After almost two years in Akumal, I have tried the majority of the restaurants in the area and I’ve narrowed the list to a select group of my favorites. These are the places that I visit at least once a week and I normally don’t even have to tell them what I want – it just magically appears before me.
I feel at home when I visit one of these places and I make it a point to get to know the employees. We’ve even exchanged cell phone numbers with several of them and occasionally communicate via Whatsapp.
If you’re not familiar with Whatsapp, check out the article Moving to Mexico? Better Get WhatsApp. But not right now, wait until you finish this article. Geez, keep your head in the game!
Anyway, whenever I see a new employee at one of my favorite places, I go out of my way to meet them. This is how I met an older Mexican gentleman who was working in the parking lot of a place that I visit at least twice a week.
He’s in his mid to late 60’s and he greeted Linda and I with a big smile. I spoke with him for a minute or so and learned that he is originally from the state of Yucatan. Since many of the people that I have met from that state speak Mayan as their first language, I asked if he spoke it. His eyes lit up and he answered, “Of course.”
My knowledge of the Mayan language is very limited; however, I have learned a dozen or so phrases in Mayan over the years. I then asked him what his name was in Mayan, “Bix a k’aaba?”
He gave me a very surprised look and we carried on a very brief conversation in Mayan. Linda jumped in and repeated several of the Mayan phrases that she knew. He seemed impressed by our efforts.
I told the gentleman that I really liked the Mayan language and that I would like to learn more. Over our next few visits to the restaurant, he attempted to teach us a few more Mayan phrases. I like to use the word attempt because they didn’t all stick in my brain.
Yesterday, Linda and I went to the restaurant for lunch to meet some friends. We were running late, so we didn’t have time to talk with our Mayan professor in the parking lot when we arrived. We just waved to each other as Linda and I hurried inside.
After lunch, we walked out to the parking lot and he was waiting near our car. He had a big smile on his face and he handed me a piece of paper. The paper was covered front and back with 45 Mayan phrases translated into Spanish. That’s when I realized that he had taken the time to make us a study list while we were eating.
I was so impressed and humbled by the gesture that I was left speechless for a moment. I then thanked him for the list and promised to study it.
Here is a photo of just the front of the list:
Let’s Wrap This Up
Admittedly, Linda and I originally moved to Mexico to live a Caribbean lifestyle at a low price tag. Although we did find that, it’s not the only reason we stay — it’s the people.
The Mexican people that we’ve met have been friendly, helpful, genuine and absolutely wonderful. The article today only highlighted one incident demonstrating this but I could write a dozen similar articles a week.
We love being part of this community and look forward to meeting many more amazing people.