Main menu:

Site search

September 2013
« Aug   Oct »



Useful Links

When I Miss Merida…

Though Merida is my home, I have been traveling a lot lately to other countries, visiting and caring for family and exploring the world.

When I’m gone for any length of time, I find I start missing my adopted home. (Yes, I was not born here… I was born in England, but I’ve been traveling through and living in Mexico for over 25 years now).

It’s interesting to me what I miss when I miss Merida. Because what I miss is not what a person might see or experience who has only been in the Yucatan for a short time.

To start, I miss waking up here. After years of living in the centro historico of Merida, I purchased and live in a home about an hour outside of Merida in a pueblo called Tepakan. When I wake up, I don’t hear much at all. I hear a few dogs barking, and far-off children playing or calling to each other. I might hear a car or truck going by once every five or ten minutes in the morning, though there are stretches of up to an hour during the day when I won’t hear anything with a motor. When I wake up, I hear birds… all sorts of birds. And not just any birds… these are the raucous calls of tropical birds that sound like screams and cries and laughter. At home in the Yucatan, I wake up to a cacophony of birds that is unique to this part of the world… and I miss it when I’m not here.

I miss the long, quiet drives with no traffic. In so many parts of the world, commuting to work involves driving in traffic. I have my own business and I do a lot of driving here in Merida and around the Yucatan Peninsula. But I am almost never stopped at a stoplight for more than a minute, and I have practically forgotten the experience of driving on a highway in traffic. That kind of thing just doesn’t exist in my world now.

I miss the food, too. Not just the panuchos and sopa de lima that I can get on almost any street corner in Merida, or the great lunches at my favorite cocina economicas. But I also miss the food my neighbors in Tepekan share with me. During the Day of the Dead season, my neighbors will bring over a homemade pib or two… a Yucatan-style chicken pot pie that is traditional during that time of year. Every Sunday, I can just walk out my door and down the street for a homemade dish of cochinita, probably the Yucatan’s most famous and most delicious dish… and very hard to reproduce in other parts of the world.

I miss the colors. Have you ever noticed how drab most first world cities can be? In Mexico, and certainly in and around Merida, if houses are painted, they are often painted in bright colors. It costs just as much to buy a can of brown paint as it does a can of purple paint… so why not paint my house purple? All the better if my purple contrasts with my neighbor’s blue house, don’t you think? I love that about this area (and the rest of Mexico).

If you come to live here, you already have probably fallen in love with many things about Merida and the Yucatan. You probably have lots of reasons why you moved here or want to move here. But sometimes the things you grow to love about a place are not the things you first fell in love with… but those are the things you miss when you are away.

What do you miss when you aren’t in Merida?