Friday, November 7, 2014

What is your address? ¿Cuál es su dirección de la calle?

Memorable entrance
It's a simple question that often leads to long descriptive directions, similar to – we live in Colonia Cañotal next door to so-and-so's house, across from the Mini Super, look for a yellow house with green and white trim.

Mexico is not the only country in the world with a confusing system of addresses, but most of our nearby neighbours originated from Canada or the USA. We are accustomed to a numbering system that has odd numbered house on one side of the street, and even numbered houses on the other side. The numbers typically radiate out from the centre of the town or city, increasing in numerical value further from the centre. We were required by law to affix our assigned number in a visible location on the outside of the house to assist the emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance to and ensure that the postal employees could find the address.

Our casa
On the other hand our house address here on Isla is a bit of a mouthful: Casa K'aay Hà, Lote #3 Circunvalacion Aeropuerto SM 02, M 204 Isla Mujeres QR 77400 Mexico. Just for fun I emailed four of our nearby friends to ask what their official addresses were. We all live on the east side of the street within a two-block area, on a road commonly known as Aeropuerto that runs along the east-side of the island.

Of the four friends I received four different addresses. One lives on Carretera Perimetral, two live on Circunvalacion Aeropuerto, and another lives on Carretera Garrafon. 

Some of us apparently live in the neighbourhood of Colonia Rancho Alegra, while the others don't. Lawrie's sister Linda, and her husband Richard live one lot south of us so their address is almost exactly the same as ours, except they are lote #1, the lot in between us is still vacant and would be lote #2.

Along this road there are several lots numbered 1, or 2 or 3 because every time the Manzana number changes – that's the M204 in our address – the lot numbers start over again. Many of our friends have attempted to number their houses with something recognizable, something that makes sense and the result is quite interesting: #216 is south of #305, which is south of #20. In other words if you were driving from the centre of town trying to find a specific number you would see #20, then #305, then #216. It's a good way to keep everyone guessing!

Other friends have chosen to name their houses in an attempt to be easily located by postal workers, delivery personal, or emergency services. Some of the best names we have seen are slightly humorous ones such as Sandra and Carl's Casa Spanglish, Brook and Paul's Cas-A-Beer, John and Betty's Casa Piolin (Tweety Bird) or Chuck and Marcy's Casa Gallo, (Rooster is Chuck's nick-name).

Linda and Richard Grierson call their house Casa Luna Turquesa (House of the Turquoise Moon). They have an easily recognizable turquoise crescent-shaped moon attached to the upper edge of the house. Harriet and Richard Lowe, on the other hand, chose Casa Flamboyan. The name aptly describes their beautiful multi-coloured home. A number of local folks just put a plaque with their family name on the house, and that works too. When we named our house Casa K'aay Hà, we thought we were calling it the Mayan equivalent of Singing Water, as it turns out the name can mean either Song Water or Fish of the Sea!

Well, with all of these choices for addresses no wonder the postal delivery folks have a challenge making deliveries. We have been lucky, always getting great service from the post office. 

Here's three hints that might help you get good service as well:
  1. name your house, or put a number on it – anything to distinguish it from the others on your street
  2. visit the post office with a photograph of your house and get to know the employees
  3. stop by on November 12th, National Postal Workers Appreciation Day with goodies, beverages, and of course a tip. (They are only open until noon on this day.)
We also offer a bottle of cold water, or a soda to any of the delivery people hired to drop off bank statements, utility bills, or parcels. A little kindness goes a long way towards getting great service.

As for how to find us, that easy! We either say we are on Aeropuerto across from the high school basketball court, or we say we are next door to Casa Luna Turquesa. Richard and Linda have been here on Isla longer than we have, and most people know where they live.  It's simple!

Hasta Luego
Lawrie & Lynda

An error correction: Along this road there are several lots numbered 1, or 2 or 3 because every time the Manzana number changes – that's the M204 in our address – the lot numbers start over again.    That should read Monzana - we have lived in this house for going on seven years, and all of our paperwork says Manzana (apple) but I just discovered the word is Monzana (block).  Too funny!

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