This is the first time I have spent more than weeks at a time out of my home country. I can say while vacationing for a week or two in another country, I thought I had a good vibe of what it was about. But that wasn't true.
I arrived in Mexico in October, 2020, during Covid. It was hot and humid and I was way over dressed. I had on enough clothing to survive in 40 degree weather and had been camping solo for 3 months in Alaska. I had no other room left in my suitcase and already I had a lot to carry. So I couldn’t shed what I was wearing. So, I had to wear it. As I stepped out of the airport, the humidity blasted me like entering the sauna at a gym. I couldn’t believe it was so steamy! As soon as you entered the outdoors, you were soaked. Every breath with my mask on felt like breathing in a rain cloud. Note to self, get far away from Mexico for the summer months! Meanwhile, wearing a piece twin layer of fabric across one's face who has asthma, isn’t any fun.
Each time I see signs of the 70's, I get these warm and fuzzies all over.
I was born in the 70’s, but I had a love for it my entire life. And this country has the fantastic 70’s written all over it. It is like reliving my childhood all over again. Each time I see signs of the 70's, I get these warm and fuzzies all over. It has the same feeling as when I think back to feeling like how having a “home” felt. It feels welcoming and comforting.
The furniture in many places here reek the 70’s style. As you walk along the streets and gaze into the windows you will find antique stores, specialty shops and art galleries. There are local venders who set up along the walkways hoping to sell some colorful stuffed llamas. You will find the upscale stores where I live in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico, have a lot of the large neo expressionism flowers of bright colors hanging like chandeliers. There are bold colored paintings along the walls and knick knacks on tables that give the hippy vibe of yesteryear. Colorful dishes throughout along with the colorful gypsy beads for doorways.
The vehicles are mostly stick shift.
Granted my observations are from an United States citizens viewpoint. I have seen many countries with the same vibe and I have fallen in love with them all. I want to note that these are what I have noticed and I had good memories of how raw it used to be. It was a freeing feeling to know there isn’t a rule, regulation, or law that held us back. The observations along the streets where I stay are these:
The sidewalks have footsteps or writing in it.
Walking your dog with no leash on the beaches and streets.
Electric and telephone lines live in a cluster and are low along the streets. You see the green glass along the phone poles, like we had years ago.
Seeing trucks with a lot of people riding in the back and even sitting on the side rails or standing. I have seen lots of children this as well. I used to love doing that as a kid!
There was a kid in the sitting on top of the driver pretending to drive.
There are vehicles that wouldn’t pass inspection in the US. One vehicle had no windows or doors.
The buildings obviously do not have the same codes as the US. We all survived broken walkways with no railing in the 70’s. I think it is interesting and adds a certain amount of skill to get around. Even their newly built structures may have little railing. I’ve seen sliding glass doors that lead to the outside of a structure two, three and four stories high and not have anything to stop someone from just stepping out into the air. These restrictions in the USA would take away from the freedom to create some of the simply beautifully made homes I’ve seen.
There are people who drive by homes while in their work vehicles or personal cars with speaker phones repeating what they have to sell. Some may sell tamales, fruits, breads, vegetables, water, soft drinks, seafood, car washes, doctors, the list is forever long.
You can find so many people who will come to your home for massage, haircare, and medical tests.
A lot of the streets do not have street signs.
You can still find pay phones spread around.
Most streets are not paved.
There’s a man who walks around sharpening knives! He has a whistle he blows as he walks through the neighborhoods.
Most places only take cash.
Most people here do not have debit cards.
People can walk away with someone's money saying they need to get change. Even if they had to take 10 minutes. You know they will be back. Your word means something.
Leases and rental agreements are minimal in paperwork.
Families on the beach swimming in their underwear or wearing shorts and shirt or tank tops.
You will not find air conditioning in a lot of homes.
Vehicles are mostly stick shift.
Kids barefoot and running around alone.
Finding a cat or dog that lives in the neighborhood. Everyone takes care of it.
Many people do not have cell phones.
Small community stores, pharmacies, etc. are all spread through the communities. You do not have to walk far to get to any of them.
I just posted Puerto Vallarta Zoo. It was very interesting. I remember as a kid that our zoo back home was a more hands on experience. There weren’t these huge habitats that you can barely see a Giraffe in. Yes, I realize it is much better for the animals. I’m just stating that it was like back in the 70’s. Here, you are a few inches from some dangerous animals. Only a couple of fencing between you. You could touch their fur if it were safe. It was a lot of fun and there was a sense of adventure to it. I hope to go back soon for the one on one experience.