Living on a budget in Cozumel can lead to interesting choices. It’s why I shop at the mercado on Saturdays, often swim in an ocean spot with no restaurant service, and go to town on Sunday for the free party in the plaza. Budgeting also creates a need to make decisions. For example, this month had me asking myself, “should I buy that air conditioner, finish my roof/deck, or get a new bed?” It ended up that none of those items were purchased since one of my pups had a bad couple of days and taking her to a vet, and getting her meds, got first dibs on my funds. Now, don’t get me wrong, I make enough to live here legally, and with a few perks, but the dogs will win out every time because I’m a complete sucker for animals. And, that’s my choice too.
So, I have no air conditioning for another month, or so, and it’s been hot, folks. Yesterday, after blocking sun with colorful cloths, shifting fans to every angle, and standing in front of an open refrigerator dressed in, well, less than I’d wear in public, it became clear. Having just received my latest FM3 (thank you again, Monica Sauza, you are a dream) I needed to find a place for dinner to celebrate that was close, but, more importantly, cooled. My landlord’s daughter was able to direct me to one just around the corner she believed had it all. El Volado (the toss) on the corner of 15 and 20 in Corpus Christi.
It was easy to spot and not just because of the location across from the church park. It is a structure more commonly seen in the western parts of the United States. It is a two-story, wooden house with large front windows overlooking the park, and a sloping roof complete with dormers. There are no pastel colors to be seen anywhere and that alone makes it stand out in this neighborhood. I was pleasantly surprised that it was just as unexpected inside as well. In fact, if there had been a pool table I would have thought I was back in the States and, sometimes, that’s a good feeling. A few tables, a couple of televisions, and a bar are all that are on the first floor. I’d learn about the second floor later.
Not five minutes after I got there I noticed that the folks around me were just plain friendly. The waitress and I share the same first name and we had a laugh. The downstairs bartender was giggling as she filled up a giant tube with beer. And the security guard was smiling more than those in his profession usually do. It was time to take out my camera and see if these folks would let me take some shots.
I ordered a house burger and something to drink and was happy to see the prices really are reasonable, yea. Then I started to walk around. Now, I don’t know if my mood just got elevated because my body was cooler than it had been in days, but the customers and staff seemed to all be very pretty people. I started to snap away and everyone was happy to let me. After getting a few more shots my food was ready and I took a break.
Now, I’m not much of a red meat-eater for a whole lot of reasons, and nothing I’m going to write about here. It just seemed good to mention since, when I do break down and indulge in a craving, I have high expectations. That burger was pretty tasty, let me tell you, and the fries were good too. They both disappeared quickly. While eating I found myself watching both the television and the folks going up and down the wooden steps in the middle of the room. I knew that would be my next destination. Once I finished I headed up.
The second floor had another bar, more tables, and a place to just hang out. Everywhere I looked tourists and locals were all sipping beers out of those huge tubes. I had to go up and check one out since they were obviously the most popular item in the place. They had their own taps and the folks at the table would just draw out another glass whenever they wanted. And, let me repeat, they were huge and were making the tables look as if they were supporting a center column. I’m guessing they keep the beer cooler too and I asked, but my Spanish, such as it is, well, that’s why I’m only guessing. Still, no-one was complaining and that’s a good thing.
A couple more pictures and it was time to wind down for the evening. I paid my bill, thanked the bartender, and headed outside. It was nighttime, but still far warmer than inside. I hesitated, it was tempting to go back in, but then made another choice. It was time to go home and sit on my deck with my two healthy and happy dogs. Makes the warm days seem more tolerable somehow.
p.s. as always, I like to share good experiences, but am never compensated, it helps me to stay honest……………………………Salud!