Monday, January 26, 2009

Just a little more about Yelapa, Mexico

I was a fourth grade pie lady

Exactly a year ago I published a story in Sunset about Yelapa, the Mexican village where I went to fourth grade and which I have visited nearly every year for 30 years. In it I waxed extremely nostalgic, basing much of my argument that it is one of the best places in the West on my thesis that it had barely changed at all in three decades.  

The Mister and Ollie on the panga to Yelapa
A lot of people traveled to Yelapa because of that story (I saw some of them holding the article in a plastic sleeve and consulting my restaurant recommendations!) and I sometimes feel a little squeamish about that.  Yelapa is a beautiful place, maybe even magical in its way, but I feel the need to set the record straight. So here it is, my revision:  
Yelapa has changed A LOT since I was a kid and there was no electricity and my friend Fermina had never seen a pizza and no one, not one resident, had a TV.  Yelapan teenagers dress like Kanye West now.  They have cell phones and designer jeans.  Gone are the pigs rooting around in the mud on the trail, in large part because the trails are are now PAVED with cobblestones, allowing ATVs to zip up and down. There are drug dealers and yoga instructors and a full-time doctor in Yelapa.  You can buy Diet Coke at the grocery store and hear Norah Jones at the taco stand.  If you go you will most likely see more gringos than Mexicans.  But the biggest change, the thing that made me sad and wistful like nothing else this year, was the total lack of pie ladies.
Yelapa has been known for its pie ladies, they of the sturdy calves and impeccable balance, who trudge up and down the beach selling fresh, homemade pie out of Tupperware balanced on their heads.  And now they are gone. It's the end of something good, truly.  I haven't had enough time to properly grieve and process this loss, but I know for sure that life will never be the same.
Still, the kids liked it.  
Maggie discovers her inner Cousteau

Ollie discovers his inner Luke Skywalker

A thing I like
I'm finally reading Obama's Dreams from My Father (my last drop of the Koolaid) and man, it's really good.  He can write.  I would probably even read this book if it weren't written by the holy savior of America.  This guy, this smart, human, complicated, flawed, compassionate person is our president.  It hardly seems possible.  Pinch!  


hilary belle said...

what kind of pies did the pie-ladies proffer? sweet or savory? and does your mother blame you for all the tourists?

Dallas Shaw said...

just came across your blog, what adorable photos!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin