Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cozumel....fun and recovering!

I could not bring myself to snap pictures of the remaining damage to Cozumel and environs. They have had plenty of exposure. The fact of entire several-hundred foot piers of four to five foot thick reinforced concrete missing or piled like kindling wood in multi-ton chunks was stark reminder of what will happen to our lovely Tampa should we ever take a direct CAT 5 blow.

The thing that struck me was the resiliency of these folks. In a matter of months they were near 100% operational. Yes, we had to "tender" from ship to shore....a process involving bobbing people-carriers....but the process was nearly painless. Yes, some places on the pier shopping area particularly still have damage, but the place was open for business.

We shopped, we drank their margaritas.......word to the wise for future visitors to Cozumel or any Mexican port....As one of the ship crew pointed out so well. The tequila is cheaper in Mexico than the mixers.....thus MAJOR tequila content. Poncho's on the pier is lovely for your beginning consumption. The Duchess and I went to see Folklorica, a mariachi performance with native dances and beautiful costumes. The other six in our little group sought out Charlie's where music and drink were flowing.

We all had a great time....and there are some really nice buys on jewelry, boots, etc. One day when feeling a bit more bold I shall send a picture of me in my new cowboy boots of elephant and deer. Yep, I have cowboy boots.

I could not help but wonder if Tampa would bounce back so fast? Given our infrastructure is much more substantial than is that in Cozumel, thus much more difficult and expensive to replace, however....are we as resilient? In many cities of this country we have thousands still living off us in FEMA dollars.....many who do not appear to be motivated to leave their motel... even for such mundane things as job-seeking.

Sorry for the negative, but that stuff makes me almost ill. We are a nation of self-help folks... or we had better be. Else what we stand for is gone!