Not an untypical day here in Merida; meaning a day like today is fairly typical. Confusing, huh? I was left to my own devices this morning, so I headed over to Cafe la Boheme for my morning coffee fix. Lots of tacos de ojo strutting down Avenida Paseo de Montejo to satisfy the voyeur in me. Remember, taco de ojo literally means: eye tacos (or eye candy). Yes, beautiful women of the youthful variety. Hey, I’m old not dead; I can still look and appreciate.
It was a slow day at the cafe, basically just Bad Gary and myself. I think that I mentioned before that Gary is a former Canadian politico; if I remember correctly he was Chief of Staff for a MP (Member of Parliament). Anyway, we talked Canadian politics for about 2-1/2 hours, and compared them to U.S. politics. Very interesting conversation and I learned a lot (a great civics lesson). The Canadians do many things right, especially in their approach to governmental affairs. There are many similarities between Canadian politics of today, and what the U.S. had going for it in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Primarily their conservative approach to all things financial. Where we deregulated our financial industry (in the 1970’s and 1980’s) and abdicated governmental oversight, they maintained stiff regulation and continued with stringent governmental oversight. I think history has proven their approach to be the sounder approach. Our economy is still in a shambles, and their economy continues to thrive and prosper. And while having this intelligent conversation and drinking my coffee I was also smoking a Cuban Partagas Limited Edition cigar (a premium smoke if ever there was one).
I then headed over to Cafe Creme on Calle 41 for my breakfast/lunch. In recognition of 4th of July (yesterday) I had Hot Dogs Francais. This is not your typical American hot dog. It is a split, toasted baguette with bratwurst-type dogs served open faced. Topped with melted cheese and sun-dried tomatoes and a fresh salad on the side ($60 MXN/$4.60 USD). Delicious. While downing the dogs I had another long conversation with an expat from Michigan who is a 4-year resident of Merida. We are the same age, and are like-minded about the advantages and pleasures of living outside of the USA. It is so nice to have the luxury of time—time to eat a leisurely meal, indulge in intelligent and prolonged conversation, drink my coffee and enjoy my Cuban cigars. Many would say these activities are not productive (in the American sense), and many might be right. However, it sure is pleasurable, and I don’t really have to justify my activities to anyone anymore. And to me that spells: FREEDOM. Freedom to do my own thing with my own time. And you can’t put a price on that kind of freedom.
We just got word that our new 2-year Resident Visas are ready to be picked up from the Immigration Department, so that will be our one big errand for Monday. Then we will be free to head down to Ciudad de Campeche in Campeche State for a week. Campeche is a very old Spanish fortress city built on the coast about 2-hours southwest of Merida. Much smaller than Merida, it is supposed to be very quaint and charming with an incredible centro historico area. We are very much looking forward to our time there.