So there we were. Ripped out of our cozy lives back in Seattle and thrown into the colourful, exotic, and seemingly chaotic Mexican world.
I have to admit: Never in my life had I ever felt the urge to visit Mexico. So far, Mexico had been nothing but a country on a map. For me, Mexico that was drugs, beans, and Frida Kahlo. And whatever I had read in the papers about this country, it had never included beans and / or Frida Kahlo. Of that much I was certain.
Of course, we all have cliches in our heads. All of us. At any time. And I mean, I love cliches. They make traveling fun, no jokes without cliches and as long as you don’t go anywhere, you don’t even have to think them over. Right?
So stranded here with 2 suitcases, a husband and a head filled with cliches, the adventure began. Thank goodness, we have the www. Wisely, we had googled “Playa del Carmen” and “Riviera Maya” only to find out that apparently, safety was not an issue here in this part of Mexico. Big relief! So I left my bulletproof vest at home. More space for bikini and sunscreen.
And what can I say? Never ever have we experienced any dangerous situation. I admit, we live in a double fenced-in community, but I suspect them of shameless window dressing. Yes, there are a lot of policemen on the streets and they carry very impressive weapons around, yet or maybe because of that nothing has ever happened to us or to people we know. Touch wood. Yes, there may be pick-pockets around, but aren’t they everywhere? A little caution and common sense, and no harm is done.
What about the other cliches? What about the beans? Yes, we can get beans here, hooray for that! But we get a lot of other stuff, too. The yucatan cuisine is all about fresh seafood, cilantro, mint, limes, ginger – scrumptious! What about Frida Kahlo? Well, her work is everywhere, of course – which is nice. After all, what would Amsterdam be without VanGogh? And then what about the everyday life? Yes, it is as slow as I had imagined it. Maybe a little slower. But ok, we can deal with that… most of the time. Bureaucracy? Terrible. And hey, what about driving here? Oh dear, yes, we will get to that some other time…
So what do we learn from this? Cliches are fun, they help us to sort out the big world in our little heads. But you really have to go and see it to really KNOW. Right?