Sunday, July 15, 2018

mr. moto takes a vacation

Something was happening.

As part of my afternoon walk today, I ambled down to the Barra de Navidad malecon. It is quite an attractive hunk of concrete and landscaping mounted atop the barra (sand bar) that separates Navidad Bay from a nifty little harbor. It is the bar in Barra de Navidad.

When I was last down there, it was a set for which the Spanish word tranquilo was made. There were very few people on the malecon. And even fewer on the beach.

Not so this afternoon.

My first hint were the number of motos -- motorcycles -- parked at the start of the malecon. The most I have ever seen there is two. This afternoon, they were as numerous as horses in front of the Rock Ridge saloon on Lili von Shtupp night.

And the motos were not there alone. But let me tell you two brief stories before we proceed.

Several years ago, I was standing in a long line waiting for the ATM to disgorge pesos into my pocket. In front of me was a woman I have known since moving here. But, unlike me, she spends only a few months each year in Mexico.

She looked at all the white-haired northerners in line in front of us,and said: "I really feel sorry for the Mexicans when we leave. There will be no money in town for them."

The second is not unlike the first. Last week, I received an email from an acquaintance in Canada. He wrote: "Thank you for your stories. I truly enjoy reading them because they remind me that even though we are not in Mexico for six months out of the year, life still goes on there."

And part of that life was on the malecon. The place was filled with vendors selling sugary treats to families made up of three or so generations. All enjoying a comfortably warm day in the sun.

What startles me each summer is to approach of a group of who I believe are Mexican teenagers, and hear them speaking English. A lot of American citizens come here to visit their relatives -- and to enjoy their vacation.

A young woman from Victorvile, California told me she was jealous that I live here. I told her I fully understood what she meant.

What struck me most though were the number of people in the water on both sides of the sand bar -- in the bay and in the laguna.

Some of the grumpier northerners have rattled on about how the beach at Barra de Navidad no longer exists, Plenty of culprits are blamed, but the dirge is the same. It isn't what it used to be.

That did not seem to be bothering the Mexican families that found the beach exactly to their taste on a Sunday on the sand.

I suspect all humans have a tendency to believe if they are not in a place they enjoy, somehow that that place folds up waiting their return. As if it were a freeze frame in a bad movie.

But that is not how life works. My friends in Salem are going about their lives without any regard to whether I am there or not. As is my family in Bend. And my friends in British Columbia -- and England -- and Germany. Life does not stop just because I am not there.

I suspect that is one of the flaws of existentialism and Cartesian logic. In truth, we can know that life does rely on our personal validation.

So, dear readers, do not worry. Life goes on here. And Mexican tourists are doing their best to see that the local merchants fill their cash registers with pesos.

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