When I was very young, an evil aunt of mine told a horrifying story about finding a tarantula under her pillow one evening. This of course got me into the routine of checking under my pillow, blankets, and bed before going to bed every night. Over time, this developed into a more obsessive routine of checking my closet for boogeymen, going room-to-room looking for home invaders, ensuring all doors were locked, and peeking out of the windows in search of lurking murderers before finally being able to settle down for bed.
Thankfully, as childhood fears often do, this compulsion disappeared over time. I always make sure my doors are locked, but that's it.
Well, that was it. Until now. We safely arrived in Guadalajara Monday afternoon. We were met by a representative from the Consulate, who treated us to lunch, showed us our new home, and even took us grocery shopping. TJ started work the following day, and I spent my free time walking the neighborhood, exploring the park across the street, and reading. When I needed to use the Internet I headed to the local Starbucks, as we are residing in a temporary unit and have not yet signed on with a cable/Internet provider. In fact, I am back at Starbucks this very moment. The holiday drinks are different here. And tasty!
My Spanish, although mediocre, has been sufficient so far. I have advised a passerby of the current time. I have purchased items at the grocery store. I've ordered from restaurants and coffee shops. I have asked for directions and understood the response. When the security guard asked why I was taking pictures outside of our building, I was able to explain. Despite the dangers in northern Mexico, everything seems relatively safe (for the time being, anyway) here in Guadalajara. In fact, everyone that I have encountered so far has been very friendly.
Including the stranger I found in my apartment upon returning from my afternoon stroll yesterday.
He claimed to be from the Consulate. He said that he was there to check on the security system, but now that I was home, he would leave. He only asked that I let the maintenance crew in if they showed up. Ok. What? Nobody had mentioned this...TJ, of course, was not answering his phone. The maintenance crew eventually showed up. They explained something about a power outlet and then left. That's when I heard the ticking sound coming form the laundry room. As I contemplated calling the bomb squad, jumping from our two-story window, or simply waiting it out and hoping for the best, TJ called and confirmed that they were indeed from the Consulate. Relieved, I hung up and went about preparing dinner.
That's when the security alarm went off. TJ, of course, was not answering his phone again. I went down to the parking garage and had a brief, semi-coherent conversation with the guard about the situation. I'm not quite sure what either of us said, but apparently he was, because shortly thereafter TJ called and provided the access code. Someone had called the Consulate and advised that our alarm was going off. I assume it was the guard.
As for the ticking, it's still happening. We think it's the water heater.
Our current apartment is big. Big and scary. It includes a kitchen, dining room, laundry room, two living rooms, two bedrooms, an office, a maid's quarters, 4.5 bathrooms, and two walk-in closets. I say this not to brag, as this isn't even our house (or furnishings).