I just read an online article about the top 10 things Americans can not live without. I wont even bother to repeat the ‘things’ that were mentioned, as they were just things. What this article did do though is inspire us to think what are the top 10 things we can not live without in Playa del Carmen. Visitors may be surprised, but residents and locals will be nodding their heads in agreement, over and over again. It is funny how priorities change and your idea of ‘must have’ items change when you move into another culture, environment and destination.
1. Chilies — A day without chilies or a salsa is like a day without sunshine. There are so many chilies to try and so many chili salsas to eat, that really a day does not go by without some sort of Chile infusion. It could be through tacos, candy, a drink, a beer, a martini, a juice, pizza. Chilies literally go on and in everything (you add these to your food in the amount that you desire) It is not until you go elsewhere that you realize how many chilies ones eats in a day, in some shape or form.
2. The Sun–You will hear it on Facebook, twitter, blogs and in conversations. If we get a tropical shower (which can last from 2 minutes to 2 hours) we all shut down. Rain, though needed, is not something we like, and when the sun disappears for longer than 5 minutes behind a cloud we get cranky. We love the sun, the heat and the weather, anything below 80F is cold!
3. Tomatoes. This is somewhat like the chili deal. The Mexican diet has tomatoes as a staple, including cilantro and onions. Pico de Gallo, a fresh tomato salsa, is a staple in households with it being eaten once a day. It is fresh, delicious and wonderful. Tomatoes are sweet, juicy and fresher than fresher.
4. Friends. This can be visitors, residents and tourists. We like friends and our day really is surrounded by our friends. A day does not go by without a quick chat on the street, a wave in the car, or a quiet walk somewhere with a good friend or visitor. When you have been in Playa for longer than 5 days, you too will be waving, chatting and visiting with new friends.
5. Outside–Never will you see anyone staying inside all day long. Our lives are external, either on the beach, in the jungle, walking on the street or sitting on a deck. Closed doors and windows, whether it be in the car or in the house, is not how we live. Ocean breezes are what we love, and ocean breezes is what we look for…
6. Tacos–we may not eat them every day but we love, love, love tacos. Tacos Pastor, fish tacos, shrimp tacos, veggie tacos, chicken tacos, you name the taco….it is a necessary part of existence, not live but existence.
7. An Event. Everyone works, but everyone plays, and an event can be about anything; a party for someone leaving, a party for someone who is arriving, a dinner to celebrate a birthday, an outing to see a cultural event, the list goes on and on. Life is tough when you need to go to events, and I would say if all events were cancelled, we would be lost. It becomes a part of your routine, and it is a part of what we do. The Riviera Maya without an event, hmmmmm I don’t think so….cant see it, and if it did happen, I think people would move.
8. Flip Flops–I dont think I need to expand. Life without flip flops, geez then that would not be life.
9. Bathing suit–Again I don’t think that i need to expand on this one at all, a bathing top we could go without, but a bathing suit…yikes…then what would we do….
10. Fresh Fruit–Papaya, Melon, limes, pineapple, pitahya (dragon fruit) mangos, bananas, watermelon……oh life would not be worth living without these delicious, fresh, wonderful, fruits either eaten fresh and whole or in a juice…life without our fruit….hmmmm
So we are not looking for a life that demands a car, a cell phone, a smart phone (though i know many who may go into convulsions if they did not have their Blackberrys, iPhones and social networks) big houses, etc. Our needs are simple, easy and local. Which is why we are here….and not anywhere else. And which is why people visit Playa del Carmen over and over again.