For the average gringo, living in Playa del Carmen can take some getting used to.
There are just some things that you have to get used to south of the border that take a little while… things like “manana time.” It’s a slower pace of life here in Playa del Carmen and things that we gringos tend to get really uptight about – you know, like showing up for appointments on time, aren’t reasons to stress down here. Somewhere between 30-60 min late seems to be expected in many cases and if the appointment can’t be made today? Well, there’s always tomorrow, amigo.
It’s the little things…
For me, little things like not being able to find jelly were odd. Yes, I said jelly… They have marmalade, but I don’t like chunks of fruit in my spread so I found myself craving real jelly or jam to put on my PB&J’s.
Like I said, it’s the little things.
Some folks have issues with the metric system. I’ve found myself surprisingly adaptable to it, although I don’t know why. Maybe the fact that it conforms to easily divided numbers appeals to my sense of organization. Or maybe laziness? It just seems easier…
Driving can be nerve wracking for some – lanes and signs are there as more of a suggestion as opposed to actual rules and the tendency of people on scooters to be completely oblivious to anything and anybody else on the road is absolutely amazing. And the random folks and animals that seem to appear on the roads out of nowhere when you’re driving at night keeps you vigilant, to say the least.
It’s kinda frustrating sometimes and you have the occasional “gringo moment.” 🙂
But then a funny thing happens…
After a while, you go back to the States. In my case, the first time I spent any real time back in the States was about a year after I moved to Mexico.
And everyone seems so tense. So rushed. So harried.
You find yourself wondering why…
You find you’ve discovered a strong distaste for the smell of smog and exhaust.
You find that people seem to be focused on things that really aren’t that important…
You find it odd that police are so rigid and severe and that minor infractions can’t be taken care of cheaply and quickly on the spot. Points on my license? What? Jail if I don’t pay an outrageous fine?
You find yourself daydreaming about the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean… the calming and tranquil feeling of sipping a chelada while watching the waves slowly lap at the shore and relaxing in the cooling breeze coming off the water. You find yourself counting the days until you can walk on the beach with your friends and feel the baby powder fine sand between your toes and the gentle warmth of the Caribbean sun on your face while listening to a local band play salsa or reggae in the distance.
All those things that you thought weird and crazy and frustrating when you first arrived now seem trivial and amusing.
You realize that you’ve adapted to the Caribbean lifestyle and it’s become a part of you, and you a part of it….
A part of who you always were… but a part that you only truly discovered once you disconnected yourself from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.
Welcome to your new life, my friend. Vida tranquilo….