Time: Around noon. Place: Acapulco Convention Center.
So I’m standing talking to a representative of the Mexico Tourism Board when we feel a strange shudder move through the building. We thought one of the giant displays had fallen. One second later, the shudder became a shake and we were in the middle of a 5.6 earthquake.
I was strangely calm. Some chickie in a tight Lycra dress and heels somewhere behind me was screaming uncontrollably. We walked outside. It was over before it began.
There’s a saying in Spanish: éramos muchos y parió la abuela. I’m not sure how to translate that, but literally it means “there were a lot of us and grandma just had a kid”. Doesn’t really make sense it English, but there it is.
Mexico has been hit hard lately: the shaky economy, the drug violence, the misbegotten swine flu, and now an earthquake during its biggest and most important tourism and travel trade show. What is usually a bustling, loud, über-populated vortex of business, trade, and anything and everything having to do with Mexico’s tourism has barely risen above a loud hum. And after the quake, well, let’s just say it’s kinda quiet around here.
But you know what? There are still plenty of people here. And the handshakes are firm.
We who love this country, its beauty, the warmth of its people and their indomitable spirit, know this, too, shall pass.
And Mexico will be here, waiting with open arms.
In the meantime, I have an interview to do.