringos who rent this place from falling off the second-floor balcony.

The workers sat down on the floor of the car port and waited for Mario, the owner of the apartment, to come and inspect the job and pay the guys. I was ready for Mario. I had prepared a long list of things that the apartment needed and things that needed fixing or replacing. So when he was through with the workers, I had it out with him. He could see I wasn’t very happy and he promised that he would do his best to make things right. He took out his phone and took a photo of my lists and then went through the items and made a big checkmark next to most of them.

I told Mario how frustrated I had been without a vehicle and without food yesterday. He said he was driving into town and if I wanted I could catch a ride in with him. I did that.

I spent nearly 90 minutes at the big Chedraui grocery store in town. Toilet paper, soaps, detergents, sponges, paper towel. And fresh fruit and yogurt and cheese and beer and wine. I stopped at the ATM before going through the checkout and took out a small loan to pay for the cartful. Then I pulled out my phone and got an Uber car to take me and my groceries back to my house.

I rearranged all the various hot sauce condiments down into the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so I would have room for all my new stuff. Then I ate that little ‘tostada’ that I’d bought earlier for my supper. It was okay, and easily enough to satisfy my hunger.

I sat on the couch and watched the NBC Nightly News and then the CBC National on my appleTV. I Facetimed with Alex and then later, with Dave and MaryLou. And I was tired. And I had a headache and my nose need regular blowing — maybe that cold is still in there somewhere.

I went upstairs and got ready for bed. I wrote my journal. Somehow things got a bit better today. I’m still not thrilled with the place, but I think we can probably make it work.