Friday, February 25, 2011

Room Rental Again

If you read my blog, you know I rent out two of the rooms to offset the monthly expenses, because the house is big enough to handle it, and because I like utilizing space in a practical way. The upstairs room has been occupied by a super nice (invisible most of the time...basic perfect tenant) for over 16 months.  He found a gal and they've set up house, so he reluctantly moved out. 

I am putting out the word that this excellent hideaway is again available for rent.  We are looking for a long term rental, but would consider short term rentals as well.  I took some photos of the room and will offer some explanations.  Of course I am biased, but I think it's a great room, even though it doesn't have high ceilings.  It's light and airy with jalousy windows, venetian blinds, privacy and is surprisingly quiet since it's upstairs in the rear of the house.  You barely hear any street noise.  No one else comes upstairs...except us on occasion to hang some laundry or check the solar panels.

This pic shows the windows, the air conditioner on the wall. The short ceilings allow the AC to cool off the room in a matter of minutes with the remote control.  When it's really hot and sunny, you can close the blinds and work the AC to your comfort zone.  There is TV with cable on the table.  The room is set up for wireless access, just enter the code and you are back online, if you have a laptop.

Here is the 'picture window', some silly Christmas lights I strung along the ceiling, which at night really provide a cool lighting effect. They may look silly but I liked the effect.  The dresser is small, but functional.  In the picture above, the basket on the floor provides extra storage.  There is a stereo that plays cds, radio, and believe it or not....cassettes.  And I have a Spanish language program that includes a set of cassettes. 

 From this angle you can see the door, which has its own key. The bathroom is behind the chair, and it's small but again functional.  A personal water heater provides hot water upon demand.

If you aren't careful the tiles can make you hallucinate. They're like an Escher drawing when you are in there.

 There is an alcove where the matrimonial bed fits in perfectly, with night stand and a unique lamp made by recyclables by a Zapatista woman in Ocosingo, Chiapas.  Clothes can be hung in the turquoise closet behind the bed.

The outside patio reveals the hot water heater, the entrance and the little couch and table for hanging outside on the patio where there is always a cool breeze. 

We are in the city, and this is the view from the couch....overlooking the solar panels on our roof, which by the way has a lot of just white open space out there.  We keep the gate locked for security, but the key is handy to anyone wanting to do some star watching from the roof.  Merida isn't too bright a city and the star gazing is pretty good, just from the back yard.

 This view is better. Looking south toward La Ermita, you can see its palm trees. The roof below covers the patio behind the pool and half the pool.  This view is created by lying in one of the hammocks up on the patio.

If there is a drawback to the room, it's steep stairway one must climb and descend as if negotiating a big temple at Chichén Itzá or Tikal!    Good exercise for the legs, though!                              

Ah....the main attraction. Half the pool is in the shade, and behind the railing there is a shaded patio.  The pool is already maintaining 83°F and I've started up on my exercise routine. The pool is my favorite place to write, so I hang out in there a lot. When it gets really hot, this small body of water is so refreshing, you are cooled off for hours.

This is the kitchen area.  We share the kitchen, but there's just one person living up front and Pablo and me.  The kitchen is stocked and easily accesible. 

Outside in the patio area is a convenient bathroom made from the old cistern.  The house has no shortage of bathrooms!

The laundry room.  It houses our laundry products, a stereo whose speakers sit nicely in the window and provide music in the patio.  Also the pool floats, toys, balls, noodles, weights, are stored in here, easily accesible to those wanting to float around or play around in the pool. I use the floats and noodles to construct a seat so I can sit under the shaded part of the pool and write.

Pablo's computer on the left, which we offer usage of to tenants who might not have internet. This is a shot from the dining room toward the kitchen. 

I call this my library.  I like books.  There is TV in this sala and a choice between hammock or furniture for relaxation.  The cat toys live in here too, it's a preferred play area when we have catnip.

So, too many photos later, this is the 'big picture' of the room for rent.  The atmosphere here is peaceful, positive, and safe.  I think that $4000 mxn is a fair price to ask, considering the amenities.  Just think, your entire monthly expenses paid in one small sum.  No bills to harrass you.  The housekeeper cleans the room once a week, changes sheets and towels, you are all set.  When the Mérida heat really sets in, you have your air conditioned room or the swimming pool to cool off and these luxuries are the things that draw you into Mérida and living in a hot climate.  Spread the word if anyone is looking for a place to live. 

Email me at:
or call me at 999 285 3935

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Big Storms of February 2011

I've kept an online eye on the Groundhog Day Blizzard that has paralized a sizable portion of the USA the past couple of days.  In looking at the videos and photos posted by midwesterners, I can feel the bone chilling cold pass through me, and it brings back lots of cold memories.  I remember how beautiful a whiteout winter scene can be, and how treaturous, and I don't miss it at all. I do send my sympathy to those folks who are snowed in.

Here in Merida, we've been enduring a storm of our own the past several weeks. It's not a snow or rain storm - it seems we have had very few days of rain since October.  That makes this experience more remarkable.

What we have here is a slow moving, long lasting MOSQUITO STORM. At first, I thought it was just in my house.  I moved here from another tropical locatioon and try to be careful about not creating breeding grounds for them inside or outside the house.  The fact that I'm surrounded on three sides by overgrown abandoned properties nullifies my futile attempts.

We see mosquitoes year round in the tropics and our colder months (Oct-Feb) present a higher risk of contracting dengue fever.  This year the mosquito population is exaggeratedly troublesome.  Today when I walked into the corner store I was swarmed.  I felt like I was in a tv commecial - the one where the guy sticks his arm in a box of mosquitoes.  At the Duñasusa store two doors down most customers are buying Raid coils or Baygon spray and saying, "¡Ay, Diós Mío, los moscos! ¡Son una plaga exagerada!"

I wake up early most days, make coffee, take care of the cats, and head to the computer to check emails. The past several weeks the morning ritual also includes lighting and strategically placing several "Mexican incense coils".  I stopped buying the lavender ones, I don't want any sweet smell that attracts them instead of zapping them.  That may be bullshit.  Truth is I'll use just about any repellent method.  I've taken to wearing long pants, long sleeves and socks around the house - not always because it's cold - I overdress to deter the pesky mossies.  I've got a coil lit on each side of my chair as I write this, with the ceiling fan to aid in smoke dispersement.

Mosquitoes don't usually bother the locals, they tend to be attracted to the new blood in town!  But even Pablo has to light a coil in the middle of a cold night to keep the buggers from buzzing our heads.  We might get some rain (slight chance) today or tomorrow, which should help the mosquitoes to keep on multiplying.  I looked up information about mosquitoes and found this interesting link.  There is a short video. The gal puts some mosquito eggs into a small vial with warm water, they shake it up, and within seconds the little black dots look like swimming sperm (I imagine).  Within an hour the vial was FULL of little swimmers.  The gal said they would be mature within 4-7 days.  It was an eye opener. 

Luckily the screens on the doors keep out swarms that are visible from inside the kitchen looking out.  But....I don't remember to shut ALL the screens.  Ok, I'm a little stubborn about keeping doors and windows open.  I don't like to feel closed in.  I wait until I absolutely have to close up the house, like during a tropical downpour.  On a cold day I'd rather put on an extra sweatshirt than close my windows or doors.

I keep a bottle of calamine lotion at my side to use before I scratch, and all of my efforts are my best defense until I can get my hands on some terribly toxic body repellent!  I've been eaten alive by mosquitoes a few times in my crazy travels....and I have a low tolerance for the multiple itches.  I have got to get some new zap racquets!  Take care and use repellent til the all clear is posted.  Don't hold your breath though.