Tuesday, October 04, 2016
the lull before the storm
Last night I had dinner with two expatriate friends who are year-round residents of our little bit of sea coast.
The conversation was the usual Whitman's sampler of summer topics. My struggle with Spanish. Their comfort with speaking the language. The heat and how we are dealing with it.
Being a topical lot, we then turned to the topic of the return of the northern visitors.
The cycle of our local villages are heavily determined by the various tourist periods. The local businessmen say they make their lion's share of income from Mexican tourists.
That makes sense because they visit frequently. There are the big events. Easter week (actually, two weeks). Christmas. San Patricio fiesta. Summer school break. And almost every weekend.
The northern trade is a bit more concentrated, especially during about six weeks in January and February. But northerners start arriving in groups in November, and many stay through just before Easter. It is easy to watch the seasonal tide ebb and flow during our English-speaking church services.
The return of the northerners heralds something else we full-timers look forward to -- the re-opening of a variety of restaurants. I hear a number of bars also open for those who are alcohol-dependent. But that is not my vice. Food is.
Last night, the three of us ate in a restaurant that just re-opened. It felt a bit odd to be the sole diners in such a lovely space. But that will soon change. There will be customers at each table and a line at the door. Just as all good restaurants should have. Full of life and laughter.
Even though I am not a very social person (the best I can claim is "sociable"), it will be nice to see more faces on the sidewalks (and blocking traffic while walking in the street). Waves of tourists -- whether Mexican or northerners -- means more pesos in the pockets of my neighbors.
So, if you are preparing to head south, welcome. We look forward to enjoying your presence -- not to mention, your presents.