Monday, November 24, 2008

Mi Pelo II

I am fascinated with my hair and on occasion find others are, too. After all, no other group of people on the planet has hair like this; it is unique to those of African descent. I often find myself playing in it, enjoying the texture, the softness, the uniqueness. Sometimes it feels like cashmere. At times, I allow friends and family to take liberties with touching it, but there's a limit. (A sistah's tender head can only take so much.) I've even been known to allow complete strangers to touch it...if they ask nicely. One time a guy in Yelapa, Mexico asked if it could touch it and smiled & whispered, "Suave." (pronounced "swa - veigh" and means soft.)

Imagine my surprise, however, when the other day an older lady on the bus in Zihuatanejo began molesting my twists as if they were her long lost lover. She didn't touch them gingerly or lightly. Oh no! Miss Señora slid her fingers all up and through to my scalp. "¿Es naturel?" she asked as if she finally remembered the hair belonged to someone. "Si," I politely responded with a pasted-on smile. She got her feel on a few moments more and I breathed a sigh of relief. Lo & behold, she couldn't help herself and began the molestation all over again. "¡Bonita!" she turned and said to her friends. "¡Bonita!" she said to me. "Gracias," I graciously responded.

I really didn't know what else to do. I couldn't swat someone's grandma away. I was pleased that she appreciated hair that isn't always embraced. How often would she see it sitting on a bus in tiny Zihua? Still, the nerve! She finally got her fill & stopped for good. I went back to taking pictures and enjoying the sites along the way, but tensed with the thought that she may begin assaulting my tresses once more.

Previous post about my hair: Mi Pelo (My Hair)


Friday, November 21, 2008

Criteria for a $7 USD Room

It was the only private room listed for $100 pesos in the guidebooks I'd researched. The next lowest price was $200 pesos. Always looking for a bargain, I decided to check it out.

When I got to Casa Elvira, the first thing I liked was the location. Safety is the #1 criteria when selecting a place to stay. It was on a main, highly-populated street with plenty of pedestrian traffic. Family-owned, it also helped that the entire family lived there from the grandma on down. They also owned the attached, relatively expensive restaurant situated right on the beach. There was controlled-access to the hotel. Residents were given a key to the outside gate to use after-hours. It was also half a block from the Naval Base which had plenty of armed guards milling about.

Next on my list is cleanliness. The room was very basic. If you've read my previous posts, you know that I don't require much. Neat & clean, it had a bed, fan, dresser, table, and a huge bathroom two doors down.

My third criteria is a hot shower. The shower temperature was described as "cool and refreshing." After experiencing the heat and humidity in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, I decided to be adventurous and try it. I take cool showers when it's super hot at home anyway, so I was sold. I decided to take the room and paid for two nights in case I wasn't too thrilled with the place.

So far, so good. It's a little noisy in the evening, but I adjust by reading until it quiets down about 1 AM. I sleep in and awake at 7:30 for a brisk morning run along the beach. I think I'll stay a while.