Friday, May 19, 2006

Riviera Maya Journal #9 - Relaxing - Larry Widen

One of the nicest things about Mexico is the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere that is permanently embedded in the local landscape. In the United States we're always on the go, always multi-tasking, because, hell, time is money. We make appointments to meet people at an exact time, in a certain place and always with some kind of expectation of achieving a goal or outcome. In the vacation destinations of Mexico, that kind of pressure just doesn't exist.

Here's an example: The hotel concierge has you set up to be on the 9:00 a.m. ferry to Cozumel in the morning. She's told you to be in the lobby at 8:00 to meet your taxi or bus driver for the ride to the docks at Playa del Carmen. Like any good American, you show up 10 or 15 minutes early, because that's what we do. So where's the driver? Shouldn't he be here a few minutes early as well? Actually, no. Turns out he's downstairs having a complimentary breakfast at the hotel buffet.

Now you're starting to get a little nervous, because you'd planned to get to the ferry dock a little early as well, just to make sure you get a seat and all that. Why is the driver meandering down the road, then? Shouldn't we be making better time? (Oh, the mindset we've got!) In the end, the whole thing works out. The 9:00 a.m. ferry doesn't actually leave until 9:10 or so, and everybody who's in line makes it on and everybody gets a seat. No sweat. Except yours. So what was all the anxiety about? Nothing, really. Remember, this is Mexico. Once you let yourself move in time to the rhythm of the country, you'll have a much more relaxing vacation.

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