Monday, February 11, 2013

Beach chair hoarding doesn't bode well for humanity

 The palapa wars --- or chair hoarding --- on the beach here in Nuevo Vallarta has gone nuclear and it's  positively embarrassing for humankind.

 Here's what's happening in Mexico --- although Florida must have its identical stories about its Snow Birds and anyone who has stayed at a beach resort has probably witnessed it.

Stacking and hoarding beach chairs -- a Gringo sport?
When we first arrived in November in Nuevo Vallarta, people would slip down to the beach early in the morning and 'claim' their beach chairs and the shade of a palm-frond palapa by leaving a beach towel or a book or a personal item laying on a chaise lounge.

I thought that was silly enough, but okay.... if that chair and that palapa are that important to your happiness, go for it.

But now it's gotten to Palapa Insanity. As has our world.

Now people are stacking a half-dozen chaise lounges under one palapa, with another half dozen upright plastic chairs stacked nearby and a towel draped over all of it the night before!


Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if the chairs were actually used?
What it means in this small expat community is that even the relatively sane people who don't want to be reduced to chair claiming (or chair hoarding) are finding themselves forced to play the game, or they won't have a place to sit --- even for an hour or two.

Worse, these reserved chairs sit empty for most of the afternoon, their possession-crazed owners likely up in their condos, not even on the beach, catching up with a little TV.

Last night while we were down watching yet another sunset,  a friend apologetically put her towel on a chaise lounge in the back row because she wanted to make sure she had a place to sit the next day.

But by the time we arrived on the beach at 8 this morning to do a little Zumba, her towel had been tossed aside and another set of towels were there to claim possession.

Really? How embarrassing for all of us.

It's stunning to watch adult humans reduced to this open warfare. But the hopelessness I feel is that it is simply a microcosm of what is going on in the human race --- the selfishness, the greed, the self-centeredness.

The big 'MINE' of resources, energy, land, money, food, stuff.

I have no idea how the Palapa Wars will get resolved on this beach, other than the season ending and the sport of chair hoarding will no longer be fodder for the daily amusement of the Mexican employees.

But it doesn't bode well for us as a species. If we can't even get it together to figure out how to cooperate on as simple an issue as beach chairs, how likely is it that we'll figure out how to share fuel, food, medicine?

It's a topic I'll try not to think about when I wander down to the beach later on this afternoon and look for a place to sit. I'm sure someone will offer to share....


Anne W said...

Sylvia, similar happens at City of Hope in the waiting area at the hospital floors where people spend the night, if you can believe it.

A family will come in to the waiting area, pull ALL the chairs into a little group and put things on a few of them laying claim for the day and night. While we were there at least two physical fights broke out in the pedatric ward over it. It shocked me.

Sylvia Fox said...

How depressing! That's far worse than the beach.

Tina said...

Same thing happened on the cruise ship by each pool. Lounge chairs with a towel or personal item would sit empty for hours while people tried to find somewhere to sit. Very sad.

Kevins Glenne said...

That’s really disappointing. People need to be aware, need to feel and have to think what could be done resolving this. If everyone thinks & work according, I think that will resolved much of the problem.

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Daniel Frank said...

People get more selfish now. We think only for our own, we never bother what trouble we make for others. Not only on beach it happens everywhere now.

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Andrew austin said...

enjoy sea waves and sunshine and sunset with folding beach chair

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