Nothing ground-breaking here, I just want to share some random observations of life in this Yucatecan paradise.
1.) Most of the buildings shorter than two stories high. The tightly packed Centro district and a handful of hotels are the exception. Add the fact that the peninsula is mountain-free, and a wide horizon full of blue sky and white clouds unfolds. It’s easy to know when it’s going to rain, because you can see the storm coming from miles (kilometers) away.
2.) That being said, no one uses umbrellas here! The Spanish word for umbrella is “paraguas,” which literally translates to “for water.” So why do I receive weird looks when I use my “paraguas” when the “agua” is rushing down during the rainy season???
3.) Because everyone uses their “paraguas” as parasols here! The sun beats down so hot, that shade becomes a valuable resource. Even a lazy gringo like myself has learned to walk on the shaded side of the street, wait for a bus under a tree, and sit in an aisle bus seat. Window seats are good for a refreshing breeze, but it comes at a skin-squelching price.
4.) Everyone is friendly. In fact, they’re so full of love for their fellow man, young couples can’t help but to love on each other in public. This isn’t the cutesy, puppy-love PDA I’ve grown to ignore in the states. One time, I had to change seats on a bus because the teenagers in front of me were practically eating each other’s faces.
5.) I am taller than the average Yucateco. I’m taller than the above-average one, too. I used to be annoyed by all the stares, but now I enjoy the ability to spot friends from across the room.
6.) This advantage was immediately dwarfed, however, when I decided to play some basketball. It’s just my luck that I went from the tallest guy in the room to the fifth tallest guy on the court. Sorry I couldn’t live up to the “you’re from America so you must be good at basketball” stereotype.
7.) I am going to invest in Mexican hair product when I go home. Almost every guy I see has his hair greased back with enough goo to match the BP oil spill (too soon?). That’s not including all the youngsters with their faux hawks and dare I say, double faux hawks. Gasp!
8.) Burger King was the first American fast food to hit Merida in the late 80s. A massive restaurant with a play room opened at the biggest intersection of the city, where it still stands today. And if I’m too lazy to go buy it myself, BK delivers. *See #9
9.) McDonald’s is a far second to the King, and revered as an over-priced novelty that’s only eaten when it’s craved. I know a few people that praise the McFlurry with Cornflakes. No word though on the Quarter Pounder w/ Guacamole and Doritos.
10.) Nearly every restaurant delivers: pizza places, sushi bars, chicken shacks, even name brands like Burger King, Subway, and KFC. Yes, that’s right. If I were able to ignore the massive guilt hanging over my head, I could order the All-American glory that is Kentucky Fried Chicken without leaving the couch.
That’s it for this round. Maybe next time I’ll include some observations from my travels to Campeche. I’m headed there this weekend!
Final Word: This blog would be better if I could upload photos, but I can’t even use any from the web. Stupid Mexican links!
– buenas noches