We set up with just a desk for my son, a desk for me, a card table and 4 chairs. Little by little, I brought stuff from La Yacata in order to make it more functional. I had a wooden TV table that now supports my printer and the internet box, the main reason for renting this place, after all.
There were a few shelves that originally were in my son’s Spidey room. A little yellow paint and they work nicely in the kitchen. I scrubbed the hideous green paint off the wooden insert in the kitchen and my son stained it. What an improvement! I had a two burner electric hot plate that works for our occasional cooking. I bought a tea kettle and 4 dishes, and 4 enamel tin cups. I was going for utility rather than luxury. I brought a few pans from the other house, a container of sugar and tea and the kitchen was set up.
The washer, of course, was the central kitchen item. Even after owning it for several months now, I still caress its lid when I go by. I’m very pleased with my purchase.
The English teacher across the street said she was getting rid of her daughter’s twin bed. In exchange for a bus ticket to DF, it was mine. I had to wait about a month though since she wanted to replace the bed with a double bed and didn’t have the money to buy both the base and the mattress at the same time. Eventually, the day arrived and we went to take possession. After a bit of Tetris, the bed left her itty bitty house, crossed the street and entered my itty bitty house. It’s lovely, really. Now I can nap if I so desire.
I also wanted to get a twin bed for my son’s room. We had enough boards at the house for my husband to make the base. After weeks of prodding, he finally did. A few more weeks of prodding, it was delivered.
So now I was in the mind to buy a mattress and maybe some living room furniture. I started my search at the new Fabricas de Francia. Ok, I admit, that probably wasn’t the best place to find a good deal. I had already discovered washers there were 30,000 pesos. But I was window shopping right? Well, after checking the price tags on a few pieces, it was time to hightail it down the escalator. I also vetoed Famsa after the looooong delay in receiving my washer. Coppel had some mattress for under $2,000 pesos and free delivery, but I still didn’t want to pay that much. The sofas and stuff weren’t really nice either.
So I decided to wait for the Maraton–which is an annual furniture sale in the convention center just outside of town. There were all sort of, umm, interesting models. Not really my cup of tea, but hey, maybe somebody else wants a crib that matches their dining room set. Mattresses were anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 pesos. The genuine leather living room sets were very nice, but SOOOO out of my budget. Fortunately, they had a scratch and dent tent outside. There was a nice blue loveseat, but just a little too expensive for me.
Then, I found them. Two little brown vinyl chairs. Perfect. They were good quality and I could afford both of them. I paid cash, which caused some eyebrow-raising, and they wrapped them up to go. I spent the afternoon moving them about my itty bitty living room, delighted with my purchase.
The mother of two of my students had sold me a bronzey mirror for my son’s room awhile back. (See Ladykiller’s room remodel) She said she had a second one that she also wanted to sell, but at the time I didn’t really need it. Now, though, I said I would like to buy it. She surprised me my last class before Christmas vacation by telling me she was giving me the mirror. Score!
Curtains were another issue. The two front windows had those slatted Venetian blinds, but it was still possible to peak in. After pricing vinyl window paper, I decided to just use the plastic contact paper I had bought to forar (cover) my son’s books at the beginning of the school year. It added a bit of privacy to both front windows and the back door. The two remaining windows were larger than typical, so I had to make some curtains. I bought a set of sheets for that purpose, kept the bottom fitted sheet to use as a sheet and cut up the top flat sheet. It was cheaper than buying fabric.
I ordered some bedding from Zulily which actually arrived before the beds. I ordered matching bedding so that it all could be washed together in the washer. Practical huh?
After an exhaustive search, I finally found a twin size mattress for just over $1000 pesos at La Bodega. A little bribery in the form of “I’ll buy you a bag of cement if you will take me to pick up the mattress with the truck” to my husband and the mattress was mine. Well, my son’s.
I had in mind a little table to set between my two living room chairs. I found an unvarnished one that would do in el mercado (market) however they wanted $250 pesos for it. Too much, in my opinion. But wait, my son is still taking carpentry classes as his school and his current project was a small coffee table. There we have it!
I also wanted a tree stand. Draping our coats on the chairs and dropping our helmets on the floor got old real fast. And as the house is itty bitty, well, there’s no room for that sort of disorder. It didn’t take much effort and only 250 pesos to get that necessity. A carpenter shop on Pipila had just what I wanted.
But I wasn’t finished yet. In August I joined the school teacher tanda. A tanda is a Mexican money saving scheme. One person is in charge and receives the money. Each participant is given a payout number. Since we get paid bi-weekly at the school, our tanda was also bi-weekly with a contribution amount of $500 pesos each time. I choose the last number because in my mind I didn’t see the sense in continuing to make payments when I wouldn’t be receiving anything more. Sort of like paying for the cake when it’s already been eaten. The thing is, you have to be sure of the people involved. I’ve heard tell that sometimes the organizer refuses to pay. Or participants don’t give their contribution so others end up short. So it’s a risky business, to say the least.
Anyway, my number came up at the end of February. I received 3,500 pesos after 4 months of waiting. I don’t know that I’ll participate in any more tandas. Seems like I could save the money myself just as well. My plan was to get a loveseat for the living room, or maybe a small kitchen table and chairs. But the universe had other plans.