Taco de Ojo
A fine cigar (preferably Cuban), a good cup of coffee, intelligent conversation and a couple of hearty laughs. That is a good morning for me, and I’m lucky in that most of my mornings are good mornings here in Yucatan. Where once I was required to be up at the crack of dawn, dressed in a suit and tie and out the door (typically without breakfast), to join the throngs of fellow lemmings swarming to our 10, 12 and 15 hour workdays, I now hop on my scooter at about 8:15 a.m. dressed in an old tee-shirt and Levi’s and head to the cafe.
Once there I take a seat, usually with my brother Joel, on the broad, tree lined Paseo de Montejo. We order our strong coffees, light our cigars and watch the morning unfold. This morning was sunny and cool, with a slight breeze keeping the air fresh. Friends, both expat and local, drifted in and out. It takes about an hour to devour a good Habana Puro (in this case Montecristo Limited Editions), and to drink a couple of Cafe Americano con Leche’s. Great coffee from Chiapas, with a little cream added for color—strong and rich, but not bitter.
In that time we catch up with our friends, and talk about the latest news, politics, sports, movies, philosophy and other guy stuff. We also entertain ourselves with guy stories and jokes, often crude and dumb. But it’s funny and it makes us laugh. Dominique (very French and the new owner of the cafe) indulges us, and actually admits to liking the smell of cigar smoke—but then she’s French and not a tight-ass American. And we’re pretty good customers, because on most mornings (after the cigars and coffee) we order breakfast.
It’s not a life for everyone, but it is the life for me. Where my mornings used to be filled with stress, anxiety and zero time for myself, they are now relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable. BTW, these mornings typically take 2 to 3 hours to completely unfold.
A note to anyone who might be tempted to worry about a few cigars and my periodic Scotch consumption: Thank you for your concern, but please don’t trouble yourself. Any health risk I might incur, as a result of indulging in these two vices, pales in comparison to what I suffered with in the States. And as an adult human being I take full responsibility for my actions—and I revel in the ability to do that without government, spousal or goody-two-shoes intervention.