Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rasta Love, Mexican Style

It's amusing to see the fascination with rastafarian culture on my travels. There seems to exist a universal pull towards Bob Marley, reggae, locks and Jamaican patois. Of course, the stereotypes can sometimes be irritating but I found the tribute to rasta culture at Cozumel's Paradise Cafe to be charming. Located on the quiet East side of the island, Paradise Cafe, often called Bob Marley Cafe, displays a pretty good painting of Bob, along with a laid-back vibe and tongue-in-cheek attitude.

This rasta sign kind of sums up the general feel of the cafe and beach. Freedom to lounge, surf, eat or sprawl in a hammock while reggae floats through the background, sounds like a reasonable idea for paradise. I didn't meet any rastas however and suspect they're scarce on tiny Cozumel.

Inside the cafe, the walls are scrawled with signatures, drawings, handmade signs and a big banner promoting the cafe's famous shrimp quesadillas. I'm allergic to shellfish so I couldn't try any but from what I glimpsed, they looked pretty tasty.

T-shirts from all over the world are draped along the bag walls and ceilings. To my frustration. I spotted shirts from everywhere except Chicago. Next time, I'm bringing a White Sox t-shirt to make sure Chi-town is properly represented.

The Bar is drenched in vivid colors and general cheekiness. Notice the "big tippers go to heaven" jar.

More cheekiness awaits outside, where this bench apparently attracts lots of topless men and women after free tequila. I don't do topless or tequila but I loved the beach view.

The red, gold and green stairway added to the liveliness of the place. With the sound of big waves crashing onto the shore, mingling with reggae rhythms and only a handful of surfers on this deserted stretch, the area was tranquil and spirited at the same time.

The cafe's two pet pigs were no where in sight but I thought the roosters strutting about were just as entertaining.


Roam2Rome said...

✈✈✈ Currently staying in Mexico and I loved your post!

Do you notice this time around how mellow it is here? Just as beautiful, more affordable, and no crowds.

It's nowhere near the tourist levels of other years.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A lively and colouful place!

Fly Girl said...

Roam, thanks for stopping by. Yes, it was very mellow, that's why I liked it!

Jean-Luc, it was very colorful!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and I love the atmosphere. A margarita sounds great right about now.

A Cuban In London said...

Shouldn't that be 'Yeah Mon!' :-)?

Yes, I loved the cheekiness, although I would never have associated Rasta culture with Mexico.

Greetings from London.

Lola said...

Never would have guessed it! (the Rasta->Mexican association).

Looks like a relaxing time.

Wendy said...

I like the way it is located right on/in the ocean.

Fly Girl said...

Yvonne, thanks, nice to hear from you again.

Cubano, yes it should be "yeah mon" but remember we're dealing with blingual translation issues which you know all about!

Lola, Mexicans have been enthralled with rasta culture for quite some time. I received a lot of admiration for my locs.

Wendy, the beach was heavenly and made the cafe that much more memorable.

Beauty Is Diverse said...

Nice pictures, I agree rasta culture is everywhere.

Fly Girl said...

Ebony, I've yet to visit a country that doesn't love Bob and reggae!

Ibou said...

Even here in Sweden you will be able to find alot of reggae clubs. Rasta is everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Very nice post the place is really cool, also the snaps are awesome; I did love to go places like this. Your blog is very nice.

Tulsa City Guide

Fly Girl said...

Pa, yes, rasta has traveled far.
Xohaib, thanks for dropping by and for the compliments!

Samuel Peterson said...

Very nice post the place is really cool, also the snaps are awesome; I did love to go places like this. Your blog is very nice.