Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sleeping in Hammocks

You might be surprised to find out that the maid who cleans your room in Playa del Carmen probably sleeps in a hammock at night.  I used to think of laying in a hammock as an outdoor activity on a lazy, summer day.  Now I realize hammocks have a long history in Mexico and Central America and are really part of the Mayan culture.

Ancient Mayans used to sleep in hammocks.  Hammocks are ideal for the tropical Yucatecan climate: they are light and airy, providing great ventilation for the user.  They allow the user to hover above the ground, away from whatever insects or crawling creatures which might otherwise find their way under the sheets of a bed.  Considering Ancient Mayans and many present day Mayan descendants live in conditions more akin to camping, sleeping off the ground was essential.  By the time Spanish explorers landed in Mexico they found hammocks everywhere.

Hammocks are also great space savers.  In the morning just unhook one end from the wall and hang it up on the other.  Potential buyers in Playa who are looking at very affordable accommodations, the type that appeal to local Mexicans, expect to find hammock hooks on the inside walls.  What might be a living room during the day coverts to a sleeping area at night with hammocks hanging off the walls.

Both my maids sleep in hammocks.  One sleeps with her daughter in one hammock while the other maid shares a hammock with her husband.  When it's time for intimacy my maids told me they move to the floor.  Although there is book and even a calendar on hammock sutra, the art of intimacy in a hammock, I guess my girls prefer a hard surface.

For purchasing your prized hammock, stay away from pricy 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.  Instead visit the hammock store on 30th Avenue and 50th Street.  You can purchase from a beautiful assortment of colorful hammocks at a fraction of the price.  They have single weaves, double weaves, single hammocks, doubles and even chairs.  If you don't find what you're looking for, submit a custom order from a wide selection of colors and have them make your own.

Although Allan and I have 2 hammocks and do manage to sneak a nap in them from time to time, we are not planning to trade in our bed.  Sleeping in a mattress is very much a part of our culture, just as being in a hammock is part of the Mayan culture. 

My maid, Zoila, sits in our bucket hammock with Mitzi.  Believe it or not we find this hammock more comfortable than the traditional horizontal kind.

Zoila in our second hammock.  Zoila sleeps in a hammock every night.


KfromMichigan said...

I love taking a nap in a hammock, but I want my bed a night! Intimate in a hammock .. I don't think so!

Aggie said...

I bought a beautiful hammaca in is huge in our Brooklyn backyard but I can't imagine how to be intimate in it LOL!