Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock
Lawrie – wearing standard island clothes

We wear shorts, t-shirts and sandals 360 days a year.  The other 5 days when the weather is chilly we wear jeans, t-shirts and sandals. 

Gone are my designer label business suits, stiletto heels and nylons.  Lawrie still has one pair of expensive Italian dress shoes, tucked into a storage bin, slowly turning to mounds of fuzzy grey mold. 

When we departed from Canada Lawrie gave away dozens of expensive ties, suits, and dress shirts.  We now live in a small fishing community – Isla Mujeres – not far from Cancun.  Resort style clothing is the norm. 

Island living has skewed our perspective. 

 

 
Back in the day when we still worked!
Our recent jaunt to Guadalajara and Morelia reminded us of the more traditional Mexico.  The residents dressed in business clothes – long pants, shirts and well-polished shoes for the men; dresses and high heels for the women.  Shoeshine stands were plentiful in both cities. 
Here on Isla almost everyone wears sandals, or flip-flops; no shoe polish required.  Many island residents wear t-shirts advertising a political candidate in either an upcoming election, or a previous election.  It’s a free shirt; given out by the thousands during the months before an election.  It doesn’t matter if you support the candidate or not, a free shirt is still a free shirt.
Customers dressed for breakfast in Morelia

In Guadalajara and Morelia we heard English spoken twice during the week.  We struggled to communicate with hotel staff, restaurant servers, and the Ford service department. 

Isla Mujeres, on the other hand, is primarily a resort community with hundreds of expats living here, so the necessity to learn Spanish is not so pressing.  At least six months of the year, we speak English. 
Many English speaking friends on Isla.
During the other six months when our expat friends have returned to Canada or the US, we speak Spanglish, brutally massacring the beautiful language.  We try to speak correctly but our brains just don’t retain the words.  Falling asleep at night allows most of our newly acquired words to leak out of our brains – evaporating quickly into the night air.  It’s hell getting older.
 
Casual Fridays – everyday on Isla
The Spanish spoken here on Isla is different, heavily flavoured with informal island slang and many Mayan words, as most of the inhabitants are of Maya descent.   The Spanish we heard spoken in Guadalajara and Morelia was similar to the Rosetta Stone computer language program.  
I practiced long and hard to say antes-ojos de sol for sunglasses.  Here on Isla, my local friends bust out laughing.  They say: lens. 
The Rosetta Stone program taught us to say carro for an automobile.  On Isla the common word is camioneta for any vehicle: truck, car or van.  But then, this shouldn’t surprise me.  Like Mexico, Canada is a large country stretching 5000 kilometers from coast to coast.  Years ago when Lawrie and I visited the maritime province of Prince Edward Island we discovered that whatever language the islanders were speaking it sure as heck wasn’t English. At least not any form of English that we could understand. 
A few years ago – Puerto Vallarta
Every adventure in Mexico is interesting, fun, and a learning experience. 

We enjoy the diversity. 

Travel helps straighten out our skewed perspective.




2 Replies to “Our skewed perspective of Mexico”

  1. Hey diddle e dee, a flip flop life for me! On one of our longer Isla trips, Craig packed a suit so he'd be able to fly direct back to any job interviews that came up in the U.S. A certain property manager looked in the closet at Luna Turquesa one day and got a good laugh out of that one! LOL

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  2. You can find the same dilemma from coast to coast in the USA, too. So many regional terms for different things! It has been hard to get my husband into shorts on Isla & he finally is wearing Crocs! I'm a big casual dress & sandals girl–here in NE, too!

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