continued from previous post . . .
I freshened up a bit to go over to the Casa de los Artistas for the meet and greet. I was so worried about getting to my casita that I never stopped to notice my surroundings. It wasn't until I opened the front door to leave that I looked out of the casita to an incredible view that stopped me in my tracks. Across the dusty road I traveled to get to my new home was a lovely beach, outdoor restaurant/bar, and the mouth of the river where it meets the Ocean! I was so self-absorbed when I came in that I never noticed my casita was ocean front.
Since it was nearly sunset, I decided it would be quicker to "cross the river" than walk back through town and cross the river further up and make my way down the other side through the jungle. Plus I will admit, I was a chicken to walk through the jungle by myself.
I crossed the narrow stretch of beach to the shallow river and slipped off my sandals and rolled up my pants legs. I could see the Casa de los Artistas on the other side and this was literally a 5 minute trek. I gingerly stepped into the water that was ICE COLD and picked my way across the rocky bottom. The current was STRONG and in the center the water got deep! My pants got wet, and I made a mental note to cross a little further away from the mouth next time. It must have been a hilarious site to the other artists already gathered on the balcony above.
I entered the Casa and made my way upstairs to meet my "tribe" for the coming week.
I always dread those first awkward moments when you enter a room and don't know anyone but since we were all in that same position, small talk was a little easier. After a few cocktails, conversation relaxed and we began to get to know each other. We made our way back onto the beach for a simple, yet delicious meal of fresh red snapper.
Getting to know my fellow artists, I quickly discovered I was with a diverse group of artists - they were all very cool and interesting to learn about. Halfway through the meal, a local guy came up to me at the table and offered me a big fat JOINT. I nearly died as I fumbled over my words, "I, uh, I, um, don't really do that." "Oh, senorita," he cooed, "come on, it's a gift for you!" I immediately imagined DEA agents bursting in on the scene as I quickly contemplated my decision NOT to take the weed. Another woman in my group said, "well if she doesn't want it, I'll take it!"
I soon found out that most of the group were from places where pot was legalized and they gave me an quick lesson about everything from medicinal marijuana to cannabis oil to pot gummies. I kept thinking to myself that I had stepped back into the 70's as I looked around the eclectic group discussing their various "dealers" and blends that they partake in. I felt like the uptight soccer mom from Suburbia. Is this real life?
After the meal and entertaining conversation, I made my way back to the Casita. All was very quiet in the little village and I bolted myself in and settled in bed. Thankfully the windows had heavy bars because it was a warm night and I had to open them up to get some cool air.
About the time I started to close my eyes, I heard a car pull up with the radio blasting. More and more cars arrived and I peaked out the window to see a large group gathering on the road and the beach in front of the casita. It was nearly midnight and a band was setting up. I could smell food cooking and hear the laughter and sounds of a party just kicking off.
Exhausted and emotional, the tears rolled down my face as I contemplated my life and felt I was living some altered reality. And as despair was setting in, I began to quiet myself and pray. Between my low sobs, I heard the sounds of a mariachi band. The Cumbia music drifted through my open window and it occured to me that this was beautiful. The sounds of the horns and guitars strumming mixed with strong, harmonized voices. This was Mexico. This was what I had come for. To immerse myself in another culture and run as far away from my normal, boring, sad life as I could.
As the waves and music blended together, moonlight splashed across my bed and I drifted off into a deep and peaceful sleep . . .
to be continued.