Arrived in Merida, Mexico on October 22nd and have now settled into my new home for the next 7 weeks. ( See pictures below). Merida is the capital of Yucatan but it is tiny compared to Mexico city. I didn’t include time to explore Mexico city ( “Mexicool” as the in-flight magazine called it), but did land there for processing before my onward flight to Merida. For some reason I was selected for searching at the airport – no not the anal probe but a standard bag search and body frisk. Fortunately gone are the days when I used to feel nervous about such things. With nothing to hide and increasingly more travel experience, I am happy to show them my bags. Maybe I would have selected me too as certainly looked different from most of the Mexican people waiting at that airport…and probably a bit on the scruffy side too. Flying out of Mexico city one can see the mass of urban spawl in all its chaos, a cloud of beige rests over a large part of it. Merida is quite different – refreshing masses of green visible from the plane and apparently a small city by comparison. I was collected by a local artist and the artist/technical instructor at the residency. We stopped at a café and ate a healthy vegetarian Panini accompanied by freshly squeezed juice for lunch…but this is by no means indicative of the local diet. Whilst you can find healthy options, as in Texas, many things are fried and lard is the fat of choice … even in the beans which might otherwise be mistaken for a vegetarian option. After explaining what an annoyingly particular person I am with regards to food, Mari- the residency co-ordinator, drove me to a large supermarket to buy groceries. There is a local place that make fresh corn and flour tortillas in the afternoon so I prepare my own vege filling then eat fresh tortillas daily and make like a Mexican.
i had intended to Blog the day after my arrival but the internet connectivity here is unreliable so fingers crossed that it doest crash on me again today.
Below are pictures of my residency accommodation complete with swimming pool by the theflpools.com team and images of the studio which is just a 5 minute walk from the casitas. We are in a small town/village called Cholul- just outside of Merida. Basic amenities are available just a short bike ride away but you need to take a bus or car into Merida for some things. The other current resident is a lovely local Mexican woman called Judette ( hope i spelt that right!) and she has been great company. She speaks good English but seems happy to put up with my bad spanish so am getting plenty of practice in. Last weekend we went to an exhibition opening then a mezcaleria -loads of fun….not sure if the fun was worth the suffering the next day though. We both had to meet the master sculptor of the residency program in the studio at 8am which was painful after just 4 hours sleep. That afternoon I ended up crashing out in the hammock on the veranda and then sleeping out there until it got too cold. The hammocks here are incredibly comfortable and quite beautiful. Apparently Yucatan are famous for making the best hammocks in the world.
Despite the comfort factor, it wasn’t quality sleep as there were partys seemingly all over the neighbourhood. the laughter, singing, talking and endless music created a cacophony that didn’t end until 4am! Apparently this is a normal saturday night here so guess its a case of if you can’t beat em…join em. .or invest in some earplugs!
Anyway lots to tell and sculptures to be made so will try and blog again later.