Mexico

Every morning a group of boys probably between the ages of nine and thirteen showed up at the beach on a fancy golf cart with off-road wheels. Four or five of them crammed themselves in and held on to the back and held on to their surfboards when they left for the day. I’m pretty sure one of them gave us the finger.

We went to a fancy place in Todos Santos for oysters. It had been a while since I’d eaten oysters and I couldn’t remember how, like, do you chew them? And on my first one I just held it in my mouth for a second unsure of what to do and I accidentally made eye contact with our server and he laughed and then I laughed at myself with my mouth full of oyster.

On our last morning the whales put on such a show–flipping their tails and jumping and crashing back into the water like thunder–the whole surf lineup yipped and hollered for them.

*******

We went to Mexico during the Omicron peak which wasn’t how we planned it but it was how it happened. Collectively we wonder, is it wrong to travel now? What is wrong now, I don’t really know. What frustrates me is that now we are starting to see international travel as morally dubious. For the truth is, white Americans traveling to “underdeveloped” countries has always been morally dubious, etched with a long history of colonialism and imperialism. Where we go others will speak English to us and accept our currency and our pathogens. Covid is nothing new, it just adds to the list.

Is the answer that we don’t go? All I know is that not going can’t possibly be right. Mexico. I like the way it feels to say it. At our best we bend to each other. We speak some English and some Spanish. We revere the animals and the plants and the architecture (also, especially, the wild dogs). When kids give us the finger, we laugh.

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