Good morning Tulum!
Yeah, I’ve lived here quite a long time now. The Maya spirits know me well, the jungle animals and fauna trust me implicitly, and my Tulumense friends are numerous. I need to spend more time on the beach, more time in the Caribbean waters, more time exploring the underground rivers of fresh mineral waters known as cenotes.
The stars still shine brightly over my home. I guess the limited growth of large scale city style lighting has resulted in less night light pollution. I hope to see the US space shuttle pass overhead again this week as it falls back through our planetary atmosphere heading towards it’s landing pad in Florida. I saw it two years ago and it was quite a sight, even though I didn’t hear the sonic boom as it sped on past.
It’s fun to ride my bike around Tulum town. I can chat with locals or meet tourists from virtually anywhere in the world. Most tourists who come to Tulum town only stay a few hours or a few days, then continue on to Palenque, Tikal and other parts of Mexico and Central America. Then there are the people who live here off and on, staying during the winter months or going back and forth to their home countries, working there and relaxing here.
Many people like me have decided to stay full time and build their homes. Living in the jungle is like being a pioneer, slowly building, fixing and maintaining your home, whatever type of home that might be. Some people live in palapas, some in a tent on the beach, more and more in newly built air conditioned casas de lujo (luxury homes). But everybody continues to intend upon making their little slice of paradise better, poco a poco (little by little), just like a pioneer.
I enjoy eating the fruits and veggies from of my garden milpa (milpa is a Maya word for farm field). I eat chaya with eggs in the morning, papaya, coco and noni juice during the day and nopal cactus with dinner. I also enjoy a cold beer on hot afternoons. The heat can be oppressive in the summer but believe it or not my Colorado blood has changed to Caribbean blood and now there are times in winter in which I wish I had a fireplace to warm my old, cold jungle bones.
Many Tulumenses don’t like the fast growth rate, not wanting the city to encroach. I think most Tulumenses don’t like the shark like business mentality of many of the novatos (rookies) who come here. But Tulum has a way of shaking out those who do not vibe with the vibe here… if you know what I mean. We have a wonderful mix of Maya, Mexican, Belizian, Italian, French, Argentinian, American, Canadian, British, Czech Republic, Cuban and Spanish people who live here full time and are vested in their interest for the positive responsible growth in the region.
Yes, we jungle people see the environmental changes going on. The ocean waters don’t display the same extent of magical colored coral reefs as they once did only a few years ago. The results of rising ocean temperatures and major hurricanes have taken their toll. Luckily the cenotes are fresh and clean as ever since the underground river current stems from miles and miles of endless jungle stretching across the Yucatan peninsula. Filtered through limestone caves, the fresh clean well water is one of my favorite things about living here.
The Maya ruins of Zama, now known as Tulum, have also weathered the storm but thankfully still vibrate highly and invigorate thousands of tourists everyday. I always thought it was a pity, economically speaking, that Tulum town receives virtually no impact from the amazing Maya ruins on the beach. But maybe that is for the best, allowing us Tulumenses to grow at our own natural rate, which to me has not changed since I came here almost ten years ago.
In Tulum you can hear many different languages being spoken, with Maya Yucateca being the most interesting. Just like many people speak Spanglish, the Maya people of Tulum mix English, Spanish, Italian and French words with aplomb. When I speak Spanish with Latinos in the USA or Espanolos from Spain, they almost always have to ask me to explain some of my word usage. Like a Brit speaking with an American, sometimes the words don’t have the same meaning there as it does here.
But that is what makes life interesting and why Tulum is such a fascinating place to live.
Good morning Tulum! And have a great day…