I am still in Playa del Carmen condo sitting for a friend while he is out of the country. I was supposed to have gone back to Mahahual by now, but at the moment, I am not sure I will be doing when I go back. There has been a change over at the Costa Maya Port, and let’s just say I will not be working at the port doing tour sales this year. In fact several things are are up in the air now, but I don’t want to go into any detail. So, at the moment I am technically unemployed, and staying in Playa del Carmen until I sort things out.
I have been in Mahahual and Caldaritas the last 4 Christmas seasons, and I have never been around a bunch of expats during the holiday season, like I am doing now here in Playa del Carmen. In Mahahual I worked at the port every day during the holiday season, and even on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day, I worked at the port. (Even though I worked on New Year’s Day, I still got off of work in time to watch my South Carolina Gamecocks play in their bowl games the last four years, sorry had to throw that in).
So in Mahahual I worked all during the holiday season, and only got to see the local side of Christmas in Mahahual, which was make as much money as you can during the holidays. So in Mahahual you wake up one day, and it is Christmas, and you get up and go to work. Christmas kind of “creeps” up on you and you are not exposed to the season like I am here in Playa del Carmen.
My friend who owns the condo was supposed to back in Mexico by now, but he has extended his visa to stay longer in the Philipines, (I think it may be female related). He does not like it to sit empty, so I have been here for awhile looking after the condo. The past week I have been getting the condo ready for some renters who are coming in January to stay for a couple of months.
I had originally planned to go back to Mahahual at the middle of November, but because i do not have job at moment, and I needed to pay some bills, and have some repair work done for the owner of the condo here in Playa del Carmen, I am still here.
Like I said earlier, this is really my first holiday season outside of Mahahual, and because of this I have noticed a big difference between expats and tourists down here during the holiday season in Mahahual and Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen is much more commercial than Mahahual and other small towns in Mexico. Playa del Carmen has everything you need for the holidays. I was in the Mega Store around Thanksgiving, and I was surprised to see all the turkeys and holiday dishes they had. There was not a box of Stove Top stuffing left on the counter. They even had prepared turkeys, where all you did was carve off how much you wanted, and had it weighed, and then paid for it. They also have little 3 foot Christmas trees for 399 pesos and 5 foot trees for 599 pesos. (I tried to take some photos of all the stuff in the Mega Store, but they busted me and said no cameras allowed in store).
Also here in Playa del Carmen, you hear Christmas music everywhere, and people are wearing Santa caps in all the stores. Not so in Mahahual.
I have also met a lot of interesting expats here in Playa del Carmen during the holiday season. It seemed like around the first of November the condo complex filled up over night. There are a lot of Canadians that own condos here, and they come down from November to May. They have put up Christmas decorations and lights, and have had several Christmas parties and are starting to get in the holiday spirit.
This is also the first holiday season I have been able to watch football on Thanksgiving, and all the other games. So I guess while I wait to see what happens in Mahahual for me, I will be here in Playa del Carmen during the holiday season with other expats. It should be an interesting holiday season here, much different than I have experienced in the past in Mahahual.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina