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Tourism as Theater

Doug has written a series of blogs inspired by his travels in Mexico. If you wish to follow his journey, please hit reply and I will add your name to the group “Mexico”.

Some of these bucolic scenes in San Miguel – they’re too pastoral for words. You walk the busy narrow streets – emerging and rising from our “out of New York Travel magazine” residence – fighting the altitude effect. Up Pila Seca [“dry well”] once we hit Zacateros, we’re into the crush, particularly on weekends when everyone from the Cuidad or Querereto retreats here like we do to Banff or whistler.
Because they need some respite. All slaves to the machine, puttting in the hours of meeting the expectations and requirements of others – employers, clients, peers, families, children, parents – wow – it’s a long list if you write it all out: what you owe and to whom. So all come for relief of being yoked to all that.
And we do too. Not that I am now so driven – I’m not totally. But Al is off the wheel and he and i roam the calles.
We’re not looking for hustle. We’re too old for that – but some thrive on it. For them the traffic clogged single lane one ways, narrow sidewalks you have to step off to let opposing folks pass.
What we’re looking for? Those secretive doorways, giving into courtyards of quiet. Quiet riot – of vibrant color, of ebullient greenery. Serene quarters, ducking out of the press into the peace of gentility. Savouring the slow pace as we are served our beer, wine, coffee, whatever – as the price of a seat to let time tick by in the most uplifting of venues.
It’s all a set-up. We were talking about it. It’s artificial. Of course its artificial. Over time, sellers discovered that people were coming here for something like this – and they organized and gave it to them – us. And lots of US are roaming the streets, recluded in bistros. Going to art shows. Attending performances.
Many of us have had years under the Plow. Now its our turn to enjoy our sort of vacation from all that. Quiet. Slow pace. Vivid color. Quality of food and drink. Ease. Enticing events, theatre, performances.
Some of that flavour is suited to the younger traveler. They come for the festive, for the bar life, for the action. And there is enough of that.
There’s enough for everyone who comes. Not much for the biker types. Or the beach yahoos. This is set up for our demographic – the later in life aesthetes. The quality of life pursuers. The alternative lifestyle adherents. The spiritually, intellectually, artistically inclined.
And it’s set up for the weekend scene makers too.
This is the theatre that has been made for us. It feels relaxing, gratifying, exotic but natural. So what if it’s artificial? For the time we have here, it’s like a balm, a salve on the sores accumulated over a life time.
OK by me. I’m off to hear some of the finest young singers in Mexico in an operatic “The Voice” hosted at Theatre Perraulta to select a few for a shot at the big time – the National in Mexico Cuidad. I’ll bet it’ll be bang up show – for the likes of me, anyway….

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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