We have had a lot to learn about our new home, Mazatlan.
- When carpenters install hinges here, they make the cut out area double deep and then install the other side of the hinge flat on the wood. Smart because it means they only have to make one cut for the hinge.
- I’ve only bought one pair of pants here, but the zipper and button are oriented the opposite way from the way I am accustomed to.
- The rules of cell phone usage are very complicated. The person receiving the call on their cell phone is the one who pays for the call. And it is wise to be sensitive to people lower on the economic ladder. For example, if we were to call our painter we would text message him and then he could call back so that we would be charged for the call.
- The rules of land line phones are new, too. If you call a cell phone, you are charged for it. So we take special care to know what kind of phone we’re calling and who it belongs to before we call. And we call land line from land line and cell to cell. Sheesh.
- Draperies are more popular here than blinds. There are a few dusty mini-blinds at Home Depot and a few roller shades but that’s it.
- There are so many talented craftspeople here! We need a bracket to hold our heavy chandelier – the iron man. A mural on the end wall of the sala fresca – the mural painter. I am amazed every day at what they can do with concrete, too!
- Mazatlan is the shrimp capital of the world but there is a lot of other good food here, too. There’s a bakery with no sign that we call “the cookie lady” with extraordinary cookies. Two great pizza places. Thai food. Potatoes. Tacos.
- Work pretty much stops from Christmas Eve until the Dia de los Magos (today.) Up north it is sketchy between Christmas and New Year’s but here even the government offices shut down. Might as well!
- TV is a big disappointment here. Most of the Mexican programming is not our kind of show (like game shows) or are too hard to get into (like soap operas.) We do watch the Venados play baseball and catch the occasional football game. Some of the dubbing is done very strange – like Rachel Ray the other day was speaking English and they had dubbed it in Spanish but not blanked out the English so you couldn’t understand anything. Any US TV series you see listed is certain to be last season. CNN is from England. Who needs TV anyway?
- Locals love it when you speak Spanish. Even my present-tense Spanish. Sometimes they are all nervous when they realize they have to speak to you but once you start talking they seem to relax.
The picture at the top? Our house being prepped for painting.