Saturday, September 17, 2016

Good afternoon my friends! Well, our VLOG is now live, we have placed several photos from past visits to Merida on the photos page to get this started. So enjoy them for now.

As Gene has already stated, this started as discussions from several of our friends asking questions about Mexico, which Gene has covered in his opening post. My post will be some thoughts and hopes of how this actually goes. One of the first things that jumps up on my radar is what we are planning to do video wise. I am going to have to learn to be comfortable on the "other" side of the camera as both of us will be posting to the VLOG. We don't always go to the same places at the same time, just one of those things when two close friends have different tastes in attractions, so you will be seeing both of us as we post.

As the subtitle of our VLOG says, "Living as a local and exploring the culture", it is our hope to bring the simple daily life into focus. It is certainly much more simple and slower than our way of life. Rest assured there are areas where the fast pace of things happens. It is interesting that way of life is pretty normal in the northern part of the city. That area is growing fast as prosperity is rapidly on the rise across the younger generations and they start moving out of the older parts of the city out to the suburbs where they can build larger homes, not as close together. In the northern areas there are the usual stores we are accustomed to seeing, Wal-Mart, Target, Cosco, Home Depot and Mega Stores. All of these are familiar to you except the Mega Stores. They are competitors with Wal-Mart, Target and Cosco, and are rumored to be partially owned by Target. Their corporate offices are in Mexico City. In each store you will find everything familiar and a major import section. The one major thing that will set you back on your heels are the prices! MAJOR expensive, especially the import section. The younger generations don't mind this as they can now afford it and of course, like here, things like this are also status symbols! They are out of the closely packed housing of the old city, away from the centuries old fresh markets and are able to purchase quick to prepare meals for the workaholics that now is a part of the younger generations. So, to make a simple statement, they are just like us! Trying to get ahead and make a better life. Those of us who are retired realize just how hard that way of life is on us and is a major reason the older gang finds the simple, slower lifestyle so appealing.

The other interesting thing in Merida is the large remaining population of Mayans. During our first few visits, we attended church in the Main Cathedral. The Nave in the main part of the cathedral will seat at least a thousand, and they hold 4 services each Sunday. We noted during our visits there were few empty seats in the services we attended. Off the Nave, is a smaller Nave. We noticed that it was filled to standing room only each time we attended. This prompted me to ask our host why this separation. He told me that so many of the Mayans still speak their native tongue, not Spanish, that the church started providing the Mass in the Mayan language.

So, there you have my thoughts and hopes of how this little VLOG is going to play out. I hope everyone enjoys it as I am sure that Gene and I will have a lot of fun making it. There probably will not be any regular posts until we actually get there so hang tight for now.

See you later!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Journey - A begining

Hi this is Gene.
This post is just to start the blog and let you know why it exists.

Many people ask "Why on earth would you go to Mexico?" "Isn't it dangerous there?" "Aren't you afraid?"   "Where in Mexico are you going?" "What will you do there?" "Can you drink the water?"  "What if you get sick or need some other medical attention?"

We hope that our journey will fill you in on all of this and a lot more. So the blog is to inform, entertain and keep our close friends in touch while we are on our journey.

First let me answer some of those questions.
"Can you drink the water?"
You can but even the locals buy bottled water because the pipes in the city are very old and could have heavy metals in them.  Typically a truck delivering bottles of water comes by once or twice a week.   However, since we are renting and don't have an account, we carry smaller bottles to a nice little "water store" where we have them filled as needed. The store is in easy walking distance from  our rental unit.

"Isn't it dangerous there?" "Aren't you afraid?" 
I generally feel safer in Merida than in my hometown. You will see police presence and sometimes military presence.  Remember - they are there to protect you - much like the police here. No, I am not afraid.  The worst thing that has happened to me in Mexico was a rude guy on the street selling and that was only once.  Most of the people selling, vending or offering services are very customer oriented.

 "What if you get sick or need some other medical attention?"
Merida has one of the top medical facilities in Mexico, UADY, and the doctors are very well trained. Some people go there for "medical tourism" to save on the cost of elective surgeries and even  non-elective surgery.  A friend went to a dentist there to get a cantilevered bridge and the cost was less than his insurance co-pay in the USA.  The dentist had a state of the art office and his work was excellent.

Why would you go to Mexico?  Mostly I wonder "why doesn't everyone go there?"