sunburnt (and the mysterious jar of mayonnaise)

The overcast skies feel very welcome on my sunburnt head. Considering I’m a somewhat bald dude, I welcome the change of sickly white to somewhat tan.

This giant burst of sun came from sitting on a beach near the port of Cozumel, Mexico — a tourist island off the mainland of Mexico. A few margaritas sweet with lime and sugar and tequila streamed through my blood vessels taking the edge off a very much needed time of rest. I watched my wife swim in the warm water, bobbing up and down in the Gulf’s ebb and flow.

Funny enough, we forgot sunscreen and sunglasses. It was okay. We’ve had a major lack of Vitamin-D in Portland. I felt it a welcome presence upon my head. You feel tired and energized at the same time. That life-giving warmth from the sun for us Pacific Northwest dwellers does huge things to our hearts.

We made it in-land enough to eat a few tacos and some ceviche at a local eatery. We knew we were in the right place by the lack of people that looked like us. We were tourists. It is what it is. Being taken advantage of should be expected. We were fed and led around the island in kindness. For that, I’m thankful.

I got a little emotional walking along the streets. The deep smell of morning in a foreign city. It brings me right back to the streets of Calcutta. The hot humid air sinks willfully into my skin and I feel the sweat dripping down my tight sunburnt forehead. All too familiar. I realize instantly that I miss traveling. I miss being swept away by a culture not my own. It keeps me humble. I started thinking about the saying, ‘the more we see the less we know’ and began to understand that staying in one place teaches us a lot. We become confident in what we do only to have our feet swept away when we find ourselves piecing together words to communicate cross-culturally.

What a massive place we live in.

I watched them cook from several pots upon a giant counter. A spoon dipping in and out quickly and accurately. I watched the kids behind the bar chop onions and cilantro – being corrected by the older woman, smiling, gracefully passing on the trade.

A warm coke out of the bottle.

Mexican pop music blaring out the flat screen tv — sitting in wobbly green and red chairs and tables. A condiment tray in the center holding lime, onion and peppers. A jar of mayonnaise sat adjacent. I wondered what people used it for. Mmm. Mayonnaise.

So I sit here again. Writing with an open window allowing the cool to wrap around all of this. Itchy sunburn.

Remnants of that big sun;

spending time with family;

eating too much chocolate cake

and wondering where it will all begin again.

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