The Old Woman
27 December 2017 | Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
December 23, 2017
I see her every morning. The old woman sits in the hotel lobby, in the same chair, with a cup of coffee. I am curious about her.
The old woman is a large woman, plump with round calves that peek out of her knickers. I am guessing she is tall, although I have never seen her stand. Her face is strangely shaped, long, almost rectangular, and she wears her white hair cropped short with tight curls. Her dark eye glasses are in stark contrast to her fair complexion. She doesn't look like your typical Mexican, but when she speaks Spanish it sounds like her native tongue. Her English is spoken with an accent. She rarely smiles, only stares off into the distance, watching, until someone comes and sits by her side.
The first week we arrived, a woman - a younger, prettier version of her self - came to visit. Every morning she would join the old woman for coffee and they would converse in Spanish. Her daughter maybe? This woman is blond and fair too, but clearly looks Canadian, not Mexican. Rumor has it the owners of the hotel are half Mexican and half Canadian. This would explain her appearance. I wonder if the old woman is the owner or, more likely, the owner's mother.
One week later, the younger version of her self no longer comes to visit the old woman. Now it is the hotel workers that come to visit her. It is the el jefes (chiefs/bosses) that sit by her side and keep her company. Now I think it is even more likely she is the owner's mother. The el jefes have come to pay their respect.
Yesterday, an American couple went over to say hello and I overheard part of their conversation. The old woman has five grandchildren. The youngest boy just turned eighteen. It seems she is like any other grandmother. She worries about them. One or two are particularly worrisome as I heard the American lady laugh and say, "Cut them out of your will!" I cringed at the insensitivity of her comment.
I wonder where the old woman goes when she leaves the lobby. Does she have a suite on the top floor overlooking Banderas Bay? Does she spend her afternoons watching Mexican soap operas and intermittently napping? Who joins the old woman for supper? I am curious about her.
Jay suggests I go talk with her. Strike up a conversation. Maybe even interview her. I am not so sure. I enjoy a mystery. Mysteries make life interesting.
UPDATE: I have since learned the old woman is the wife, not the mother. And yes, they live on the top floor overlooking Banderas Bay. They are originally from northern Italy but emigrated to Canada long ago. Hmm... I wonder what brought them to Mexico?