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I was not the only tourist with a camera, but when the others had taken their pictures and
left, I asked, “Can you tell me about your decorative outfit?”
A Volante was happy to explain, “We used to dress as bird-men, that's what our history
says, but the Spanish priests prohibited it as pagan. So we designed fancy clothes and said
that it was a game.”
He explained that on the headdress, a comb made of multicolored folds represented the
rainbow; the mirrors, the sun; flowers on the cap, growth of vegetation. The long stream-
ers I guessed represented the rain, but no, they represented corn, the agricultural staple of
the Mexican diet. The streamers were symbolic corn tassels.
From the center I still had a five-minute walk to the colectivo stand. When I arrived, the
driver told me to sit up front. I was alone and as soon as I got in, we were off to Playa del
Playa del Carmen is the ultimate tourist beachfront shopping bazaar. I enjoyed the utter
overexposure to Mexican shopping and brand name luxury businesses. I paid $6 for a
scoop of Häagen Dazs Pralines and Cream with a special dipped cone. Starbucks was
prominent as were Carlos and Charlie's, too. Luxury shops line Calle Cinco (Fifth Street)
and there is enough electricity glowing in the jewelry stores to power most hotels.
Expenses: Taxi & combi $18, bus $10, meals $18, Hotel La Ziranda $44, fees $18, Total:
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