We don’t have a finished property to visit and enjoy, but we do have keys, which is something. We have keys that open something of ours in Mérida! Those two little words: “your keys,” “Estas son sus claves.” Ahhhh. Tell me more about my keys. I cling to those keys, even though I can’t touch them because they’re actually in someone’s drawer in Mérida.
The word loses its beauty power when they’re your keys, their keys or the other person’s keys. Sometimes, the word can be ugly and brutal. When we were house-hunting, the real estate agent very often didn’t possess the keys to places he was showing, and there are no lock boxes like you’d see in the States. (Something about attitudes regarding keys and ownership, we were told.) Often, a team was sent just ahead of us to get the keys, and when someone failed to connect, we’d be left waiting on the curb. “No tenemos las llaves.” Grrrrrr. Not a pretty phrase at all. (Is llaves and claves interchangeable, or is Google Translate messing with my head? No matter.)
I actually have a bad history with keys in Mérida. We stayed at one place that gave us two keys, one for the front door and one for our room. I mixed the two, and the wrong key was hopelessly stuck in the giant wooden front door facing the sidewalk. It was the middle of the night, our first evening there. I was sweating bullets! The attendant (thank goodness there was one) came out. I asked for WD-40, and he actually had some! After about a half-hour of spraying, it suddenly slid out like a knife in butter. We were all relieved, and I quickly tried to put that episode behind me.
A guest house I’ve stayed at has tricky locks. You have to know the right way to flick your wrist while tugging the handle. It takes a day, but you can learn it with practice. On your first day, however, you may worry that you’ll be stuck on the sidewalk forever. So I’ve spend quite a few anxious moments on the sidewalks of the centro because of keys.
All this aside, I’m thrilled to have my own key and lock. Next, we’re surveying all the fruit trees out back. We’ve been warned about the maintenance involved when limes and mangoes are growing out back. We’re also hopeless romantics. This will be just one of countless decisions we’ll face in the coming months.