Welcome loyal reader. The book, “Living in Mérida”, the fundraising collaborative effort that Bruce and Mary have been slaving over is submitted. Join them now as they settle into their new casa.
Serge, Relaxing in his Million Dollar Casa
We moved into our new digs September 2008 and that place was really nice! Julie had been kind enough to offer us their other house for temporary lodging during the final leg of this book project. This very romantic two bedroom west coast style house was extremely comfortable with mini-split a/c units in every room, and a dining room with a patio door that opened onto a beautiful blue tiled pool surrounded by gardens. There, we had a brief respite before we received the first of 2 hard copy manuscripts from Yucatan Today for proofing.
As we were in a new location, routines changed. Having a completely private pool was very cool and I finally realized what I wanted to do when I grew up – be a pool boy! Every day, after breakfast, I’d skim the pool, which was quite relaxing, and then take a dive from the deep end (5’) of the pool and dog paddle around. The water was warm but refreshing. Wilfredo our pool man did a good job of keeping the water crystal clear. After my pool thing, quite often Mary and I would do our yoga on the veranda off our bedroom facing the pool.
We found a new produce vendor on Calle 48 who was very reasonable and actually stocked Haas aguacates, avocados. We always had to buy them at Walmart, the previous vendors would only stock the locales, which are utterly tasteless. We also found a new cocina economica, economic kitchen, near the new vendor. The food was good but not quite as good as our old one, Luis’ Loncheria.
Our new local bar (where everyone knows our name) was called La Gran Lucha, The Great Fight. Manolo, the owner treated us like royalty every time we visited. We loved going on Sundays because that’s when he would roll his BBQ grille out onto the sidewalk and cook up either pork or chicken along with onions and other veggies for his free botanas. We’d usually have a couple litros of Victoria. The labels on the bottles say “27% Mas!” which is true in that these litros come in at 1.2L instead of the 940ml of the other brands. The total bill would be 58P about $5US for all we could eat, and a nice beer buzz, to boot. That is not a small part of why we love México.
The weather was still hot, most days were in the mid 90s and it cooled off only to around 70, so in between writing long emails to my friends (Mary said I was having writer’s withdrawal) I’d take dips in the pool to cool off as we didn’t like running the a/c. And I was quite proud of having an empty inbox in my outlook. That never happened when I was processing the 1700 emails relating to the book.
In the evenings Mary would watch the satellite TV while I lounged in the pool nursing my martini and watching the bats zip around. Mary would often join me poolside and we would talk about how Mérida was really showing us the love and we would wonder how long that would last. It would kind of make me nervous, I would be reminded of the times when a client, in my car selling career, would absolutely fall in love with me. Inevitably that person, usually for reasons out of my control, would end up hating me as much as they had loved me. So Mérida’s love made me a little uneasy, but it certainly was fun at the time.
The first of the two manuscripts were ready for proofing and the index needed to be added. I had asked Juanita the editor at Yucatan Today to please generate a word doc of the manuscript, with page numbers, so I could electronically search the key words and names that I had compiled as I wrote the book. We made a copy of the manuscript for Julie as it is Yucatan Today’s policy to provide only the original and for a darn good reason. Multiple proofers are not a good idea but Julie insisted upon it. As it turned out there would be 3 proofers, including Julie’s goofy house guest, Anne and the only professional one was Mary, having been a proof reader at Alexandria Echo/Press for nearly 20 yrs.
We settled into our book routine once more. It took me only about 3 days to do the indexing but poor Mary, not only did she proof the original, but she had to reconcile Julie’s and Anne’s copy, as well. Plus they wanted to change and add content. Frankly I don’t know how Mary did it but she did.
In the break between the first proof and the second proof we had to supply pix for every chapter plus the cover and back of the book. There had been much brainstorming over this. Ultimately, the cover was a composite supplied by Yucatan Today and the rest of the pix came from members of the two non-profits sponsoring this project, Mérida Verde and Brazos Abiertos, and Julie’s high energy Haitian, Jazz musician husband, Serge. That was a fun day.
Mary had volunteered to come up with pix ideas for some of the chapters and then we teamed up with Serge who had his favorite taxi driver, Guillermo ferry us to sites all over town. Mary would help Serge frame shots and I just hung out enjoying Serge’s company and wild stories. It got to be time for a late lunch so Serge treated us to expensive sandwiches at Hotel San Angel, a lovely boutique hotel right at El Remate de Paseo de Montejo, the top of Paseo. Serge invited Guillermo to join us at the sidewalk café and he insisted that he order the grande version of his sandwich, being that he was a rather large lad. We captured about a quarter of our pix that day.
The next proof was a lot easier in that Anne had gone home and there was only minimal content change but Mary still had to reconcile two final proofs. I probably should have felt a little guiltier as my job was done after the indexing while Mary had to bust her butt for another week or so, as I simply kicked back and enjoyed the life of Riley in our vacation home.
Thankfully, we were not involved in the marketing at all and it was nice to see a number of members who had made minimal or no contributions really step up to the plate and by the time of the book launch, agreements for selling the book had been made all over Mérida.
The only book responsibility left to us was the book launch and signing which sounded more like a good party than anything else. We were done with the work of the book and life in Mérida was looking pretty good.
Thanks for visiting gentle reader. Next up is the book launch which turns out to be quite the gala event. And to put icing on the cake Kevin and Rosie are visiting at the time, so they can verify that this whole book story Bruce has been bragging about to his friends back home is actually true. Bruce enjoys comments of any kind, please feel to share. Hasta pronto!