Travel Journal: Mexico
Meeting my stepmother, sister, and brother-in-law in Cancún was the highlight of the trip. Having my family around me was comforting, but I unfortunately cannot apply similar positive musings to Cancún. Hotels, large hotels, bigger hotels, and even bigger malls. Welcome to Cancún. The masses of tourists clearly not interested in the Mexican culture demanded a very modern and accommodating environment. One could get by just fine without speaking one syllable of the national language. It was thoroughly lacking Mexican character. I was sad to say goodbye to my family at the end of the week, but excited to get back to Mérida, the city that has swept me off my feet.
That said, I didn't walk away empty-handed of experiences. Immediately after sending a flying cracked coconut out from under the wheels of the car while heading out of Cancún for Puerto Morelos and Tulum, we were pulled over by a Cancún police officer. My father, God bless his soul, tried to do his best as I let him squirm for 30 seconds before I leaned forward from the back seat and opened my mouth, because, surprisingly enough, in this city chock-full of English, the police officer spoke very little. I never thought the first traffic ticket I would talk myself out of would be in a foreign language. After about 20 minutes of circular conversation and an explanation about running the red light (the officer on the bright yellow motorcycle that was behind us did as well), we were free to go—no ticket just a friendly farewell, “Le ayudas a su papa” (Help your dad).
Back in Mérida, I appreciate the solitude, the character, and the family (host and Centre family). I have only gotten a taste of the truth in the phrase we all know much too well, “You don't know what you got till it's gone.” But what happens when it's really gone? When I have to go back home and leave my Mexican hometown for San Diego? With more than half of the trip already behind us, I'll jump into this city, this trip, this experience with more fervor during these last 33 days than I even think I have in me. Adiós, Fear! The clock is a tickin’ and you cause one to dawdle when running is the order of the day!
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