Arrival in Merida.
I arrived in Merida and was greeted by my homestay host Elide, holding an “Habla” sign (the name of the school). She began to speak spanish to my, perhaps less than, endearing blank face. I follow her to the taxi area- I think she is being appropriately pushy, but really, what do I know? We arrive at her casa. She shows me around, she has many locks on every door, yet Merida is a very safe city. She reminds me of my babushka. The entire floor of the house is tiled, my room has two full size beds with windows to the patio entrance way, large fan, and a fully tiled bathroom with shower. It is a very lovely accomodation. She offers me food. I attempt to speak to her using my ASL- you know, because substituting one language for another often works. I sound like an idiot, I know this because its in her kind though almost laughing eyes. I eat. She teaches me many words while yo como. I would like to go for a walk- comino. She says “Paseo Montejo is a main street. How long will I be?” Como se dice…”don´t wait up?” She instrucks me on locking the doors and front gate and turning off the lights when I get home. I walk. No wifi anywhere. I recall from Yucatan Today calendar, a jazz singer at an Irish Pub. I chance my data bill and google Hennessey´s Merida and quickly turn off data to avoid anymore data transfer. On a tiny screen is an address written in an unknown pattern to an unknown city. “Pardon,” says the Americana to the dos Mexicana Mujeres, “Donde esta Resturante Hennessey?” and point to screen. They laugh, the type is small. I notice the street is Paseo Montejo- I am in the right part of town. They motion a la derecha (thank you Portland MAX train). Out of my mouth pops- Mas o Menus Calles? What- what- did I say? A practicle question en espanol? Two years of high school Spanish coming back online in 3,2,1…okay well slow and steady is better than nada. Perhaps 10 blocks. I found it. I walk in and ask, Donde esta el musica? Waiter points to outside, after three attempts by gracious waiter, I understand the musica will begin at diez o´clock. While I wait….I embibe fish cakes and my first Pina Colada. I am the wild haired Americana sitting alone in an Irish Pub in Merida Mexico on El Paseo de Montejo. I offer a group of young adults to sit with me instead of waiting for a table, they kindly refuse- fine then. I order a chocolate Martini. My table is right in front of the flat stage area. I see the beautiful latina singer getting ready, I like her haircut, a short blonde pixie. She wears classy red high heals and a denim button down shirt tucked into a torquoise, loose, but well shaped short skirt, which she often checks to make sure it is not riding up too high. I approve of her cosmopolitan style. An older gentleman walks over to her, they greet and she kisses him politely on the cheek. Later, the waiter asks if two personas can join me at my table, it is this older man and his friend. His friend is from Merida as well, but currently visiting from Colorado where he is studying for his PhD in agriculture- he knows about Permaculture. Soon another woman is seated with us. I now have Mexican friends. The older gentlemen insists I have another drink, and another, and another, and another- and I´m curious why I am not plastered. He winds up picking up my whole bill and buying me a rose. Eventually I depart, with the woman´s phone number and facebook contact. She has invited me to join her tomorrow night at a piano concerto en la Museo Maya para El Festival de Maya. She has some fancy job as logisitical director of cultural and touristic events in Mexico, or something like that. I now have important friends in Mexico. I walk home, practicing a straight line. I´m curiously not drunk. When I get home, I take some B-Complex and chug a bunch of bottled water and pray I´m not a mess in the middle of the night.