Saturday, July 18, 2009

why mexico?

Strangers in paradise.

I am repeatedly amazed at how often I receive great advice from people I know through no other source than this blog.

It happened again last week.

A reader, who once lived in Melaque, was going to be in town on business. He wanted to know if I would be interested in sitting down to discuss Mexico -- and Melaque, in particular.

The evening was as typical as any July day on the Costa Alegre. Hot. Humid. Lazy.

We decided to eat at a restaurant we both enjoy: Señor Froy's (yes, with a "y"). He for the lasagna -- "second best in the world."

But the evening was not about eating; it was about living in Mexico.

He told me how he had been retired for several years and traveled the world before he settled on Mexico as a retirement site. Melaque was first. But the summers were too much -- reminded him of why he had left Indiana.

He eventually ended up in the mountains above Colima on the way to Guadalajara. After moving there, he married a Mexican national. (This seems to be a theme amongst single men in Mexico.) He seems to be genuinely happy.

I had been soaking in the information, when he fixed a serious eye on me, and asked: "So, why are you in Mexico?"

For a moment I felt like Ted Kennedy in 1980 when Mike Wallace asked him in a 60 Minutes interview: "Why do you want to be president?" Teddy blew the answer. From that moment on, his quest to topple President Carter was doomed.

And it was not a new question for me. Several people have asked the question of me -- just as pointedly.

My standard answer ("For the adventure.") left him unfazed.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

I am not certain I got to the core of some of my reasons for being here: archaeology, wildlife, learning from new people.

Friday I drove from Melaque to Cihuatlán -- essentially, our county seat -- to buy some goods. As I drove down the coast road, I came to a small rise: part of Isla de Navidad. At the crest of the hill, I saw something anew that I must see two or three times a week: another answer why I moved to Mexico.

Looking south, you see a large alluvial plain with miles and miles of nothing but coconut plantations. The verdant enormity has its own understated beauty. Like most wide vistas, it is difficult to capture in a small photograph, but my attempt is at the top of this post.

Those moments -- and meeting more strangers in this fallen paradise -- may be the best answer to why I am in Mexico.


Inmigrante Rentista said...

So, you came to Mexico for the coconuts?

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Inmigrante Rentista - great comment! LOL.

Christine said...

So, there is this quote, which I am about to botch. Something like: "The heart upon which the dust of Mexico has fallen cannot then be truly happy in any other land." The country simply charms some of us. Others not so much. The why really doesn't matter, does it?

Steve Cotton said...

Inmigrante Rentista -- The price I pay when I allow my Romantic side to prevail.

AMM -- It was indeed.

Christine -- Ah. That explains the dust.

Charley said...

Would it not be alluvial "plain"?
just asking the question.

Also, what was Ted response to the Why Do You Want to Be President question?

Houston TX

Islagringo said...

As you move about Mexico, you will soon discover that the coconut plantation is just one of many small wonders that are Mexico. This country is geographically one of the most beautiful and incredible places in the world.

Steve Cotton said...

Charley -- Right you are. I could attempt to recover gracefully by pointing out that the Manzanillo airport is out there in the distance. But, "alluvial plane" in that context would be even more distressing. As for what The Kennedy answered, I do not recall the words, but I remember it as incoherent mumbling (as if he had never thought of the question). And it is the impression that popped his rebellion.

Islandgringo -- It is amazing though how the same sight can take your breath away every time you see it.

Constantino said...

I know a fellow who can sell you a nice coconut plantation....

Babs said...

Beautiful post and delightful photo. You ARE getting into the rhythm....and the lasagna at Senor Froy's is muy rico.

Steve Cotton said...

Constantino -- Sounds like the plot of a Marx Brothers film.

Babs -- I tried the lasgna. It was great.

Anonymous said...

The photo shows an alluvial plain all right. It goes for several miles up to the ocean abd it's full of bananas. Cihuatlan lives on banana. Coconuts are more of a sideline.

There are dirt roads all ver the area. Do drive in and speak to the workers aboout the cultivation. Great side trip for your 2-week guests.