We have now completed one full day in Merida, a city that I think I could love. We have not yet hit all the tourist sites (and may not get around to many of them), but walked from our guesthouse (in a close-in, not-yet-gentrified and -touristed) neighborhood to the elegant Paseo de Montejo, home to shops, hotels, museums--and Wal-Mart. Wally World is not a place I would normally shop at home, but a trip there did allow us to locate such essential items as shampoo, bread, milk, coffee, and cheap Dos Equis. (Yucatan is teaching me the value of sitting on a shaded porch with a cold beer on a hot afternoon.)
Tonight we accompanied our hostess to "Conversaciones con Amigos" at the Merida English Library, a fantastic, largely volunteer-staffed organization that not only provides English-language books but also organizes a number of events. The weekly conversation brings Spanish and English speakers together to improve their language skills (a thing sorely needed in my case). Our table featured three very patient Mexicans, two Ohioans, a Canadian, and a young British dressmaker from Norwich who had never heard of Julian of that city. Trying to explain an anchorite visionary in my extremely limited Spanish was a challenge (and possibly a source of amusement to my unfortunate listeners).
Tomorrow we will attempt the walking tour of the Plaza Grande.