Dear Mr. and Ms. Yucatan Living People,
While we have had dealings in the past, may I re-introduce myself? I am Violene Desplantes, the misbegotten fool who has spent the past six years in service to Ms. Madeline Parmet, owner of Hotel Luz En Yucatan. (Ms. Parmet likes to call herself La Duena. This feeds into her fantasy of being royalty in exile. Plausible, really, considering the weight of her person and/or her presence, either being more than sufficient to have caused the toppling of one regime or another, leaving its members no choice but to flee elsewhere.)
In any event, La Duena is in possession of the "Yucatan Living Expatriate Interview" which you sent to her. (Really, I think there are probably clinical standards which would exclude her from being referred to as a "LIVING" Expatriate. For myself, I think a classic definition should require that parts of the brain, other than the stem, are used more than occasionally.) I have seen her sitting at the computer, the screen displaying the interview questions. I have heard her bellow, "Dear God, what do those two want from my life?" And then, within a short period of time and no interview questions having been answered, she will lumber away from the computer and up the stairs to her apartment, with nothing more being heard from her, (other than the occasional, "Food! I need more food!!"), for the rest of the day.
I suspect that the reason she is having such a difficult time with this project is that the concept of "reason" or "a reason" is, for the most part, unfamiliar to her. As I have noted, she functions at a fairly primitive level, her actions being more the consequences of reflex and instinct than thoughtful consideration. Thusly, I, Violene, am taking it unto myself to answer the questions for La Duena. I will do so in a narrative style as, again, to do so in a precise and organized manner would be inconsistent with this woman's actions/motivations, (or lack thereof). Rules of order do not apply when describing CHAOS.
La Duena moved to the Yucatan seven years ago. I would say this move was in keeping with the trend of previous moves, i.e. subsequent to her first BIG MOVE from New York to California, (this having been a horizontal move meant to change/improve her lifestyle), all further moves were preceded by a failed or no love affair and were headed in a southerly or downward direction. (As in California to the Southwest to the Deep South to the Deeper South and thence to the Yucatan.) I cannot say with certainty why she moved to the Yucatan. I do know that she moved to Florida because she believed it to be populated with old men desperate for her companionship. Alas, she over-estimated both her appeal and the level of desperation of the male Floridian. And so, alone, she moved on.
La Duena's original intent was to open a fat farm in Merida. (My dears, talk about the blind leading the blind!!! ) Indeed, after eight months, a group of dieters appeared and participated in the "Weight Loss Program". Though I was, mercifully, not present to witness what transpired, word has it that tears were shed, insults were hurled, threats were made and, at the end of it, Ms. Parmet retired to her apartment, damning these folks to stew in their own fetid juices. "Screw them", said she, "If anyone else hauls their fat ass in here, they get a bed, a crapper and that's it." And thus, the concept for "Hotel Luz En Yucatan" was born.
Indeed, much to everyone's surprise, this odd little establishment has flourished. This despite the fact that Ms. Parmet had scant funding, no training in/knowledge of the hotel business and only a feeble grasp of the Spanish language. (Alas, after seven years in Mexico, while she APPEARS to speak Spanish, really, she does not. I do believe that her "success" with communication can be attributed to the fact that the people with whom she is speaking work especially hard to comprehend what she is describing, in order that the business at hand can be consummated and they are then freed to get on with their lives, away from her sphere of influence.) I cannot comment with surety as to whether or not the business has been a financial success... though, obviously, it has provided her with funding to buy sufficient FOODSTUFFS. She has, from time to time, returned to the United States to labor as a nurse. (And, between you and me, my mind boggles at the thought of those poor souls, ill and with diminished capacities, being exposed to her not-so-tender mercies.)
Other miscellaneous questions:
As to whether or not she would ever return to the US to live, I have heard persons ask her, "Would you return to the US? ( And I do believe this is being said more as a plea than a query.) I have heard this delicate flower reply, "Yes, I would... when pigs fly out my butt."
Does she like it here? What does she love about life here?? Really, the woman is a malcontent, so these questions do not apply. A difference between living here as opposed to living in the US... It is cheaper to find people to put up with her here.
La Duena is not a Mexican citizen. Does she think she will become one? Does she plan to stay in Yucatan? As I've noted, thought and planning are not Ms. Parmet's preferred activities.
How is she treated by the Mexicans and does she feel welcome? She is treated quite well, indeed, and has been made to feel most welcome. (And this, I believe, speaks more of the patience, forbearance, generosity and good-heartedness of the Mexican people than the "worthiness" of La Duena. Between you and me, she is just such a trial to us all!)
Finally, La Duena has recently placed the following advertisement:
Hotel For Sale...............
The owner of this charming Colonial hotel in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico has not had sexual intercourse in many years. While she does not necessarily blame the hotel, she has concluded that it has failed to imbue her with allure sufficient to land a partner. As such, she has determined that it is time to sell the hotel, now convinced that it will take cold cash to get the job done.
From this, you can infer what it was that La Duena missed in her life in the US, and what it is she misses in her life in the Yucatan. And it will also relate to your question, i.e. "What is the most important piece of advice to offer to someone considering moving to the Yucatan?" I believe La Duena would say that such a one would be well advised to consider that life in the Yucatan, as opposed to life wherever it is you are coming from, is completely different, and exactly the same. And this can be both the good news, and the bad.
diane and andy 17 years ago
What a wonderfully amusing column!...Will the LUZ still be open? If so, who has been brave enough to take your place? And will you please have the gifted Violene or another magical person write to us from wherever you go next? Which, by the way, Andy and I will be visiting in mid-December....so please have the long suffering Violene send us your new e-mail?
Diane and Andy
Who was nuts enough to take the birds? And what will the cats do without you?
Sandie and Ronnie 17 years ago
OMG...... We luv you Madeline! Actually, none of it surprises us....that's the joy of you and the Luz! Very funky...off the wall.....we all know you need a good man....at least you think you do! You never fail to let us know that! Don't ever change, La Duena...and you must know that The Luz would never the same without you!
Hey Steve Bridger....I remember you! Gicela and Nelly, right? Nelly must be quite the young lady by now. We have pictures of you all!
Jeffrey Marlin 17 years ago
Madeline, Betsy alerted me to this and I'm glad she did. It's pretty good stuff. I enjoyed it. I hope you don't manage to sell for a while, as we speak of getting down there sooner or later. Best, Jeffrey.
Jon Montz-Graham 17 years ago
La Duena, la loca is more like it. I had the amazing fortune to share about six months with the flaming redhead while ensconced in the lap of Long Beach, CA luxury, working our tushes off as RN's. Money not being as strong a point as say, Haagen Daz, we ate. We kvetched, we experienced life as RN's on the go. Nurses About Town, if you will. I love her and need to visit Luz. Cuanto cuesto para comprar? I am only a poor gay boy in Costa Rica, but I make a mean flan! Juanito
Gina Matthews 17 years ago
God!!!! this one was funny???????
Working Gringa 17 years ago
Yes, Madeline has put Luz up for sale. And yes, we think we might be able to convince Violene to chime in now and then with her pithy comments. She is, after all, the maven of all things Merida. Stay tuned!
Billie 17 years ago
This is funny. Can you get Violene to write another column?
Steve Bridger 17 years ago
Ah, the wonderful Madeline. We stayed at Luz for a whole month (March 2003). In fact, I believe we said goodbye three years ago exactly (tomorrow; April 2nd).
Is she really selling up?
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