OK, I admit it I am often a people watcher. At the end of this year I am spending a lot of time in Mexico. For the next couple of days I am in Veracruz and Xalapa and then after that for most of the last two weeks I will be in San Miguel de Allende. On this trip I am working with a good friend who is the rector of a university in Xalapa.
Last night he met me at the Veracruz airport, we had a late (actually very late) dinner and then this morning went to the Paroquia which is required duty in Veracruz. The food in the Paroquia is not great but this is a classic meeting place for this part of Mexico - it is a classic (as opposed to Starbucks or Peet's) coffee shop.
While we were having breakfast I noticed the lady in the picture. She was well dressed and alone. Over the time we were eating and talking, I noticed her order first a plate that looked like Machacha. She took a plate from the serving counter and carefully divided the portion in two and then covered the half she did not eat. She did the same with a plate of fruit and some cheesecake.
After we had been there for a while a man who could have been a son came and sat down at the table and she got up and began to talk to him with a great deal of authority. (For example, she pointed her finger at him.) But he did not eat any of the half portions. He then got up and left. As we left she had cleared her bill but I did not see her make any attempt to put the food in a "roadie." What do you think the rest of the story is? Is she the mother of the owner, checking up on her boy. Did she recently lose her husband? Does she have an eating disorder?
On Friday night we stayed in a hotel that is down near the port called the Emporio. The hotel has recently been refurbished. It was quite comfortable and is right next to the Paroquia. There was a lot of wind last night and so all night long because of a poor seal on the door I heard a whooping noise - after a while it just sounded like white noise.
Several years ago we stayed in a charming hotel in San Juan Puerto Rico called the Hotel Normandie - which I enjoyed a lot. That hotel was built by an engineer from Puerto Rico who met his wife on a ship called the Normandie. Since we stayed at it the hotel has been through a couple of owners. It is even a bit more art deco than the Emporio - but both are evocative of a time when hotels were elegant.
At some point I will get back to policy related comments but I have grown tired of repeating the obvious errors of the ACA - which the President and his former governor of Kansas - who is now secretary of commerce (and therefore well qualified to take over a substantial portion of the US economy) seem to think is operating just fine. But at least until the end of the year I am content to write about this visit to Mexico and the one yet to come.
By the way my wife sent me a newsflash that the President had been voted the fifth best president in US history. Reagan and Lincoln were voted #1; 23 presidents tied for second; 17 tied for third; Carter was fourth and Obama came in fifth. Made me smile if it were not so true.