One thing I like about living down here is, I am always meeting interesting people. it seems like you meet a lot of unique people when you are an expat living away from your home. In my travels here I am always running into people by chance and circumstance.
A couple of weeks ago I had a friend come down from South Carolina for a visit. He is a bird watcher and he wanted to go on a tour and also see some of Mexico. We went to watch some college football at the Tequila Barrel here in Playa del Carmen. We went to try to watch the University of South Carolina play, but they did not have that game on.
While were there the Clemson game was on so we sat down to watch, (Clemson is our arch rivals, and I love to see them lose). Well in the table right next to us were two couples from my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. And come to find out one of the guys was Ben Martin, a PGA tour golfer who was in town for the PGA tournament they had in Playa del Carmen in November. He had played golf at Clemson University, and now lives in Greenville, South Carolina. He had missed the cut, so he and his wife and another couple were watching the game.
What I found was interesting was they were the first people I have ever met here in Playa del Carmen from my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. I have met people from my hometown at the Costa Maya Port in Mahahual off of cruise ships, but these are the first people from my hometown not on cruise ships.
We talked and they asked me the usual questions, like what is was like to live here, and is it safe, and can you drink drinks with ice cubes in them here. I gave them my usual talk, and told them don’t believe everything you read and hear about Mexico, especially from people from the USA and of course do not believe anything you hear in Greenville, SC about Mexico, because most of it is untrue.
They were very nice people, and the two woman had very deep southern accents, and of course being Clemson graduates and southern belles, they both were blond. Reminded me of home.
There also was another couple sitting close to us, and come to find out, they were from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. They were there watching football and having food and drinks. They were South Carolina Gamecock fans,like us, and they had the game on the guy’s Iphone, and they kept us informed of the USC-Florida game score. So we watched the Clemson game and talked with the people from South Carolina, and had a good time.
After the game was over we said goodbye to the people we met from South Carolina, and as we were walking to the door, I guy mentions something to me about the Gamecock hat I was wearing. Come to find out he was another person from South Carolina, and he is from North Augusta, South Carolina. He is a PGA tour caddie, and he was also in town for the PGA tour here. His name is Don Cooper and he played golf at USC-Aiken, and now travels around the world as a professional caddie. He told me he was heading to Australia to caddie next. He also knew my ex-girlfriend from North Augusta, and her family, small world. Very nice southern guy, and good old boy.
As we were leaving I told my friend, Bob Critser, I bet this is the most people from South Carolina in one room in the whole state of Quintana Roo. That is the most people I have ever met at one time from South Carolina, since I have been here.
Lately I have been meeting more and more people from the USA down here. Every time I go to the Mega Store now I have to help people from the USA find stuff or help them out with the language. Yesterday I helped an older couple from Bronz, New York out finding soy milk, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and a bunch of other stuff while they were shopping. It was their first time here, and the language was scary to them, and they were afraid to ask for help.
I have noticed the time I have been in Mexico an increase in people from the USA every year. Every year it seems more and more people are discovering Quintana Roo and Mahahual as great places to vacation or retire.
I am still surprised at meeting people from my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina here. I think I will be meeting a lot more in the future.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina