Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's not the end of the world but you can see it from here

Image from "Unraveling the Chicxulub Case" in Geotimes
La Princesa is watching television, of course. An animated recreation of a 11.1-magnitude earthquake is busy toppling forests in British Columbia and killing the dinosaurs there. It is the result of the shockwave from the meteor that hit the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago.
I tell her the impact was very close to our Merida home. I tell her you can see the outline of the crater where the town of Chicxulub now stands. Some clever people have even dubbed the spot "the end of the world." La Princesa is clearly impressed. "That is very cool," she tells me.
It is deeply gratifying to find something about our Yucatan initiative that makes the grade with La Princesa. She swears she will never visit us there.
She says Mexico gives her a headache. Too hot, too many bugs. The first and so far only time we took her there, at age 14, she gazed out the bus window at the streetscapes of weathered colonial facades on the way in to the city and proclaimed: "But.. it's.. so.. ugly." She loved the night scenes, the music, the placid dogs, the ruins (though we were crazy to go to Uxmal in the middle of the day). She loved Coke in glass bottles. Homemade corn ice cream from a cart in Santa Lucia square. It's not enough to sway her position, though.
La Princesa is 17 this month and full of her own dreams and plans for the world that beckons beyond high school. Itching already to have a place of her own. Bristling under the oppressive yoke of parents with their irritating questions and advice and monitoring. The parents have a few more years of wage slavery before they can throw off their own yoke and fritter away the winter months in Merida (though the plan is for frequent, shorter stays until then).
Image from "The day the dinosaurs died" in Progreso Hoy
So if she doesn't want to visit us, it's not the end of the world. But perhaps someday we'll be able to entice her with the promise of a short bus ride to that very place.


  1. Debbie, some day she will come and what a special time that will be for you all. I just concluded 50 days here in Merida with my son, Isaac, and it was indeed a special time. And I think he will be back soon. Just as I suspect the Princess will, too.

  2. I think you're right, Paul. I'm also looking forward to the first visit to Merida by our adult son, one of these days. He says he's keen to come when he can arrange it.
    Your posts about your son's visit were wonderful. I could tell you were both really enjoying the time together and the shared discoveries. Cheers,

  3. Hi Debbie,

    Mark Twain famously said somewhere: When I was 17 I though my old man was the biggest jackass in town. But when I turned 21 I wondered how he had gotten so smart so fast.

    And some other wag has quipped: What a pity that youth is wasted on the young.

    Maturity is a precious promise.


  4. Mijo swore he would never return to Merida. He couldn't wait to turn 18 to go NOB. 2009 year he came for two weeks and had fun! He wants to come back again.

  5. Hi Debbie, I can understand how Merida appears old, shabby, and uninteresting through the eyes of a 17 year old. Funny how that is part of the charm for me. Just like in the French Quarter of New Orleans (talk about old, shabby, dirty), where steps inside something that looks like a door to a warehouse is a serene oasis that is absolutely beautiful. In my older age, that is VERY appealing. Even with the heat & the bugs.


  6. Eric, I know what you mean. I remember how tough I was on my parents. And now I hear back the same things I used to say, and I say they same things they used to say.

  7. We always say we aren't going to be like our parents. Were you shocked the first time you heard your mother's voice coming out of your mouth? LOL

    Thanks for adding me to your blog list. I'm honoured.

  8. Barb, thanks, I love your blog - you're so funny and soulful and your words often stick in my mind. Yes I was shocked at first to hear myself using my mother's words (though it is really freaky to sometimes see her looking at me from the mirror). I know I was a handful as a teenager so I realize it's the proverbial payback to have one of our own who's so stubborn and independent. Not complaining - she's a great kid despite and also because of these traits (and she might be reading this).

    Theresa, your writing about your son's visit has been in my mind through all this. I'm sure I will be asking your advice and insights on the subject.

    And John and Alan, we loved New Orleans too (and were so fortunate to experience that amazing place before the flood). Chaos and crumbling beauty is maybe an acquired taste. I think Tom and I forgot the culture shock we felt the first time we came to Mexico.