Querétaro is beautiful. It is lively and the people are incredibly friendly. The food is amazing, even if I cannot eat most of it I would be lying if I said I haven’t tried it.
Our first night we met up with a colleague and he took us to an amazing and cheap taco restaurant in Mercado de la Cruz. This market has many open stalls during the day and on Sundays the parking lot is filled with additional stalls. There is a smaller section that is closed during the day, but at night opens up with several open restaurants (open until 3am). This is where we ate our first meal in Querétaro and it was delicious. Each amazing little taco was only $1 and huge bottles of water (1L) were about $2.50. We have been back again (2x in 4 days)!
On Friday we moved into our apartments. They are fully furnished 2 bedroom: 1 bed, side table, closets, desk, kitchen utensils/pots/pans/etc., sectional sofa, coffee table, and dinning room table. There is a lot that I felt I needed to still buy besides food. My apartment does not have storage under the sink and I bought two plastic drawers to store some things. I bought several kitchen utensils, plastic Tupperware’s, glass dotage containers, a juicer, etc.
Although I love this place and may never leave (sorry Mom and Dad), there are several frustrating things I will now rant about.
Sheets. Thank goodness I bought some before coming because they are either mostly-100% polyester or very low cotton thread count. I have yet to find a duvet or a second sheet set for when I do laundry. Previous to moving here I had the misconception that nights would be hot, like in South Africa or Canada in the summer. Do not be fooled – I am sleeping in socks, sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt. My window is cold and I wake up every morning around 6am shivering. I desperately need a duvet (the apartment comes with one, but I’d prefer to have a new one). I have searched Walmart, Comercial Mexicana, and Soriana and have not found one I like. We will hopefully get to the mall this weekend so I can check out Sears and the other stores – will let you know how that adventure goes. If you move here make sure you can find out what bed you get previous to moving or buy sheets at home and buy the bed to fit.
Update: Last week I went to Antea the giant new, and expensive, mall in Jurica. It is beautiful and still not finished. I found a wonderful duvet at the Home Store and found a duvet cover at H&M home. Although both were still more expensive than back home, I am now sleeping warmly. I recommend checking out the H&M home store because they have some really great things for a reasonable price.
Banks. My credit card worked wonderfully at Walmart and Home Depot (bought a new shower head). It did not work at Soriana (they do not accept intentional credit cards, no idea why) or Comercial Mexicana. I am with ScotiaBank (Canada) and was told that when I’m in Mexico I can take money out at a ScotiaBank here (but not deposit) for free. This is a lie. I went to an ATM and the actual bank ATM and had zero luck. I finally used my BMO debit card at an HSBC ATM and it worked. Went back to Walmart to buy a few things today and it worked. Not sure what is going on, but not happy about it to say the least. Can’t wait to have my local bank account set up. Thankfully the school does that for us and I don’t have to play charades.
Taxis. I live about 15min walk max to Walmart. When we have too much to carry back we get a taxi which has cost us about 40-45 pesos. When we go into the centro (downtown) the taxis fare is about 40-50pesos. It is about 15min drive to the centro, which doesn’t make sense why they cost the same. We are working on our como? (what?) face so we don’t have to pay as much. Will keep you posted.
For now that is my only rant. There may be more things, but for now I can only say I love this place and I haven’t even began teaching.