Honeymoon’s Over in Playa

Wall art under the freeway in Playa

OMG! I originally wrote this post in a kind of funk. But today I went to the beach in Playa del Carmen and it was absolutely gorgeous! Crystal clear blue water. No waves. I ran back to the apartment and grabbed my snorkel gear. All the fishes! Parrotfish. Cowfish. Angelfish. Trumpetfish. A baby skate. A larger skate. So freakin’ cool! Not much coral, but still fun. I was thinking six months here might be too long, but now I’m a happy camper and I didn’t spend a dime. Hopefully, the ocean cooperates.

Playa del Carmen beach
The beach in Playa del Carmen can be absolutely gorgeous. Lucky days!

On a budget

The stock market is in a bit of a slump right now, so I’m trying to save money wherever possible. I had grand plans of going on boat snorkel trips and enjoying time spent at beach bars. Those are expensive! There is a minimum amount you must spend to use any of the beach loungers and you’ll only probably get a couple of drinks out of it. Plus, with the stinky sargassum, the beach isn’t worth the cost right now.

Liquor is so inexpensive in the market. It’s hard to justify spending $10 per drink at a beach bar. I am so cheap!!! I know it’s all about ambiance and people watching and such. But still. I can sit on my comfy couch next to my lovely balcony and drink spicy margaritas for way less. Plus, I get to read all the books. Unfortunately, this means I’m in my apartment for a lot of the day. Less chance of getting COVID?

Parade going by in Playa
Why bother leaving the apartment when I can see everything from the balcony! I think this was a parade.

It is lonely though. In Seattle, I got to chat it up with coworkers every workday. And then on weekends, it was drinking/running groups or a family get together. I have no social network here. It can be a little lonely. Some of it is living in an apartment complex with a tiny social pool area. Some of it is living in a city. It’s hard to make friends in a city. Everyone has their guard up. Luckily, I have a friend coming to visit this week. That should help tremendously!

COVID ruins everything

So I don’t want to spend a lot of time indoors with strangers. You know? All the restaurants I go to need to be open air. And maybe I still shouldn’t spend too much time there, anyway? It is so much cheaper to cook my own food. I really want to do one of the amazing food tours they have here in Playa. It costs money and, sigh, risk of The Vid. Stupid viruses.

Cockatoo on video chat
When I video chat with my mother-in-law, her cockatoo wants to say hi! Ricky Bobby!

I would also love to get together with expats to learn Spanish. It’s a great way to socialize. It’s free. But is the risk too high? I could just stay in my lovely apartment and learn Spanish from my computer. Or practice via video chat with family. Jibbers! I just don’t know. My mental health is important. Maybe I will wait for this spike in cases to go down before heading to social events.

Lucky for me, video chat exists. I get to talk with friends and family for free from the safety of my apartment. It is absolutely not the same. But it is something and I’m glad that it is more common. Plus, with social media, I kind of feel like I’m still involved with things that are happening back in the States.

Butterfly on sidewalk
There are so many butterflies around Playa. Another reason to watch where you step.

It’s freakin’ hot!

I try to do everything outside in the early morning. However, I also like to sleep in. I feel like my bed is the most comfortable just after the sun rises in that gorgeous tropical morning light. Is that weird? But once that 11am sun hits and the Playa humidity kicks in, I’m not likely to leave the apartment. It’s just too hot. Must wake up earlier! Need motivation!

Um, I have this gluten thing that involves a lot of diarrhea mixed with serious migraines. Probably Celiac disease but might just be a sensitivity. It doesn’t matter either way. I don’t eat the delicious breads and, therefore, I no longer fear farts nor need migraine medication. Playa has a gluten-free bakery right by my apartment. However, it doesn’t open until noon. Noon! FFS! I really can’t make it there. It’s just too hot and humid. But I want all the pastries… I’ll get there soon.

House gecko!
House geckos are lucky! Eat the mosquitos, please!

You step out of the apartment after 11am and it’s an instant sweat-fest. Like giant pit stains and belly button moisture. Unreal. Plus, I’m very white with all the freckles and skin cancer and burning flesh, so I really like to hide from the tropical sun. I feel a bit like a recluse once the sun is in all its glory. I thought I would be outside all the time here. Nope. I’m going to have to get an umbrella. My Seattle friends would be horrified.

It’s not all bad

I finally got a few days of wonderful crystal-blue ocean to play in! It was really cool to float in the surf and watch little fishies swim past. A few days prior, I had gone into the ocean while it was still brown with sargassum and gotten some nasty ‘sea lice’ or jellyfish larvae under my skin. They itch like crazy! Now I’m swimming in full rash-guard from head to toe. I for sure look like a tourist, but it’s worth it!

My house geckos have gotten used to me and are being less secretive. Adorable little guys! I think they sleep in the apartment during the day and head out to eat at night. Around dusk, I see them crossing the living room wall to the balcony. I guess my apartment is pretty safe. Few things would eat them in here.

Agouti!!! Sereque!!! Saw a couple of them while walking home from viewing some Mayan ruins (you can just walk to Mayan ruins in Playa!). It looked like there was an agouti territory dispute going on. One of them was very upset with the other agouti and there was a dramatic chase through the undergrowth. I know that I was more excited about the agouti than the ruins, but what can I say? Giant rodents! So cool.

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1 Comment

  1. I wondered if being lonely for people would become and issue sometime. It’s enough of a problem here with COVID. The hiking group has been really important to us, both for exercise and social+mental health. We miss you on our hikes.

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