Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Heaviest Thing We've Ever Owned

We closed on our new house on Monday and received all the keys from the seller, who flew into México City from San Antonio. He and his cousin, who lives in México City, drove to Pátzcuaro for the closing and then went back immediately afterward.

The wire transfer of funds occurred while we were in the notario's office, so there were no hang-ups there, and we read through--slowly--the Spanish of the draft escritura (deed), picking up a few typos and other minor errors that were corrected before we signed. Like most legal documents, there were large sections of obvious boilerplate that we could pretty much ignore, and only a few places where we had to make sure our names were spelled correctly, that our passport and permiso numbers were correct, and that the property description was accurate. Unlike US legal descriptions that use precise measurements and survey data, the description for this house was based on the names of owners of the adjacent properties -- "to the north, 40 meters with Elvira Luna Domínguez, to the east, 20 meters with Domingo Alcalá," etc. It may seem a little unusual, but this is how they do it here, and it seems to work.  As our friend Lon said, it's the walls around the property that are the real boundaries.

In many ways it feels a little anticlimactic, after all the anticipation. But after the house sitters leave for Canada on May 1 we'll have plenty of opportunity before we also leave to spend time in the house getting a feel for it. As Mark said, we've spent more time buying a used car than we did looking at this house. But we're both confident that we're going to enjoy the house very much.

On to the next adventure!

(Why "The Heaviest Thing We've Ever Owned?" Well, the floors, ceiling and walls are made of concrete and brick, and the roof is clay tile. It's heavy!)

And if you're curious about what happened during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Pátzcuaro, we'll try to get caught up soon. It was quite eventful and we observed or participated in most of it, though we did opt out of Sunday night's "Burning of Judas." We saw the spectacular fireworks from our rental house, but we missed the excitement of Judas' fireworks-stuffed body burning and exploding to the delight of the crowds. Like most fireworks displays in Latin countries, there is little effort made toward "crowd safety," shall we say. Fireworks are ignited in the middle of the crowd, and the residue rains down on everyone. But as far as I know, no one has been seriously injured by this practice, and it does make things pretty darned exciting.

Lon mentioned buscapiés,  literally "search for feet"--fireworks that run around the ground. His partner Santiago remembers a time when he was a kid in Guadalajara one got under a priest's robe to the great amusement of the onlookers.  Maybe next year for us.

Our friend Tracy has photos and brief descriptions of the Semana Santa activities at her wonderful blog Patzcuareando: Peripatetic in Patzcuaro.

As for the trip home, we plan to leave May 9, and estimate it should take 4 or 5 days.  With the rainy season approaching in June, the air here has been pretty smoky as farmers burn off their fields in preparation for another growing season.  It will be nice to get back to our Colorado valley with its 100-mile visibility and distant, crystal-clear vistas.

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