By Freda Rumford from the December 2011 Edition
It is strange but true, that after living in a foreign place for a few years, it becomes no longer foreign and things that were so different originally become every day or common place occurrences.
When we moved from England to Canada many years ago, I was almost overcome at times that a country with the same language could seem and a be so very different. I wrote regularly to my family, several page long letters describing what I was seeing and explaining the differences but after a while, the letters started getting shorter and eventually, I really found it tough to know which was the old and which was the new. In fact upon returning to England on holiday, I actually felt more of a foreigner. I really no longer know which spelling is English and which Canadian or American (different again in many instances) nor do I know which words belong to which item; which is a bonnet and which is a hood for instance? I do know a tire from a tyre and a lift from an elevator though.
Now, move south to Mexico and it becomes even more confusing because of the language barrier but at least here I know that I don’t know, the language. That is one hurdle down but just the same, after a while, everything originally so very foreign and different, again becomes familiar and we forget what wonders we are seeing and how wonderful it is to have a thunderstorm rather than a whiteout!
That is where having visitors can become such a joy and a gift to us. In taking them around to see the town of Manzanillo and surrounds, we can plan what to go and see instead of wondering what an earth there is to do today. Instead of my staying indoors and writing for hours, how much more fun it was to go to Roosters in Melaque or to Antonio’s or Don Andres Ranch in Manzanillo for breakfast.
For several days whilst my friend was here, I actually managed to get to the beach, sit and relax whilst getting some long needed sun tanning in at the Oasis Beach Club or at La Audencia Beach. We were able to watch the Mexican families at play and lay back and enjoy a cerveza or two, something I had not made time for in almost a year.
So where else is there to go and have fun in Manzanillo? This is not a tourist haven like Cancun or even Puerto Vallarta but we have several sets of tiangis markets; several places that we can shop for the different and actual “Hecho in Mexico” items to take home. Wonderful tablecloths in the brilliant check patterns which wash like a dream; exquisite embroidered linens, dresses and blouses from Oaxaca; pottery either brightly painted or the beautiful Talavera dinnerware with dishes in all shapes and sizes. There is pewter ware, silver with or without gemstones; papier-mâché people, or beautifully strange wooden animal figurines; and let us not forget the blankets and hammocks. So much is available (and made in Mexico) to take home to those not lucky enough to make the journey south or just as a remembrance of a great holiday.
I took Fred downtown on Monday where we had lunch at the Colonial Hotel; to play Wizard at La Huerta on Tuesday afternoon; to a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house on Thursday; to learn Bridge on Friday; to learn Spanish on Saturday, out to dinner at different restaurants each other night all of which were thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. Whether it were Toscana for a lovely well prepared and served dinner or to Captain’s Fish & Chips where we went three times to try his specials and where I had and enjoyed the blackened fish twice. Margaritas available everywhere were marvellous as were piña coladas and cerveza. There is nothing so enjoyable as an ice cold beer on a hot afternoon.
The biggest joy of all were the comments that came-unprompted; never had he felt so comfortable, enjoyed meeting so many delightful people, felt so completely safe and surprise-surprise, on the orderliness of the Mexican roads and drivers!! He should have been here when the roads were being redone for the past few months!!
He left earlier than originally planned so that he could look around Puerto Vallarta but not before he was asking questions about holiday accommodation options and the promise that one day he would return. There was insufficient time to visit Colima, La Manzanilla to see the crocodiles, walk the beach and have lunch at Jolanda’s; to
Minatitlan to the water park and slides or to Cuyutlan to see the baby turtles (and perhaps be lucky enough to be able to release some of the little critters), those treats are for next time.