Hammocks (January, 28-31)

February 23, 2006  
Topics: Mexico

In Merida we stayed with Carlos, a www.HospitalityClub.org member. We arrived on Sunday and supposed to meet him at 3pm near the Cathedral. Carlos knew we are coming by hitch-hiking and decided to check the meeting place earlier. His feeling was correct – we met Carlos in the market place two hours earlier than expected.

The same day we have visited a photo exhibition, which reflected the real life of Mexico a few decades ago. Later on we have been watching a traditional Yucatan dancing in the market place. The female dancers were wearing white shoes and dressed with white long, a bit quadratic robes, which were embroidered with colorful flower ornaments. The men had white suits, hats and typical white-black sandals. The dancers were really animating, full of pride and history.

During other days we saw Carlos occasionally. He has a strict daily routine 6 days per week. From Monday to Thursday short after 7 a.m. he is leaving for the university, coming back home during the lunch time for a quick shower, a small rest and a meal, and then Carlos hurries up to the nearby cafe, where works as a barkeeper from Monday till Saturday from 3 p.m. until the midnight.

We had quite a relaxing time in Merida. We enjoyed every but one night in our hammocks. That one night was really nerve-racking. Not only that it was hot in my sleeping bag, in which I had to creep to protect myself from the mosquitos that seemed to celebrate a huge festival around my sticking out body parts, like for example my ears and feet. The deeper I crawled into my sleeping bag, the more difficult it became to stand the temperature, which was rising to unbearable heights. When I have had enough from all that, I swang moaning out of my hammock. Now I had another problem: I had no light. At the attempt to find the optimal placed light switch I failed miserably. When asking Augustas with a feeble whimper for the flash light he was too sleepy to help, “it is too complicated to find the flash light now; it is too far away”, he explained. I was taken back. For making this miserable situation an end I decided to join all the nocturnal bugs on the floor. Just having me placed on the mattress down on the floor, Augustas woke up and gave me within one second the flash light, which was trouble-free available in the nearby standing backpack (grrrrrr!). Thus I could switch on the fan and happily creep back into my hammock 😉

Merida is a beautiful city, which has got an interesting flair and a long history, which goes back to the centuries ruled by indigenous Mayan people. In the city museum we have learned a lot about Merida’s history, which actually Carlos had already explained me a few days ago. Just at that time I did not get it all with my half-baked Spanish language knowledge. A new thing for me was the fact that the custom to use coat of arms came from the territory which in our days is called Germany. Augustas was also wondering about the numbering system of the streets. In Merida all the East-West streets have even and North/South streets – odd numbers. In the museum we found out that this numbering system was introduced because the same street names occurred sometimes two or three times in the city, which caused confusion.

Unfortunately, it seems that sellers are influenced by the tourism industry as they are making different prices for the foreigners and the locals. I needed a small shoulder bag. I asked the price. The seller scanned me for a few seconds and asked me to pay 50 pesos (5 $). Our friend Carlos was, luckily, with us, and he explained that the normal price of the item is about 30 pesos (3 $). Carlos bargained for me and at the end I got the shoulder bag for 35 pesos (3,50 $).