It’s just a shot away

Well, we sold the house on Vancouver Island, conditions removed, closing April 1. Short notice, yes. And flying over Easter break is never fun or cheap. But you do what you have to do. I have mixed feelings but they have to do with the contents. WTF (that’s Why the, not What the) do people always want to buy our contents when we sell our houses? Drives me nuts. They did it in the loft in Vancouver (we said no), they did it in San Miguel and now they’ve done it on the Island. I had to make a list of exclusions. Frankly, I find it a little disturbing to leave our stuff behind. And yeah, I suppose it’s all replaceable in the end (we did keep treasures and any antiques).


To everything, turn, turn

Truth be told, it makes me feel like things haven’t changed since I was 16 in Toronto and waiting at Zumburger at Wellesley and Church for this guy (forget his name) to pick me up at 11pm on a Friday night and we were heading for Vancouver. It was so exciting. All my stuff was in his trunk already (all my stuff consisted of a garbage bag full of clothes). Around 1am, I realized he wasn’t coming for me. And all the clothes I owned were on my back.

You think I might have learned the lesson by now, it’s been 46 years. And I’m still annoyed when people take my stuff. I don’t think the guy wanted my stuff, he probably forgot it was trunk. But he did go to Vancouver without me. I don’t think we were ‘dating’ per say, because I wasn’t that upset about him leaving me. Pissed that I missed my ride, and upset about my clothes. I think there was a shirt in there I really liked, although I can’t recall what it looked like. Finally.

I do remember the shirt they had to cut off me after a car accident though, another favorite. A sepia tone 3/4 length sleeve t-shirt with Humphrey Bogart (poster style). That was about four years later. Funny, it’s starting to look like  I’m supposed to learn to let go. I’m not bad at it, really. But it still makes me sad sometimes and I’ll have to figure that out.


Stones in CDMX – you simply MUST click the photo for Sasha Allen – she is incredible

Mexico City, here we are. And we’ve had our second set of company already (the kids and grand kids came to visit) and we did it all. Most notably, however, we were sitting around the garden Monday evening, about 7:15 pm, when they decided we should go to the Rolling Stones concert in town. By 8pm, we were in an Uber and by 9:05 – we were in our very good seats. I must say, they know how to get things done. We left during the last song, prior to the encore. The place was like a ghost town and we had our choice of easily 50 taxis. I can’t imagine the crush as 60,000 people left maybe half an hour later. By the time it ended, we were home reminiscing. That’s the kind of stuff we hoped would be possible if we lived a little closer to the action. Their new backup girl singing with them was incredible  – Sasha Allen. I’ve uploaded a short (3 minute) video to youtube – you’ve got to check her out (singing with Mick).


Artisan market in Coyoacan, near Frida’s

We went to the blue house, went to a crazy pizza place in Coyoacan and the artisan market, we wandered Roma and my grandson ate the eyes of a huge shrimp on a dare and we went on the trajaneras at Xochimilco. We went to the Witch Market – Mercado de Sonora. It was busy but a lot of fun. I don’t know if I can do Frida’s blue house again, that was the fifth time. The boats, I can always do.

I am leaving town on Good Friday to go north and deal with the house. Not thrilled at all with that. I don’t want to leave. It’s a pain. When Canada instituted a $200 visa fee for Mexican visitors, guess which time slots Air Canada’s Vancouver route got at the Mexico City airport? Departure at 6am, and on the way back, arrival at 11:30pm. Not kidding. The 6am is a bitch, but at least I can call a cab from here and be there in half an hour (at that time of night). So I should count my blessings, right? Yeah, yeah, I’ve learned that. Let go and count your blessings. That can keep you busy all day.


Mercado Sonora – lots of weird stuff

Up north, I need to collect our “exclusions” and empty the owners’ closet. I have movers arriving a couple of hours later and more storage lined up (we already have stuff in storage, have just added a small unit as there is a n 1850’s Ontario jam cupboard and a late 1800s Chinese hutch that will take some room). Among other things. And old mid 1800s sea chest, that I bid on by accident at the Thursday night auction out in the Ontario countryside. I thought I was bidding on the piece behind it, but I love it anyway (and have for some 35 years). We only have a few pieces we’re really attached to. An Oriental rug, some glass (Robert Held, I adore his stuff), the last two generations of dogs’ ashes, a complete set of John D. MacDonald Travis McKee paperbacks, a few (very few) pieces of jewelry that held significance (mother, sister), some art. What more do we need? Oh yeah, that huge (4+ ft tall) Chinese terra cotta urn that held a palm tree in the loft.

We actually plan to buy again on the Island, much smaller, not occupy it at all and rent it out through an agency immediately, unfurnished, bills go into the tenants name. Just an investment. And we’re going to try a novel approach, we’ll get a mortgage this time. There was some logic to the original ‘no mortgage’ equation a dozen years ago, as we took off for five or so months every winter and did not rent it out. But once again, things change. And money is so cheap to borrow these days. We’ve got an investment fund lined up for the cash that’s left after our down payment – we need passive income. And fast. I still think real estate is a good long term hold. We may buy two rental properties. We’ll see how easy this one is with a property manager.


Saturday morning in Tlalpan Centro

So far, about three weeks in – we love it in CDMX (Mexico City, Cuidad de Mexico).  It’s a hike to get to the caseta de vigilancia (security booth) but there are trade offs for everything. A 50 peso cab ($4.00 CAD) and a 15 minute ride gets to me to Costco, Centro Tlalpan or the big mall across the Pereferico. And many more. And we are extremely safe here and it’s very green with tons of old trees and lots of different looking houses. The lots were sold, I gather, and everyone built their own style house – so you don’t have that spray on effect. Plus, it’s some decades old, I think.


End of the day in the garden

The Club de Golf (our colonia of the same name surrounds the course) itself is a good golf course we are told (we don’t golf). In San Miguel, the colonia would be the equivalent to the size of, or slightly larger than, Los Frailes with one big difference. A mother of a security wall around the whole thing and very tight security at the gate. So, you can leave your door open, wander around at 2am, whatever you like. No stray dogs (lots of dogs being walked on leashes) and private security patrolling 24/7 in cars and on bikes. It feels incredibly safe. And because there are no stray dogs, you can put your garbage out whenever its ready (they pick up every day – and we recycle – we separate compost and plastic/tin/etc).

Because of all the vegetation, plus the golf course green land, we have a lot of birds. And decent air – which is hard to come by in this mega city. We have a big patio for a yard and the house is quite nice. But we don’t walk as much as we used to. We do walk the dogs daily (mostly, unless it’s raining) and when we go out, we often walk a few miles. And go up and down the stairs a dozen times or more a day. I think we’ll get bikes.

But now I need to wrap this up. Time to pack. I’m taking a carry on bag and no laptop for 10 days. God help me. But I have my iPhone. What more could I possibly need? Until next time, hasta luego and Orale!

(Just in case you didn’t click on the Sasha Allen link above – she came from “The Voice” – what a fairy tale that is… and don’t they seem to have a connection?):

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  1. Diane Cole Reply

    Hey, I was just thinking of you last night…..timely that I received this post today. Congrats on selling the Vancouver house. God I remember Zumburgers…..didn’t realize the dude took off without you but with your clothes, funny how something like that can change a destiny. Nice that you are settling in in CDMX it sounds awesome and just what I think you guys have been looking for.

  2. Steve melbye Reply

    Hola! Good to hear you are doing well in the City. You ended up in a much more tame an environment (Safer) than I thought you were going for. Sounds easy and very comfortable, much easier to deal with your dogs , etc . Hope your Canadian sale went well . Let’s hear more from you ! We leave vicariously thru your blogs! Gracias! Steve and Julie

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