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Throw Momma From the Train A Kiss

Yesterday was a typically silly day, one in which I got us locked out of the house, learned to drive a stick shift (sort of) and uttered the getting-closer-but-still-pathetic sentence “What happened if to bring the car to our mechanic and he tells me that it is not good?” Yes, of course yesterday we were idiots in Spanish, but happy idiots who almost have it together.

I cannot emphasize enough how amazing Marcelo is at problem solving; he had an old man on his tricy with a tackle box full of keys and tools here at the house within minutes of my sad pleas for help and not much longer and 50 pesos (5 bucks) later he had opened the front door. Lessons learned: 1)make an extra set of keys; 2) scaling those broken glass topped perimeter walls is not much fun (for Malcolm).

A few hours later our rental car arrived. The saga of the Jetta is too tedious to be reprinted here, I will simply say that two days ago Marcelo helped us sell the car to a guy who paid about 1,300 US dollars more than it was worth. He came with a mechanic. We had no idea. We have nothing to feel sorry for and now we are free. But, oh yeah, homebound. We called Kimbila, our friendly neighborhood car rental and they delivered a sweet Tsuru right to our driveway for I think $200 pesos. Unfortunately it was not an automatic.

What next to do but allow Malcolm to teach me to drive stick on the long straight uncrowded road we live on? I know there was a time when every man, woman and child had no choice but to drive a standard shift, but not in 1995 when I got my license. I have always, only ever driven an automatic, and not always with great skill, but I was eager to learn. And believe it or not Malcolm is sort of great at it. After a few uneasy but not terrible passes in which I frightened stray dogs and school children I pretty much had it down. clutch, gas, neutral, whatever, yeah, got it, on we go!

Good news for all those Progreso-Merida commuters; the southbound side of the brand new four lane highway is almost completed. very zoomy. That was the easy part. I wish I could show you or accurately describe the 22 traffic lights and intersections you have to get through to get downtown. The gloriettas (roundabouts) were a challenge. We almost got hit by a slow moving van but didn’t, the cops didn’t mind and so neither did we. Quite a bit of shifting, stalling, honking, and positive reinforcement later, we made it to the Paseo.

We trade the Tsuru in for an even sweeter Neon and we’re back in action over to Avenida Itzaes, land of the used car lots. We talked about our careers, our financial sitch and how to pay the enganche (downpayment) with the secretary and then we met Freddy, a nice enough used car salesman (is that like being a gracious executioner? a murderer who makes a perfect soufflee? ) Anyway, at that point our Spanish was getting pretty hopeless and if they spoke any English they were being awfully cagey about it. But I think we understood 85% of what was said and made ourselves 74% clear. We’ll know for sure on Friday afternoon. We have to wait and so will you for those details.

Thanks to everyone who made yesterday possible, including 6 lb 8 oz baby Jesus. shake and bake.

There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. Kudos to you Jills for learning to drive stick. I always tell people that it’s a good thing to know how to do. One more thing you can check off the list of life. Think of it….millions of manual cars are now at your command! Plus it helps when buying a car as it expands your options. Good luck buying a new car…you two seem to have some rotten luck with cars!

  2. Thanks Nick. We’re hoping to change our luck this weekend…

  3. This is off-subject, but I was wondering if you guys have to have some special visa to permanently reside in Mexico?

  4. Hey Emily,

    Yes, and actually we finally get ours today. The FM3 is a working visa and since we bought the house through forming a corporation, as all extranjeros (foreigners) must this type of visa is part of the package. Perhaps we’ll develop a more detailed post later today once we have them in hand. good question!

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