Vanitas from Mexico

Some time ago I went to Mexico. It was one of those cheap all-inclusive vacations that I enjoy so much. Mediocre hotel, non-swimmable ocean, a tiny pool with a bar full of hangover-inducing drinks, plentiful but not-so-exciting meals, drunk guys and gals in the evening, and painfully cheerful seniors in the morning and early afternoon… 

Of course, the place was infested with pushy timeshare sellers — amusing hybrids of polyglots with used-car traders. One of those guys almost convinced me that his property could’ve become my personal paradise for one week a year (or two with a hefty 70% discount for the second week). Unfortunately, somewhere in the middle of his hard-sale pitch he forgot that his daughter’s name was exactly the same as mine.  Oh, wait… that was a different daughter! 

Despite my negative charisma and almost legendary ability to discourage people from dealing with me, I had to resort to a tactical retreat in order to avoid more tempting timeshare offers. Local bar exploration was out of the question due to their overcrowdedness. The small town had also little to offer in other touristy activities. So, I had to go to explore the ‘boring’ parts outside of regular tourist paths.

Some residential areas reminded me of post-apocalyptic film sets. Broken and abandoned cars, rubbish, collapsing fences and buildings, windows and doors with heavy bars… Of course, I was fascinated. I felt like I was within Z Nation or The Walking Dead universe, minus the hazard of zombies. It was a truly amazing (although, sad) experience.

I thought that a disposable plastic camera would be the best option to capture this feeling: Digital cameras will not work after the doomsday. I was looking for scenes and details that reminded me of opening credits for TWD or Dutch vanitas. The resulting photographs do not reflect Mexico, her culture, or her people. But they remind of the fragility of our world and our abuse of it. We should really do better if we do not want to end up living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

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2 thoughts on “Vanitas from Mexico

  1. Some hobbyist in the States would pay lots of money for that old truck. As shabby as it looks, it’s definitely in restorable condition.

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