Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Be a traveller ... and make notes along the way

I have done a goodly amount of travel in my life.  Some was for work and other was with family and often I travelled alone, tagging a trip onto the end of an assignment. While the latter is great (you have time to write notes and can travel self-indulgently) it's more fun to have someone to nudge when you see that wacky something or other. Putting it on Facebook just doesn't do it.  Lately, my husband and I have been travelling around Mexico quite a bit and there's not a day goes by when one doesn't nudge the other!  There is much to gasp at, to laugh at and stare at.  There is a level of national obesity here that defies description.  Those Walmartian pictures are NOTHING compared with the Mexicano Walmartians who seem to take as much pride in their bulk from an early age as Tonga's famed late Queen Salote, once holding the record as the tallest and fattest queen ever.  She was often used as a threat in our family home: 'Don't take that second slice of cake or you'll end up like Queen Salote'.  But I digresss.  The other day, I was camera-less. Damn!  And there before my eyes, a bulky miss leaned over before me to pick the choicest tomatoes from the hillock in the supermarket green section.  Alas, the combo of mini-dress and thong failed when combined with the rolls of brown fat that rippled up to her waist in full view of everyone.  She was unconcerned.  People flash bits of themselves here that would be pixelated in 'Survivor' before you can say "Come on in, guys!'.  We notice that in Puerto Vallarta, the gas, water, fruit and fish purveyors put out as much noise as they can to get attention.  In Guadalajara, they whistle softly, or ring a little bell, sing their wares quite beautifully (and sometimes I can understand) and still get sales.  We do much of our exploring on public buses and yesterday broke all records for bussing to undesirable suburbs by accident. It was interesting to see that in this colonia, which had featured in the international news as the site of a biffo between drug cartels, kids still went to school. washing still hung on lines and life just seemed to go on.  There seems to be a higher degree of razor wire in the 'nice' suburbs.  I suppose the others just feel they have nothing more to lose.  We came out of it OK, spending the rest of the day walking in the Parque Colomos, a forested area criss-crossed with running tracks, a great amount of free to use fitness equipment all over the place.  Which made me realise why people in Guadalajara are way thinner than those in Puerto Vallarta.  There are few parks in PV. Just the beach. Lots of that but many of those have been closed off by resorts.  And few people in the city can swim.  For some reason, they just don't get taught, nor do they seem to have the places to do laps and work off the blubber that is drowning their young folk and taking up much shelf space in the Farmacias for diabetic treatments.

If I had stayed in my safe, comfy house in Bulleen, Australia, yes, I would have had my flock of visiting lorikeets and magpies but I wouldn't have seen any of this!

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