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Reveries and Soliloquies: Family Vacation Part 5: Mexico, Land of Contrast

Reveries and Soliloquies

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Vacation Part 5: Mexico, Land of Contrast

"I'm melting like a snow cone in Phoenix." Mrs Doubtfire has provided me with a wealth of quotes for life. By the third day I really felt like I was melting like a snow cone in Phoenix and needed a respite from the beach. We decided to take a short excursion into the closest town, Playa del Carmen for a little cultural immersion. 

As the short shuttle navigated through the congested streets I was in awe of the contrasts that surrounded me. Opulent resort entrances set beside dilapidated roadside stands and graffitied buildings. As we drove into town, the poverty became more visible as the buildings got brighter. The poorer the area, the more colourful the walls. My eyes couldn't take in my surroundings fast enough as every turn of the corner brought something new and fascinating. 
The shuttle dropped as off at the tourist trap of the town, otherwise known as 5th avenue. Block upon block of shops, small restaurants, excursion peddlers and scammers. You couldn't take three steps without someone screaming at you "Senorita, come into me store," "Can I talk to you? Come here, I want to show you something," and all derivatives. Men dressed in traditional Mayan garb encouraged you take pictures of them-but only if you paid. 

Man: Senor, you come take a picture with me. Only 500 pesos.
Dad: Do you know who I am? You should be paying me.

That stopped them from ever asking again. When we didn't respond to English they started calling out in French, German, Italian and Spanish. This is not what I had in mind when I suggested we experience the real Mexico. We forged on ignoring the calls and hand gestures, even though I felt guilty for being rude. There was so much to see and I wasn't going to be deterred. 
Yes, that is a baby lion. The man behind the sign also had a monkey on his head, but Matty had to sneak the picture. 

We came, we saw, we conquered. 


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