Before any trip to the US we make a detailed shopping list. Many items we order online and get shipped to our US destination. The Mexican post is unreliable, and we feel safer picking the goods up in the US and then packing them in our suitcases. On this trip we have bought a wide angle lens for our camera, which will be perfect for taking photos of our properties. Then there are the few jars of natural peanut butter which is just about impossible to find in Playa. Of course I went to my favorite store, Brooks Brothers, and purchased a pair of linen shorts with embroidered golf clubs and margarita glasses, and a turquoise blue shirt to match. At present our hotel room looks like a college dormitory with assorted items piled in every corner, remnants of our shopping adventures. Many of our purchases are either hard or impossible to find in Playa or are simply significantly more expensive than their US counterparts.
The access to good quality merchandise at low prices has become common place in the US. Today walking through FAO Schwartz, a well known luxury toy store known for extravagance, I found myself becoming jaded by the variety. It's like US consumers expect and demand a wide assortment of goods whereas in Playa del Carmen we are just thankful to find any one item. Often shopping in Playa is marked with frustration: many items are either sold out or impossible to find. Shopping has become a necessary impulse: buy it now as it may not be around tomorrow.
Allan and I will be thankful to return to our tranquil life in Playa, without all the consumer temptations. Although we do enjoy the shopping selection in NYC, it can become addicting. We might start to wonder - what do we need with all this stuff? Shopping is fun once in a while, but we don't want it to define our lives.
Allan poses with the gentlemen who reported the smoking car to police in Times Square. It is due to his alertness that the bomb did not explode.