So we’ve been in Tampico, Mexico for approximately one month now. For those of you who don’t know, Tampico is located on the Eastern side of the country – here’s a map for you visual learners (we live in the red dot):
Obviously we live on the Gulf of Mexico – which is great because the ocean is fun.
A fun fact about this coastal town of ours: it hasn’t been hit by a hurricane since 1955. That’s right, for 59 magical years, this coastal town has managed to escape the usual concerns of oceanic living (like hurricanes).
Now I’d like to introduce you to Tropical Storm Dolly – the storm currently brewing in the Gulf, causing the government of Mexico to “issue a serious storm warning for its Gulf Coast from Tuxpan, Veracruz northward to Barra El Mezquital, Tamaulipas” (Tamaulipas = us).
So let’s summarize: this area hasn’t been hit by a major storm in 60 years (I’m rounding up). We’ve been here for one month and we’re already under a serious storm warning. Seriously?!?
More interesting to me than this irony, is an urban legend that explains why this area has been so protected from storms. The local legend is that UFOs protect Tampico from hurricanes. The story goes that the aliens have their base in the sea, just off the coast, and by protecting their base from hurricanes, they are also protecting Tampico. Fishermen have allegedly seen things when they’re out at night, things they claim might be the UFOs. Mexico, apparently, is also one of the countries that experiences the most reported UFO sightings.
I first heard of this urban legend just last night, from our Spanish teacher, who was born and raised in Tampico. She assured us that, as a child, she actually witnessed these aliens flying into the ocean one day while at the beach with her family. So, besides my own research online (because hey, if it’s on the Internet, it must be true, right?) – adding this first-hand eye witness account to this legend was fun. Since we were on the subject of urban legends and our teacher probably sensing how interesting I found the subject, she shared another local legend, that again, she has some personal knowledge of.
Apparently about ten years ago, the devil visited a local nightclub here. A friend of our teacher’s witnessed this event: a tall, dark stranger, all dressed in black, entered the club. They couldn’t distinguish his facial features, but one foot was a pig’s foot, and the other a rooster claw. Not all that surprisingly (in my opinion), this caused a panic at the nightclub and all the patrons fled.
Now, I find urban legends like these fascinating, and have been researching both all morning (according to some lore, the only part the Devil can’t transform when he takes human shape is his feet. You’d think he’d be a lot more stealthy… but whatever).
So, rare hurricane threats, protective aliens who are apparently starting to slack off in their job and visits from a poorly-disguised devil – all notwithstanding, I would like to share that we are all very happy here. We miss our family and friends terribly, but that goes without saying (and you know, people had better start visiting soon – I’m just saying…)
We’ll continue to adjust, enjoy and try to find positive experiences every day – as long as those experiences don’t include hurricane evacuations, crazy light shows interrupting our beach fun, and strangers with suspicious footwear.