We rocked up to a tiny fishing village, where candies and sodas may be purchased through the window of a beautiful blue convenience store that is also a family’s house, with chickens pecking about the yard. We had to slow down for a herd of goats walking down the dirt road.
I love hostels, but sometimes you have to keep moving around in order to find a quiet place to hear your memories. It’s even more difficult because usually the people who are talking have really interesting stories themselves. But I loved this memory and want to write it out. Woosh.
We parked to swim in the ocean, and a man walked over to say there was a cabaña to rent and another place to swim, but we were fine where we were, either way. We were from out of town and he wanted to share that information. We swam where the dunes met the shore and a school of tiny fish bit at my legs with their tickly mouths. We met a dog, who we named Dune, who might have been distantly related to a coyote and followed us around. Sometimes dogs follow you to protect you in a way, even though the other friendly dogs seemed to be her friends or pups. We rented the cabaña and watched the sky turn stormy as the sun went down.
The fishing village isn’t the kind of place where you can just go out to a restaurant in the evening. Many houses double as a restaurant, but aren’t open at any hours unless ask around and make plans in the day. We ended up at a place near our cabaña with a friendly family who had caught a couple of big fish. Normally I prefer vegetables, but local cuisine has a big big place in my heart. One reason I love the Mexican state of Oaxaca is the tendency toward the value of having a sustainable local system. And since there were farms nearby, we had salad in addition to our fish.
¡Poner Reggaeton! declared the mother to one of her sons when we started singing, and he played music from his phone.
The question of money and justice came up during dinner conversation. We came up with a few examples when someone from outside a town came in with money to start something up in a just way. A hostel or two, a farm. Normally it’s in an exploiting way. And we pondered, what if someone pumped a bunch of money in this town, if they came in and made friends with the people living there, asked them their dreams, how they thought improvements could happen (improvements, development, such tricky terms, often because I feel forests are already developed as forests and people come to cut them down for their version of development). We had talked with a couple people throughout the day. Some people loved the town the way it was. They were fine with life as is. A part of me wanted to join that life to see what it was like for more of a long term. The other part of me was eager to get to Antigua, because we clicked instantly with that town and are trying to see if we can live there for a while. And like us, some people in the village wanted to travel. But that costs money. That means changes. I love changes and fear changes, because perhaps those changes mean that the places where you can see the night sky get covered in orange lights, and places where you hear the waves while you eat dinner next to the place your dinner was caught get covered in traffic.
Sometimes I get so afraid that people are going to shove their influences in every single corner of the planet and there won’t be any room at all for nonpeople things. With people comes people sounds. And sometimes I want to hear nothing but the wind, and chirping birds, and rustling beetles in fallen leaves, or waves on the shore without a traffic background. Like that village.
And, like usual, I have no answers. There are so many sides to everything.