Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Housekeeping Mazatlan Style
Taking care of things in the house is a little different here in Mexico than it is at home. There are a few things that don’t have to be done (like vacuuming and shoveling snow) and a few additional chores that we don’t do in Victoria. Probably the most important are the ones that relate to the water and its impurity. Of course we have one of those stands for the five-gallon water bottle and we use this source for all drinking and cooking water as well as water for Maggie. We go through a couple of these a week and there’s never a problem getting them refilled as the water guy comes in his truck every day but Sunday. We just put the empty container out with 150 pesos tucked underneath and he exchanges it.
Then there’s the sterilization of the fruits and veggies. As soon as we return from the market we set out a big tub of water with bleach in it to soak the produce. Some people use special drops but the bleach works just as well and is a lot cheaper. After a five-minute soak in the bleach solution we pat the moisture off with paper towels and then let it air dry. We also use the bleach solution for rinsing dishes after we’ve washed them. With these precautions we have managed to avoid tummy rumbles to date.
Sweeping and washing floors is a big deal here—as there’s a lot of dust and we track in sand from the beach (especially with Maggie's beach exhertions). It’s amazing how much dust and sand accumulates on the floors and even the counters. So we’re wiping down and sweeping a couple times a day. Then there’s the patio, which fills up daily with a lot of bougainvillea petals. Oh rats—what a mess! Actually they look quite nice until they start to turn brown. So every couple of days we sweep the patio and the car park area.
There is no special garbage day in Mazatlan. It seems that people just put their garbage out on the sidewalk in plastic bags and somehow it gets taken away. This applies to all debris since there doesn’t appear to be any kind of recycling or compost. So we have quite a lot of garbage to deal with (including all the fruit peelings). And to add to the garbage there’s all the toilet paper since it can’t be flushed since the sewers can’t handle it. At the Fiesta Apartments there are a couple of big oil barrels where we dump our garbage every day. Miraculously they’ve never been over filled so I think there must be a truck that comes by early in the morning to pick it up.
Here in Mazatlan, we do our shopping almost every day as the fridge is not that big and doesn’t keep things all that cold. Besides it’s filled up with beer and Margarita mix, which is of course a staple for these warm days.
So there you have it—a Mexican housekeeping primer. The only other requirement is to keep the screen door closed at all times to keep the flying and crawling bugs out. We’re still enjoying our time here but we’re realizing that there’s only a little over a week left before we have to head home. Before we do we’re hoping to do a little more research on available places for next winter. But that’s another blog entry.