When I left Canada almost 5 years ago and moved to Guatemala there were lots of things I lived without. Lots of things from the first world simply weren’t available in the third world and for the most part, I was totally ok with that.
I picked up things here and there at second hand stores and made do with what I had. Life was simple and easy in Guatemala.
After 4+ years in Guatemala I actually picked up quite a few things. When it was time to pack up and leave last year and head to my next destination I sold most of the shit I acquired and left with two suitcases and one big Guatemala duffle bag.
Life in Mexico
I’ll be honest, I didn’t know quite what to expect here. I wasn’t sure if I would love it or hate it but I’m five months in now and it’s ok.
I don’t love it and I don’t hate it.
I decided I was going to stay at least a year and give it a fair chance. I found a cute little house, settled in and began my life here.
My landlady was as sweet as pie and my neighborhood was nice.
A couple of times a week I would go into town and pick up things I wanted and needed for my new cute little house. It came with many things but was still missing a few things I needed. No big deal.
I bought a desk and a computer chair, a couple of cute little corner tables, a dish rack, a small frying pan and other kitchen things.
The landlady was kind enough to buy me a couple of little plastic storage units for random things.
So far so good.
At Christmas I went back to Guatemala to spend the holidays with all my friends. My heart ached for Guatemala.
It was then I decided I wanted to move back. On the first of January I paid my rent for that month and emailed my new landlady and told her of my plans. I gave her the required two month notice and assured her that if she didn’t rent out the house by the second month I would pay that month’s rent so as to not leave her short.
I wasn’t required to pay two months rent when I moved in and the lease was a month to month lease.
No problem she said. She was certain it would rent out by February. Good stuff!
I’m a Libra, decisions are hard for me
When I returned to Mexico on the 3rd of January I had enough time to think about my decision and realized it was a bad idea to move back to Guatemala. I decided to stay put for a little while longer.
As I had already given my notice I thought I’d look around for another house, a bigger house with more privacy and other ‘luxuries’ my cute little house didn’t have.
I found one two days later. It was gorgeous, big, away from town, had a killer view of the lake and the town and many other features!
On the 6th of January I signed a one year lease to this beautiful house.
I emailed my landlady again and told her I decided to stay in Mexico but found another house and that I’d be moving into it that week. I had already paid my rent for January for the old house anyway so I had all month to move if I really wanted to take my time.
I moved 95% of my stuff out on Monday and figured I’d go back and get the remaining odds and ends before the month was over. My stuff was safe there.
The new house
The first week in the new house had me going through it with a fine tooth comb to see what I needed and what I didn’t need. It was very well equipped but like most houses, it still needed Iva things.
Some of the things it didn’t have that the other house had were:
- a big frying pan
- small plastic storage containers
- a storage shelf for the bathroom
- and other random odd things
No biggie. I’ll pick them up when I go into town. Whatever I can’t find in town I can get at Walmart which is 15 minutes away.
And the trouble begins
About two weeks after I move into my new place my old landlady asks for the keys to the house back. I tell her I’ll return them at the end of the month when my one month (my last month) is over.
She’s concerned there is a set of keys to the house floating out there! I’m confused. The keys are safely tucked in my purse I assure her.
I hear nothing back.
A few days later she messages me to inform me the rest of my belongings have been removed from the premises, locks have been changed and I have 24 hours to make an appointment to pick up my things at her house.
Yo Jekyll and Hyde, I paid my month of January, you can’t change the locks because you feel like it. Ok. What about a refund for the balance of the month I just paid? It would have been $200.
Nope. She says. She’s not required to pay me anything, come pick your things.
This about to get ugly
The Italian in me is freaking out. I want to go to her house and unleash Satan.
The Iva in me is desperately trying to calm down and make sense of this ridiculousness. I just can’t.
I go to her house at the agreed upon time, with my friend, all my things are sitting in her garage and she’s right there beside it all.
I don’t even want to look at her. How someone can go from Mary Poppins to the spawn of Satan overnight is beyond me. What on earth did I do that was so bad that someone would be so mean to me?
I’m going through the bags and piles of things to make sure it was all mine. She’s talking to me and I’m ignoring her.
I’m putting my things in one pile and things that belong to her in another pile. She’s still talking to me.
“Please do not talk to me” I politely tell her.
Going through the pile I see this thing that I know without a shadow of a doubt is not mine, but I take it anyway.
The big frying pan.
Ya. I took it. If she doesn’t know what belongs to her house AND she wants to be an asshole AND a bully and illegally throw me out of a house I paid for, for no good reason, you’re damn right I’m taking that fucking frying pan.
And I grabbed it and smiled. Actually I laughed a little. This frying pan cost me $200 and if that’s all I’m gonna get out of this crazy cranky old lady, then so be it.
I smiled over at my friend, pointed to the frying pan, whispered to her “that’s not mine” and winked.
Peace is better than being right
Was I done with her? Every ounce of me wanted to fight her and get my money back. Landlords have very few rights here in Mexico.
I wrote up an email, I expressed how I felt about the way she treated me, I told her we could resolve this out of court or I could file a claim, it was up to her.
This email sat in my drafts for almost a month until I finally deleted it.
I knew this fight was going to be exhausting and require a lot of energy that I simply didn’t want to use up on her.
It would have been ugly and long. For what? For $200 and to prove she’s wrong and I’m right?
I just couldn’t be bothered. She knew what she did was wrong. She’s not a stupid lady. Bat shit crazy, yes, but stupid? No.
I let it go. I know Karma will soon visit her. This is a small town.
And besides, I got my big frying pan that I really needed.
Choose your battles wisely
Oh how I wanted to call her out. How I wanted to rake her over hot coals and expose her for the psycho she truly is.
How I wanted to fight so bad for justice!
How I wanted to show her you can’t treat people like that. What she did was wrong. Very wrong. It hurt me alot.
But I had to let it go. You have to know which battles are worth fighting for and which ones simply aren’t.
You have to be big enough to choose peace.
It was a tough decision to make but I chose peace. I’m choosing peace a lot more these days and honestly, it’s so worth it.