Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 14

Day 14 began with the promise of plenty of sun, and it stayed the whole day. It also began with a wind from the north that prompted you to hang onto your hat. So the decision was to forget the North Beach, though I went for a walk there this morning, and saw a significantly diminished beach with amazing waves.

So what to do on Day 14 of a 14 day vacation? All of those things I either wanted to do or enjoyed so much that I want to do it again. That meant Heuvos Mortulenos for breakfast, with orange juice. I haven't figured out dinner yet, but have many ideas. Perhaps later I will happen upon Lupita who is the feeder-of-the-island cats. She carries bags that are full of: dry cat food, cans of wet food, empty bowls. She goes to various locations around the island in the evening; many of the cats are waiting for her. There are a total of 120 cats that hang out on the island. Most of them have had their operations thanks to volunteer vets. Lupita does her rounds every evening.

In addition to the cats, the streets are alive after the sun goes down. People wander up and down, some are eating at tables that line the street. There are both local islanders and travellers.

What I have noticed about the travellers is that most do not travel alone. Those that do frequently stay at the hostel. Cancun, which we can see from the west shore, is a 20-minute ferry ride away, but the difference between the two places is like being on different planets. Still, the island does get to see the Cancun people; these people, I call:

Day Trippers: They arrived in big boats with loud dancing music; they come for bar service right to their beach chairs. Sometimes you may see them in the shops.

There are also:

Long Timers: These people stay on the island for more than a month. They may go to the mainland to get staples often at Super Stores (Costco, Walmart, Sam's Club). The long-timers usually make some of their meals, but they are important people to talk to if you want to know good restaurants. The long-timers have a conflict. They are very excited about life on Isla Mujeres and cannot contain themselves with their enthusiasm; they want to pass it on. But, they don't want the place to be spoilt so part of them wants to keep it all to themselves. There are sub-groups of the long-timers: those that speak Spanish, and those that don't.

There are also vacationers. These poor buggers have only so much vacation time each year and it is all spread too thin. They often ask questions to the long-timers, to the effect, "how do you do it?"

The charm of Isla Mujeres does not happen right away. But once you have been bespelled, returning is a must. Long-timers may buy property or a time share; vacationers, when they are wandering the streets, look for longer-term rentals in hopes that they can find a way of being independently wealthy.

There are also purists. Once they get on the island, they have no desire to leave. Cancun is nothing but a hassle, so they avoid it like the plague. Purists can either be Long Timers or Vacationers.

Time to find dinner... perhaps a crepe as well....

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