That’s just what happens. You have to get used to change. At least if you want to hang around with me. So, we listed our house for sale and had an accepted offer in five days (the one on Vancouver Island). We’re waiting for the conditions to be removed. It’s been a long wait – normally it’s 10 days to two weeks but there are mitigating circumstances (out of province / out of country financing) and it looks like it will happen. The money has been approved, according to the mortgage broker, we are just waiting on the paperwork. So that will be different. More on that if it happens. I’m waiting until the fat lady sings, it all seemed a little too easy to tell you the truth.
And in the meantime, spring has sprung in Cuernavaca. We had one nasty week where it got down to low 50s (10C) at night, which is cold for the way these houses are set up but really? We cannot complain. Best climate we’ve had the pleasure to land in yet. And we’re leaving, LOL. But just going 50 miles north.
The other thing that has me thinking about change is that I met a woman in Cuernavaca whose Mexican husband was kidnapped in December, about a week before Christmas. Mexican business man, fairly wealthy, gringa wife. She’s running the business and trying to cope. I’ve been thinking about her a lot. They were only married a year. And now he’s gone. They seem certain he’s dead. But she’s not leaving, Cuernavaca is her home, she says. She’s been here some time, fluent in Spanish with a social circle. From the US originally.
There is crime here, but against wealthy Mexicans. I guess it’s hard for a tourist or gringo to get ransom money into the country without drawing attention to the incident, so they only kidnap nationals (or gringos married to nationals). And the nationals own the businesses, so they are the ones they extort. Otherwise, there’s not really much of what you’d call street crime here. Not many break ins or robberies or smash and grabs. But more kidnapping and extortion. It varies from region to region but mostly, that’s what it is. There may be more personal theft where there are a cluster of gringos with expensive things but that doesn’t really exist here. This town doesn’t seem to to have much desperate-poor-people property crime, it’s a bit more organized (and higher paying). On the other hand, the Primavera are blooming. Some are yellow, some are pink. What can you do?
Sometimes the crime overall in this country has us thinking about whether or not to buy something here again. Mayor of Texmico murdered, three police gunned down in Tlaquepaque (you’ll remember, where we stay when we go glass shopping in Tonala). We certainly won’t buy again here soon, but that’s more because a) I don’t think we can afford what we want in Mexico City just yet, and b) the only other fairly brisk markets in this country are in gringo towns. Unless a sweet deal in Roma or Condesa or Hipodromo falls in our laps, I think we’ll reinvest in Canada. We want to put most of the money into an investment fund, holding some back for a down payment (or two) on rental property up there. Right into the hands of a property management company, never to be thought of again.
We move tomorrow (to Mexico City). But all the heavy lifting is done. Our stuff will follow with a moving company a few days later but we wanted to go up on a Sunday so we could get right to work again Monday morning. Plus, it’s a no restrictions day for foreign license plates. We’re in the big city now. I ordered all my groceries online for delivery tomorrow between 5 and 6pm. Bloody awesome (Superama). From mangoes to Pink Himalayan salt. Serious. And beer. And Flor de sal con de Gusano de Maguey for the mescal (there are two kinds in the photo, gusano (worm) and chaupulines (grasshopper).
Here’s one real bit of information for you about Mexico. Mexico City, specifically. It used to be, until very recently, known as: Cuidad de Mexico (Mexico City), DF (Distrito Federale). Kind of like Washington, DC. Only now they got rid of the DF completely. There is no more Distrito Federale. So now, the acronym is CDMX – Cuidad (city) de Mexico. Period. DF is gone forevermore (a little gerrymandering to adjust the police forces, we read). Just remember CDMX is Mexico City and you’ll be fine. And remember that most people in Mexico call Mexico City simply “Mexico”. I guess it’s harder to do that if you’re not in-country.
We had friends in town from Toronto and had lunch with them in CDMX last weekend at the ever-favorite Chuchito Perez in Roma. Potato wrapped shrimp are marvelous, by the way. We really had a lot of fun reminiscing – we’d worked together for years and years at the old magazine. After lunch, we strolled halfway around the glorietta (traffic circle) for coffee (beer). It’s what living in Mexico City will be like only instead of an Uber from Roma and a bus to home, it will just be an Uber home.
For those who aren’t familiar with Uber cars (they aren’t everywhere yet), these are private cars with licensed limo drivers. In CDMX, these guys would just be standing around in suits, leaning on expensive cars, waiting and reading the paper while their bosses did their business. Now, I call them on my smartphone and in minutes (sometimes seconds) have a name, photo, car make, color and plate. And I pay online. It’s another awesome thing. Security is a ‘thing’ in CDMX. I prefer a private car and driver to a taxi – and there are total electronic records. And no cash. The sharing economy. Like Air BnB, another of my faves. I’m waiting for both of them to announce their IPOs. It’s the way of the future, for sure.
We have our first guests coming on Thursday, and then the kids will stop by on their way to Cabo for March break for three days in March. April was going to be the island but the house may be sold by then. May, we’re possibly heading to the beach (yeah, I know, dumb time but it’s all that works) to see the house our friends built. We have a favorite house guest in June – so we’ve got full plates for a while. We’re back to the rule of one set of guests per month. It’s all we can do – we work. And hey, it’s a hot destination. Book now to reserve your bed before it’s gone 🙂
Ok, for the wrap up, we landed in CDMX and we’re pretty settled. Superama delivered a 66-piece order to me on Monday (groceries and beer) and I went to Costco on Tuesday (called an Uber car, perfect it was). Back down to work today. Looks like the house will close April 1 – Ojala (basically, God willing and the creek don’t rise). Jorge the Griffin is home, as you can see above. We love the house. It’s very, very secure. Security booth, 24 hour attendants, really tight security. Security patrols and secondary booths within the golf club. I feel perfectly safe wandering around in here with the dogs at any hour. So, I might revise my opinion of gated communities, at least in cities of 22 million. So, that’s it, for now I will leave you. The Wisteria in the cover shot is just across the street. One of my favorite plants, even though pastel colors aren’t me as a rule. Lots to learn about the city – I should have lots to tell you soon. Until then, a little James Taylor. Orale!