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Friday, February 26, 2016

Thoughts From And For The Curious Minds

After walking close to 100 miles over the past 2 weeks, Ok, ok I may have slightly exaggerated! Señor Google says we have walked close to 75 miles, but when you account for all the wrong turns, short cuts and back tracking to cross streets, it sure has felt like 100 miles! Needless to say we have seen a lot of the city. The following are thoughts from and for the curious minds........

As said earlier, the altitude and hills were a real challenge our first week. Now with that behind us, we are off and running! The mornings and evenings have a chill in the air. Morning temperatures average between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit, with the days warming up to around 80-85 degrees, followed by cooler evenings that have us reaching for a sweater or jacket when we venture out. Gloves are optional, but have become my new best friend. I definitely acclimated to my life in the Yucatan. This former Wisconsin girl would have worn shorts and a t shirt in weather of 45-50 degrees! The climate is much dryer, my skin is flaking and my hands are chapped, but on the flip side, my wild mop of hair is under control and looking pretty good these days!

This beautiful city is a bit smaller than Merida, but I find it has more of a big city personality. Unlike the warmth you find in the people of Yucatan, a simple greeting or acknowledgment in the passing of a stranger on the street is rarely heard here. Just like a big city, everyone is busy and in a hurry. The urban sprawl is divided into 5 sections: 1) Commercial, 2) Industrial, 3) Technological,  4) Agriculture and 5) Historical Centro. Once you depart from the cobblestone streets of Centro, you are in suburbia, you immediately notice an increase in traffic, larger paved roads and multiple highways. Overall the city is very pedestrian friendly. Bus drivers and vehicles actually stop to allow the pedestrian to cross the street.  Unlike the Yucatan, where driving is a sport, here it is more organized and played by the rules! You can managed without a vehicle, and many do, but as we all know having your own car simplifies travel. Parking is at a premium in Centro. Homeowners need to keep a vigilant eye on their driveways because you will get parked in. It is not uncommon to see orange cones, 2 chairs with a rope attached or large rocks holding sentry to private carports or garage entries!

In 1996 Querétaro was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With standards in place to maintain this rating, the city is strictly regulated. These regulations are taken seriously with a keen eye to cleanliness. Garbage is placed in provided bins, it is not dropped in the street to blow in the wind. Residential garbage is picked up daily with the exception of Sunday. The city workers work around the clock. Weekly, in Centro, industrial water trucks with fire truck size hoses wash down the sidewalks and streets. These services add up in costs and I think it is safe to assume that property taxes are probably higher.

The water bill arrived this past week and our crazy landlord has been delinquent on past payments! We were able to decipher the bill and learned that the monthly cost of water is twice the amount of what is charged in Merida. Gas, for home or business use, in Centro, is piped in natural gas, no rooftop stationary tanks or worries of running out. We are looking forward to the arrival of the gas  and electric bills for further comparison. I find grocery prices at the Market and Supermarkets to be the same as in Merida, with the exception of fresh bakery being lower in cost here. Eating out can be as economical or expensive as you wish. There are hundreds of options for every wallet, from regional to international foods. With so many young professionals, variety and quality are in demand. Boutique retailers, shopping malls, home goods, gourmet restaurants and coffee houses are highly competitive businesses.

Our needs so far have been met within Centro and the Commercial area of town. Centro is where I would want to live. Everything El Señor and I need and enjoy having close by is here. Even thinking ahead to aging legs and knees, Centro remains walkable. The Commercial area provides us with all the goods and services that make life easier, maybe not necessary, but a comfort zone within a life outside of our culture. This is where you will find the private hospitals, large shopping malls, Costco, Home Depot and many other big box stores.

With still a month of exploring ahead of us, everything said is subject to change.........

Hope you have enjoyed,
La Señora


  1. It sounds like you are enjoying your new surroundings. The picture of you two is wonderful and you both look great!! I hope you keep enjoying your new home. Being a clean city, I bet is nice after Progresso.

  2. Thank you! We have not yet decided if this will be our new home, but we sure are enjoying the city. Moving to Progreso, was our first leap of faith, forever a fondness within our hearts.....

  3. Sometimes the grass is not as green on the other side of the fence, La Senora! Interesting observations....abrazos, H & N

    1. True words.Glad we have another month to figure things out.