I have been mad at my body lately. Maybe most of my life. I was too tall as a girl in the 60’s-so I slouched. My mom would instruct me to, “Stand up straight” then she’d exclaim, “You’re soooo tall.” Relatives would ask her what she fed me.
My mom was 5’2. I was 5’10” in middle school. After 20 years of marriage at age 42 I put on a pair of high heels. My husband said, “Oh, now I know why you don’t wear heels, you are really tall.” I didn’t put another pair on until we separated several years later.
I was also called “fatty Patti” by my brother and neighborhood kids. My mom countered with, “NO YOU ARE NOT!”, then refused my request for a piece of her freshly baked chocolate cake she. (My friends now call me Patricia, it doesn’t rhythm with fatty.) Continue reading →
(On August 26th, in the Mexican town of Teotihuacan, the flame for the 2011 Pan American Games was lit and the runner began its route through Mexico.)
We decided to spend a day in Puerta Vallarta before we flew back home. We met a couple on the plane to Mexico that made us promise to, at the very least, take a day trip into PV because it is so beautiful. Old PV, not Nueva PV where all the oversized resorts live. They were adamant. It sounded like a good idea. They gave us the name of the time share/hotel they stay in, some places to shop and a great restaurant for dinner. We were convinced and folded it into our plans.
Since there was no shopping in PLT I was looking forward to do some shopping. I was also ready to leave our eco resort survivalist meets paradise location. I was also ready to speak English. My brain was tired from trying to speak Spanish, trying to understand Spanish and acting like I understood Spanish when I had no idea what was being said. I was ready for a bit of civilization. Continue reading →
We are headed out of PLT. Back over the rutted road, past the cattle, flocks of sea birds and palm groves. I saw what I thought was an ant eater run off the side of the road and into the bush. I have never seen an ant eater for real, only on Mutual of Omaha’s WiId Kingdom, but if memory serves me, it was an ant eater. So later when I saw movement on the side of the-sorry excuse for a-road, I perked up.
“What is that?” We both looked carefully as Tom slowed the car down. It was a tiny brown puppy. Continue reading →
We arrived on Saturday to Playas Las Tortugas. Tom moved right into his comfort zone. I didn’t. While he read and wrote, I sat and stared. I couldn’t settle within myself. I didn’t recognize myself or much else in this unfamiliar place. I knew we were clearly not in Kansas anymore.
On Monday Tom read to me, from the AAA Mexico tour book, a description of what can happen to travelers visiting new cultures. It is called Cultural Immersion and Displacement. This was a new construct for me. As he read I realized I was experiencing both. Continue reading →
We are in Mexico at a resort that is a full hour off the main road. Let me be more specific. The main road is a two lane country road about 20 minutes from the last small village. The road to Playas las Tortugas is a rutted out dirt road that passes through mango and coconut groves, pastures with cows and bulls that have beautiful coats that glisten in the sun and are standing with bright white egrets. An occasional flamingo flies over the now dust encrusted rental car. A Jeep Patriot. In the brochure this is to be a 15-20 minute trip into the settlement.
Before leaving PA. we received an email explaining this road had been washed out due to the rainy season. Therefore it was suggested we rent a high clearance vehicle. That meant the car rental fee went from $8 a day to $40 and the travel time quadrupled. (Really, you can rent a mid size car in Mexico for 8 bucks)
I was driving this leg of the journey from Puerta Vallerta. Tom kept complimenting me on how well I was doing. I am not sure if he was referring to my driving skills; avoiding moon size craters in road, pulling over on this one lane road to let locals pass in their full size pick ups with smiles that suggested Stupido Gringas or not becoming hysterical.
I drove this stretch of road without putting my foot on the gas pedal. We traveled at the speed idle. When I did press the gas, out of impatience and shame, I feared for the axles, tires and paint of the rental. The man at Thrifty Rental made it very clear, in his broken English, that we are responsible for every ding and scratch incurred. The woman with the camera taking detailed pictures of the car from every angle increased our paranoia. An hour later, we drove onto a cobblestone driveway and into the gates of Playas las Tortugas. I was tense trying to be relieved. Continue reading →