The Good the Bad and the Beaches.


(Impressions of Mexico – off the tourist track.)
Wandering around ruins of ancient, less frequented pyramids I gave thanks for the girl who insisted I needed extra strong bug spray, for my broad brimmed sun hat and techniques of bag clutching gleaned from my Far East travels. It was, I surmised, a land of saints and sinners, the wonderful friends helping at my daughter’s wedding and those “other folks” who seemed intent to steal, cheat and con at every opportunity. Could I blame them? Probably not.
Seeing ancients trying to make a living washing windscreens or playing guitar at beach tables, their skin a sea of wrinkles from long hours in the sun, wrung my heart, along with the young girl whose mother enforced dubious tactics to cajole my daughter to buy a cheap toy. I saw the fear and humiliation in her eyes.
We found a guy knocking on windows saying his wife just died of cancer and he had no way to get home to his daughters. Was he telling the truth? I don’t know. The tears at least were genuine as were the shaking shoulders as he broke down in my daughter’s arms. Whatever the truth of his story he was desperate. We each gave him the usual 10 pesos (it’s only 50 pence, if it were a con we wouldn’t miss it).
I saw a lot of the seamier side of life, but then I was looking. We were to their eyes “rich foreigners” who could afford to give and they lined up to sell us something. Even China was not like that. I began to understand why they swamp the US borders. As generally is the case, underlying corruption seemed the base of the problem.
Then there was the good. The smiling friendly faces, honest folks who had opportunity to cheat me (due to my ignorance) but chose not to, friends and co-workers of my German son in law who worked to bring the wedding to pass, his brother who took over the bar when the waiters and barman proved totally hopeless, the inclusiveness of the crowd, dragging everyone up to dance, the fun and freedom as folks doffed their wedding gear to plunge in the pool and escape the heat.
Later I discovered the beaches, cool, fabulous, blue sky edged with pale soft sand and waves just cool enough to refresh, a solace to the soul. We passed the best afternoon at one such place discovering a “pearl of great price” an honest restaurant with a waiter who could juggle all our bills and requests with ease, shady umbrellas and deck chairs with the surf a few yards away (we left a hefty tip.)
Now I’m home enjoying gentle English summer and shopping in streets guarded by police that keep law and order instead of seeking bribes. I give thanks for my heritage for not all enjoy it and I know it was dearly bought.

One thought on “The Good the Bad and the Beaches.

  1. Reblogged this on Song Bird Songs and commented:

    from Aug 2014 especially relevant today as my daughter and her son are flying in to join me here whilst her husband relocates them to Europe. As a parent I’m immensely thankful to see them revert to a safer clime.

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