Mezcal y Tequila: The Tale of 2 Spirits

The Tale of 2 Spirits

First off why the hell is some alcohol called spirits. Does it open us up to demonic possession? Was the first alcohol given to us from an angelic being? I mean really what is the deal???

Well, I did a little digging and when I say “a little” I mean, I #Igoogledit and…

A “spirit” is distilled alcohol that contains no added sugar.

The term spirit comes from Middle Eastern alchemy. Dosen’t that sound sinister. The vapor given off and collected during an alchemical process, like in the distillation of alcohol,  was called a spirit of the original material. So there it is our experimenting forefathers deemed it to be a new creation. Now back to the topic.

What is the difference between Mezcal and Tequila?

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Immigrating To Mexico

We made it to our new country. Mexico! We are formally aliens of the Yucatan Peninsula. We livin in Merida, Mexico y’all -for the next year…. we think. The life of moving from city to city and country to country is the epitome of freedom to us. We love it! This moment in time is defined by the world wide refugee crisis, the vile actions if ICE and the cavalier, privileged attitude of #Merica. With all of the things going on we are grateful to make the moves that we make. To make the coin that we make and to have found a love to build together. This life and lifestyle suits us to the T. International friends, good drinks, and not knowing where we may be living or what experiences to even anticipate having from month to month is the shiznitz to us. Read more

Merida: Quintana Roo and the People

The Yucatan peninsula is full of fascinating beauty people and culture. Alot of places had that tourist vibe but once you fought through to the soul it was gorgeous.  This subculure for lack of a better word created a feeling of unrest as a spirit of despair no subservience no contempt subversiveness contemptment filled the Maya. They held the lowliest jobs, their living conditions were reflected ……but nothing about them were in the least bit pitiable. We delved into these interesting bright faced people. Interestingly enough they found us very interesting. People wanted to touch Apryl’s hair and take pictures with us. People were taking the creeper shots of us as we walked down city streets. You know how it goes o e person poses in front of us while the other snaps a shotbof us. Of course me being us being who we are we photo bomed them. I tried to get a picture of them taking a picture of me but it didnt work out.
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Of them ans smiled big for the others.

I am very familiar with it because I live in it daily in Black America. We are apart of the mainstream and us old schoolers hild a bit of contempt for mainstream not just for their shallow morals or hypothetical principles but mostly for dissallowing us’ es admission for so long. Now that we have gained money and cultural influence over mainstream Am err ica there seems to be allot of amnesia or is it forgiveness I cant tell. I guess it depends on whi you are talking to. The same held true for Quintana Roo. One of the gringos tried to tell us that the Maya had a different set of priorities and didnt care for modern convenience but when we spoke to the Maya that was not their sentiment. I think it interesting how people see what they are comfortable seeing instead of what is before their eyw.
but at the same time we don’t buy what mainstream is selling. Well that used to be our culture now it seems we don’t sell-out any more but we buy into the corrupt system we wanted to usurp just a 20 years ago…I am straying though. When we arrived to Merida we started to notice the stark differences between a particular people and the mainstream populace. This other group was poorer, worked in the janitorial type positions…they were the Maya but proud of who they were and their heritage. We turned heads everywhere we went because of what I believe was a sincere curiosity. They are not used to Black Folk and as ambassadors of Faith and my people we were cognizant of our hosts and it was cool to be the stars for a while. It was interesting because we went out of our way to stay away from gringos. I felt a connection with the Maya people. The more that I learned about their story, their heritage, and their history, the more fascinated I became.

Land

People

maya north americas largest indegenous population

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The man bag was a big-big deal in the YucatanIMAG0418_BURST002_COVER

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The family centered fun-loving and humble people of the Yucatan treated Us well. As long as you have a magnanimous attitude toward the tourist attacks, it is a wonderful place to visit. Of the tree cities that we spent the most time in Cancun was by far the most preditory. But we stayed in the hood not to be confused with the slums. I feel like the word slum really paints a graphic picture of despair. I find it interesting to begin to understand the

Merida: Orange Shirt Dribble

IMAG0451Sitting in another bus station. You’re not vacationing until you take that #tripintrip. It seems as if the Mexican bus station is the hotspot in every town. This one is taking us to the Dzitilchaltun ruins…. of course we are at risk of missing the bus we both needed to use the bathroom we agreed that one would go while the other listed out for our bus. Its fun ti listen out for your bus route to be announced in a foreign tongue. Anyway, only one of us got to use it (must it always be ladies 1st ) :-).
We’re boarded. The bus is well worn, wish I would have worn pants. I am playing peek-a-boo  with a little Mayan girl Peek-a-boo who seems fascinated with me. My hair, maybe my funny polka dot looking skin, or maybe the attention I am feeding her who knows. She cant keep from peeking. I believe we are on the right bus we’ll see soon enough. The radio is playing some cool tunes that the driver is blaring (bouncing where I come from or turnt-up in the stream of current vernacular). I am happy that the bus isn’t crowded. A crowded dirty bus would make me itch. I’m digging this adventure within the adventure though. We got word of this possible excursion this morning via our host Isabella. We woke up with an agenda learned about these ruins and fell back to this trips philosophy no obligations. Which meant we were locked into nothing and flexible enough for anything. Isabella told us about the trip and mentioned that the bus that went to these ruins did not make frequent trips. So we left the house determined to see these ruins. Camera 360 Camera 360

This bus has no shocks and its stop and slam on the brakes motion is causing some alarm. Not of an accident but for my teeth that I am paying so much to make over. I think that is so gringo. Everything is related to cost and efficiency.  There was a little pride in that. The efficiency of being me. Bullshit I sell myself. Life is bigger than efficiency. I know this but I like to pretend that all of the time that I have spent finding the shortest highest paying route to happiness is success. There is absolutely nothing spiritually satisfying…. Wow(!) Merida is gorgeous we’re passing through some wonderful urban areas IMAG0470Sleep Bar. I really want to see the housing stock in this area. Currently I havent seen anything remarkable. Ive only see poverty stricken, poor, lower middle class and a plastic city.  Now the little girl is obsessed with Apryl and her head dress. She loves and likes her mom. You see it in her eyes. My youngest son never liked me always loved me never cared for my brashness. He never liked or understood my hard edges. I like that he only understands harness from music and tv.  In his defense my edges cut deep. I draw blood in relationships. Beyond the superficial edges is the heart of a matter. My heart makes my edges worth the effort. My heart is my strength all else are liabilities that must be managed. I feel like my life lessons revolve around managing myself. Management  devastation are my only options.

It just started pouring outside as we are approaching our drop off  destination. I don’t speak what I feel. I love the rain , it adds to our story. Okay we’re off to walk a 1/2 mile in the rain I am probably more excited than I should be…..Rain Walk  rains s
Bus let us off 200 meters from the ruins. Our vacation is one of no commitments. We made it out here on a humble by hearing about something and then hustling ti make it happen. You need a partner for these adventures someone who is also mutable.

Missed bus
Caught a motor taxi in the rain to the town Calhavatal?  Missed our opportunity to catch the 1st van b/c bbg was tossing a piece of refuge in the trash (even though we were standing in wet trash). We needed to rush the van to pack ourselves in by the time we got to the van there wasn’t even standing room. I was slightly taken back but we made a pact -no obligations. Not 5 mins later a larger bus…the same one? W/o the crowding. It seems the bus driver just decided to roll our way. Our stop was not on his route. I’m putting it on God and appreciating his attention. Interesting to note that it wasn’t for the dough. As soon as we hit town the bus was packed and I mean Mexican packed. There were folks standing next to the driver and in all of the doorways. We were squished sitting I  our seats. This was public transportation on a different level.
We arrived back in town to our destination and there was a large crowd converging on an accident….

NYE in Cancun

We arrived in Cancun on the 31st of December around 3:40 pm. We didn’t check into our hotel (The Sweet Suite) until 9:40 pm. Nader Hotel & Suites.

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Immediately we were thrust into our little adventure by not knowing the times and procedures for catching the local ADO bus to downtown where our place was located. It was an urban adventure to say the least. After catching our bus (two hours after landing) and backpacking through the city with no WiFi signals, no gps; just a map and a little Spanish to help us find our way to our place. We were oblivious to the adventure that lay before us and oblivious to God’s Grace that surrounded our little escapade. It didn’t matter what the circumstance, whichever way you read it, we were blessed and ignorantly bliss.

New Years Eve and we are out walking along a frenzied market district, dodging congested and erratic traffic as we cross Cancún’s broad streets and darkened alleys until we found our destination at 9:30 pm that evening. While walking we settled on our New Years celebration location. We met an older gentleman  from Detroit (Joe) while we were waiting for our bus. Well we met him and another cool young adventurer making her way throughout Mexico.  Joe invited us over to Isla Mujeres, a small island situated off the coast of Cancún to bring in the New Year. We’d have to catch the ferry from Puerto Juarez to make it to the island. Fireworks at the beach, how could you go wrong? Upon arrival into our room  we got settled, dropped everything and decided we needed some food.

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Sanborns: fetching something to eat from a little mom-n-pop joint. We sat down at the counter and waited at least 10min before remembering that service may be a little different in a different country. We were hungry, it was time to flag someone down. Apryl ordered 3 taquitos while we munched on chips. Those taquitos came with the best guacamole we’ve ever tasted!

Alright, time to get ready.We poured ourselves into preparing to go out for the New Year.

Showers. Grooming. Selfies…

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Before long we looked up and it was 11 O’clock! We raced outside, flagged down a cab -bridged our communication gap through our cabbies dispatcher who could speak a little English….we were finally headed to Puerto Juarez.

We arrived to the port at 11:20 it appeared that we were going to make it in time for the fireworks, our midnight kiss, and a little celebrating. I was excited to see all of the boats swaying on the sea. We were poised to take our position aboard one and propel through the sea in the thick of this night…but that is not what happened. As we approached the aged attendant he muffled in a language something that I couldn’t understand through my ears but felt in my heart. I continued our conversation with something that he too didn’t understand with his ears but felt in his heart. We both comprehended the full meaning of our discourse. He was happy to be off of the clock. I was pissed to leave a loser.

We raced back up the doc. We spotted our cabby and climbed in. He was ours now whether he knew it nor not. He mustered a drawled “closed”? I replied “Si hombre, Hotel Zone Senior Frogs por favor”. The Hotel Zone was recommended by someone at the airport but 20 minutes into the drive I could have sworn we were on Rodeo! There was a complete shift in the scenery and the atmosphere. Not to knock the Hotel Zone but we didn’t come to Mexico for a resort style experience nor to party with tourists. Luckily, we were both in unison and asked the cabby to take us back downtown. He saw our disappointment and asked if we liked the “disco”. We could not have grinned wider 🙂 It was 11:45pm and we were happy.

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He led us to a local strip with restaurants, bars and discotecas within walking distance from our digs. He gave his very welcomed opinion, dropped us off, and waved goodbye. Happy New Year man. 

Walking along the strip, the clock struck 12 and we took a pause for the cause. New Years together, year 2, and we are content.

We spotted a joint and went in. Upstairs, open space, plenty of seating, music playing, empty dance floor. Not long after, the dance floor filled up with us in tow.

We enjoyed the rest of the very early morning listening to a one man mariachi performance that flowed into a comedy bit.

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Mariachi! Is what he repeated with a robust bravado. One arm bent at the elbow with his finger pointing to God and the other in a half embrace. Mariachi! He would shout between performances and drinking from his (and others) tequila bottles and the crowd always responded with a congratulatory roar. We may not have understood completely what was being said or when to laugh but it was cast as a instantaneous classic memory for us. We were not caught up in the spirit we emanated a thankful, God is gracious, this moment in time is precious/live/unique moment in time Spirit. We left our marks all over the dance floor and vibed with the people of Cancun, MX -all evening long.

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Yea, that last one is blurry but probably the best of the batch.

Cancun’s Native Perspective

On our vacations thanks to Airbnb, we have been able to reside in the epicenters of cities we visit. For us that is ultra important.We are definitely caught up in the beauty of places. The beauty in the people the beauty in the culture the distinctive ways that we differ from one another. The humanistic ways that we relate to one another. You find this consuming beauty everywhere but it is always beneath the surface. The naked eye is often a lie. She she sees the shadow of what could be and mistakes it for a present reality. But beneath the surface you find the pulse of a generation. You find the motivations of a people. This is the it that we search for when we travel.

The tower of Bable’s dismount broke us up but it created pockets of gorgeous communities throughout the world. I want to see it. I want to see the beautiful. I want to experience the unwrapping of the present.  What happens when beauty is disassembled? -You end up with a lot of beautiful places with the grotesque in-between. What do I mean…and he made it gorgeous Cultural influences, what are the I don’t like feeling like a tourist.  Sincere relations is what gets me going. Raising a family that is based on relation not blood…anyway.  We  also don’t want to pay the tourist prices or go to touristy places. I want…we want to get the best feel for wherever we are visiting through the people. That said of course you can only get a partial . She and I wanted to get a better understanding of our southern neighbors so we decided to take a Mexican vacation and go as deep into to the country as we could safely go. We decided to visit the Yucatan Peninsula and stay in locations that would allow us to interact with ThePeople.

To begin our adventure we flew into Cancún. We opted to reside among the people in Cancún. We, she and I that is, rented an apartment (from a native) in downtown Cancún instead of  staying in The Hotel   Zone.
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This was one of our better decisions. The apartment was lush and perfect and it put us among the people of Cancún which was exactly what we wanted.

Our first Mexican experience was an authentic Mexican resteraunt called
Sanborns.

It was a familia restaurante chain. Being African-Americans with dreadlocs and braids did not alow us the ambiguity that I desired but I believe that not being white Americans and somewhat speaking the language earned us a pass…I think the mexican culture is not overtly passive. If you do not make yourself known you will not be served. We sat ourselves at the counter for a good while before I interrupted one of the quite busy patrons to take our order. I’m being nice it was ghetto. I mean, it was clean and it was apparent that someone took great pride in the establishment but there was that clutter and clang of in activity. The sound of people appearing busy so I studied the postures and conversations that were going on around me…they were all familia! -and then the bull dog came out of the kitchen dressed in his cooking gear (mask over his beard, gloves on his hands) and discretely but aggressively had conversations with two different groups and then actual work started to be done…until he went back to the kitchen. I couldn’t help but think of home. I was reminded of the family owned Popeye’s chicken that closed it’s doors after a year  and countless other family ventures that fizzle because of family familiarity…#Ghetto   
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Isla Mujeres

Half speaking the language half gesturing we waved down a combi (a shuttle van filling the gap in public transportation). 13 deep we rolled-out to our final destination. We hustled got some direction written on a Burger King napkin, backtracked about 3 times but we finally got the right bus…

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While walking home last night, after our awesome New Years evening the city was washing out 2013. The streets were flooded. Evidently while we were two-stepping and salsa’ing the night away the weather was doing its own one two on the city (glad we were not on an island ;-).

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The major cleansing had already happened. My future and I walked through Cancun’s flooded streets beneath a lite drizzle. At times we had to detour by entire city blocks to cross the street, while trying to stay our course in what we hoped was the right direction of home was #Quality.

Another NY, another country, another great night. It feels like memory lane is being decorated and we are just a part of the decor. That walk home may have been the best part. A little rain, semi-lost, with gentle hands and kisses between flooded city blocks in a foreign land. It was nice. Our conversation was just as soft as our gestures nothing too heavy just a nice flow. We decided that we would find Port Juarez to see the island that we didn’t get to see tonight. We wanted to travel like everyone else did who lived in the city, not by cab…But first we would hit Walmart to stock up on food and supplies for our stay in the Yucatan.

It was all so real, it was surreal. We found our way home easily (for the most part), mostly because earlier that evening we explored the general area looking for our place…that’s another story. We made it home after stopping for some junk food and refreshments. We were heading up to our sweet suite for the night when the night attendant interrupts us and hands us a voucher for a discounted breakfast in the adjoining restaurant Cafe Nader. Camera 360

Over breakfast on new years day we made our agenda. A hike to Walmart, lunch and then find our way to Port Juarez to catch a ferry over to Isla Mujers.

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Finding Port Juaraz was not easy with the language barrier and Us being oblivious to the public transportation system.

 

 

Our Time on Isla Mujers

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Riding along the gulf of Mexico. Pitch of night. High tides. Live music playing with my arm around my Love. The skies ceiling is painted with what seems like a million luminary creatures singing their song to me. To me, because this moment is frozen in time. The hard swaying of the ship, the performer singing in a soft song in a foreign tongue, with my woman fast asleep in my arms for most of our seafaring journey. She worked hard today. We don’t vacation as tourists we go-hard on anthropological adventures. We absorb the culture as much as we can by hanging with the locals as much as we can.  Coasting back to Cancún to prepare for departure in the morning. The urban portion of our adventure is coming to an end. At least some portion of the population spoke English here. We are headed deeper into the country tomorrow. Heading into Merida where we are not expecting to run into too many folks who communicate in our native tongue.

On our way back to our suite we grab some KFC and some ice cream as we are walking we run it to a family-type of festival going on. Kids racing mini-cars, food vendors everywhere, games, and more singing. Mexico loves to sing. This is a nice end to our stay in Cancun.

-Today was a good day.