Thursday, December 11, 2008

Troubled in paradise

I can’t think of anything more welcome in the cold New York winters than an escape towards sandy beaches down south. In Cancun, I laid in the sun, ate a ton of food, snorkled in clear blue waters and even swam with motha f*#king dolphins.

As nice as it was to be pampered without a care in the world, it was hard for me to shake an uneasiness to being waited on hand and foot. Maybe I’m just unaccustomed to the whole experience. It’s not as if the locals were giving off any hostile hints. In fact, they were the most attentive and friendly service people I’d ever experienced. But I kept having flashes of the humans in Wall-E which were too absorbed in their own recreating to notice anything around them. They were carted around from place to place and any desire was within arms reach. I would wonder if that’s what I was during this vacation.

Okay, so it was still enjoyable and I wasn’t exactly complaining while sipping down piƱa coladas on the beach. I work hard and rarely indulge in fancy restaurants. Shouldn’t I be able to live luxuriously on a vacation?

It didn’t help that I was in Cancun, which felt more like an American franchise than an authentic foreign location. Everything seemed tailored to what white people think Mexican culture should be rather than what it probably is in reality. What rare Mexican food I found was atrocious, giving the abysmal New York Mexican joints a run for their money.

As nice as it all was, I was surprised to feel so relieved to see the Manhattan skyline again through the airplane window. I’d never considered myself a true New Yorker but now realize that I’m more rooted in this great city than I knew.

Of course all that good feeling and love towards everything has dissipated almost entirely after a few rides on the crowded F train.