Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Puerto Vallarta Christmas Story

Lots of family stuff going on, but I don't have much of general interest to blog about.

Just one short story from my Christmas in Puerto Vallarta.

On Christmas Eve I took a taxi from the marina to the old "El Centro" part of Puerto Vallarta, about a 15 minute ride. The taxi driver, Enrique, spoke English pretty well and we started chatting. He was genuinely troubled by learning that I would be spending the holidays alone. I told him I was fine, that being alone helps me appreciate more all the holidays I have spent with friends and family in the past and will spend in the future.  Then I asked him what he was doing for Christmas.

Enrique brightened up, smiled and said, "My girls are waiting for me to come home so we can start celebrating. You are my last trip and I think I can get home by 11. My wife has been cooking all day and I'm getting hungry just thinking about all the food."

I told him, "I usually do most of the cooking on the holidays for my family. It's hard work. You spend all day cooking, putting your best into making the food. Then people sit down, eat, and the meal seems to be much too quickly. I'm glad people enjoyed good food for the holiday, but sometimes I feel a bit empty and let down when its over, after all that work."

Enrique was quiet for a few seconds, thoughtful. "I never thought about that. My wife has cooked for every family holiday. I never considered how hard she worked, just enjoyed her delicious food. I have never thanked her."

I suggested, "Well, you can thank her tonight, right?"

He smiled brightly and replied enthusiastically, "I will do more than thank her. I will thank her in front of the whole family. It will be great. She will cry from surprise and happiness."

When we reached my destination and as I was opening the door to get out the taxi, Enrique shook my hand and said, "It was very important that you got in my taxi tonight. You helped me realize something important. I am so excited to get home to tell my wife 'Thank you'."

I told Enrique to tell his wife "Feliz Navidad" from me, one cook to another.  I watched him drive away with a big smile on his face.

It was a short, friendly conversation, but imagining Enrique's toast to his wife's cooking afterwards was the highlight of my Christmas here in Puerto Vallarta.