So many people asked me that question when they found out I was moving to Mexico. In my experience, people all over the world only hear the terrible things that happen in other countries. It’s gotten to the point where I’m reluctant to admit that I’m American because people aren’t thrilled with Americans these days. When I moved to Japan one of the first questions that someone asked me was, “Do you own a gun?” Now why on earth would I own a gun? I don’t hunt. I couldn’t bring myself to kill an animal, much less a person. I don’t even like it when I have to kill the armies of ants that keep trying to invade my home. So no, I have never owned a gun, and no, I’m not afraid I am going to get killed. Crime exists everywhere…and I don’t hang out with the cartel.
Mexico is an exuberant place, with wonderful culture, gregarious people, good food, and the best part…a two-hour mid afternoon siesta. James Taylor had it right; “Oh Mexico. It sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low. Moon‘s so bright like to light up the night. Make everything all right.” That is the feeling that I want to capture. I also want to portray the vibrant colors, and not just of the flora, but of the buildings as well. If someone told me I should paint my house orange, pink, and yellow I would have laughed. But that color combination actually works here because the quality of light is so brilliant (still not my choice, nonetheless). In fact, the sun is so intense that it’s impossible to take photos without a polarizing filter, and it’s difficult even with one.
The photo above was taken at a Mardi Gras parade in Ajijic, as was the one in my new photo album, ‘Mexico,’ of the two ‘dolls’ riding the ATV (just in case you’re thinking, “What is that about!?”).
I just noticed that this week’s photo challenge is ‘blue,’ and it just so happens that I’ve been working on this blue net bag. Perfect timing.
Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture and is part of the Ryukyu Island chain. It’s a tiny island, but packed with activity. I spent the majority of my free time trekking, swimming, snorkeling, or diving in the bath-water warm seas. I lived in Okinawa for eleven years and it was an incredible experience. The people, the food, the culture, and of course the beauty compose everything that I miss about it. You can take ferries to the ‘outer’ islands, which are less populated and where the people aren’t as impacted by ‘progress.’ I loved finding beaches with no one else on them, and that was an easy thing to do. Being the only person–well, people, I was usually with friends–on a beach was wonderful. Talk about getting away from it all. The photo above is from an island that is part of the Keramas – a very popular dive spot. Sadly, I can’t remember exactly which island. I tend not to group my photos by specific location, thinking I can fall back on my memory, which is a totally stupid thing to do because my memory is for shit. You’d think I’d have remembered that by now…case in point. I’ve added just a few photos to the Okinawa album. There’s a lot more to come. I hope I captured at least a little of the essence of it. It’s difficult to be an accurate judge of that because I can’t separate the memories from the photos.