Years ago, when we first visited Mexico, we often heard the term mañana spoken by the locals. It was simple to figure out that mañana translates to tomorrow however it took us a few days to fully realize the importance of that word. For most Mexicans, and to be honest most warm latin countries, mañana has a whole other meaning.
When the locals say mañana more often than not they’re saying, yeah, it needs to be done and there’s a good chance it will however that time isn’t now and maybe that day will be tomorrow. It’s a way of pushing things off for another day. More than just procrastination, it’s an understanding that life happens and in the tropics it often happens at a slower pace. Maybe it’s the people or maybe it’s the fact that at midday things slow down to a crawl and a lot of people laze around to escape the afternoon heat. I think it’s a little of both but mostly it’s just the way things are out here. More of a realization that life is to be enjoyed and lived and tomorrow will be similar enough to today that it can get done then.
I sometimes wonder if the colder countries lost that sense of relaxation. We tend to spend our lives rushing around as fast as we can. I truly believe it’s because of the weather and in particular, the seasons. In the North (and most likely in the far South as well) we’re constantly reminded of what time of year it is and how we better hurry because time is quickly passing. I mean, wasn’t it just warm out and now the snow is threatening to fall? It’s like living with a giant watch telling us we need to hurry because time is slipping by. In the tropics time literally slows down because the difference in seasons isn’t so apparent. A little more sun, a little more rain and a few more storms is all they have telling them the seasons are changing. In Canada we can go from +35 to -35C in a few months. Our summers are too short and our winters too long. Out here, a handful of degrees, a little wind and rain, and life keeps on churning.
That pretty much brings me back to Playa. I think the hardest part of coming out here (besides the heat and humidity) is adjusting to the relaxed pace of life. The first day we took it easy because we were a little burnt out but by the 2nd day our wheels were turning and we felt the need to get things done. We visited the beach, the malls, 5th Ave or Quinta Avenida as it’s known out here, we swam in the pool, did some food shopping and ate in a new restaurant. By the 3rd day we felt we had done it all except for a few of the day trips to the cenotes, ruins and other major attractions. That was when we slowly realized that we’re here for at least a month and can take our time. Mañana became our friend again.
That’s pretty much how we spent days 4 and 5. It was the weekend and it was a few degrees cooler than when we got here and it seemed everywhere was buzzing with people. The locals were off work and the hordes of all inclusivers were rushing around because, well, they were all taught at a young age to enjoy the weekends and on top of that they were only here for a week or two and need to soak in as much sun and sand as they can to be able to bear the realization that by the time they headed home another winter was fast approaching.
We decided just to chill out. We watched a few movies, lounged around the house and on the patio. Made some good food, surfed the net and spent time enjoying each other’s company. We haven’t had a day like that as a family in a good while. We all enjoyed it so much we did a very similar thing the next day. It wasn’t until our 5 year old, Cole, asked us the following day if we were going to have another lazy day that Micki and I decided we should probably get back to our vacation. Mañana had become today and we felt the need to get out again.
Micki had found a playground near the beach and we decided to take the kids to it. It was actually quite nice and the kids enjoyed themselves. It was a very sunny day though and a little too hot on some of those slides so we’ve decided we’ll only go there early, late or on cloudy days. After that we went for a long walk along the beach. We had brought the kid’s swim suits but they were still in shorts and t-shirts at that point. To put it simply, never ask a child not to get wet when they walk along the water. I don’t think it can get done. Both kids actually walked home in their swim gear because their other clothes were soaked. They had a good time though and Micki and I had more than a few good laughs.
Oh yeah, a word to the wise, never tell a child that has to tinkle to go in the ocean without them knowing it’s supposed to be done on the sly. Having your son pull down his pants while standing on the beach and peeing in the ocean will get more than a few raised eyebrows. I still need to explain it to him but maybe I’ll do it mañana, I mean, it was pretty funny. 🙂
I think today we’ll head to the beach again and that’s where I’ll leave you all. Hope the weather back home stays nice as long as possible and that you all take a little time to enjoy the little things. After all, mañana is only a day away.