There’s always a last-minute issue to solve, some laundry still in the dryer and waiting to be packed, a last trip to the supermarket because shit, we probably need snacks and sandwiches for the flight, and somehow, it’s very late, way too late, all you can hear is the sound of zippers being zipped and cryptic exchanges like “take the sock, two Tide Pods in it” or “clean plastic bag, if you want.”
Feng’s red necklace string broke. The traditional Chinese jade he has been wearing for over twenty years is his lucky charm but inconveniently, it’s almost impossible to find a replacement red string in Playa del Carmen because the local Chinese community offers takeout food to drunk gringos, not jade necklaces (a business opportunity here, maybe?). I ended up finding a good enough alternative in a local fabric shop. The tough part was to thread it through the pendant’s tiny hole—it took both of us but we made it, crisis averted.
We spent three weeks in Mexico. It’s the end of the trip… and the beginning of another chapter.
We left Tulum and spent our last five days in Playa del Carmen. We booked an Airbnb away from the action, just across the freeway that we will take to the airport in Cancún, and somehow we ended up in Central America—no more karaoke bars and loud tourists, our nightly soundtrack is hens laying eggs and stray dogs chasing each other. The only thing “missing” is random car alarms going off to feel like we’re in Honduras or Panamá.
It was a great move, though. The Airbnb was amazing.
We spent a day in Cancún—well, mostly in traffic, it should have been a 60-minute drive and it took twice as much. The beach is amazing but the water is rough. For the “swimming pool effect,” Tulum and Playa del Carmen are much better.
We enjoyed Playa del Carmen’s beach, Mark bought souvenirs, and we spent a lot of time in the water. It was pretty eventless, which is good I guess. Oh, wait, Mark cut his hand on a seashell… yeah, not a big deal compared to the famous Argentina “I told you not to jump on the bed!”
In fact, this is how I feel about this trip to Mexico. It was good. Eventless. Straightforward. I guess this is what the Yucatán is about—a gorgeous scenery and a tourist-friendly environment.
The downside is, I don’t think I really connected with Mexico, and I didn’t disconnect much from North America either. I tend to fall in love with places and I always find it hard to leave, but this time, not so much. I can’t picture myself overstaying in Playa del Carmen or Tulum. Nice cities, great beaches… but a weird gringo culture.
The laundry is dry.
Back to packing.
Tomorrow will be an adventure… and I’m not sure I’m ready for it.