"I want to go to the beach today," announced my daughter Ashley.
"How about we go off to the beach down at Boca. It´s only a six-peso bus ride away and it's less crowded than the beaches in downtown Puerto Vallarta." But when we got to Boca, a rather large man grabbed hold of my arm and told me that if we ran like hell, we could catch the last boat to Yelapa. So we did. That is, Ashley ran. I just limped along really fast.
Once in Yelapa, we went to visit my friends Patricia and Valentin, ate shrimp tacos, guacamole and pie on the beach and then caught the last boat back to Boca at sunset. We didn´t get to go up to the YESI Institute where my friend Jean teaches Spanish in a palapa overlooking the bay but there just wasn´t time for everything. Sorry, Jean. Maybe next time? "That was the most refreshing hour and a half I've ever spent in my life!" I exclaimed.
But I was wrong.
The most refreshing time of my life so far -- with the possible exception of that time I toured a gold-plated Buddhist temple in Burma -- was the half-hour that I just spent in a SHOPPING MALL in Puerto Vallarta. Yeah you heard me right.
PPS: "Lift not the painted veil of life," warns the poet P.B. Shelley -- but perhaps if a lot more of us began to stare our fears in the face, lift the veils of perception and become more like the calm and peaceful Huitchol, then perhaps the human race would no longer be engulfed by its idiotic desire to spend 44 trillion dollars on useless weapons and unproductive war.