I just re-read yesterday’s writing and it is not as rough as I expected. I was weeping by the end as I wrote it, but not so moved when I read it today. But the way those passages came on me was so natural and visceral I was open to a cascade of emotion and guilt. I think it is part of our natural defense to keep us from being constantly overwhelmed and incapacitated by exposure to suffering. A switch goes off in your head and you get back to whatever it was you were doing before (unless the maids and guests and children are all yelling outside your paper thin door in the echo chamber that is your new hotel – Oh Compassionate Buddha – I miss the Barcelo Maya!).
I will come back to the global social/political tar-baby in a bit. For now, on with the chronicles. Back to December 25th…
On my way back to the tourist section of Playa Del Carmen, I passed by Cristi Fer’s place just to see it and verify that it was where I thought it would be. It was there. I went back to 100% Natural and had a great experience. The people were very nice, the atmosphere is very relaxing, and the food was pretty good. I had some kind of fruity smoothie thing (The California if you also checked out the menu) and the Enchiladas Vegetarianas. I was pleased when my guy brought out some appetizers – because I was ravenous. Four thickly cut slices of multigrain bread, a green chile salsa and a yogurt with some mild spice in it, and marinated peppers, onions, and potatoes. Very nice flavors and combinations of hot and cool.
I was a little bit underwhelmed by the enchiladas. They were fine. They were better than some of the food at the Barcelo Maya! But it was a little bland and a whole lot of yogurt and no discernible beany-tofu-y sort of protein. I do not remember what it said on the menu, and I do not believe that they made it incorrectly. In my head, I was prepared for Mexican style enchiladas without meat. Anyway, it was good, and I could tell that there was no meat contamination. I ended the meal by pouring the rest of the salsa and yogurt onto my plate and soaking it all up with the last of the bread. Reasonably sized meal, trending to the larger side, and a very big (and excellent) fruit drink – about $140 pesos. Not bad. I had free breakfast at the hotel. I snacked on Japones and bananas in my room for dinner.
After having a successful meal, solid knowledge of at least one safe place to eat, and a really long walk (about 8 miles) I headed back to the hotel and did many loads of sink laundry, with the local Tide® – Ace®. My quick dry stuff goes on the lines I have set-up in the bathroom, and the iron and ironing board replace the dryer for heavier fabrics. After the several minor trials and challenges of re-locating from the Barcelo Maya! to Playacar the day before, it felt great to have clean, dry (or soon to be) clothes and a full belly.
Soon to come, though doubtfully in this order:
- some events from Barcelo Maya! And a note on comparisons between all-inclusive and pay-as-you-go (though not until after I get to Tulum – so, next year)
- the transition from Barcelo Maya! to Playacar – highlights include my first (and second) trip in the real Collectivo, going to the wrong town first and walking a few miles there, getting dumped in the center of locals’ downtown Playa Del Carmen, finding an oasis of salvation at…Dominos Pizza.
- Sunday in Playacar – I accidentally re-discover that caffeine is a drug, and I don’t like it. Second trip to 100% Natural and, a neat little dive bar with some excellent and helpful staff.
- The internet in Mexico and how to defeat some of the log-in systems (it is really easy)
Adios! I am off to meet Cristi Fer and learn some more from her about local vegetarian eating!