one month in vallarta

so here we are, one month away from the 'ham and three weeks in mexico. i'm not sure how i feel about everything. in the quiet mornings while i kill the night's influx of micro-ants i think, "i'm not really into this." but the moment the i hit the street and see the clouds moving across the jungle-covered mountain that pv is backed against, hear the roosters and see the palm trees lining the ocean as the sun comes up - i'm sold on this place. but in the afternoon, the bus ride often rattles and bakes the joy from my heart. but then an old abuelito gets on the bus with his 7-year old grandson and a beat up guitar and they sing a few songs together - the little boy hitting all the high harmonies in songs full of sadness and broken hearts. the walk up our hill in long pants and dress shoes tries to crush me, but you should see the view from the top - the sun lights up the ocean in a way that can't be described in words. sure, you have to pay to use the bathroom all over the city - and you still can't flush the paper. sure, you have to learn how to brush your teeth with bottled water and you can never safely eat at those little corner stands packed with young mexicans eating tostadas covered in fresh ceviche or crispy burritos stuffed with shrimp or shredded smoked marlin. but you can find hundreds of places that serve amazing food at 1990 prices. so a can of refried beans costs $2 and a scratchy set of burlap bedsheets runs $30 at walmart. but fresh fruits and vegetables are almost free. old men sell iced coconut and big cups of fresh fruit covered in salt, chile, and lime. and when you walk the streets at night and the little kids play soccer in the cobbled streets under the street lights and the little kids smile and wave and the parents smile, proud of their little ones and sun sets over the ocean and men throw nets over the rocks to catch jaiba and the tamale guy comes through your neighborhood calling out like the muslim call to prayers you really feel like you could live here forever. you had a great dinner of homemade tacos and you're tired from a long day of work, capped with an afternoon spent reading on the beach and swimming against the riptide. and you crawl into bed and the dogs start barking.