Monthly Archives: February 2021

Oh, the Noise, Noise, Noise, NOISE

“Sleeping is hard”
the old gringo suggested
at a meeting of townsfolk
the salón quite congested

Many residents turned out
to see what could be done
for the noise levels of late
too high had become

Others nodded that they,
too, had difficulties sleeping
for the bars down the street
towards them now were creeping

Merida’s yuppies, you see
from their north city perch
were “discovering” centro;
and drunkenly they’d lurch

from cantinas to bars
and from bars to cantinas
they puked on front doors,
cackling, like in-heat hyenas

They peed on parked cars,
and on trees newly planted,
in flower pots, on gates;
they sang and they chanted

The gringos of course,
with restored antique homes,
were sick of the partying,
the watts, volts and ohms

The loud music you see,
was the worst part of all,
booming into the night,
it would shake every wall

El derecho ajeno…
tired expats would quote
Benito Juarez’s speech
they all knew now by rote

A conflict was brewing
with resentment in the air
both sides were quite angry
and tempers would flare

The partyers were offended
and angrily cried
“We’re reviving our customs;
our city hasn’t died!”

They continued like this
the spoiled yuppies would foam
“If the gringos don’t like it,
they should pack up and go home!”

Some went a bit further,
xenophobic and furious
“stupid gringos should have known,
and bought land in some curious

hacienda or village
far away from the city
no bars or cantinas, and
an existence less gritty.

What they didn’t realize
kids privileged and bored
was that the gringos had come
and their downtown restored

It was they with their love,
with their patience; their money
who fixed up El Centro
and wasn’t it funny

that now Merida’s centro
had recovered its charm,
new restaurants and bars
all started to swarm

and what once were just houses
on quiet residential streets
became targets for investors
to increase their receipts

So now here we stand
at an impasse, it seems
while the conflict continues,
El Diario prints reams

about musicians and artists;
this regulation, that norm;
about sleep-deprived gringos;
and an imminent storm.

The Memory of the Milpa

Tales from the World of Tourism

Sembrando mais, frijol, calabaza

We are returning from a very early morning visit to Celestun and are taking the back road to Merida, via the haciendas and Maxcanú. One of our stops is at the village of Kochol where the ruins of a once majestic sisal plantation slowly disintegrate.

Casa Principal – Hacienda Kochol

My travel companions/guests wander over to the ruined hacienda building for a photo or two. Looking around, I see someone in a red baseball cap on the ground nearby.

¿Que está haciendo?” I ask what turns out to be an ancient campesino sitting on the ground, determinedly scraping the dirt.

Estoy sembrando, mira.” He waves his arm out around him, looking up, squinting, at me. “Ahi tengo mais, frijol, calabaza.”

His ‘milpa‘ is a patch of dirt behind the village public school and on the grounds of the crumbling former sisal hacienda, a short distance away. I don’t see corn, beans, or squash, but I realize that in his mind he is back in his fields, doing what he and the Mayans have done for hundreds of years.

I look over to see that the village drunk has stumbled over to socialize with the selfie-taking pair by the broken steps of what used to be the hacienda’s ‘casa principal‘. Another individual on a motorcycle shows up as well. My travel companions/guests are two women, Americans. Always a target for would-be Lotharios.

Time to get back to work.

Hacienda Kochol – February 2020