05 May 2010

5 de Mayo

No Mariachi’s, no dancing girls, and no 5 de Mayo in Puerto Vallarta; it was just another day in May.

It was during my morning beach walk that I really noticed the difference between December and May in this town. There are tourists, but nothing compared to the throngs that crowd the beach areas during the winter months. There seemed to be considerably fewer street hawkers selling jewelry out of suitcases and the ones I did run into were far less aggressive. I am never bothered by the constant sales pitches one gets while walking along the beach or on the Malecón, (the beach boardwalk). People need to survive and I thank my lucky stars I am not in their shoes.

In the shops and the crafts markets it was the same; very few tourists and laid-back sales personnel. Great for me, not so great for the stores.

Random thoughts and observations occupied the rest of my day. Like why are the hills I look out upon from my little balcony not that brilliant green they were in December? I do know that the rainy season is at the end of the summer and that winter is dry here, but it just seems so odd to see patches of dull green and brown in the spring. Especially since I just flew down form an emerald green California.

My mind was taken off that subject when I walked by the local newsstand, which is often just a row of newspapers laid out on the sidewalk. Graphic front page photos of dead bodies and car wrecks greet the passersby. This has been going on at least as long I as have been traveling south of the boarder. In the US, television news broadcasts have been airing corpses for some time now, and print media does their fair share, but they will never rival Mexican papers.

A stroll to the main plaza in the late afternoon is always a good idea and today was no exception. The pigeons had taken up residence in the trees and were having the best time talking to each other, scrounging for crumbs and keeping all of us entertained.

I almost forgot one rather small, but stellar experience I had earlier in the day; I saw two parrots up in a tree. (I hadn’t seen any on my last trip here which had been a disappointment). These guys were making so much noise I figured they must be rather large. However, it took quite some time for me to spot them because they were so small. I tried to get a picture but I don’t have the zoom capabilities necessary so all I got was tree.

Time to go to bed and actually sleep; yet another difference from the winter months. Although I am in the old section of town, with small cobblestone streets and low buildings, the noise at night used to be unbearable. Definitely it was unsleepable. I had thought it was only because of the way noise from cars and buses echoed off the buildings. I now realize that a lot of that din was a result of cars filled with tipsy merry-makers, their stereos blasting, cruising at speeds way too fast for this neighborhood.

Kate (there are 2 parrots in this picture)