For those of you living here in Mexico, this is no news. But for the rest of you, you may be surprised to hear that Mexico has now instituted a nationwide No Smoking policy. I never thought I would see the day. I remember when people used to smoke in grocery stores and banks here. The new law went into effect sometime around August 28. Or at least while I was back NOB.
For the island, it is having very noticeable effects. One of the bartenders told me that violation of the policy will result in 24 hours in jail for both the smoker and the manager of the restaurant/bar. I'm not really sure if he was pulling my leg or not. Even so, it is being taken seriously. Our Mayor has taken the no smoking indoors to mean basically anyplace that has a roof over it. At our watering hole, Adelita's, we have had to abandon "our" table for the last 5 years and move to the street. Even though this bar is totally open, no doors at all, it does have a roof. Thus, no smoking under this roof! So basically the interiors of bars and restaurants are vacant and everybody is crowded onto the street. There has been a meeting with the Mayor and it looks like she may loosen the policy a bit. Let's hope so.
Because of this move, we are now sitting directly across from the kitchen windows of the restaurant across the street. They have now (unwisely in my opinion) opened up the entire space to the street and you can look right in and watch every action and movement of the cooks and the waiters who come in and out. Not smart. Not smart at all. Based on the things we have seen going on in there, we will NEVER again eat at that restaurant. They really need to shut this area off from public view. Yuk is about all I can say without getting myself into trouble.
Gossip is rampant again about closing Avenida Hidalgo for remodeling. It is supposed to start in a week or so. They are going to tear up everything from curb to curb. All businesses on this street will have to close during this work as there will be no access. Waiters, bartenders and hotel workers are already moving away, most to Playa del Carmen, to look for work. The Mayor has promised that this work will be done by November. Call me cynical, but I doubt it. From what I have heard, the plans are to make Hidalgo resemble Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen. So we continue down the path to loosing our fishing village image and creating an upscale exclusive resort. Whatever.
Not only is this renovation going to create an economic hardship for many, many families, it is also going to put the downtown traffic on its' ear. There will be no way to get across the downtown area and all traffic will have to go around. I am not looking forward to this mess. But you can expect a continuing pictorial report once it starts.
I'll be going back to North Beach now that IKE has totally moved out and the sea is back to normal. We all want to see what changes that high surge left behind. We'll also be visiting NOB again this week, so as my friend John would say: Stay Tuned!