Monday, March 19, 2012

Meeting Mexico Part One.-- Ex-pat elders

A fabulous friend of mine recently visited Mexico for the first time. She sent me the journal of her experience and I loved it so much that I asked if I could share it on my blog as a guest post. This is the first in the five-part series "Meeting Mexico", by the wonderfully talented and beautiful Samantha Bennett. I hope you enjoy! 

Kristina and Yutaka drop me off at the Montreal airport and I sit now at the gate, alone and too early, watching the French sun rise. I feel open and calm, a gal of the millennium with my laptop and Israeli flats, my swish coat of soft green folded demurely on my lap. On my lips, the new Mac red, Runaway, and my fingernails, usually jagged and grubby, now filed and smooth. I may be a grown-up. 

First Glimpse of the Sea at Sunset in Zihuatanejo 

 Mum is there at the Zihuatanejo airport, brown, slim and smiling bigly. As always my heart gives a great lurch at seeing her. It is mid-evening and the air is full of steamy sea salt and fragrant fauna. In the backseat of the cab, we sit close and gaze out at the little fishing town by night, and then we are through it and beyond to Ixtapa and our condo complex, Real de Palmas. Gates. Security guard. On the other side the paths are set with stone and shell, and wind through the condos. We are beyond the lovely round pool, through the palm trees, and I can hear the surf! Our little hacienda is perfect, with two wide single beds, and a glorious view of sea and sky. We chat, we sip cocktails, and wander bedward. I can’t quite believe I am here.
My first Mexican morn dawns bright. Mum, of course, has everything down to strict routine.
Her: We make tea now, and take it back to bed. We then have some moments of silence, the only sounds being sipping and farting.
Me: Sounds like a pub: Ye Olde Sip and Fart. I shall do my morning exercises now.

Her: Good Lord.

Me: I have a lot of energy in the morning, and also I’m excited!

Her: Yes. Well, I am not accustomed to talking this much at this time of day.

Mumsy and Sam lunching on the beach

It is a holiday in Mexico today so beach full of local families, air strafed with happy gabble of Spanish. I see Mayan traces on features, and they smile shyly. The sing song refrain of Buenos Dias is everywhere. Mum and I stride miles along the beach, ankle deep in foamy surf, sand hard-packed. Leggy sand-pipers dance in and out of the water. We exchange morning greets with just about everyone. Benevolence abounds. Most of these people, after a life-time of work, are now enjoying retirement. They have that happy certainty of well-deserved rest, and they sink into it utterly. Soon I shall meet Mumsy’s posse of friends, Canadians, Yanks, Brits, known from home or met here years ago. I will be spending the next two weeks with people in their 70’s and 80’s exclusively. I picture lots of talk about grand-kids, perhaps some gentle knitting. I caution myself for the umpteenth time, to curb my sailor on shore-leave mouth. These are the Elders, and are deserving of respect.

Mumsy, Miss Madeline and Lady Kay (and Jose Cuervo)

It is dusk and we are invited for drinks at a near-by condo. We approach from the grass and I get my first glimpse of Miss Madeline and Lady Kay, sisters in their mid to late 80’s. They raise their drinks to us, and we join them on the terrace. Madeline wears a bright yellow shirt with collar up, open over her swimsuit and gold jewellery round throat, wrists, even an anklet. Her hair is short and stylish. Kay clearly digs pink. Bright pink. Pink skirt. Pink shirt. Brightly striped pink flats and pink lipstick. She is also be-decked in jewels. Anita appears in the doorway and greets me with a voice like sand and whiskey. She is small with lean, brown limbs and silver wings of hair swinging against her cheeks. She exudes effortless cool. Her friend, Jayme comes through another door that leads onto the terrace, exclaiming how pretty I look. Her eyes are a huge, lovely blue. I feel a bit nervous surrounded by all these strangers, but Mum catches my eye and smiles at me. I wonder when the pictures of grand-kids are going to appear and try to look polite and attentive. Jayme sidles up beside me.
Jayme: May I show you my tattoo?

Me: Uhh…ok
Jayme: (hiking up her skirt and baring a thigh)
Me: Umm..I don’t see a tattoo.

Jayme: Oh, it must be on the other side. (hitching up the other side and showing me)

Me: Err…nothing on this side either

Jayme: (leaning in close and speaking solemnly) I guess my pussy must have ate it.

Everyone laughs merrily, and before I can recover from the shock, Anita lets rip with the loudest fart I have ever heard. More giggles and a repeat of the farting. I cry out: “Are we barbarians?!” before I realize it is an electric whoopee cushion, with Mads, giggling, at the controls. Reeling from this surprising development, I am aware of Lady Kay placing something on my lap. It is a calendar and each page has different people on it, and a button at the bottom, which I am ordered to press. A different fart sound for each month. I am treated to the wet, prolonged fart of a group of firemen, the tinny squeak of a cluster of cheerleaders, and ten more variations on a theme. I laugh weakly and reach for the tequila bottle, stereotypes dashed and splintered in shards around my feet. I need a drink.

(to be continued.....) Meeting Mexico Part Two

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hilarious story! I'm going to Ixtapa next week, just a short drive from my city here in Michoacan. Hope I have as much fun as you and your mum and the other canucks there.

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