Cancun, Mexico, a place of never ending sunshine and beautiful palm trees. The city where everyone around you is laid back and the lights stay up all night, where you hear the waves crushing against the sand as you wake up. It is a paradise where you can smell the fresh scent of ocean water as you walk along the coral sand beach. It sounds perfect, doesn’t it? My mother and I could not wait to get there.
I frantically rushed around the house to make sure that I had all of my things together. It was 5:00 a.m. so I was completely exhausted and our plane was due to leave in 1 hour. Finally, my mother and I packed our things into our tiny Volkswagen Cabrio. Our car flew down the George Bush free way like a cheetah chasing its prey barely arriving in time to board the plan.
Throughout the whole flight I sat there listening to songs on my I pod like Lucy Through The Sky With Diamonds and How Do You Sleep, looking at the passing white clouds outside which seemed like giant marshmallows. Before I knew it we landed in Mexico and the pandemonium of immigration started. My 5th grade Spanish did not help us at all. Somehow, through sign language and shouting, we found our bus and experienced a crazed journey that I would rather not remember.
As soon as we got to the hotel, we headed strait for the beach. The water was as blue as blue can be and the sand was piercing white. We were in paradise. The sun was beating down onto us and we could hear the waves crushing against the sand as we closed our eyes. We pretty much stayed by the beach the whole day. I was glad to be in one of the most relaxing places in the world.
My mother and I decided to check out the infamous market downtown. My mother looked at the plates as I looked at the jewelry. She has an abnormal fetish with plates and I have a normal fetish with jewelry. I really wanted some anklets and asked the man how much they were. This was a very big mistake because the man stated the price which was too high and started to bargain with me. At first, I was getting annoyed and intimidated as he wanted to sell the anklet bracelet for far too much. I gathered up courage to convince him to lower the price to 5 pesos. I was pretty proud of myself after that and the rest of my time in the market was more manic and enjoyable as I bargained for everything.
After the crazy market experience, we advanced down a street where we saw numerous families on the side of the street. They were selling hats, bracelets, and earrings. Their ragged clothes and desperate faces touched me and I started to drop down from my high in the market to a low of feeling great empathy for them.
Mexico was not like my home, these people do not have the advantages we take for granted in the United States. I could see their shanty town behind them and felt ashamed that I could not even comprehend what it was like to lead their lifestyle. After that, we went back to our luxurious hotel room and washed off the sweat and filth of the day. But what do they do at the end of their day?
We flew back to Texas at the crack of dawn. The next day I kept on thinking about Mexico and about that market. People were very different there and I wish that I could do something to help them. My Home town is such a generic city where people only care about what kind of car you drive or how much botox to put into your lips.
How plastic we are, do these people around me have any idea what the other side of the world lives like? Perhaps getting that new BMW is after all, more important?
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