Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mornings in Yelapa 8

These few precious days . . . We have just over a week left in Yelapa; fly home on the 29th. These three months here themselves have flown.

We`ve learned more, I think, about the community this third winter here, met some new people, renewed friendships or acquaintanceships with others. Gained a little more understanding of the Mexicans here. Learned that the integration of Mexican and gringo in Yelapa is, to a large extent, superficial or nonexistent. I`m not speaking of expatriates who have "married in" here; they enjoy a special relationship, it seems, are accepted as "converts" to the culture. I`m talking about gringos like us who only spend their winters here -- November to April, generally -- then go home to California, New Mexico, Alaska, Canada (Canadian snowbirds are a numerous migratory species in Yelapa), thus avoiding Yelapa`s tropical, hot and humid rainy season.
We, that is we seasonal residents, are more tolerated, it seems, than accepted. We`re tolerated, let´s face it, because we bring money into the community, money the native residents have come to rely on after more than thirty years of invasion by us gringos. This is in line with what I`ve said earlier about there being something like parallel universes here, two cultures, living side by side under friendly circumstances.

Anyway, this may be my last posting from this Mexican paradise. I`ll no doubt add to some or all of them after our return to Canada, including uploading some pictures we`ve taken with our digital camera. Until then, adios.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Mornings in Yelapa 7

Here we are in Puerto Vallarta after spending the night following the grand opening of the Vallarta Bontanical Gardens, outside the city. April and I took out memberships in the Gardens last January after our first visit there -- for an affordable $20 apiece -- and so we were able to walk into last night`s proceedings and enjoy the drinks, food, and entertainment essentially for free. Entertainment included the Vallarta Chamber Orchestra playing several classical pieces, a women`s choir from Santa Barbara, California, and dancing afterwards to swing era recorded music. Bus service back to Vallarta was also free, and we left rather early. We`d booked a room in our favorite budget hotel in old town, the Hotel Villa del Mar, where I left April last night to see a strange movie, Perfume, at the nearby theater. Got out of it at 12:30 p.m., and walked through the fairly quiet streets at that time of night to the hotel.

Today April is attending a ^breathing^ workshop in Vallarta while I`m sitting here at my favorite Internet place. We`re to meet in mid-afternoon at the John Huston statue on the Isla Quale (a quiet and pleasant refuge in the midst of the city), where I`ll read (currently I`m into Nabokov`s Lolita for the first time, if you can believe that) until she arrives. Then we`ll catch the bus to Boca, and then a boat back to Yelapa.

With any luck, we won`t have to come into Vallarta again till the end of this month -- and the end, alas, of our stay this year in Mexico.