A fitting experience to wrap up Mexico!

13 Apr

It’s already been two weeks since we returned from Bahía Kino, but I wanted to share something from my first day back in Beaufort after the trip to the Gulf of California. Between travelling for two weeks without much sleep, and a long trip back, my only plans that day were to sleep in and go food shopping. At the supermarket, I took my time meandering the aisles in my jetlag haze. In the produce section, the “exotic” food cart looked sad and out of place, with small and green papayas and dusty looking coconuts representing tropical fruits. I also was aghast at the price of avocados – 2 for a $1 !  I had paid less than quarter that price only three days before – of course, those avocados had not travelled nearly as far as the ones I found here, in North Carolina.

I made it eventually to the beer aisle, and paused to examine the cerveza brands and their distinct labels from the various Spanish-speaking countries I had visited: Estrella Galicia, from my undergraduate study abroad in Galicia, Spain; the yellow, black and red eagle on Imperial from Costa Rica; and the several brands of Mexican beers, including Tecate, Bohemia, and Dos Equis, and Pacifico. I am happy to say we enjoyed our quesadillas, tamales, and chilequiles with many different Mexican cervezas.

As I was thinking about the beers I’ve ordered in Spanish around the world, a man dressed like a serious cowboy – from his pointy, heeled leather boots to his 10-gallon cream-colored hat -stopped and asked me something in Spanish about the Mexican beers. We chatted, and I learned that Antonio is from Tabasco, in Northern Mexico, and is not in fact a cowboy, despite his clothes. Instead, he said that he works with the Ocracoke fishermen’s cooperative on the Outer Banks – the same organization I visited with my Fisheries Policy course only a few weeks before.

After our conversation, he thanked me for being so friendly, and for reaching out to speak with him in Spanish. I thanked him for saying hello. After travelling and too much sun, talking to a fisherman dressed as a cowboy, in Spanish, in the beer aisle, seemed totally appropriate – and a fitting capstone to my travels this spring.