Quintana Roo, Mexico – Day 7

Ate a Teppan restaurant here in Mexico last night, the ones where you sit ten people to a table and the chef/Samurai warrior builds little onion volcanoes that he sets aflame so everyone at the table can “ooh” and “aah “as he burns off his eyebrows. Imagine Iron Chef on Telemundo and you get close. So there I was, chopsticking away at my sushi and trying to have a conversation with a nice German couple when their four year-old son points at me and yells something in German. The mother translates: He said, “Don’t talk with food in your mouth.” To be ostracized by a child who’s recently upgraded his transportation means to tricycles is exceedingly disconcerting.

Which brings me to a bigger point.

Given long enough at the athletic table, you can see the women’s game evolving. What once was a world dominated by men, the game is now becoming more physical, more spin-driven, with higher balls and more angles. The girls are playing longer points, lowering their grips, and moving better vertically. Twenty years ago, this wasn’t happening and even ten years ago, they were still Neanderthalic about their commitment to hitting heavy.

But then, younger generations learn from their role models, and apparently some of these young ladies have been watching the likes of Nadal and Djoker and Murray and Ferrer. Fed is more of a Baryshnikovian throwback player so I’m keeping him out of this. All this is to say the next generation is currently experiencing a Darwinian moment. They are becoming the fittest, the most adaptable, the mutated version of women past and men present. Which brings me back to that little German kid – Sometimes, it is the young who make us remember what we already know.

On the resort front, while dining today, I took a moment to observe the gastronomical watering hole that defines the term all-inclusive. Tourists enter with a frenetic indecisiveness, as though a bout of palsy has taken them while running a 100 meter sprint. With sun-blocked hands and some pretty grotesque lip-licking, they over-fill plates with pastas and steaks and enough fatty sauces to make Biggest Loser candidates seem like nutritional experts.   Plates drop, forks tumble, knives slip, and glasses break, all under the intense frenzy of people who appear to have never seen food, but too, appear to have eaten a hell of a lot of it. The average weight here is north of 250, which means small children reaching up to the counter have a pretty good chance of being muffled, crushed, and then shoveled onto a plate.

The workers keep tight tabs on empty trays, refilling them at about the 20% level, and if you so much as turn your head to watch someone vomit, they’ll bus your plate before you can get your skull back around. Most of them have professional smiles that indicate they are here for your service, but if you watch closely, you can see the various headshakes and hands-over-mouths shock they perform while watching tourists dine.

When the tourists have completed their food acquisition, it’s pretty much a picnic game to see who can finish first – think pie-eating contest and you’re almost there. They stuff and drink and refill and stuff and drink and belch and make faces that suggest something horrible is coming up from inside them, and then push whatever it was back down until it re-appears and they place a hand over their mouth to prevent an unwanted ejection and well you get the idea. It’s not pretty.

Today, the little four-year old came up to me at lunch and he appeared to recently have been attacked by a chocolate ice cream cone.


He was still slurping when he got to me and I pointed at him and said with a big smile, “Don’t talk with your mouth full,” at which point he yelled, “I don’t understand English!” while launching an arcing cocoa stream onto my shirt.   Thus, I’m headed off to do some laundry before returning to the court. Damn kid!

Tomorrow: Practice at 7:30 a.m.

By ccxander

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