Thursday, October 01, 2009

Notes from abroad: Las Ranitas, Tulum (3)

Paolino the manager here told me about a 1975 Mexican film in which his brother-in-law appeared called Sangre Derramada. It was shot in Antigua, so it would be fun to watch.

Paulino grew up in Merida and has some very interesting ideas about the applications of sound, aroma and colour in the hospitality industry.

I asked him where the tradition of making animals out of towels got started. Apparently it isn't limited to the peninsula and the resident toallartista received his training when working for a large chain of hotels elsewhere in the country. One of his most well-received models has apparently been a lady in a yoga position.

You'd have guessed from my earlier posts that I have some misgivings about the Maya-Hindu-Buddhism syncretism that goes on along this coast. There's a place for the orientalist fantasy aesthetic and that place, largely for historical and cultural reasons, is France. That's why the Buddha Bar, and the excellent CD boxed sets which emanated from it, made perfect sense in Paris.

Aside from the co-option of countercultural mores into premium consumer culture that is inevitably involved, there's also a tendency to dilute or indeed debase the indigenous spiritual legacy.

Oddly enough though, this French-run establishment appears to have the least pretensions to cosmic oneness out of all the hotels lined up either side of it.

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