“Welcome” to Merida

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed… Romans 8:18

Sunday today. Last day in Puerto Morelos. I got up and slowly started packing. I had thought I might even by a cheap bag so that I wouldn’t have to cram everything back into my golf bag for the bus ride to Merida, but in the end I just jammed it all back into that golf bag — it weighs a ton, but they don’t worry about ‘overweight’ on the bus.

Then I went out for a morning stroll. I wanted to have a nice cup of coffee and maybe a bit of breakfast. Again it was a beautiful day. Other than that one downpour at the hotel yesterday, there has been no rain and the temperature now is perfect. The forecast for Merida is sunny and 26 for the foreseeable future.

I had a nutella crepe and a double espresso at a cafe. I still wasn’t very hungry so I didn’t even finish the crepe.

Back at the house I wrote in the guest book and tidied up a bit — tried to put everything back where it was when I arrived. I texted with the kids — they were waiting for their shuttle bus to take them back to the airport. We’d be leaving at about the same time — they for home, me for further adventures in Mexico.

I dragged my bag out to the side of the street and locked the house up as per instructions. I waved down a taxi and got a ride to the bus stop on the side of the highway. The taxi driver was very excited that I was a golfer and that I was going to a golf resort for the next couple of months — and had to show me lots of photos on his camera of himself on a golf course with his golfing brothers. Ah, I guess we golfers are a fraternity of sorts.

The bus that took me back to the airport came soon, and the ride to the airport was about 25 minutes. I already had a ticket from terminal 2 to Merida so I ‘parked’ my big golf bag next to a garbage can and stood and waited for about half an hour. Just before it was time to embark I decided that I’d better buy something to eat — it was supposed to be a 4+ hour trip and although I wasn’t hungry, I had eaten so little for breakfast. So I had a not-very-good airport hotdog and grabbed a bag of nacho chips and a coke for the road.

For all the “seat selection” options online when I had booked my ticket, in reality that meant nothing. I ended up next to a young man who didn’t look like he really wanted to talk. But as we rode along I struck up a conversation and we ended up talking the whole way to Merida — making the time pass quite quickly. The guy was from Russia, had moved to the U.S. when he was 20, was a medical health researcher at Rochester University, and was going to Merida for a scientific conference where one of his students was presenting a poster. By the end of the trip we were friends.

I got to the Altabrisa bus station and looked around for a taxi. Not many. Other passengers (not all were getting off at this stop) were meeting friends or relatives with cars. Some were on the phone calling taxis. I wondered what to do. But then a taxi pulled up and I loaded up my stuff and explained where I wanted to go. Twenty kilometres at 10 pesos per, he said. In the end his phone GPS led him too far, to the wrong entrance to the country club, and necessitated a very long detour to get back to where I really wanted to go. We arrived at the front gate and after some minutes of checking to see who I was and where I belonged, they let us through. It was a bit of a long winding complicated drive to find the house, but eventually we did. And as I got out of the taxi I recognized the guy standing next to his car in front of the house as ‘Mario’, the owner of the house. So he was here to meet me! Great!

I paid the cab and we went inside. Dusk was upon us. Mario welcomed me in and began showing me around. Hmmm… Okay… The photos had presented a very clean modern-looking apartment. In actuality the place looked rather tired. Lights were dim and many burned out. The kitchen didn’t look like I would like to cook in there. But the bedrooms upstairs looked okay — big “newish” beds.

After a quick tour I wondered where I met get some supper. Oh, oh. Another problem. Nothing around here is open. And there’s really nothing in the house either. But how about you order a pizza? How about YOU order one for me? Mario phoned about 5 options and ended up with nothing — either they were closed or they didn’t deliver this far. Maybe we will need a car for our stay here?

Then Mario tried to show me how to watch the NFL game on TV. But after a couple of minutes of pretty great action that too ended — the ‘pirated streaming’ site he’d found was not reliable. Ah, but you can watch Netflix. And why don’t you download the Roku app so you can use the bedroom TV. And is it okay if some workers come here tomorrow to repair the broken railing around the balcony? And here’s my WhatsApp number if you need to contact me. And then he was gone. And I sat there. It was 6pm and I was alone with zero options ahead. Well, I had that little bag of chips from the bus station.

Meanwhile I had confirmation that the kids had landed in Winnipeg. It was starting to snow pretty hard, but they made it home safe and sound. That was good. And then while I was trying to figure out what Netflix show I might spend the evening with, Dave D FaceTimes. So I spent an hour giving him a virtual tour and communicating my disappointment.

Finally, in the end, I decided that it might be best to go to sleep on it. Maybe my attitude needed an adjustment. Maybe tomorrow, in the light of day, I would see the place in a different light. Maybe the golf course would be so glorious as to balance off the disappointment of the apartment. So I finished my little snack of chips and went to bed.