I'm back from vacation!

Okay dear readers.  Now I’ll let y’all in on my secret:  I wasn’t just taking a vacation from blogging; I was actually taking a vacation – to the Yucatan.  The circumstances of this vacation were a bit unusual and its timing was not my choice.   In any event, I very much enjoyed myself and learned lots of new things, both about Yucatan/the Maya and Mexico in general.
I now have a pretty good idea why most Mexicans are chubby.  When they get thirsty, they think “soda” or “beer”.  I saw very few Mexicans drinking water, nor did I see them drinking diet soda.  Of course many Americans are fat too, but I think more Americans are aware that Coca-Cola can make you fat.  I also think more Americans are concerned about it, even if they’re not concerned enough to make changes to their life-style.  I may be way off here, but I got the impression that most Mexicans seem to consider being chubby as just a fact of life, not to be questioned and not to fret over.
If you like to travel, you should be concerned with your overall physical fitness; it’s important if you want to do things like climb pyramids, take long hikes, scuba dive or explore caves – some of the things I enjoyed over there.
I made efforts to explore, and experience as much as possible, the Mayan culture.  Contrary to what some people may say, the Mayan language is dying.  From what I saw, only the older folk still speak Mayan.  All the kids seem to speak Spanish.  I did hear one little girl recite something in Mayan for us tourists – but even I could tell that her accent was off and it was mostly for show.  I did drag one older man from a bar to have him tell a story in Mayan.  I can upload it to YouTube and link to it here if any of you want to hear it.
There is very little concern for safety in Mexico, at least by American standards.  Here, look at this:

Yes, the truck was moving when I took the photo.
The people were friendly overall.  I met some very special people, both local and foreigners.  The food was good.  Of course, food hygiene isn’t observed there as it is in the U.S.  Fortunately, I did not get sick.
It’s a lot easier for Spanish-only speakers in the U.S. than it is for English-only speakers in Mexico.  It is difficult to find English speakers outside of the tourist areas.  There is no “for English, press two” on the phone systems.
Would I recommend the “Mexican Riviera” for others to visit?  Absolutely!  Crime did not seem to be a problem (though I did see truckloads of masked soldiers now and then), it’s cheap (as long as you avoid the expensive hotels; a decent room can be gotten for $30 or less in most places and without advance reservations) and it’s not too far away.  I plan on visiting again; aside from dolphins and iguanas, I missed the wildlife.
Aside from enjoying myself, I got lots of fodder for this blog.

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6 Responses to I'm back from vacation!

  1. WmarkW says:

    “I now have a pretty good idea why most Mexicans are chubby. When they get thirsty, they think “soda” or “beer”. I saw very few Mexicans drinking water…”
    Montezuma ain’t just revenging the gringos.

  2. JPG says:

    “a decent room can be gotten for $30 or less in most places and without advance reservations”
    I remember when you could get a decent hotel room in America for that price…

  3. latte island says:

    Re: your vid of the old guy speaking Mayan. If it’s not too much trouble, why not post it? I’m not a Mayan buff myself, but it would probably mean a lot to people who study that stuff. Some graduate student might find something of real interest there.
    I once saw a documentary on the descendants of the Mayans, and one scene showed an old Mayan woman blessing the candles exactly like my Jewish grandmother from the old country. That clip always haunted me. I wondered, did Mayan grandmothers really have rituals similar to Jewish grandmothers, or were the filmmakers Jewish and put her up to it? Or maybe she was partly descended from conversos, and the filmmakers thought her Jewish customs were Mayan customs.

  4. Hahaha great photo. There is a “recklessness” in the Mexican character that would mortify the hell out of most Americans. This ties in the the aversion to diet sodas. Mexicans don’t drink skim milk either (if in fact they even drink milk since so many are lactose intolerant). Mexicans seem to live by an all or nothing guiding principle. I find the low-fat affectations of Americans very ironic since the obesity level in the States mimics the Mexican one very closely.

  5. destructure says:

    I was in Monterrey a few years ago. Two things struck me. First, there weren’t any gringos. At all. And second, there were no designated lanes on the roads. It was every man for himself.

  6. Pingback: Tempting fate is what we do. Ese. « An Unmarried Man

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