Before you dig in to part eight of my story, I highly recommend you start at the very beginning.

We’re finally in Merida. The first couple of days felt perfect. We all felt relaxed and as if we had come home. We were smug. Then today, for me, it’s all changed. People who know me know that I like things to be organised and planned. I love adventure but I don’t thrive on not knowing things or not being in total control, it’s why I never took (real) drugs at university. In fact, I don’t even care if people tell me the end of movies or books. I just like knowing how things are.

So come on someone, tell me how this all pans out! Today we visited a school. We’d assumed it’d be fine: we’d rock up, announce our intention and get the kids in to school. However, there isn’t officially any space for our kids. The head has said she’ll try to squeeze the kids in but she hasn’t made any promises. Gulp. Seems the school is more popular than it was last year. So now we’re frantically looking around and trying to figure out an alternative. It also has an impact on where we live when our three month rental on this place is up. I cope well with known unknowns. Unknown unknowns throw me a bit.

I wonder if I’d have struggled with this if I couldn’t name the problem. Thanks a lot, Donald Rumsfeld!

Getting From London To Merida

Let me back-track though because our last few days at home were super, um, interesting.

Leaving London Never Easy (To Misquote REM)

Bad things happen in threes, right? Well, our three were someone taking a dump on our doorstep, a broken blind and a broken oven. Col was amazing and cleaned up the poo without hesitation. He also worked his handyman magic on the broken blind, creating a better than new system the night before we flew. He’s amazing. The oven broke when we paid some company a fortune to clean it. After a few very determined calls and a lot of being ignored, it was fixed the day our tenants moved in. So that was stressful.

We had paid for a company to pick up our luggage from the house and deal with it for us. All we had to do was collect it in Mexico. Pick up went like a dream. We were told we would receive a text by 11am telling us the luggage was checked and all was well. We did not. I got stressed. I called a few times. I eventually got a positive answer around 11.40, by which point we’d been at the airport since 10am. We hadn’t felt able to go through security before the text since officially one of our bags was longer than permitted.

Security was a breeze until some smart alec security guard decided he needed to scan the kids. Hah. Both had a melt down. Luckily the small one was easy to persuade but the big one resisted with all his might. I ended up yelling and forcing him to let it happen and then yelling some more about not arguing at security if he wanted to get on the plane with us!

Culture Shock

These guys joined us on the aeroplane

And then we were on the plane, all four of us, and the kids watched tv for ten straight hours. That’s my top tip for flying with kids now: just admit defeat. They do not want to read with you or draw, or look out the window. Just let them watch all the tv they want. Screw it, it’s all you want to do too, right? (I do actually have tips for flying with little ones, if you’re interested, check out this post: chock full of ideas.

Arrival

Hurrah! All our luggage arrived in Cancun. Win!

Customs wanted to open our computer boxes to check if our computers we really as old as we claimed. They are. They were happy and we carried on our way.

We finally met our driver. Turns out he hadn’t been given the instruction to bring the minivan and had shown up with a normal ‘big’ car. Great. Glad I’d had lots of discussion about the size of vehicle needed then. He was mortified, we were…resigned, kids were knackered. The driver then had the idea of calling his friend who was picking someone up at another terminal and getting him to deliver our bags to us later on. Without a second thought we agreed and dumped half our luggage in a total stranger’s car.

Thank fuck that worked out ok!

The car that was meant to fit two large boxes, six suitcases, six items of hand luggage, two car seats and the four of us plus driver!

Emotions Running High

As we left Cancun airport I think it really hit me that we were actually in Mexico. The road signs somehow were super evocative: signs to Tulum, a place in which we spent an idyllic month in 2016 particularly brought tears to my eyes. We’d done it. We said we’d’ move back and here we were, leaving the airport and setting off on our new family adventure, even if we only had half our luggage!

Settling In To Mexican Life

Well, it’s been three days but it already feels pretty normal. My mad organisational skills come in super handy when it comes to unpacking a house load of stuff so you’d never know we’ve only been here a few days.

Our first stop on Sunday morning was Rosas y Xocolate for a welcome back us / birthday brunch for Col. It was as good as we remembered, just a perfect spot for a lazy brunch.

My favourite: Poached eggs in a corn, chaya and calabasa sauce. Perfection!

We then took a walk along Paseo de Montejo to Wal Mart to stock up on food and everything else we’ll need but had just left behind in London. We may have been to the supermarket every day thus far, including today when we headed back to buy a printer. We also went to Costco to get ourselves membership of the ‘buy in bulk’ club. The only thing lacking in our lives right now is feather pillows – can’t find them anywhere.

Looking Forward With Understanding

Everything is in flux but it’s ok. We’ve only been here three days. I need to remember that. Just because we feel at home and aren’t especially traumatised doesn’t mean there isn’t some culture shock. My own personal culture shock is around not being entirely in control, I guess. I will feel much happier when we know where the kids are going to school and, therefore, where we should look for our next house. We need a car but can’t get that until Col’s residency visa is finalised. He went to get the very specific photos required but the place he went was shut. So he went to buy a printer so he could print out the forms, but the printer is sold without the requisite cable so he’s frustrated as he feels doubly thwarted by the day.

And the kids are feeling unsure about starting a new school again. So we’re all dealing with our own uncertainties but we’re doing it together, as a family and we’re doing it in a place we love. We’ll be just fine.

Do things improve for us? Find out in part nine of this story of mine.


Cassie

Mexico Cassie is technically British Cassie but who cares? Currently in the process of moving one family across the ocean and back to Mexico. Hurrah!

9 Comments

candice · 16/01/2018 at 9:47 pm

you guys did it!!!! Well done – looking forward to reading how it goes. so exciting – A and the gang are missing A xx

    Cassie · 17/01/2018 at 5:49 am

    Thanks. A was so chuffed with A’ s card, we have it, and the other cards the kids got, here with us. They mean a lot.

Misty · 16/01/2018 at 10:32 pm

Well done! So excited for you all. The beginning is always hard but everything will get sorted – it always does! Looking forward to reading along. xx

    Cassie · 17/01/2018 at 5:48 am

    Glad to have you along for the ride. Beginning is hard but you’re right, it’ll all be fine. I’m just impatient.

Rhea · 17/01/2018 at 4:07 am

I’m sorry about the school but glad most things are going well. But just like you, people are always coming and going and I have no doubt that places will appear at the school of your choice. You may have to wait for a bit, but you can afford the time and it’s okay by the kids as they are so far ahead anyway. It’s not as if they do nothing when they are with you. You and your ilk are continually home schooling so the kids are not losing out. Your kids are so lucky….it’ll all work out, you’ll see. And keep writing; love these blogs.

    Cassie · 17/01/2018 at 5:47 am

    Thanks. Not sure we have time to wait for places as this school. Not as mobile a community as London. Onward and upward though.

Kay · 17/01/2018 at 8:17 am

Bravo! Super congratulations for the move to Mexico. Best of luck. It took us 3 months to settle on properly the first time round so go slow and things will all fall into place. Everything happens for a reason. Cuidate mucho, give the fam a squeeze from me and look forward to more updates. Love from Singapore. X

    Cassie · 17/01/2018 at 8:52 am

    Thanks. Sensible advice, I know. X

Mexico: The Return - Adventure With A Side Of Compromise · 07/02/2018 at 9:42 am

[…] step of our adventure can be found over at part seven where I talk about culture shock and how we dealt with it…or […]

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