(Translation: Please pick me up and throw me towards Goa, Neeraj.) Although, I’d argue that Goans must feel like they need Neeraj as opposed to the tourists.
Speaking of tourists, this is my third week in Mexico; and I’m beginning to feel less like one. I know the roads now. I know the cafe that has some vegetarian options. I know the guy who strolls by the beach selling yummy Mezcal chocolate. I know the cafe with the good view and a clueless waiter. I know that the gesture for no/not working is wiggling your hand while holding it out like this 🤙🏽. I know that staring blankly, tongue-tied, because I can’t Spanish makes me look like an idiot. I’ve practically been in the same town.
After having lived in a fantastic airbnb
(let’s call it place A) upon arrival, which had an amazing view of the pacific ocean, spacious rooms and a small infinity pool—ten days that felt like a mere instant—my girlfriend and I
shifted to an ‘outdoorsy’ rustic cottage (place B). This was very homely and cosy, run by a woman in her late sixties who is very warm and welcoming herself. We lived here for a week, cooked quite a bit and went out for dinners and walks. We had a great time, until it rained heavily one day and we started to have visitors—also known as ‘mosquitoes’. The muggy nights and mosquito infested evenings eventually got to us, so we found a new spot and moved there.
This new spot (place C), although clinical and not very welcoming—either the host or the space—had one attraction: air-conditioning. My week started with us moving to place C, excited to stay in the AC after being woken up by mosquitoes in the dead of the night. But we were in for another ‘rude awakening’ here. The phoney host had downplayed the construction work that would start at 8 am every morning and last all day. Three days and we were fed up.
After looking at multiple spots, not finding a good fit and being at our wit’s end, we decided to move back
to our previous rustic cabin, for the remainder of our trip. We did that yesterday and also dropped by the first place (to collect my earphones that were missing in action) to catch up with the host—a very friendly and chatty man, who had gone great lengths to help me get my lost bag
Roughly speaking, place A costs 3x, place B costs x and place C costs 2x. Both A and B had great hosts; C didn’t. I am likely to re-stay (as I have) or recommend A and B to anyone over C. I guess what I am trying to get to is the truism: we almost always remember how people make us feel over everything else.
For the little amount I’ve travelled, I’ve come to respect customer facing jobs in the hospitality industry so much more than I used to before. A lot of them fake it; they’re probably not good at it. Being genuinely interested in serving people, who could be potential assholes seems tough. Some are really gifted. And you can’t help but notice earnestness—whether in work or demeanour. I know it isn’t for me; I’d rather stay a potential asshole than come face-to-face with a real one.
Until next Mo—Sunday,