Covid-19 and Merida: Why Its Still a Great City

Merida is still a great city. It could be proving to be even better than we originally thought. Covid-19 has caused this city to shine.  We are learning a lot about Merida while living through the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine here. The “time-out” that the world has been forced to take has helped us to open our eyes and understand Merida, the city, on a more intimate and political level. We are definitely more tied into the politics than we ever wanted to be. As foreigners here during a virus attack that is primarily brought here by foreigners we are also very tuned into how the people are reacting to our presence.

Merida is well known as the safest place in all of Mexico and this experience, living here through a deadly pandemic has shown us why. Here are 5 things that we have learned about Merida while we have been quarantined here. Read more

Staying In Mexico: Covid-19 Chronicles

Yes, there was a broad call of repatriation. Mass amounts of expats flew back to the United States and the United States helped a ton of people get out of some very sticky situations. Me and my house were blessed enough not to need the assistance. We have been living in Merida, MX for the past 8 months and we did not feel the need to leave. In fact we were quite relieved when the US announced that they were shutting down the US – Mexico border for all non-essential travel. Read more

Merida: Quintana Roo and the People

The Yucatan peninsula is full of fascinating beauty people and culture. A lot 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 contemptuousness 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 shot of us. Of course we photo bombed them. I tried to get a picture of them taking a picture of me but it didn’t 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 have a bit of contempt for mainstream not just for their shallow morals or lack of principles but mostly for dissallowing us’ es admission for so long. Now that we have gained money and cultural influence over mainstream Amerika there seems to be allot of amnesia or is it forgiveness I can’t tell. I guess it depends on who you are talking to. The same held true in Quintana Roo. One of the gringos tried to tell us that the Maya had a different set of priorities and didn’t care for modern convenience but when we spoke to the Maya that was not their sentiment. I think it is interesting how people see what they are comfortable seeing instead of what is before their eyes.
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 thesystem 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.

 

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

Love is love…IMAG0507   20140116113513428

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 predatory and Merida was the most welcoming.

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…

Camera 360 Camera 360

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.