Wednesday, April 8, 2009
In the heart of Mexico, Puebla de los Angeles!!!
We arrived in Puebla finally, driving in from Villahermosa, Tabasco (I have to say the scenery in both Tabasco and Veracruz was lush and green, full of friendly people and good food)- I also mentioned the site where you can get all the highway information which was useful to us in planning our trip, so here it is: http://www.turista.com.mx/modules.php?name=carreterasmexico
(change the language to English and off you go.... look around the site too since it gves you lots of other information you might find useful too.
Anyway, got to Puebla and went directly to the Puebla Marriott where we would stay until we found a new place and could move in.... I had made reservations with a local vet to take Kitty while we were house hunting but she turned into a flake and wasn't able to take her at the last minute so I needed to find a good vet FAST! So I let my fingers do the walking and spoke to more than a few (she stayed with us at the Marriott undercover...) until I found one that "felt right".... and I did (a young professional who was kind and caring, clean clinic with plenty of associates), and I spoke to him on a Sunday morning and we met him within an hour and decided to board Kitty there... (she stayed for 10 days, lost some weight, even though I left her favorite foods and toys, but was well cared for and got lots of TLC but she missed us terribly - we did too).
With Kitty being taken care of we were free to begin our home search using contacts I'd made, the local paper (Sol de Puebla) and a couple of real estate companies (none were truly professional and everything took A LONG time and not efficient like we were at Mayan Living in Merida!).... Saw 4-5 homes in good areas but all were way too small in our price range. We had decided to save $ this time around and get a home under $5000 pesos a month (we had room to spare in Merida and paid $7000 a month for a 3br/2.5ba/ 2 story home in Santiago) and due to the present economic situation worldwide we thought it a good idea to downsize and tighten our budget "just in case".... Finally saw an apartment/condo in the El Mirador area of town (south of the Colonial Centro and really well located) with 3br / 3ba / garage / open floor plan / Mexico City style construction from the 40's in a building with only 3 apartments and full of windows and light for $4500 pesos a month. We decided to rent it and went ahead.
Later we found that it needed repairs and after a week (2 weeks in the hotel) we finally moved in, the moving van showed up with our few possessions and we left the comfort of the Marriott. Naturally all of the repairmen failed to meet their agreements and either didn't show up or just let days and days go by before completing their assigned duties. We are now on day 7 of having moved in and we still haven't seen the plumber who is supposed to repair all the bathrooms (they leak and are rusted), and he's supposed to put in a stationary gas tank for cooking which is still to materialize. He called this afternoon saying it could be tomorrow or maybe Saturday. This means no hot water either so showers have been few.... we finally got Internet, phone and Cable TV service working (which was a major coup!), the water and electric are done, the washer and dryer are not delivered yet (it's Easter Week after all!!!!!!) and apart from beds and major
appliances which we brought, no furniture yet, we've got some Coca-Cola chairs and some tables and bar stools from our old Cafe to sit and do stuff on.... but we figure all this can wait until we hit the bazars and find exactly what we want. I need to find curtains or shades or something too.
Since we haven't been able to cook has given us the chance to go out and do some discovering and have we found some gems! I should also mention that we are fearless when it comes to food, we love street food and will stop at street carts if they show promise (here or anywhere around the world!) and we've been rewarded by some truly spectacular food (and NO illnesses).
Some of our favorites are "Quesadillas de Chicharon" or "Flor de Calabaza", "Pelonas" (which look like little hamburgers but the bread is fried first, shredded beef, lettuce, sauce and guacamole are then added, mmmmm), "Memelas" look like Huaraches but have refried beans hidden between the masa boat, topped with your favorites, cheese and sauce! Then the famous "Chalupas" which are little fried tortillas covered in sauce, topped with shredded beef and cheese, "Tacos Dorados" are hard shelled tacos, "Pozole" made with beef head meat and hominy, "Tacos al Pastor" which come from a gyro like rotissery and are served with cheese and pineapple and are made of pork and the invariable "Tacos Orientales" which are similar to the al Pastor tacos but different meat and served on Arab bread.
These examples of excellent street food cost about $10 pesos each and my family of four can go to town and fill up for dinner for under $200 pesos- Breakfast of quesadillas for under $100!!!!
Fresh, delicious gourmet food items made the old fashioned way piping hot from the comal... what a treat!
I will be taking pictures of the markets and more food as we venture out more and more, ooops! gotta go chance since it's time for an outing into one of the more colorful areas of town "El Barrio de los Sapos" where the antiques and folklore abound, great music and food offerings and lots and lots to see.... will report soon on this trip too!