Saturday, December 29, 2007

Notes From Paradise

I have returned, tanned, rested, and ready from a wonderful vacation in Mexico at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso. I thought that I would share some interesting observations from the trip that you might find amusing.

On the way down, we stopped for a transfer at Atlanta's airport, and due to my wife and my enjoyment of the Native American ceremonial herb, we had to stop in the smoking lounge where there were a large number of soldiers on their way to Iraq. While there we made the acquaintance of a few of these fine young men and women, and were talking to them about going to Iraq. Most were positive and upbeat, saying that their only regret is that so few people understand what is really happening in Iraq. Then there was one young soldier who was definitely scared about going back. All perfectly normal reactions, in that the majority believe in what they are doing, and there are those who are sure that their number is going to come up this time, and there is nothing that they can do about it. I hope that the young man has a good sergeant that will straighten him out and help keep his head on a swivel.

After we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by a valet with iced towels to refresh ourselves and then champagne while we checked in. After getting our room, we were walking down corridors of polished marble, with paintings overhead that rivaled the Sistine Chapel. I immediately turned to my wife and told her "We don't belong here." But we quickly got over it. It is a fantastic hotel, with excellent service, fine food and spirits, and a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere.

Our first full day there was raining, so that afternoon, I had the chance to watch Special Report with Brit Hume, which I normally don't get to see because it is on when I am working. My wife (The Good Democrat) watched patiently with me, and afterwards she started to gag about Fox news because she knows that I am not allowed to watch her Keith Olbermann show with any heavy objects at hand in order to save the TV from destruction. So I asked her what specifically she did not like about Brit Hume, and she said that she didn't know any facts to disagree with but she told me that they were saying "blah, blah blah" and did not say that Bush was absolutely horrible like Keith would have done. Laughed my ass off. Talk about seeking reinforcement for your opinions.

Mexico in mid December is absolutely wonderful. One thing about the Mexicans, they are second only to the South Koreans for being the hardest working people that I have ever seen. The image of Mexicans being lazy is probably predicated on the siesta, which when you have been in really hot climates for any length of time, you do appreciate a break from the heat. The phrase "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun" certainly comes to mind if you don't have a pool and someone to bring you a refreshing chilled drink.
One aspect of the immigration issue that will need to be addressed in the future, is that we will be needing their workers for tasks that the Baby Boom echo will be unable to fill. In exchange, I think that we will be sending them our retirees. Anybody got tips on American style nursing homes in Mexico stock?

I really didn't want to leave, but the realization that I couldn't afford to live there for the rest of my life quickly sank in. So now I have to work for another year to afford a few days in Paradise.

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