A friend was looking for a handyman who was recommended to her a year or two ago. She went back to the person who suggested him to see if she had his number. “Oh, we don’t use him anymore,” she was told. He had gotten sloppy, or expensive, or unreliable … one of those things. Or maybe someone neater, cheaper and more reliable came on the scene. People change, including people on a two-year-old list of recommended handymen.
In my four-year-quest to become an expert in all-things-Mérida, I’ve already stockpiled a load of advice that’s already out of date, assuming it was ever sound at all.
We finally found our sofa. It was there all along, just two miles from our house. At a store that never made it to my list of showrooms to see last time we were in Mérida, because I was following some outdated advice online. The shop’s vague website didn’t help things, either, but in reality, Colomer had a modern sofa in our budget.
We almost didn’t hire our architect because we read that they don’t do residential work anymore. Untrue. After visiting four or five other architects, which a strong preference toward one particular contender, we made an appointment because, hey, why not. The lofty reputation that preceded them was undeserved.
I’ve been filing away advice on where to eat fried fish, who to build an ironwork bed, where to get my hard drive repaired. All advice that’s since been displaced by shiny newer advice. My Google pushpin map is halfway useless this point. Lots of people have gone out of business, moved away, or even died.
Laws change, too, so all that advice on visas and customs that I purchased in a 2012 ebook has gone to pot.
The city is quickly modernizing, with investment from all corners ushering in more malls, chain stores, high rises and tract housing. From the top of Country Towers, you can see all these things. Serving all these places and people are more carpenters, plumbers and importers. We bought our bathroom and kitchen fixtures from a new showroom in the north that would put most competitors in my Fairfield County, Connecticut, to shame. It delivers regularly to the aforementioned towers. We got lights from a Scandinavian furnishings store, a sort of high-end Ikea. And do we even need to mention restaurants? Belgium waffles and Buffalo wings are a real thing here, if you care to partake. Although eating local foods is more economical; there’s some advice that endures.
Whatever you think of these changes, one thing is clear. Expats have more choices these days.