I still remember the first day I saw Ricardo’s house. Back then the idea of living in Mexico wasn’t even thought of. We had no idea what we were doing, we just new we would be together for a week and then I’d have to return back to Canada to work my butt off for another vacation. (Thankful those days are long over!)
The night before seeing the house for the first time Ricardo and I were walking downtown. I picked out (what I thought was) a very run down looking house and jokingly asked him, does your house look similar to this one? His reply, “yeah, it’s similar!” (For the record, our house is much nicer than that one, but I must admit I was shocked.) Like most tourists coming to Mexico for a vacation, I had never been out of the tourist area. I had no idea what to expect, and to say I had no idea about Mexican culture is an understatement.
We caught the bus up to Las Palmas the next day and I had my first taste of the “rancho.” Upon stepping off the bus I became an overnight celebrity. People on the streets looked me up and down wondering what in the heck I was doing there and as we started walking down the road to Ricardo’s house, I wondered that myself.
The first thing I noticed about Ricardo’s lovely house is it was almost completely empty. What little furniture he did have, was covered in dust, the beds had no blankets, the stove and fridge didn’t work and I questioned if it was actually livable.
This day was the start of a journey of changing my perspective. In Canada… with the exception of my last suite I lived in, when someone new would come visit, I always had to point out every flaw in my house to avoid being embarrassed if they noticed first. (Stupid, I know.) When we walked into the house that day, instead of dwelling on all the things “wrong” with his house, Ricardo showed me everything he absolutely loved about it. I couldn’t agree with him then, but I sure do now. This house has become my *home* and I will sure miss the simplicity of Mexico when we move back to Canada.
As mentioned previously, our house was pretty much empty when I moved in. The first things we purchased were an air conditioner, washing machine, and a stove. Next on the list was 3 buckets of paint to repaint all of our walls, they were filthy and beyond the possibility of cleaning. The next thing on our list was a new couch for our living room. We sat on the tile floor for a while, then graduated to this chair you see below that’s made of some sort of tape. It even reclines!
Our living room furniture… A chair from our kitchen table, our tape chair and Ricardo’s exercise bike that’s probably older than your grandmother. (When he rides this bike, it smells like something is burning and makes a terrible noise. LOL)
The other corner of the living room is this TV Stand. Ricardo loves LOUD music hence all the speakers.
Up close and personal…
Craigslist isn’t very popular here and that has always been my go-to place to find new furniture. I still visited the site regularly to see if we could hunt down a good couch. The fact that it took us 19 months to find a couch was not from a lack of effort. We went to see a couch on craiglist, we called people about their ads in the newspaper… We spent a few afternoons walking up and down streets and visiting furniture stores. We could never find one that was not ridiculously overpriced or made of fake leather.
Just about 3 weeks ago, my dad (who lives in Puerto Vallarta right now) was not feeling very well. I stopped into his condo after school to make him some lunch and clean the house. I had planned to be there for an hour. Shortly after arriving someone knocked on the door asking if my dad might want to buy his couch off of him. I explained the situation that my dad was sick and he was just renting the place. The guy asked if I wanted to see it anyway so I walked with him up to his condo. “This is it!” he said pointing to the sectional. “I want 1500 pesos for it.” I was ecstatic, $125 dollars for a new couch. It didn’t take me longer than a few seconds to tell him it was sold.
When Ricardo got home and heard about our new couch, all he could do was laugh that I spent 19 months searching for a couch and the couch found me!