Mexican Design Projects: Home-Grown Stalagtites

After a rather rainy week, we are back to the Caribbean sunshine that the cranky tourists had obviously been promised by their travel agencies. Hooray for that.

I always thought that I was used to rain. Back home, we put on our rain gear and went for a nice walk before enjoying a cup of tea and some scones in front of the fireplace. Or when I was little, my friend and I would take the horses for a ride and afterwards, we would cuddle up in the hay drinking tea out of our thermos. (Now that I come to think of it, it seems that with the rain comes the tea. Although, of course, there is no bad weather for a nice hot cup of tea!)

Here, rain is different. It can be pouring down for days, the air is getting heavy with humidity – it is like stepping out into a steam bath. While the plants are flourishing, the houses are not really built for this kind of weather and it is a wise decision to spend some money on a dehumidifier. Otherwise, you will have mould everywhere, on all your clothes, on all wooden furniture… It is such a delight!

Since their houses are not waterproof, people try to stay dry inside the big shopping malls, however, you might want to watch out for puddles there, too, since the rain always finds its way in after a while. That’s not a big deal, they will put buckets everywhere and the joyful drip adds some atmosphere.

No, I do not like those rainy days here. However, during our househunting days, we came to appreciate the rain more. We had just found a splendid apartment with a plunge pool on the rooftop terrace, a magnificent view over Playa del Carmen and some fancy schmancy design features. We were thrilled! And we went for just one more walk-through before signing the contract, mainly to take some measurements so we could go ahead and buy furniture and such.

We were up for a bad surprise, though. After days of heavy rain, the apartment had turned into a flowstone cave. The water was running down the walls, the wooden floor upstairs was soaked and it was raining down on our heads. We soon found what had caused this unexpected water adventure: On the terrace, they had put some beautiful lighting system in the walls – unfortunately, they hadn’t sealed those off, so the water had no chance but to get straight into the walls. Moreover, they had built a drain at the highest point. Needless to say that the water wasn’t very willing to flow upstream but instead, it built up right by the walls where they had forgotten to do some water proofing. Oops.

On top of that, since Mexicans are not the tallest people on earth, they had sealed off the windows only on three sides and left the top out. Maybe their cousin Paco had borrowed the ladder for a day, so who am I to blaim them? It was almost hilarious. Then the landlord and the architect showed up to tell us, no problem, they would fix everything within 3 days. Sure.

We had some hassle getting out of the contract, since here you have to make a down payment before they even take the realty off the market let alone let you sign a contract. Now, nobody could understand why we were so picky. We tried to explain that we were not very keen on putting our furniture out in the indoor rain, and judging from the shrugging and eye rolling, apparently that was just what they had expected from some fussy Europeans.

Meanwhile, I think we might have made a mistake there. I am sure that by now, we would have grown some stalactites… Wouldn’t that be an innovative design project?


8 thoughts on “Mexican Design Projects: Home-Grown Stalagtites

  1. Pingback: Say Hello to Rain Season | Expatially Mexico

  2. Pingback: Flops, Failures, and Fumbles – Story of a Move | Expatially Mexico

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