“¿Tiene usted un destornillador?” I asked, hoping the translation was correct, or at least close. She looked at me concerned for a moment.
Mind you, this is not covered in my daily Spanish classes. We haven’t gotten to the point where we are covering household tools or construction of various store-bought objects. Yet I found myself in a room that could double as a steam room, with the pieces of a floor fan in my lap, sweat dripping down my nose, asking for a screwdriver.
But I get ahead of myself:
While I was grateful to have a place in PDC with the Mexican family that hosted me (and they were very friendly and accommodating), the room I was in was less than conducive to writing, sleeping, drawing, and general well being. So, I took to the internets to help me find a new place.
Success was found through Airbnb.com in the form of a room to rent in this lovely house here:
Compared to the concrete room I was in before, this is house is absolutely beautiful and adorable. I found that I would have a room to myself on the 2nd floor:
And I even get a quaint little balcony, should I get the urge to sing “don’t cry for me Argentina” at night:
Plus, the place is surrounded by these giant, complex, tropical trees that let me pretend I’m living in a jungle. Machete is, so far, optional:
To add to all this, my housemate / landlord is a local tour guide, so she knows all the most amazing places around here, knows history and culture, and lets me alternate between Spanish and English so I can practice Espanol but still eventually get a point across. On top of all that, the rent is cheaper than the room with the family, and I get to control what I have for breakfast. Perfect!
One drawback: my room, as it turns out, is basically an oven.
No problem, there’s a ceiling fan. One pull of the chain yields… not a lot. The fan blades leisurely turn at a rotation of about once per hour. Elisabeth explains that she has asked “the man” to get it fixed, but in Mexico things happen on their own time. So she provides a boxed fan, some assembly required.
Thus I find myself sitting on the bed, squinting at a construction manual (en espanol, natch), and realizing that there is but one thing I need: un destornillador. After she stares at me long enough for me to think I better leap back to the translator app and try some other tactic, she goes off and I hear many rummaging sounds from the adjacent room. while she is looking, I discover that the blades on the power plug work perfectly well for the larger screws. Eventually she comes back with a steak knife that lets us get the smaller screws sorted.
And now I sit here, with the fan blowing me in the face, in a lovely nueva casa. Life is good.
I highly recommend airbnb.com. Great site for finding temporary housing. I also highly recommend living in this house if you are ever in Playa. It’s listed in airbnb as “room in a Mexican Caribbean House” and it is excellent.