We’ve been so busy visiting friends and family and getting ready to move to an awesome new place next month, and I’ve been so busy starting my new job that we have been somewhat remiss in keeping up with our posting schedule. Alas, life.
My new job is super awesome. We had a company-wide talent show plus free lunch last week, which was hilarious and very well-done. Plus my new coworkers are great and my office has a sweet view. And I can ride my bike to work. Could it be any better? Probably not.
Except! Ladies Weekend was way better. Ever since the year of my bachelorette weekend, K and my lady friends take a trip for one weekend a year to make sure we’re keeping up with each other. We rotate who to go visit by going in alphabetical order by first name. This year, it was the turn of our friend who lives at the beach. Her parents very generously offered to let us stay at their place, since they were going to be out of town this weekend anyway, and their house is the most awesome house ever. It is immediately on a lake. When I say immediately on a lake, I mean it. The back deck may as well be a back dock. It’s also beautiful and half a block from the neighborhood’s private beach. Which meant it was the first time in my life that I went to a beach that wasn’t totally full of tourists. It was magical. The whole weekend was so relaxing and wonderful. There was a full moon, so we went out to the beach and stayed up late telling stories and dancing under the moonlight. The moon was so bright that we didn’t need any artificial light at all, and it was such a wonderful experience.
We also did a little touristing, which is where my friend fell suddenly and deeply in love.
K and I carpooled for that friend, for whom it was cheaper to fly to our city and ride with us (other friends flew straight to the beach). On our way home, we made a tourist stop at South of the Border. We thought it would be fun and awesome, and it was a little bit. South of the Border is a huge Mexican-themed tourist location just south of the North Carolina/South Carolina border. Because, get it? It’s south of a border and so is Mexico?
However, that stringless Tiki guitar in a Mexican-themed kitsch tourist location might tip you off to our problem with the whole experience. See, when K and I hang out with that friend, we get very academic. And South of the Border is about as un-academic as it gets. So we went around problematizing all of the cultural appropriation. Which was BAD. There were terrible cultural stereotyping space-taker-uppers that referenced the entire world. Like Tiki guitars and a drum made out of actual zebra skin (which was $650 and had a tag that was yellowed with age because who goes to South of the Border with the intention of spending that much money on exotic animal hides?). You can also purchase tourist things from places that South of the Border is not in. Such as shot glasses that say Florida on them And there was this cultural monstrosity:
As you can see, this is a “Leather Tee Pee” that depicts Kokopelli. Kokopelli is a fertility deity from the Hopi, who lived in the Southwestern United States. Tee Pees are from the Native Americans of the Great Plains. These were entirely separate people with entirely separate nations. But of course, at South of the Border, you can just put the god of one native group onto the dwelling of another native group. Because tourism! And all “Indians” are the same! Gross.